Well, your great grandma would tell you back in her day, babies were happy with a doll made from a sock or corn husks, or a teddy made from burlap and stuffed with straw!
Through the progressive years toy producers, albeit factory or small toy shops, strived to come up with safest, the brightest and the most educational toy to be had!
Now many toys are rated by age, and developmental uses, such as puzzles. These have improved from the shape edged, hard board jigsaw shaped puzzles, to the simple smooth shaped with large knobs designed for the youngest of puzzle fans!
All parents want the best or most appropriate toys for their new baby. Martha Mae down the street has wonderfully hand crafted shelves adorning her princess's nursery. Each shelf is carefully organized with specialty toys shipped from the best' toys producers around the word. From exquisite hand embroidered plush blocks, to silver plated rattle.
As we all may have witnessed, toss an empty box to an older baby and watch the fun ensue!
Having the most expensive, the best name brand infant toys do not make a baby any smarter than those given the simpler forms of toys. Sure, the Moms in the baby play group may be envious and the nursery probably looks spectacular, but..is it really necessary?
Nowadays, emphasis is on the safety and sterilizing factors of baby toys. Especially in group care facilities, many licensing guidelines insist that toys are able to go through a sterilizing process. Thus, limiting the kinds of baby toys used in the groups. Water proof, hard plastic toys with no metal or leaking seams are most likely to be purchased.
In a home setting, many parents are satisfied with surface washable toys, and those that can soak in the sink with a bit of bleach.
So often babies are inundated with stuffed plush animals that cannot be machine washed and can collect dust, and all the germs that are around a baby. Some are able to be a bit sterilized by tossing in a dryer, using the heat process to help stave off any parasites. I myself have vacuumed a plush collection of furry friends, even setting them in the sun for several hours!
The topic of this article is just how many toys a baby really needs. Some are under the impression that the more a baby has the smarter they will become and even the faster they will learn.
A new baby's brain starts rapidly developing with each stimulus it receives, but there is only so much we parents can control. Too much stimulation can shut down even the most gifted baby's brain, just to get a break!
Many newborns give us the clues to over stimulation. From the earliest form, of a baby merely averting his gaze away from the stimulation, the baby's way of resting his brain. Some will become fussy, and try to move away. Others just simply nod off!
Many of us have experienced this with even the toddler stage, we may be engaged in what we, adults perceive as a fun activity, only to have the child just fall apart, perhaps in a tantrum, or the child runs off to mommy. We may believe the child to be ungrateful, spoiled or suffering from those dreaded terrible twos', but..we should consider there is only so much these youngsters can deal with, adults can curb the urge for frustration, but at certain stages of everyone's life those urges are difficult to suppress.
So, is the answer to supply so many toys the child never gets bored and can easily transfer from one toy to another when frustrated? Or perhaps is it better to set out fewer choices, or exchange some toys for those that were put away, thus allowing less frustration and brand new experiences, even with toys used prior.
The youngest of newborns definitely benefit from simple forms of stimulation. Gazing at a caregiver's face, learning to recognize every facial feature. Learning that pleasurable experiences come from the smallest of interactions. See how Mommy reacts when her baby seemingly attempts the first coo! Both baby and mommy are learning through one on one interactionno toys even involved!
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