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New Parent? Here are 5 Toys that you didn’t know you needed

on July 16, 2015

peek squeak soft giraffe mirror tummy rattle toy baby infant 2When you’re a new parent you get a ridiculous amount of advice (not all of it particularly useful). To be honest you can probably let a lot of it fly right by you, but when it comes to toys there are a few essentials that just work. We’re speaking not just from experience as parents here, we’ve seen countless other parents come in and pick up these essentials for second babies and beyond. We’ll try and keep it brief and hopefully avoid sounding like know-it-alls (this list is in no particular order, click on any image to find that product on our website):

whoozit mirror manhattan toys baby safe soft frame 2peek squeak soft giraffe mirror tummy rattle toy baby infant 2Mirrors: Even before the milestone where they recognise their own reflection, mirrors can be great for babies. It’s exciting for them to see movements in another object that are tied to the movements they themselves are making.

This sounds very simple so if you’re looking for a complicated description of developmental credibility then baby can get a real-time interactive experience, incorporating a manipulable visual manhattan wimmer ferguson fergesson double feature large baby safe mirror 2large_galt_toys_smiley_sun_mirror_dr_mirriam_stoppardexperience that encourages spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and perceptual capacities. All of this and not a ‘smart-screen’ or even a battery in sight. Just be sure to get a baby-safe mirror if they’re likely to be making close contact with it (i.e. grabbing and chewing).

Linkets: OK this one is possibly more for mum or dad’s benefit but it’s worth listing here all the same. linkets plastic rings for baby infants attach toys buggy pram HALILITYou literally cannot have enough rings to hang things from; either you want to stop something being flung from the pram/buggy, or you just want to make it easy for baby to find their toy, it’s unbelievably helpful to have a big stack of these on hand (they even allow you to connect bags to your pram/buggy, though remember they aren’t designed for this and might not bear much weight). To top all of this they are also textured and make great fidget toys and teethers for baby even when not linked to a bigger toy. This one is a definite ‘must have’ item and sadly can get overlooked during the first few months. John in our Crieff shop uses this as his go-to present for any new parents he needs to buy for.

wnikel rattle toy manhattan from birth sqzoo winkles lion manhattan toys newborn SQ3Rattles: OK you probably do know that you need this one, but it’s worth thinking about what kind of rattle a baby really needs. Basically you want something easy to hold, bright, and fairly stimulating, it’s especially good if you can get one that doubles as either a comforter or a teether.

Spindly bits can make a rattle seem too fiddly but they make it a lot easier for baby to hold on to, plus they have the added advantage of offering something to chew at when teething begins. Soft toy rattles can be great but often they can be bulky for baby to hold, however there are options that offer an easy grip whilst providing a comforting softness and a friendly face.

large_tiddler_board_book_by_julia_donaldson_and_axel_schefflerBooks: This can seem very odd to some new parents. Your baby is lying there staring around them, not really aware of what their own hands are, and we’re suggesting you sit and read them a story? Forget the story for a second (well don’t forget it entirely) and just think about what this activity feels like for your child; someone is animated, sharing images and sounds, and taking time to fix their attention solely on baby. For a few minutes you get a chance to bond over an experience that isn’t about food or cleaning nappies.

large_Traction_man_is_hereFrom day one you can read to your child, of course they don’t know what your saying but you get two great perks all in one; on one side you get a chance to enjoy spending time with your child without distractions and stress, and baby gets a chance to hear your voice and know that you care about them. On top of this there’s a very real developmental perk; you’re letting your baby hear a huge collection of words and if you read the same story a lot, then those words will become more familiar and months down the line these can help prompt baby to repeat what they’ve heard (so be careful what you read to them).

Cars: This last one on the list is such a common toy that it’s sometimes ignored, but there are a few benefits to look at. First of all cars move, this simple fact, coupled with the fact that they’re a lot easier to manipulate than say a push or pull-along toy, means that cars can provide a real incentive for baby to get moving and explore their environment. One other very important issue to stress here is that a lot of little girls don’t get toy cars, or at the very least they have to wait a few years to see one. This seems ridiculous, women drive too, and baby girls can benefit just as much as boys can from the active play associated with a toy car.

There are loads of other kinds of toy that can benefit babies but if all you had was a collection of what’s listed here you would still have a very happy baby (and you wouldn’t need to buy a single battery). Hope you’ve found this helpful, all the best, the Fun Junction Team

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