Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do Newborns Need Toys?

Do Newborns Need Toys?

It’s a question that many parents ask and there are various opinions across the web which, in essence, means that there’s no right answer. As expectant parents, it’s easy to get carried away with making preparations and stocking up on all the essentials that you and baby will need, but should toys be factored into the equation?

After all, for the first few weeks, baby will be exploring her new world through sensory experiences and much of her time will be spent visualising her surroundings, feeding and plenty of cuddles – so, when do toys become important?

Many parents choose to invest in a baby gym or playmat which the baby can safely, and comfortably, use and it’s understandable why this is one of the must-have items before the baby makes her entrance into the world. Brightly coloured, visually stimulating with plenty of textures to discover as they grow, baby gyms are a fantastic addition to any living room. But what about other toys? Do babies need a toy box full of plastic stuff that, collectively, costs a fortune? Probably not - not until they start exploring a little more, anyway.

An argument that is made by many individuals on this subject is that a baby won’t know the difference between what’s a shop-bought toy and something that their parents have found around the house. We all know kids love to play with wrapping paper and boxes at Christmas and the same can be said about babies – give them a clean sock, a wooden spoon or a Tupperware box and they’ll be just as happy as if they were given a luxury toy that has just come off the shelves.

While the first couple of months will largely be made up of close human contact, making them feel warm and safe, they will soon start to become interested in things they can grasp and pull – glasses, long hair, necklaces etc. It’s at this point that it’s probably worth asking ourselves whether they have enough stimulation around them to satisfy their curiosity. This is the time where toys and playthings come into their own, providing plenty of stimulation for your little one, whether you’re playing with them or they’re playing independently.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune though – children of this age don’t know the difference between the simple plastic teether that she has and the luxury one that her playmate does. As long as what you stock the toy box with is safe and suitable for their age, you can’t go far wrong!

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