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Infantino Entertainer & Activity Table, 2-in-1 Sit, Spin & Stand, Tiny to Toddler, 4 Months-5 Years
The Instacart Buying Guide to Baby Toys
During the first 12 months of a child's life, an infant learns about the world rapidly. Toys provide a safe way for children to explore the world around them and learn how things work. The right toys can help expand your child's horizons and introduce your child to new concepts such as color, texture, and sound.
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FAQs About Baby Toys
Babies do not need any toys before they're 2 months old. At this early stage, the infant has not discovered its own hands. Although a baby may instinctively grasp a toy, a child doesn't benefit from the item this early in life.
Between 2-4 months old, babies can begin to grasp and shake toys, making rattles and other noisemakers entertaining. Between 4-6 months, babies will start to show interest in mirrors that allow them to look at their own faces. Activity gyms and board books are popular for children in this age range as well.
Babies are apt to put everything they can reach into their mouths, so it's good to make sure their toys are as clean as possible. When a toy is new, you should clean it with an antibacterial wipe, then rinse and dry it before handing the toy over to your baby. You should continue to wipe down these toys regularly, washing them every day or two if they're used frequently.
You can wash plush toys by placing them in a mesh laundry wash bag and running them through the washing machine on the gentle cycle with mild detergent and cold water. Infants should not have plush toys in the crib with them. If your toddler has a stuffed animal that your child sleeps with regularly, toss the toy in the wash at least once a week.
Baby toys are fun to buy, but it's important to limit your selection so that your baby is not overwhelmed. Before your child is mobile, it's best to provide access to no more than four toys at once. For a crawling child, it's generally wise to offer access to fewer than eight toys at a time. A toddler may get overwhelmed with access to any more than 12 toys.
Three to five toys can cover all your child's developmental milestones. The primary features that your child should have access to during playtime are:
- Bright colors.
- Teething toys.
- Items they can grasp and manipulate.
- Rattles or other items that make noise.
Toys can present many hazards if misused or given to children at the wrong age. When you're selecting baby toys, it's important to check the age range for the item. Avoid giving a toy to a child who is younger than the recommended age for the product. Read the toy's warnings, safety recommendations, and assembly instructions carefully.
Inspect toys regularly for loose or broken pieces and sharp edges. Beware of older toys, particularly if they feature paint. Older paint may contain lead, which is hazardous when ingested. Be especially mindful of toys that contain magnets. If a child swallows a magnet, it can potentially damage the child's gastrointestinal system.
When you're selecting baby toys, one of the most important points to consider is age. A toy that's designed for an older child may be unsafe for a baby. Meanwhile, a toy that's for an infant might bore an older toddler. Variety is key. While it's wonderful to find that your child loves a particular toy, you shouldn't necessarily purchase more variations of the same item. Add diversity to your child's toy box.
Some of the best toys are extremely versatile, such as soft blocks or stacking rings. If a toy serves only one specific purpose, your child may lose interest in it quickly. Toys that allow for greater versatility can encourage creative thinking as the child grows.
Get all of the baby toys you desire for your child by ordering through Instacart. Use the Instacart app to get started.