Today I went to visit a friend who recently had a little girl. Whilst chatting about the joys of keeping your little ones entertained during the day, I realised that there are 5 top toys that I would recommend to any new or expecting parent. I have listed the specific toys below, however generally there are two good rules of thumb for this age-range: Go for toys with noise (e.g. rattles, bells, crinkly material) and go for toys that have skinny bits for little hands to hold.
1: The Skwish (a.k.a “Science”) – Best for grabbing, lifting and chewing
This does not look like the typical cute, fluffy toy that you would instinctively choose for a baby. Friends got it for us, we named it “Science” and presented it to Gubbins. It has been simply the best toy ever since. I think the colours and the noise of the beads on the wooden bars attracted G to this toy initially. But because of the thin elastic joining up the wooden struts, it became the first toy that he was able to grab and lift at around 3 months. It wasn’t long after this that it found its way into his mouth – The wooden beads have been helpful for him during teething. Due to its robust and flexible construction, it has survived bashing, chewing, throwing and being trodden on (argh).
2: Earth Designs (Cosmic Baby Books) – Best book for baby AND parent
This book by Dr Iya Whiteley and Dr Graham Whiteley is, in my opinion, the ultimate baby book. It is filled with high contrast pictures, which newborns and young babies absolutely LOVE to stare at. Unlike any other high contrast picture book I have found, it doesn’t patronise the parent, and it assumes that you have at least two brain cells to rub together. It is full of interesting facts about nature and engineering, in suitably bite-sized chunks for tired brains to process. The Whiteleys have further titles in the making. Check out their website for more details: http://www.cosmicbabybooks.com
3: Sophie La Girafe Teething Ring – Best for teething
The first time I met Sophie was on the floor of my friend’s house. I couldnt really understand the allure of a “plastic” giraffe however since having a baby of my own, I have been initiated into the Sophie Appreciation Club. I wouldn’t have bought the teether initially as I thought it was expensive compared to other products. I went into Jojo Maman to exchange an item and the the shop assistant enthusiastically pressed Sophie upon me. Too tired and befuddled to argue, I took Sophie home and thus began a love affair between Gubbins and the little giraffe. The design of the teething ring is great for his tiny hands and it has comforted him during the teething nightmare. I have also subsequently realised that Sophie is made out of natural rubber and NOT plastic. No wonder she sounds so posh.
4: Gymini Bouncer – Best for tired arms
Believe it or not, there will be times when you will need to put your little one down, when he/she has no desire to be separated from you. This chair is a great distraction and “babysitter” while you dash into the shower or feed yourself. It has multiple functions:
- The bright toys are a good distraction for at least 10 minutes at a time and there is space to add more
- The rocker requires minimal energy, from hand or foot, to maintain a sleep-inducing bounce for hours on end
- A strap secures them in place when they would rather be elsewhere
- A”vibrate” function which we have not quite found a use for yet, but apparently may comfort your baby
There are so many different types of bouncy chairs out there and we definitely did not do a review of each one before settling on this wonderfully garish number, however it has been an essential item in our lives almost from day 1.
5: Stacking Cups – Best for Bath Fun
Bath times are fun times for us. They weren’t always that way. They used to be a highly stressful process of extracting G from his warm clothes, dipping him in to the water and trying to slot his flailing limbs back into his now cold clothes. Doing this as quickly as possible, before his wailing went above safe decibel levels. Thankfully, with age and weight gain, bath time has become one of the most exciting activities in the day. The flailing limbs are now enthusiastically used to splash water all over us. This extreme level of excitement is increased by his stacking cups. Bright colours, good to grab and chew on, with holes in the bottom for draining the water in fun patterns.
If you have any top toys to recommend for little ones, please let me know in the comments section or inbox me.