Yes! Most definitely! Absolutely!
Psychologists and researchers have determined that infants are born with most of the brain cells they will ever have; however, “bridges” between these cells still need to develop so that they can learn best! As a result, it’s very important to regularly expose babies to many new people and places. In addition, babies learn about their world through their senses of touch, hearing, and vision; therefore, it’s also important for parents to create a stimulating home environment which should include developmentally appropriate toys!
***Unfortunately many new moms wait to buy toys because they don’t realize the importance of early baby stimulation.
How does a new mom know which toys are best?
Baby toys that stimulate vision, hearing and touch, and teach cause and effect are best for brain development.
A new baby’s vision, in particular, is still developing and needs to be strengthened from birth.
New babies can best see patterns and contrasting colors (especially black, white, and red). There are many excellent newborn visual stimulation toys and products on the market in these colors and patterns that will strengthen baby’s vision while capturing his attention immediately!
Some of my favorites are –
Lamaze High – Contrast Discovery Shapes Activity Puzzle and Crib Gallery
Infant Stimulation Crib Bumper Panel – Genius Baby Toys
Sassy Go Go Bugs
Also, new babies can focus best on objects placed 8–12 inches from their eyes; therefore, mobiles, when placed appropriately, can be excellent visual stimulation tools. Mobiles help babies strengthen their focusing and tracking skills as they follow the objects around and around.
My two favorites are –
Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile
Musical Infant Stimulation – Black, White & Red Mobile
In addition, babies are very social and are fascinated with the human face. As a result, toys with bold eyes and mirrors will capture their attention immediately.
Young babies love to admire themselves in mirrors!
Two of my favorites are –
Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror
Baby Crib Mirror – Black, White & Red-Infant-Stim (from Genius Baby Toys)
Toys with bold eyes, colors and textures will also captivate a young infant.
Some of my favorites are —
Baby Einstein Press and Play Pal Toy, Panda (eyes/colors)
Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit (eyes/colors)
Bright Starts Start Your Senses Sensory Plush Pals, Zebra (eyes/colors/textures)
Finally, developmental activity playmats/gyms are also excellent products for newborns to stimulate vision, hearing, touch (with toys of various textures), and teach cause and effect.
My favorites are —
Bright Starts Start Your Senses Safari Activity Gym, Spots and Stripes
Sassy Developmental Stim Gym Play Mat
*If this article was helpful to you please visit my website at www.bhbktoys.com where I share many interesting articles about child development, tips for moms, and recommendations for developmentally appropriate toys and teaching materials!
As a teacher and mom I am passionate about child development, the importance of baby/child stimulation, and the importance of developmentally appropriate instruction!
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Happy parenting! Enjoy the journey!