Choosing the Best Toys for Baby’s First Year
Even though babies do not communicate much prior to their first birthday, this is a crucial developmental stage. Choosing the best toys for baby’s first year will give your child a head start with learning and keep them engaged before they are totally mobile on their own.
One important thing to look for are colorful toys. These will keep your baby more engaged and interested for longer. Sound is also an important feature with toys for your baby’s first year. Often, toys with sounds help babies learn to act on their environments.
There are likely thousands of toys suitable for babies under a year old so it can be daunting to choose between them. Below are some of the best toys for baby’s first year to take some of the guessing out of the process. They will engage and teach your new baby well.
Fisher-Price Rattle and Rock Maracas Musical Toy
The Fisher-Price Rattle and Rock Maracas Musical Toy are a great option for teaching your new baby to act on their environment. Some of their features include:
- Plush handle grips and narrow body for little hands
- Colorful plastic beads both for appearance and sound
- Comes with two maracas – one green and one yellow
One of the best features of the Rattle and Rock Maracas is that they are very portable and no-fuss. They can be easily thrown in a diaper bag to entertain your baby on the road. Also, it is very easy to clean both the fabric and plastic portions (especially important for teething babies).
Though they have many good features and pros, there are a couple drawbacks. For one, the plastic parts of these maracas are very hard. For less coordinated babies, the plastic can be a bit of a hazard. Also, the design is simple and they are really only suited for very young ones.
VTech Musical Rhymes Book
The VTech Musical Rhymes Book is another great option for baby’s first year and even a bit longer than that. Some of its features include:
- Plays more than forty sounds and songs
- Brightly colored pages with light up features
- Five interactive buttons to choose from
Because it incorporates colors, sound, and active page turning, it requires more motor skills than the previous option. Also, the Musical Rhymes Book is suitable for new babies and slightly older ones. There is enough color for young babies as well as words for older ones.
The major hindrance to learning with this toy is that the nursery rhymes written in the book and the songs are not sequenced the same way. That means that you may be looking at a page for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but a totally different nursery song is playing with it.
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
For developing motor skills, the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks are another wonderful choice. Some of its features include:
- Five different shapes to sort
- Ten colorful blocks
- A storage bucket that doubles as a shape sorter
One nice pro of the Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks is that they are very durable. Babies do tend to throw things; these will stand up to the abuse. Also, the size of the blocks is conducive to small hands, but not small enough to be a choking hazard for curious babies.
One drawback of this toy is that the top is very easily removed. This means that children do not need to sort the shapes to put them in the bucket. Also, the insecure lid makes the whole thing easy to spill. The last thing you want is the blocks going everywhere after you clean up.
LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center
The LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center is another great interactive toy that will teach your new baby about cause and effect. Some of its features include:
- Plays over seventy sounds and tunes
- Incorporates numbers, letters, shapes, and colors
- Removable legs
This toy is great for new and older toddlers as it can be used with or without the legs for different heights. Also, one nice pro is that it has English and Spanish language options which expands your baby’s knowledge in a new way and makes it more appealing to more people.
The main issue with the Learn and Groove Musical Table is that it can be a bit unstable when on its legs. Because it is fairly lightweight, a more rambunctious child could easily pull it over on themselves. This could result in slight injury or just a few moments of upset.
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
Like the previous option, the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker will also appeal to your baby throughout their first year. Some of its features include:
- Uses sounds, a shape sorter, and light-up aspects
- Adjustable for different height and age levels
- Removable panel for developing fine motor skills
Other than the fact that this toy can be adjusted to fit your baby as they grow, it has a couple other nice pros. First of all, the wheels have two different speed settings to keep things under control a bit more. Secondly, it has plenty of features to keep your baby happy.
The main con of the Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is the stability. On hard surface floors, the wheels can get out from underneath your baby, causing them to fall. While this may be helped by using it on carpet, more stability would always be a plus when it comes to babies.
Conclusion and Verdict:
When it comes to choosing the best toys for baby’s first year, the key is to find ones that engage their senses and teach them about their environment. This means that toys with cause and effect type activities are always a good bet.
When it comes to the above toy choices, it greatly depends on when you are looking for. If you are looking for something that can transition through your baby’s first year into early toddlerhood, a more complex toy may be best. Otherwise, colorful simple toys will do just fine.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby is happy. If you can find a toy which keeps them entertained and also teaches them, it is even better. There are a number of great options, so finding the best toys for baby’s first year will not be the most difficult.