Newborn babies are naturally entertained by the world around them and will quite happily lie and stare at a cot mobile, cuddly toy or other object for quite some time. By the time they get to about three months old however, babies will start trying to move around and explore and this is a great time to introduce activity toys to give them a sense of freedom before they are able to walk.
There are lots of different activity toys available for babies of different ages, the most popular being activity centers and mats, baby bouncers, rockers and swings and baby walkers. You should always check that the toy is suitable for the developmental age of your child. Activity toys usually come with recommended age ranges but you should also pay attention to requirements such as your baby being able to hold his head up unaided.
For young babies, activity mats are great. Babies will happily lie on these and play with the textures and toys on the mat. They are also good for 'tummy time' which helps to strengthen your baby's neck so that he can support his head on his own. Mats come in all different styles from plain fabric mats to fancy styles with toys hung over them.
Bouncing chairs are also good for babies from birth and they find the movement very soothing. Baby swings are similar but usually more expensive and battery operated. Some chairs have an extra vibrating function which can be good if your baby will not go to sleep.
From three or four months you can start using a door bouncer which is great fun for babies and helps them to develop their leg muscles getting them ready for walking. These bouncers are inexpensive and can be used in any doorway of the suitable width.
Baby walkers can also be used from around this time and are great fun for your baby, allowing him to be mobile before he can walk. They come in lots of different styles so you can buy a cute pink baby walker for your baby girl or a blue one for a baby boy. Baby walkers can be a good alternative to using a baby door bouncer but remember to always supervise your baby carefully when using one.
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