A newborn baby is one of the most precious gifts you could ever be given. As a new parent, you’re feeling all kinds of emotions, and you’re exhausted and excited to experience (and sometimes just get through) those first few days. And you’re thrilled that you will get to develop that child to be intelligent, empathetic, compassionate, and resilient.
Along with such traits, it is important to help them develop their motor and sensory skills and work on cognitive development. And you can do that by providing them with the right toys. Simple toys that may seem like they are just cute to have in the nursery can actually help develop these skills in more ways than you realize.
Here are 7 must-have newborn toys for your new baby that will help them with their very early learning and development.
1. A Hanging Toy
Hanging toys are some of the most popular toys for newborns, and for good reasons. For one, they can quickly calm your newborn baby and get their attention at any time. You can buy a portable mobile that has items on it such as rattles, hoops, balls, and even tiny stuffed animals.
Your baby will eventually learn to reach and try to touch the toys as he or she gets older. Those movements will help the baby build his or her hand-eye coordination skills as well as muscle strength.
You can choose from a variety of styles and colors that will dazzle your newborn all day long. The Wiggle Wrap is an example of such a toy.
2. Stuffed Animal
Some toys are basic must-haves, and a stuffed animal is one of them. An adorable plush animal or teddy bear is one of the first toys you should buy for your newborn.
Every baby needs a stuffed animal that will provide him or her with comfort and other benefits, like nurturing, releasing oxytocin, and acting as a transitional object when it’s time.
You can choose a plush animal, such as a puppy, with huge floppy ears and arms that assume the hugging position.
Alternatively, you can buy something like a hybrid toy that doubles as a security blanket, often called a “lovey.” You don’t have to shy away from buying a classic teddy bear, however.
And there are plenty of reliable baby toy companies for you to purchase from.
3. Security Blanket
There is a misconception that a security blanket is a negative thing, and that a child will become too attached and dependent on it as they grow up. However, a security blanket or lovey is actually a good thing.
There are many benefits to a baby’s “blankie.”
For example, it can lead to your child being less shy. The security blanket gives your baby a sense of comfort which helps them to see that they’re okay and can ease into separation from their parents. And, ultimately, it helps lead to confidence down the road.
A blanket can also help with the development of relationships. Just like a stuffed animal, the blanket or lovey teaches babies how to have a connection outside of their parents.
4. Newborn Teething Toys
Teething is one of the most painful and frustrating times for a baby. You can make it much more bearable by buying your baby some teething toys.
Teething toys are usually created of rubber materials, and they have handles for the baby to hold them. They can bite on these toys whenever their little gums feel irritated. Some teething toys can keep water inside of them that you can ice for maximum comfort.
Blocks are the cornerstone of newborn learning. They serve many purposes in developing motor skills and sensory system molding. You can start by buying your baby some squishy blocks that he or she can hold, bite, and eventually throw and play with. They’re the perfect soft newborn toys for early development.
When the baby gets a little older, you’ll want to change your purchases to building blocks so that the baby can learn how to stack and build.
6. Tummy Time Pad
Tummy time pads or mats are another essential for your new baby. When your baby is a newborn, tummy time is important.
This is when you place your baby on their tummy, whether that be on your chest or on a pad on the floor.
According to the National Institutes of Health, tummy time is important because it can prevent flat spots on your baby’s head and ultimately helps your baby’s development in the long run.
Tummy time allows babies to strengthen their neck, shoulders, and back muscles, and it improves their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sensory development.
This is a classic baby toy. It doesn’t seem like much except for a noisemaker from the outside, but a rattle can help your newborn with more skills than you realize.
A rattle helps babies develop visual and motor skills, because it teaches them to focus on you shaking the rattle. Eventually, they will grab and hold it as well.
It will also help with the development of their sensorimotor skills later on. The sound of the rattle will trigger a reaction for them, and it will help them cognitively begin to understand where that sound is coming from.
These seven newborn toys will help to build your new baby’s motor skills, sensory skills, and cognitive development. And they’re a great step forward in shaping your little one into the intelligent young man or woman you aspire for them to become. Even though your newborn is too young to realize it at the time, you are already helping them grow.
Which of these toys did you get (or do you plan to get) your newborn? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for more tips on bringing home a newborn? Here are six things to do your first week home with your new baby.