What to Look for in Your Baby’s First Toys
What to Look for in Your Baby’s First Toys
August 11, 2020

What to Look for in Your Baby’s First Toys

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What to Look for in Your Baby’s First Toys.
What to Look for in Your Baby’s First Toys

Some of your baby’s earliest milestones will happen so quietly you might not even notice it—things like learning to focus their vision, identifying colors and understanding depth perception. While these milestones might seem like NBD (that’s just how bodies work, right?), they play a huge part in how your little one learns to interact with the world.

The best part about your baby’s early development is that you’ll encourage it without even realizing it (peek-a-boo is basically Harvard-level learning for infants.) But if you want to be a little more intentional, toys can play a big part in helping your baby reach those tiny (but huge) milestones.

What to Look for in Early Development Toys

When people talk about age-appropriate toys, what they really mean is just meeting your baby where they’re at in the learning process. We’ve partnered up with Manhattan Toy Company and Wimmer-Ferguson, who have been making early development toys for over 40 years, to share a few of the things to look for in your infant toys that are actually teaching them while they play.

Wimmer Ferguson Baby Vision Image

Newborns can’t quite focus clearly, and their color recognition is more limited (their early vision looks kind of like the object above on the right). In the first few months, bold black-and-white toys or toys with bright contrasting hues make it easier for your baby to recognize shapes and patterns. And since their color recognition develops slowly, those bright colors will just get more interesting as time goes on.

Next up is eye coordination, followed by depth perception (which start to develop between months two and five). You may notice that your baby is able to follow your movements, and even see you when you’re farther away. Toys that spin or rotate, like a mobile, can help your little one develop those important tracking skills while they’re hanging out solo in their crib or playard.

How to Encourage Your Baby’s Learning

One easy way to develop your baby’s early learning through play is to think about where they will spend their time and then add playthings to the mix. These high-contrast toys make it easy to do just that:

Practicing tummy time? This high-contrast floor mat introduces your baby to shapes, sounds and fun hide-and-seek flaps that let your baby discover and play.

This high-contrast mobile allows you to change up your baby’s view between black-and-white shapes and patterns or more colorful scenes, growing with your baby’s development along the way.

This fabric car seat gallery has a swappable card setup and easily attaches to your back seat, giving your baby something to engage with while you’re on the go.

Board books are the ideal grow-with-me toy. This baby zoo picture book features fun, bold black-and-white illustrations. When your baby gets a little older, you can upgrade to crinkle books or more complex board books with colorful illustrations and words.

If your baby has a favorite swing or bouncer, you can attach Wimmer-Ferguson’s travel mobile for ad hoc entertainment.

Once your baby is ready to start gripping soft toys, these mind shapes combine bold graphics, interesting textures and fun noises, which will keep your baby stimulated well beyond the first few months.

This article is sponsored by Manhattan Toy Co. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.

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