You have just had your first child and you don't know what soft toy to give him? It is totaly normal. Today, the toy industry has evolved a lot and the plush market is full of models. As a parent, you certainly want to give your baby the ideal soft toy .
That said, it is not essential to spend astronomical sums to find the perfect soft toy, especially for newborns. The main thing is to choose a soft toy that helps the baby develop his cognitive abilities and with which he feels close. In this article, we'll show you how to choose the best soft toy for babies, from birth up to one year old.
The best soft toys to accompany your baby from birth
Your child's future favorite soft toy must have unique qualities. For this reason, don't limit yourself to just the stuffed animals that your family and friends gave you when they learned that you were expecting your future child. Even if it is true that being offered stuffed animals by your loved ones is a very nice act, it is always possible to find the ideal stuffed animal on your own.
First of all, be aware that the selection criteria for your baby will be markedly different from yours. While you go to look at the shape, the color, or the quality of the finish of the plush, your baby will be interested above all in its texture and the ease of handling it . If your baby has trouble falling asleep, or if he has sleep disorders, interactive stuffed animals that produce soothing music can greatly help him get back to sleep. In any case, be sure to choose organic soft toys that pose no risk to your child's health.
The benefits of soft toys for babies
Many experts, like Charlene DeLoach, say soft toys are extremely beneficial for babies. On the Internet, there are many opinions from parents explaining that their children were soothed when accompanied by their favorite stuffed animals. It is true that soft toys reduce anxiety in children and help them become more empathetic.
Do soft toys present any risks for babies?
When looking for a soft toy for your newborn, it is highly recommended to avoid ones that have things stuck to their bodies. Most manufacturers turn to these special materials most often in order to create the eyes and nose of the plush. Although these items generally provide a better design, they can pose a risk to your baby.
Indeed, if they were to detach from the plush, the baby would risk swallowing them and choking on them. It is therefore essential to avoid them by choosing 100% organic stuffed animals . To preserve your baby's health, also avoid scented stuffed animals, which may have chemical fragrances. Instead, choose ones made from natural materials. This will allow you to limit the risk of developing allergies in your child.
What are the factors to consider before buying a plush?
It will always be preferable to choose a classic plush rather than an interactive sound-producing plush. Unless your baby has trouble sleeping, even a soft toy that exclusively plays soothing music might bother him. It is also recommended to limit yourself to stuffed animals with sober colors . Indeed, the bright colors awaken babies and prevent them from sleeping.
We also advise you to choose soft toys that you can wash in the washing machine. In this way, you will be able to wash it each time your child soils it and this will allow you to better preserve his health.
How to choose the soft toy according to the age of the baby?
While your baby may begin to become familiar with the soft toy you present to him, his real interest in it will only be apparent after several months in his company. Naturally, this also means that he begins to take an interest in it much earlier, but he will not necessarily show it.
When you start looking for stuffed animals for your child, it is not enough to consider their age, but also to take into account their level of development. Indeed, this last factor can significantly affect your choice, as the needs of the baby change with each stage.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to define the level of development of a baby. It suffices, for example, to compare his behavior to that of other babies of his age. Thus, precocious babies are those who act like babies older than them.
Here we present a guide to help you choose the right soft toy for your baby.
Soft toys for babies from 0 to 2 months
When the baby is born, it would be an exaggeration to say that the stuffed animal is an indispensable object. Indeed, the vast majority of babies do not recognize their own hands until they are two months old. However, this does not mean that they are incapable of interacting with their surroundings at this age. Contrary to what many may think, the first sixty days of a child's life play a vital role in their emotional development .
At this age, the baby can only listen and contemplate the world around him. During this same period, he usually offers his first smile and understands that actions often cause reactions from people around him. Thus, he develops a second way of expressing himself, which is none other than laughter. From there, the baby continues his cognitive development and learns to communicate by sight. Admittedly, it is not the ideal means of communication, but it plays an important role in the emotional development of the baby.
