Introducing Toys to Tots

When little ones arrive into the world, they’re eager to see, smell, touch, grasp, and explore everything around them. This also means that anything within their reach becomes a kind of toy – from the pendant around your neck to the TV remote lying on the couch. But what about actual toys? Knowing how to introduce these colorful creations to your child plays a key role in their development, so here are a few tips and tricks to guide you along the way!

Very First Toys

Before bringing your baby home, chances are you’ve been filling the nursery with all sorts of toys – whether they’re your own childhood favorites or the gifts you received during a baby shower. When the time comes to introduce your kiddo to these toys, one thing to keep in mind is that their eyesight isn’t 20/20 just yet! In fact, babies can only focus on things that are approximately 8-12 inches away from their beautiful eyes. So while they’re curled up in their crib or bassinet, make sure to bring that teddy bear or rattle close to their lil’ face!

Since a baby’s hearing is better than their eyesight, you can also give musical toys a go. Little ones tend to turn their heads once they hear a noise or your soothing voice, so grab toys with sound and go down the music route!

Shape sorter cube and stacking rings
A kid playing with the Bath Buddies from Battat.

Growing Up

As your kiddo’s eyesight and hearing develops, they will also begin to identify personal favorites. Within the first 3 months, you’ll be able to recognize which toys double as their best buds and which ones are starting to gather a bit of dust. So if you feel that there’s a fun or educational toy you would want them to play with as they grow up, bring these toys into your baby’s environment early on and encourage your child to discover them. Add these into the mix while your baby is enjoying tummy time, for example – they’ll be looking up, stretching their arms, and grabbing what’s near them.

Another way to go about it is during bath time or nursing! As your baby is lying on their back, you can take a colorful and dangly toy and sway it right above them. The swinging movement is sure to grab their attention, to the point where they may try to grasp the toy with their lil’ fingers (and improve their fine motor skills while they’re at it!).

But even if, despite your best efforts, your chosen toys don’t exactly stick – don’t be surprised or discouraged. Toys can be a fickle lot! What matters at the end of the day is that introducing toys is just another opportunity to bond with your baby. As you give them the toys, pull ‘em back, and repeat, you’ll be on the road to becoming their partner in play – a relationship which will hopefully last for years to come.