Watching your baby learn new skills is one of the true joys of parenthood. Babies are constantly experimenting with new ways to move and use their bodies. With the right baby toys, you can provide an environment where your baby’s full potential will be realized.
What You’ll Need
(1) Pictures, objects and toys in black, white and red patterns.
(2) Baby play mats.
(3) Baby gym.
(4) Wrist and ankle rattles.
Stimulate your baby’s vision. Because babies begin to hone their visual scales right from birth, this is one of the first things you can do to increase your baby’s skill development. Babies are drawn to patterns of black, white and red as well as the human face. Choose toys that use these striking, alternating colors to stimulate your baby’s improving vision and hold his interest. Also spend lots of time giving your baby face-to-face interaction that will intrigue him while he develops better visual skills.
Offer lots of tummy time. Because of safe sleep recommendations, babies are spending more time on their backs and less on their bellies. It is important that babies do spend time on their stomachs; tummy time is essential to babies’ growth and development. When infants spend time on their tummies, they increase upper body strength and head and neck control. All of these skills must be mastered for babies to sit up, crawl and eventually walk. Choose toys such as play mats that provide stimulating black, white and red patterns, mirrors and different textures of materials to make tummy time more enjoyable.
Add toys such as baby gyms and wrist and ankle rattles. Toys like these encourage the brain to strengthen the connections that are in control of hand-eye coordination. In the beginning, you will watch your baby reach for and miss her target. Keep watching; she’ll be grabbing the toys in no time!
Encourage your baby to grasp, which is a significant milestone. Babies will eventually use this grasping skill to feed themselves, change their clothes and color with crayons or markers. Once your baby is fairly adept at accurately batting at his favorite toy hanging from the baby gym, place several toys just out of his reach to encourage him to grab for them. Don’t place the toys too far away, and make sure they are objects that he can easily grasp like donut rings, board books or soft blocks. Later on you can encourage your little one to pick up and eat soft foods as he learns to develop his pincer grasp—grasping and holding onto items with the index finger and thumb.
About the Author
Lara Alspaugh is a freelance writer living in Michigan. She is a Registered Nurse and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Michigan State University. Her writing has been found in parenting and fitness magazines nationwide and the Internet, addressing health and fitness as well as wellness concerns of families.