Toys

The toys you choose should be appropriate for his age and be safe (see Choosing toys).

Be sure to give him stimulating toys. For example, a dog on wheels that he has to pull is better than a battery-operated puppy that he just has to watch. And be sure to take time to play with him.

He needs help learning to discover his new playthings. Time with his parents is always better than a more complicated toy, especially if it’s forgotten in the bottom of the closet.

The best toys aren’t the most expensive. Many household objects can amuse young ones: pots, plastic utensils, bowls and of course the quintessential cardboard box (beware of staples!), which becomes a house, tunnel, car, hat and so on.

Parents—no need to buy your child every toy on the shelf. Just spend quality time with him. Play with him, pamper him, and discover the joy of just being together.

A few suggestions

  • Store some toys for awhile. When you take them out again, your child gets to discover them all over. That way you can rotate the toys in your house or even trade with friends.
  • Toys play different roles at different ages. At first, your baby will handle them and put them in his mouth. Then he will figure out how they work or start piling them on top of one another.
  • After very active games or before bedtime, it’s a good idea to choose a calm activity. Read a story, rock the teddy bear to put him to bed, hum a lullaby.