Play mats, gyms and tummy time
Gyms and play mats are brilliant for baby play. They can enjoy kicking their little feet around, as well as developing their senses of sight, sound and touch through vibrant colours, mirrors, music and different textures.
They're also great for tummy time, which helps them to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles. Many experts recommend a couple of 3-5 minute sessions of supervised tummy time a day.
Stir their senses
As your baby grows and develops, so does their ability to interact with their toys and the world around them. They're always learning about new sights, sound and textures, and their toys can help with the development of these senses. Of course, it won't be long until they're testing their sense of taste too, so make sure it's safe should they put a toy in their mouth.
Sight and sound
Toys that stimulate your baby's vision and hearing are an important part of their development. As your little one's sight develops, the more they'll be fascinated by bright colours, different shapes and toys. From birth, your baby is learning and understanding new sounds and you can help develop their hearing with toys that make noises or play lullabies.
BOUNCERS, ACTIVITY TABLES AND JUMPEROOS
Great for bouncing, grasping and getting them moving, a bouncer or jumperoo can help them get used to being on their feet. Not only will they find it fun to boing around, but they can also interact with the bright colours and different shapes.
On the move
From around 6 months old, your baby will be getting much stronger and sturdier and is probably able to support their own head. Their coordination will be improving all the time and they may even be ready for crawling and, eventually, walking. Use interactive toys that encourage holding and movement to help them with their development.
Check age ratings
It's important to note the recommended age of any toy before giving it to your baby. This will make sure the toy is safe and appropriate for your baby's age.
SEPARATE PLAY SPACE
Make sure your baby can't get hold of any toys with small parts that could be swallowed. This can be difficult when you also have older children with their own toys, so try to keep baby's play space away from where other toys are kept.
CHECK TOY CONDITION
Although baby toys are designed to withstand the rough and tumble of play, it's a good idea to check toys regularly to make sure they haven't been damaged. Any toys with sharp edges or loose parts should be put out of harm's way.
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