Welcome to the blog! I am oh so eager to share some of my favorite speechie materials, ideas, tips, and tricks with you!
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Toys, toys, TOYS! There are so many toys out there marketed for babies. But which toys are *actually* developmentally-appropriate for your baby’s age AND entertaining? I’ve used my expertise as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and experience as a mom to curate and recommend toys for baby’s first year.
0 – 3 Month Baby Toy Recommendations
In the newborn phase, babies are learning to experience and process the sensory experiences of the world around them. We want to look for toys that will stimulate these senses.
Black & White Contrast Cards
Just wait until you see how fascinated your baby is with black & white patterns! It is the cutest thing to watch them stare so intently at the patterns– and sometimes even smile! You can hold them in front of baby while they’re laying down, put baby on your lap and show them the cards, or prop them up for baby to look at during tummy time.
Baby’s understanding of cause & effect is slowly *starting* to develop. They will enjoy kicking their feet (cause) and then hearing the jingling sound (effect).
This is another toy that can provide some simple cause and effect play for an older newborn. Baby is learning how to grasp an object and they can practice by holding the rattle. They may even just like it if you hold it in front of it and shake it for them! Practice visual tracking by slowly moving the rattle from one side all the way to the other side and see if baby will follow it with his/her eyes. I like the set of 3 rattles from Sassy.
Sassy Play Gym
I love this play gym! It really is a hidden gem. It’s absolutely adorable with all of the black & white and pops of rainbow colors. But beyond looks, this play gym is super functional. I had no idea how much babies love black & white patterns until we had Noelle– and this play gym is covered in them! She would just lay under the toys on in this play gym and stare and stare and stare at those black & white patterns. And I didn’t mind– it was great for her visual development! She eventually started batting at the toys and I think the exciting patterns were motivating for her to play with! This gym is easy to assemble and disassemble and can be stored in the slim box it came in. The arms are flexible, the dangly toys detach so they can be moved around the arms, and the mat itself is machine washable! This came in handy because our dog also loved laying in the play gym. Haha! Another thing I love is that the mat has monthly development guides printed right in the center, giving you ideas of ways to play with your baby using the play gym! It also comes with a rainbow-shaped tummy time pillow.
Sassy Tummy Time Mirror
Just a great little tummy time mirror. It has black & white, which is a plus for baby! It easily props up and is lightweight (so it wouldn’t hurt baby at all if it fell over onto them). Now doctors recommend starting tummy time with baby as soon as they’re home from the hospital, so this can be a way to make it more enjoyable.
3 – 6 Month Baby Toy Recommendations
Baby is learning cause-and-effect, starting to develop hand-eye coordination, and is probably teething!
Fisher Price Kick & Play Piano Gym
This is one of those toys that I thought was *so* gaudy and said I would never have in my house. Well, I was wrong. My baby absolutely obsessed with this thing! Baby can lay on the mat under the bar of toys and kick the musical, light-up piano with their feet! It plays all sorts of fun songs (that I now have memorized– haha)! Noelle hated tummy time, but she’d tolerate it if she was propped up staring at the piano. The gym can be reconfigured for older babies and toddlers, too. Just buy this! Your baby will thank you… I promise!
Manhattan Toy Company Winkel
This was one of the first toys/teethers Noelle played with. It’s great for them to practice grasping and it’s super easy for them to hold. It also makes a rattle sound when they shake it. This was our favorite teether toy!
Easy for baby to grasp with all the little holes and great for teething. Can be used for rolling back and forth to practice turn taking when baby is a little bit older, or for fetching games when they’re crawling.
These are an awesome way to introduce baby to books! Baby will love the crinkle sound, feeling, and sensation. They’ll eventually learn to turn the pages themselves and chew on them. Noelle always has a crinkle book with her in the carseat.
Rainbow Spin Wheel
This toy helps baby practice hand-eye coordination. They will love watching the wheel spin! Can be played with during tummy time (baby propped up on elbows or arms) or while sitting up.
Another thing babies love… crinkle paper! Any time this toy would crinkle, Noelle was so surprised and delighted! This is basically a sheet of noisy crinkle paper with a black & white fabric sewn on top. I keep this in my diaper bag and it’s a great toy/distraction on the go!
6 – 12 Month Baby Toy Recommendations
Skip Hop Activity Center
B. Toys Whirley Pop
VTech Musical Rhymes Book
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around the Town Learning Table
Fisher-Price Pretend Video Game Controller
12 – 18 Month Baby Toy Recommendations
Baby’s hand-eye coordination is improving and basic pretend play is beginning to develop!
Fisher-Price Piggy Bank
Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano
Fat Brain Spin Again Stacking Toy
Little People Farm
Little People School Bus
Ball Run Toy
Car Ramp Set
Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack & Blocks
This set comes with a shape sorter, blocks, and a stacking ring. All of these basic toys are excellent to use for fine motor skills like pinching, grasping, inserting objects, as well as following directions!
Baby Doll Set
18 – 24 Month Baby Toy Recommendations
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