Many adults still have fond childhood memories of a beloved bear or other companion. So when it comes time to getting a stuffed toy for a new baby we want to get the right one. Choosing baby toys requires care. This article provides 5 tips for buying the right stuffed toys for babies.
1. Safety first. Choose nontoxic finishes. Fur or hair should be short and firmly attached. Look out for any dangly beads or threads, since these can pose a choking hazard. There should not be any removable parts on stuffed toys for a baby. If a baby toy comes with optional clothing, lay this aside until the child is older. Make sure any tags are removed. However, if there is a well-sewn permanent label on the toy, many babies love to touch and hold this part.
2. Toys should be age appropriate. Babies put everything in their mouths, so all baby toys should be designed specifically for babies. Some stuffed animals have multiple uses, such as attached teethers. For kids one year old or older, stuffed toys are available which combine activities like bowling or storytelling. Stuffed toys also comfort to kids of all ages. Holding a stuffed toy can help older babies and toddlers get through difficult days.
3. Consider whether a toy is mainly decorative or to be used for stimulating early learning. This may not always be obvious. While most baby toys, like rattles, will be outgrown, stuffed toys can have staying power. With their soft fur or hair, shiny eyes, and sometimes tails or whiskers, they offer plenty of tactile stimulation. For instance, a teddy bear's curly fur and velvet paws can offer tactile stimulation that helps baby's neurological development. Babies learn through their senses, so varying textures are very interesting. Stuffed toys often fulfill an educational component, but parents should be selective. Other important early skills include grasping, holding, and passing a toy from one hand to another. For younger babies, choose baby toys that are small enough to be held and manipulated. While older children may appreciate giant stuffed toys, they are likely to be ignored by babies.
4. Consider the benefits of getting a toy that makes sounds. Some stuffed toys include a sound component - a squeaker, chime, rattling part, or crinkly area - to engage baby's attention. Sounds stimulate conversational skills, where babies coo at the toy and the toy "responds" with its own sound. Ensure that the volume is soft. Traditional noises may be better than electronic ones at this age. Optional music can also be appealing. With some imagination and the help of an adult, plush toys can also be interactive, especially the ones that make sounds. Making them talk, move, and play peek-a-boo further enhances their interactive potential. Babies learn that cats meow and dogs woof. Simple games are delightful and can be repeated many times.
5. Select baby toys that will have some staying power, to allow children to form lasting attachments. Many stuffed animals come in a range of colors. Black and white combinations are meant to stimulate very young babies, while bright primary colors are meant for slightly older babies. Bright colors appeal to developing visual systems.
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