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Baby's Milestones: The 5 Best Developmental Toys for Infants

Asian young mother and Caucasian 7 months baby newborn girl playing with development toy and bear doll

Isn’t it a joy to watch your baby grow up and start to acquire new skills? From learning how to crawl to imitating sounds and movements, the first year of their life is full of developmental milestones!

During this period, babies learn mostly through play and there are all sorts of developmental toys for infants designed to help them learn new skills and build their muscles through movement.

To make your upcoming trips to the toy store a lot easier, here’s a shortlist of the best toys that will support your baby’s developmental milestones.

Let’s get started!

Teething toy

1. Teething toys

Teething toys are designed to provide babies relief from teething discomfort by either having them chew or suck on them, but there’s more to them than this!

When babies are teething, they often develop the habit of finger or thumb-sucking, which can cause further dental problems. This also makes them extra fussy and more restless!

Teething toys are a great alternative to finger and thumb-sucking, giving children something to chew on that’s safer for their teeth and gums.

They can also boost your baby’s concentration by keeping them busy, especially when you need them to stay put and sit still. This helps them to focus and keep their mind off of the pain caused by their sore gums.

Here’s a tip when looking for teething toys: get those with different shapes, sizes and textures to encourage your little one’s motor skills.

Stacking toy

2. Stacking toys

Stacking toys are any form of toy that involves placing one piece on top of each other, usually in the form of blocks or rings. 

Although stacking toys may seem simple in appearance, they not only provide entertainment to children but also target a wide range of developmental skills, such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. 

There are various grasping and voluntary release skills involved when children play with stacking toys. At first, your baby’s grasp will be uncoordinated, but over time, they will develop a greater sense of control over their wrists and hands. 

Additionally, your baby won’t have the accuracy to place one block on top of another, but as they gain more experience matching what they see to what they touch, their hand-eye coordination will slowly improve.

Activity cube

3. Activity cubes

Activity cubes are highly recommended by many paediatricians as an effective educational toy for babies. These are cube-shaped toys that come with various activities on each side designed for children’s learning. 

Some common activities babies can do with these toys include spinning gears, twisting blocks, spinning gears, and sorting the shapes. It makes sense why many would call them a powerful learning resource for growing babies!

Problem-solving is perhaps the most essential skill that children learn from activity cubes. The puzzles, often ranging from trail mazes to sorting shapes, often challenge children to use critical thinking and concentration to solve the problems.

Padded play mats

4. Padded play mats

How could a padded play mat for babies help in their development? The answer is in the materials, colours, and texture of the mats!

The different patterns, colours, and textures of play mats create a multi-sensory experience for children that stimulates their senses. 

By using these mats for tummy time, your child gets to explore different textures all over their bodies, thereby stimulating their tactile sense. This allows them to develop a stronger connection between their feet and their environment. 

As a parent, you may not always have the time to play with your little ones, so having a padded play mat allows your child to play on their own if you’re too preoccupied to join them.

Adorable asian little girl is looking herself in the mirror

5. Baby mirrors

Ever wondered why your baby loves looking at themselves in the mirror? It’s actually an essential part of their development!

By simply gazing at themselves in the mirror, babies learn how to focus their eyes, learn new words, and follow images, as well as discover the things their faces can do! 

One of the first social and emotional milestones that babies learn during the first year is actually smiling at their own reflection and seeing their eyes blink!

Just a friendly reminder here that regular mirrors and baby mirrors aren't the same thing! The latter is usually made from plexiglass or mirrored acrylic, instead of real glass, for baby’s safety.

Get more mummy and parenting advice from us!

There you have it! Our list should help you prepare for a short but productive trip to the toy store!

If you need more advice like this to guide you through the first few years of motherhood, check out the rest of our blogs! We have a wide range of guides for mums like you.

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