Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Baby Days.... Baby Toys 0-6mths

If you come to our playroom, you maybe overwhelmed at the sight of toys! We have been very blessed and have received lots of toys for our children, so I have alot of experience on what are the most played with toys with our boys and their friends... I could write pages of reviews, so I have kept it to a few items that have stood out to me.

Newborns don't need toys.  Life is just stimulating enough.  Too many lights sounds etc in my experience leads to a cranky, over stimulated, unhappy baby, so whilst the toys look cute - use with caution!

First toys:
Mobile - great for distraction, looks pretty but hasn't really been an essential.  We didn't have one for L and he was no worse for it.  I prefer not to use mobiles, dummies etc for sleep time.
Comforter - I have used small teddies attached to blankets and I think these are really good.  Especially if mum sleeps with them and her scent is on the toy, it can be a great comforter for them and will last for as long as they need that.  I also had dummies for my children and they got an enormous amount of pleasure on sucking.  When they were around 6months they spat out their dummy and no longer wanted it.
Playmat - I used the play mat from newborn till around 6months (when they started sitting) It was good for them to lie on and protected the floor from any dribbles.  It also meant they had something soft to lie on.  The arch play part they don't really start to use until 3months.  These can be so expensive and I wouldn't pay £60 for them.  I think 2nd hand is just as good, as they don't really wear out.
Babychair/swing - The swing I found essential for a baby with colic.  It was the only rest bite, along with leaving the hoover on! My other children who didn't have colic, I didn't use a swing, as a bouncer chair was enough to keep them settled whilst downstairs. As I have had quite big babies, I have been through 3 of these chairs.  When they are first born, a bucket type seat is best for holding and supporting them but as they get older a rigid option is more helpful for weaning - so think about how you plan to use the chair.  With our first 2, we chose our bouncer chairs to co-ordinate with the nursery. They were very basic.  We got fed up with rocking the seat as it didn't always bounce particularly well.  This is when we went for Mamas and Papas chair with battery operated bounce - this was great!  This seat lasted 2 babies whereas the cheaper ones only lasted each baby.  I think with these you get what you pay for, so worth investing with your first.  The seats last till around 6 months old or when they sit up.
Reading books to them and singing songs - We have lots of books and I think this is a great way of teaching language.  They may not smile as you read through a book or do animal noises to them but they absorb the words and its good for their development.  Its good to read stories and nursery rhymes.  I like the Roger Priddy books.  I like the books to have real photos rather than drawings, to teach them about colours, names, shapes and everyday objects. I often make up songs for and about my children, much to my older children's embarrassment, but I also liked to sing 'I'm special because God has loved me' and replace 'I'm' with their name.  I think they found it soothing and relaxing.

3months and above
Bumbo - I have had mixed reviews with my children on this. Some of them hated it, and would wiggle and arch their backs until they were taken out, others were content.  I would borrow one from a friend and try it out first. Also these keep well so buying 2nd hand is a good option.
Playmat with toys - At this age they really start to bat the toys and get the most from the play arches on their mats and bouncer chairs.  Also colourful mats with interesting toys dotted along can be great for encouraging tummy time.  If you didn't have one previously, I think baby would def benefit from one now.
Teethers - there are rattles a plenty on the market.  I like the little ones that can easily be grabbed by little hands and are not too heavy for them.  Alot of these seem for older babies who have a better and bigger grip.  When under 6mths and it comes to baby teething accessories, I have had most success from the amber teething anklet.  It doesn't take away the pain completely but it certainly helps and can be worn under their sock, so safe from them and curious children.  I also used baby paracetamol, to help with the pain.  There are lots of powders/crystals/gels and some work better for some babies.  You can spend a fortune on them, but this is my preferred way to tackle teeth.

More on toys soon...

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