Toys for Infants
As your baby enters the infant stage, around 4-8 months, they discover how much fun hands and feet can be. Most babies suck on their fingers and grab at toys that were once impossible to hold or suck on. Infants pop everything into their mouths—this is how they learn about the world and its objects. Make sure your infant toys are safe for chewing. Toys for infant should be tactile and allow for movement. Infants love to bat at toys and make noise, so soft, interactive toys are well suited to this age.
Activity mats offer a cushioned place for your infant to lie on while they swing at an overhead bar covered with dangling toys. Some activity mats are equipped with extra fabric hooks so you can hang your infant's favorite toys as well. Activity mats are for infants who are still horizontal, providing a little more entertainment than the ceiling fan. Your infant can bat at the toys, pull them, rattle them, and squeeze them to make noise. Most infants begin to lose interest in the activity mat around 5 months, when they can push up on their hands and knees and move on to bigger and better toys.
A portable version of the activity mat is the activity bar that attaches to car seats and strollers. Activity bars are covered with dangling, squeaky, stretchy toys that can entertain your infant on long car trips or stroller rides. Activity bars place toys close to your baby so they are easy to reach, tug, and occasionally bite.
Infants love making noise. An easy to hold rattle allows your infant to hold on and shake. Put on a CD and let your infant accompany the music. Infants are just beginning to move to the music and hear the rhythm and a rattle can help them get into the groove.
This is the age when many infants decide whether they are blanket babies or stuffed toy babies. Infants who refuse the blanket may need a stuffed toy to cuddle during naps. Choose soft and cuddly stuffed toys for infants. Stick to short hair or plush fur that cannot be pulled out. Look for stuffed animals or dolls with embroidered features rather than features made with buttons that your infant can pull off and stick in their mouth.
Anything your infant can grip and squeak is usually a popular infant toy. The most common rubber, squeaky toy for infants is the rubber duck. Most rubber toys are perfect for the bath as well. Just make sure the bottoms are sealed. Rubber toys with holes in the bottom make it difficult to drain the water inside and are a breeding ground for green algae.
Reading to a baby at any age is beneficial. Board books filled with bright colored picture can withstand a good amount of gumming and drooling. Listening to your voice helps your infant's language development, never mind the excitement of your monster voices.
Infants are in the early stages of teething. Infants closer to 8 months may have already cut a tooth or two. There's nothing like gnawing on a firm, nubbly plastic ring when your gums are inflamed and achy. Teethers stored in the freezer also provide much needed cold relief when your baby is having a tough time.