This article is written by Karissa Tunis
For more on this topic, check out the Baby’s First Year collection
I recently had the privilege of meeting Rudy, an ASTRA Certified Play Expert and President of the U.S. Branch of the People Toy Company. To say I was impressed with his wealth of knowledge, and drive to help parents through education, is an understatement! As a mother of three young children, I appreciate a good baby product. But even more so, I appreciate a good company that truly designs with our little ones in mind! The People Toy Company has a mission to create products that promote the healthy development of babies and give parents a fun, guided way through parenthood. Their toys are made in Japan and have even won Toy of The Year Awards.
Throughout a baby’s first year, they are growing and developing their senses. From eyesight, to hearing, touch and smell, babies are trying to take in the world around them and are discovering new objects daily. These objects are actually Brain Builders, helping them to grow and develop. So while parents put a lot of time and research into picking the perfect crib, stroller, or car seat, the same effort should really be made when purchasing toys.
Many experts believe that stimulating the neurons in a baby’s brain is just as important and crucial as nourishing their bodies. So when the People Toy Company is developing a new toy, they ask “Is it stimulating enough? Is there enough texture and sensory to keep a babies interest and yet help them progress?” Their goal is to educate parents about these developmental milestones by creating charming toys made specifically for your little one’s senses.
After doing a lot of research, I came up with a list of things to consider when picking out a new baby toy. I wanted to break it down by age, but please do keep in mind that babies develop at different rates, especially if they are born premature, or if they are born with any medical or health conditions.
You can use the below list as a helpful guide to refer to when purchasing a new toy for your own little one, or when picking out the perfect baby gift for a friend! People Toy Company conveniently sells their products through their website, local baby boutiques, toy stores and through Amazon. We have included the Amazon affiliate links for your convenience below:
Newborn – Sound and Visual Stimulation
Newborns love the sound and feel of the womb. Look for toys that lightly rattle. The sound can almost mimic the noises from the womb, and the sight of beads rolling around, or something sparkly, can catch their attention. You may even want to try playing with this when they are restless and upset. Perfect toys for this stage are the Cry No More Baby Rattle and the Lullaby Rattle
1 Month – Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
While their newborn rattles may still be entertaining, look for lightweight soft toys that are easy to grasp such as the Never Drop Baby Chew
2 Months – Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Look for rattles that are perfectly sized and balanced in weight for their little hands. If you can find ones that have colorful beads, this will help with their auditory and visual development. Parent guided play of flipping and turning the rattle slowly from one side to the other will allow your little one to watch and listen to the changes. You may even want to look for some rattles or toys that have a soft end for future teething. Perfect toys for this month are the Feather-Light Teething Rattle and the Baby Senses Coordinator
3 Months – Motor Skills, Oral Development, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Toys that encourage sucking are great for oral development. It’s great when you can find toys that replace fingers in order to avoid later thumb sucking habits. These toys will also come in handy when your baby begins teething. Products with shapes will also allow for oral development as well as visual stimulation. Look for toys that are easy to grip and rotate between their hands. Perfect toys for this month are the Like It Pacifier and the Two Hands Teething Ring
4 Months – Curiosity, Motor Skills, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Babies will begin trying to stretch out with their hands and feet. It can at times almost look like baby yoga poses, so find toys that allow them to stretch and find zen. Rustling and bell sounds will help with auditory stimulation, and yet also can be comforting. A perfect toy for this month is the Baby Yoga Exercise Ball
5 Months – Curiosity, Motor Skills, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Sqeaking toys can be fun to introduce at this age. Also look for toys that have multiple colors and textures. This will provide visual stimulation and feel good to their little hands and gums. Perfect toys for this month are Sammy Squid Teether and the Educational Eddie Rattle – which won the National Toy Award
6 Months – Curiosity, Motor Skills, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Your little one may have a new interest in action and motor skills. Griping toys are still an excellent choice. Also look for toys with push buttons and pulling add-ons. Reflection toys and mirrors will also become fun amusements at this age. You may even want to pull out some of their newborn rattles again. If your baby is beginning to teeth, make sure you are supplying them with toys that can be nibbled and that are designed to ease sore gums. Perfect toys for this month are the Push & Pull UFO and the Magic Reflection Ball
7 Months – Curiosity, Motor Skills, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Look for toys that do multiple things. Bright colors, sound making, textured, buttons, and a product that also encourages motor skills will keep your little one busy and entertained for longer periods of time. A perfect toy for this is the Multi-Sense Trumpet
8 Months – Motor Skills, Curiosity, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
By now your little one is probably gripping toys and turning them around. Pull out some of your newborn rattles, and let them have fun learning how to grip, shake, make some noise, and learn cause and effect as the beads roll from one side to the other. Also, finding toys that vibrate and include multiple actions will add more fun! You can even look for toys that encourage crawling and mobility. A perfect toy for this is the Catch Me If You Can Lion
9 – 12 Months – Motor Skills, Curiosity, Oral Development, Teething, Sound and Visual Stimulation, Griping
Your little one is probably on the move, so look for toys that encourage that mobility. If you want them to sit still (good luck 😉 you may want to find blocks or other objects that encourage stacking and rotating. A perfect toy for this is the People Blocks Sets
What do you consider when shopping for baby toys? Let us know on social media!
Thank you to the People Toy Company for supplying this great printable!
Click on the chart below, print it out, and keep as a great guide when buying new baby toys
*Check out the Baby’s First Year collection for more*
The People Co., ltd was formed in 1977 in Japan and has since been brought to the US market with People Toy Company. Since the start of the company, they have begun creating a range of toys and products loved by children and praised by parents! A lot of research and care goes into the design of every toy to help children achieve developmental milestones through play. To learn more about the People Toy Company and all of their wonderful products that they have to offer, you can visit them on their website or social media:
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