Last updated: August 20, 2021

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When it comes to our children, we can be the most demanding. We have to be very careful in what toys we give to infants as a wrong choice can cause unexpected and unpleasant problems.

In the following article you can discover all the necessary information, the products that help your baby's development, where to find them, the best options on the market and much more. Not to be missed!




Summary

  • A toy is an element that serves to promote and begin to develop various skills in your baby throughout the different stages of growth, while the child plays and has fun.
  • In general, there are wooden and plastic toys. Both are very beneficial for your child's development. Wooden toys are perfect for slow learning and accompany the baby at various stages. Plastic toys are perfect for stimulating their five senses and there is a wide variety of toys available.
  • Among the variables of these toys are those that stimulate sensory and motor skills. One helps the baby to learn about his body and its capabilities. The other helps him to relate his movements to his environment. Always make sure that you buy a toy that is safe, suitable and provides benefits for your baby.

The Best Toys for Babies: Our Picks

Buying Guide

When it comes to our little ones we will always look to give them the best of experiences. This includes learning through their toys. However, not all educational toys are designed for all ages. It is important to make sure you know what your child's needs are based on their age. Read more about this below.

Toys for babies are necessary in their early stages because they help them learn essential skills for later development. (Source: Oksana Kuzmina/ 123rf.com)

What is a baby toy and what are its advantages?

A toy is an object that children use to play with. Baby toys help newborns develop different skills in their early stages, when every day is something new for them.

The best toys for babies help them learn about attention, hand-eye coordination and the motor skills of rolling and crawling. Many others also encourage baby's first words, motivating them to babble and talk.

Many parents are interested in researching this topic so that they can get their children to learn while they play. To make this task easier, we show you the following comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of baby toys.

Advantages
  • Physical development
  • Stimulates the progress of social skills
  • Encourages mental and mathematical capacity
  • Helps them to coexist with their own emotions
Disadvantages
  • Sharp or pointed parts
  • Presence of chemicals in their composition
  • Toys that are too noisy
  • They have very small parts

Wooden or plastic toys - what should you watch out for?

There is a trend that has been growing and is very fashionable to use wooden toys. There are many campaigns to prefer one over the other, but we know that it is a personal decision, for this reason we want to show you the main differences between wooden and plastic toys. We hope you find it useful.

It is true that wooden toys help to take care of the environment because they are made in a natural way, they are more resistant and a single toy can accompany the baby in different stages. However, they are not as attractive to children, they weigh more and are more expensive.

Toys made of plastic can also stimulate the development of many skills such as musical skills, learning languages, are more affordable and attract much more attention from parents and children. At the same time, they last less, are a petroleum-based material that is potentially harmful to a baby and pollute more.

In the following table we show you in more detail the main characteristics of these two types of toys:

Wooden toy Plastic toy
Made of a natural material. It helps the child to understand their manufacturing process, textures and temperatures They are more attractive to children with their colours, music and lights. Also because of the publicity they offer
Saves money in the long run, these toys are unstructured and can accompany the baby at various ages They have little sentimental value and are easy to replace because it is a material of little durability
They promote quiet, conscious and leisurely play because they lack sounds, colours and strong lights There is an almost infinite variety of types of toys, as they are a highly malleable material
They are not as eye-catching to babies They are soft and lightweight
They can eventually splinter and cause injury They may contain hazardous chemicals, such as toluene, phthalates, bisphenol or lead

How much do baby toys cost?

Toys for newborns range from GBP 5 to GBP 15 such as rattles, soft toys, soft toys, dolls, car. Other types of toys such as sensory or motor toys could have a value between 18 GBP and 40 GBP, such as gym centres, laptops, hall runners, among others.

Small wooden toys such as cars or puzzles can start at GBP 2 and go up to GBP 15. Larger toys such as trucks, building stations or abacuses can go up to over GBP 70.

Buying criteria

In this section we will be discussing the information you need to know to choose the best baby toy. No matter if you are a parent or relative and you want to give him a gift that is suitable for his age, helps him develop skills and is safe, don't hesitate to consult the following list:

  • Age
  • Safety
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Motor stimulation

Age

The ideal age for a baby to play with a toy is specified on the packaging. It may be expressed as a single number or as a range of ages. You should read the description of each toy to find out if your baby is old enough to use it.

Below we will explain in more detail the needs that babies have at a certain age and the suggestions of suitable toys, we hope you find it helpful.

Age Need Recommended toys
0-6 months Stimulation to discover their own body and the outside world Rattles, rubber dolls, musical mobiles, among others.
7-12 months To develop auditory and creative abilities Try mobiles, sound toys, rockers, etc.
13-18 months Encourage decision-making, observation and evaluation of their environment Cubes to fit together, wooden toys, corridor runners, cars and small cars.
19-24 months Communication, vocabulary development and expressing their ideas Musical instruments, baby books, dolls, bicycle with auxiliary wheels.
2-3 years Forming their own personality by imitating their environment and promoting contact with other children Puzzles, construction games, board games, educational telephones or laptops for children.

Safety

The toy must have on its label clearly described in English; the manufacturer, materials, a description of the toy, ages and country of origin. It must also have a CE safety seal, which certifies the approval of quality controls according to current regulations.

Once you have chosen the right toy you can complement the above by touching the toy, remember that a baby is going to throw, twist, bend, chew, etc. The parts should not come loose or create small pieces that the baby could swallow or cause injury.

Avoid toys with points or edges that could hurt your baby. Instead, prefer different textures, colours and sounds. (Source: Oksana Kuzmina/ 123rf.com)

Sensory Stimulation

For a newborn, every day is something totally new. Take advantage of toys that help him discover his 5 senses. This is essential for the baby to relate to his environment and integrate into society in the future. Examples: musical piano, rattle, puzzles.

Toys with different textures, malleable, strong colours and sounds will motivate your baby to explore and learn, in this way he will develop his decision making. His brain will begin to organise all the answers he gets, generating a relationship with the object, which in the long term helps him to determine his tastes and preferences.

The toys promote quiet, conscientious and leisurely play as they lack loud sounds, colours and lights. (Source: Yevheniia Ustinovska/ 123rf.com)

Motor stimulation

Motor function is directly related to the physical movements the baby makes. Toys in the first instance should promote the discovery of their coordination, balance and strength that they need to crawl, walk, play, move around. This is known as the gross motor area.

At the same time, there is the fine motor area, which tries to stimulate the coordination of eyes and hands so that, for example, they want to eat on their own. It will help him a lot to learn about textures and to mould and colour in his own way.

(Featured image photo: Mikhail Rulkov/ 123rf.com)

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