by Jessica McCune

When you have your baby, you have to learn quickly how to best care for him or her. Besides the basics like feeding, changing diapers and sleep patterns, learning what the best toys for your baby’s development is important too. They are different kinds of toys and each kind plays a different role in aiding your baby’s development.

In the early weeks of your baby’s life, his/her sight will be fuzzy. Because of this, your baby will prefer toys that are bold, brightly colored, high-contrast or ones that have black-and-white designs. Babies also prefer human faces because the visual pathways in her brain will respond to strong patterns.

At a few months old, your baby will really enjoy playing games, such as peek-a-boo. You can try draping different fabrics over his/her body or gently on the face for your baby to pull off. Once your baby is able to sit, rolling a ball back and forth can help teach your baby about taking turns.

Every baby needs a lot of cuddle time for their loved ones and they love to cuddle with soft toys too. Toys that are easy to grab on to, can be chewed on and are soft make great toys for your baby to cuddle with. Be sure to check that toys are suitable for your baby’s age before letting them have it and don’t overwhelm your baby with too many toys.

Toys that make noise such as mobiles, musical toys, or rattles grab your baby’s attention. You can shake a rattle to one side, which will help teach your baby to turn their eyes and head toward the sound. Mobiles help motivate your baby to reach for it and help them practice to coordinate their movements.

Trial and error is the best way to find out what your baby prefers when playing with toys. Try playing with your baby and see how he/she reacts to each toy. Above all, have fun with your baby!

Information taken from: Ask an Expert by Dr. Claire Halsey