Newborns bring to mind images of teeny tiny hands, sweet little lips, and big sleepy eyes – but these delicate little humans become more active with each passing day. Your sweet snoozer will turn into an active monkey in no time! And with activity we find ourselves seeking the best part of childhood – TOYS!
I love toys. As an Aunt, I love sitting on the floor and being introduced to an endless parade of stuffies and gadgets. Playing with Legos has been a lifelong passion, so having a niece and nephews to stretch my imagination has been a blessing. But babies are different; to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when we brought Elliott home.
Between 4 and 6 weeks she really started to experience the world around her – and playtime started! We would enjoy quick bursts of play, between naps, a few times a day. Those times were some of the best that I had in the early days; each day playtime becomes more fun!
While I understand that some of the best toys are simple household items and a sprinkle of imagination, I do have some recommendations for your newborn toy box. The following 5 toys were the first, more well-used toys that my little girl enjoyed. At 4 months, these toys are still high on her radar, so I think they are a great addition for anyone starting out.
- Lots of links
Babies love links – and it’s easy to see why. They’re simple for clumsy hands to grab and offer endless combinations. I love the Bright Starts Lots of Links; they’re colorful and textured. I keep a small chain with me at all times to keep my little one occupied. As a bonus, these can be used to clip other toys to diaper bags or playmats – honestly, the uses are endless!
2. Soft Blocks
These Infantino Soft Blocks have been entertaining my daughter since her first trip to the playmat. They are so simple; each side provides a different image or colour, and each block makes a different rattle when shaken. The blocks are also made of different textured materials – with the crunchy sides originally caught Elliott’s attention. As she grew, the “D” block became the first toy that she ever held on to, thanks to it’s helpful ring attachment.
At four months, these blocks are great for throwing – since they make fun rattle sounds. They’re soft and so well loved!
The Oball may not look like much, but this toy is really a must-have. It’s so easy for babies to hold and it was the first toy that made an immediate trip to Elliott’s mouth (oh boy!). It’s so much fun for little ones to grasp, roll, bounce, and toss – and fun for Mom and Dad to pass too
We have half a dozen of the oball toys (the car, frog, rattle, and links thanks to kijiji), but the classic oball stands above the rest as the most versatile.
4. Discovery Book
I’ve heard lots of great things about the Lamaze toys, but to be honest I’m not really impressed with them. That said, the Lamaze Classic Discovery Book is a winner – if only for it’s interesting textures and crunchy noise. This simple, 8 paged “book” seems to entertain Elliott – mostly because it’s easy to drool on and she can make lots of noise. The book also features squeaking and rattling pages, but it’s the crunchy sound that newborns love the most.
5. Tummy time mat/ play gym
We have the Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Play Gym, but I think any floor mat/play gym would be great for a newborn. Elliott originally loved the mirror, which was followed by an obsession of kicking the hanging turtle. When kicked (or swatted, smacked, or pummeled, as babies often do) the turtle plays a short burst of music and his tummy lights up. There is also a continuous music mode, which was a big hit for a few weeks in month two. This turtle is now a punching bag that’s eyed from all corners of the livingroom – let’s call him a big hit.
The playmat originally seemed like an unnecessary piece of junk, but it’s become the hub of all play. The hanging toys can be easily changed – but I notice that their use seems to vary from week to week. One week things were swatted, and the next they were licked, and now they’re being gnawed… oh did I mention that my child might be a wild animal? But seriously, baby playmats are the best! Musical extras seem to appeal to my daughter, so I have no regrets with this ultra-tacky purchase.
Do you have any newborn toy must-haves? Please let me know in the comments – and check back in a few months for my top picks from 4-6 months!