Newborn toys- that promote healthy development!

newborn toys playmat

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Newborns are busy adjusting to the world around them. The first few weeks and months of an infant’s life is a time of intense development. During this time, they won’t use many toys or playthings– but you will see milestones reached on a weekly basis, if you know where to look. Here’s a few of my favorite newborn toys that are useful right off the bat to facilitate their development.

Developmental milestones of typically developing newborns (0-3 months old)

What this age group needs & loves

You’ll notice that all of the playthings below have a tracking component. Babies will start tracking objects with their eyes very soon after birth. As explained by the American Optometric Association, newborn’s “primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to parent’s face.” Putting other items in this range can give them extra practice utilizing their growing optic muscles.

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Visual play mats are great for promoting visual development and, as babies get older, they will start to reach for the items on them. This promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Plus, it folds up for easy storage.

Many of these play centers on the market have lights and songs. This one doesn’t have either– and that’s why I chose it. It was very engaging for my son and supported his healthy development.

My mom smiled real big when I told her I didn’t put one of these on my registry because my plan was “to hold the baby all the time.” I meant well, and she knew it, but it wasn’t realistic. I ended up getting this large baby swing for our teeny tiny apartment. Usually, I’m all about saving space, but this was totally worth it. Sometimes, mama just needs a minute. And when I did, this was a lifesaver. 

I loved this spiral one for the car seat, and this one was great because I could also use it on the stroller.

On the go, this travel mobile was a lifesaver. I actually used this in and out of our home-- it's affordable, and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a mobile that I'd need to store after just a few months of use.

We moved soon after my son was born, so I didn’t want to purchase and install a mobile that hung from the ceiling. However, this travel mobile was a lifesaver. My son loved the songs on it right from birth, and I brought it everywhere with us– in the car, on the plane, to grandparents’ houses. I used it until he was standing up in his crib and it no longer became safe– which didn’t take long, honestly. In the end, I’m glad I used this affordable, very easy to store mobile. Plus, the music on this thing was just the ticket to getting him to fall (and stay!) asleep.

A baby's smile is a bit of sunlight wrapped in your arms.

This combination mirror and black, white, and red photo scene is the perfect addition to tummy time.

Note that the mirror is made of plastic for safety reasons, which does mean that the picture won’t be as clear. However, at this age, this won’t phase your your favorite newborn one bit.

This giraffe is full of sensory experienced and activates multiple senses- hearing, tasting, seeing, and even tasting (which is totally normal and even necessary for their development!).

Please note that experts holding off on putting soft toys in baby’s cribs until they are at least one years old. Soft sensory toys such as this one can be perfect for awake play time, however!

Development is happening so rapidly during this newborn stage! Finding a few go-to playthings for newborns can be great sensory stimulation for them.

The great thing about shopping for newborns is that they love everything that’s interesting to them– and everything is interesting to them! They want to hold things and learn about textures and hear the sound of your voice. So, if you pick out something that allows them to do that, it’ll be the perfect gift.

If you’re looking for something for your favorite newest mama, check out my post here.

Give yourself a high five. You're doing better than you think.

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