The key thing to remember here is that interaction is vital for your baby's healthy mental development. Thus, during the first two months, it is strongly recommended to:
- Hold the baby and hug him
- Smile and laugh with the baby
- Talk to the baby frequently
- Maintain eye contact with the baby
- Play with the baby
- Recite nursery rhymes for the baby
As for stuffed animals, nothing better than to offer him a Birth Box !
Soft toys for babies from 2 to 3 months
After the first two months, the baby finally begins to recognize his own hands. He therefore gradually begins to grab the objects around him and shake them, especially if they make noise. Moreover, this is how he develops his motor skills. For this reason, it is important to make them discover new adapted toys, which allow them to better develop their new faculties. Of course, toys and stuffed animals that have detachable solid parts should always be avoided, because of the risks they present. Among the soft toys suitable for this age, we find:
- Baby rattles
- The bell stuffed animals
- Knitted stuffed animals
- musical stuffed animals
On the other hand, you can hang small stuffed animals above the cradle.
Soft toys for babies from 3 to 6 months
Between three and six months, your baby no longer just contemplates the world around him, but he also begins to explore it. At this level, he discovers his different senses and he constantly tries to react to information and events that he recognizes. He also seeks to identify the shapes and textures of the objects with which he interacts. Similarly, he identifies sounds, smells and tastes and associates them with objects and people around him.
At this age, the baby is constantly trying to experiment with everything he can catch. It is for this reason that he begins to throw his toys on the ground. Naturally, he doesn't do it to break them, but for the noise they make and for the feeling of the shock. Always within the framework of the experiment, the baby also tends to put all that lies around in its mouth. This oral phase allows him to better recognize the shapes of objects and to feel their textures.
This stage is extremely important in your baby's cognitive development. You must therefore make sure to equip them with the appropriate stuffed animals so that they can carry out their mission. The stuffed animals we recommend are essentially limited to interactive stuffed animals and particularly those which start to move when they are shaken. This interaction between the soft toy and the baby allows the latter to better control its movements and can even create the first emotional bond between the child and the soft toy .
Finally, as long as the stuffed animal does not constitute a health risk for the baby, you can always let him play with it. Over time, you will see a great evolution in his senses.
Soft toys for babies from 6 months to 1 year old
Many things can happen during this six month period. At this age, babies learn to crawl and become significantly more independent. That said, by gaining mobility, they expose themselves to more risks. During this same period, most even learn to stand by clinging to furniture. Their development therefore allows them to solve problems and find solutions.
So you need to provide them with interactive stuffed animals that react to a variety of actions in different ways. Thus, to obtain the desired action, the baby will have to perform a specific action. Among the most interesting stuffed animals for babies of this age are pull-along stuffed animals, interactive stuffed animals and educational stuffed animals of all kinds. It is also highly recommended to offer them a variety of these plushes so that they can put their analytical skills to the test and develop them better, as a result.
Stuffed toys to help babies get their first teeth
Although not often visible, babies' teething begins quite early. Indeed, after the first six months, many babies begin to prepare for their first teeth. There are soft toys on the market designed to help babies with this process. They usually have bits (ears, nose, limbs, etc.) that the baby can easily bite off. However, instead of the padding, there are soft plastic elements , which relieve the pain of teething.
How do you know if your baby likes his stuffed animal?
By going around the testimonials of parents on the various review sites on the Internet, you will find that all babies have their respective personalities. They quickly develop preferences for specific objects, and even certain activities.
Thus, when a baby finds himself in a situation where he has to make a choice, he will not hesitate to turn to the option that interests him the most. After selecting a series of stuffed animals that correspond to the needs of his age, present them to your baby, and he will decide for himself. Over time, and always based on his behavior and reactions, you will be able to easily understand his preferences.
As you can see, stuffed animals play an important role in the emotional and cognitive development of babies. They help them go through countless growth transitions with infinitely greater ease, and they comfort them by keeping them company.
To guarantee the development of your baby, be sure to offer him soft toys that are suitable for his age group. Remember that in their early years, babies tend to want to chew on everything. It is therefore important never to expose them to small solid objects, such as buttons, for example.