As previously mentioned, toys like many baby items are marked by ages, but all babies develop differently and your baby maybe be ready for an item sooner than expected. This is why it is best to have developmental toys handy.
I presented my baby some toys for 3 months at 1 month, toys for 6 months at 4 months and so forth. The reason being is that they develop and change so quickly. They learn every single day and they view things differently daily. First they are laying, then sitting, standing, etc. So I wanted him to explore every toy before the box said he would be “ready to play with it”. It has allowed him to truly learn and get the most out of every toy because he has been able to view them in so many ways.
For example, Baby first lays on play mat and just stares at the gigantic hanging toys… months in he is tugging and pulling at them because they now look much smaller and less intimidating … he sits and now pulls them off and shoves them in his mouth…. he crawls or walks and hides them in places or fills other toys with them…. You get the point!
I have created a month-by-month toy guide for you so that you have an idea of how I presented such toys to my baby based off of what I felt was appropriate for his developmental stages.
1. Skip Hop (Basic) Activity Gym: Activity gyms give newborns and non-mobil babies something to daze and look at. They are kind of like crib mobiles, but stationary and closer to their face since babies can only see so far in the beginning stages. Many of them can convert in some way such as being a mat for babies to lay on their back to a tummy time mat. They encourage babies to reach for toys. I purchased the Skip Hop one because I liked the amount of cushion and support it provides. I also think it is the cutest with more intricate toys.
2. Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano: I purchased this activity gym because it helps babies discover their feet by playing music while they kick. Although the hanging toys are my least favorite, I love the piano and the fact that it grows with baby. The mat can be used for laying and sitting babies, while the piano is also removable and teaches colors, shapes, numbers and animals.
(My baby used both activity gyms equally. We kept them in different rooms so that he wouldn’t get bored of playing with them.)
3-6. Attachable car seat and stroller toys: These are a must for going out.
I also purchased a lit of extra pacifier clips that I constantly use to avoid my baby dropping toys or items on the floor especially in public.
7. Crib and Chair Mobiles: Now babies can see further and hanging toys keep them entertained for a good while. I have not purchased a crib mobile, but my son’s bassinet, swing and chair all come with one and by one month I was able to leave him in them for him to stare at while I went to do things.
8. Tummy Time Mat: There are many different mats to encourage babies to do tummy time (most babies hate tummy time). I purchased a water mat with floating fishes inside and it definitely helped for small amounts of time here and there.
9-10. Wrist and Feet Rattles: These help baby discover his/her hands and feet.
11. Small and Non-Heavy Toys: It is best to make sure your baby has a few toys that are small and very light. They begin to grab items with their hands around 2 months and their grip is still not very strong. My son loved this ball because it was not a heavy or solid item that he could not get his hands around. The holes on this ball allowed for a better grip when sticking his fingers inside. It wouldn’t slip out of his hands like any other ball would have.
12. Manhattan Winkle Box: This rattle is similar to the ball but slightly heavier. It serves the same purpose as the ball but also serves as a rattle and teething toy. You can start baby with the ball and then gradually move towards the rattle with a similar but heavier grip.
13-14. V-Tech Cow or Snug Bug: I like toys like these because they are small and the next best toy for babies to grab. My son started paying attention to lights around 3 months. These toys were perfect for him, because they are small enough to grab (hug) and they feed their curiosity with lights. They also teach them shapes and numbers, which is perfect for them to grow with.
15. Soft Books: Most soft books are made up of a cloth like material that sounds like a candy wrapper and contain chewable parts for teething babies. Many also provide different textures within the pages of the books for babies to explore their sensory skills and can be perfect for a great “first book”.
16. Nuby Teething Rings: Although there are many chewable toys for teething babies, you can always purchase a set of teething rings. Most sets such as the Nuby teething ring set come in packs of 3. They aim to individually target the 3 stages of teething such as front, side and back teeth.
17. Sassy Discover the Senses Gift Set: I found this little set perfect for my 4 month old. The name speaks for itself. For starters, the links can be used for a countless number of things. We also use them to attach other light toys to the car seat or stroller to avoid them falling down in public. We love using them to teach colors. The fire fly is a great teething toy while the ball/rattle is also very entertaining and a perfect size object to practice picking up slightly heaver items. Lastly, most babies begin to sit supported by 4 months and this set comes with a spinning item you can attach to any high chair or table top and entertains baby while trying to feed or have sit still.
18. Bright Starts Press and Glow Spinner: As previously, most babies are both intrigued by lights and sitting up by 4 months. Therefore, consider purchasing toys that will encourage baby to sit. This glow spinner encourages baby to sit and press in order for it to light up.
19-20. Baby Jumpers and Walkers: Babies are ready for walkers and jumpers once they sit by themselves without much support and can hold their head up. However, it is important to read the user manuals on such toys because you can review what the best settings are for your little one. They have stages for these and you want to make sure baby can bounce only when he/she can really CONTROL his or her head. You can also purchase a dual jumper and walker such as the one on image number 20.
21. Stacking Toys: Stacking toys provide great encouragement for sitting babies to multitask, move their arms around and find their balance. This helps teach them to not only sit without back support but to actually sit up on their own. A 6 month old may not begin stacking them right away, but such toys can still be introduced to them at this age and can also be used to teach them colors.
22-23. Wiggle and Roll Toys: Toys that wiggle and roll around and away from baby encourage them to crawl. These toys are perfect to introduce once babies can can sit up without support. They encourage babies to explore with their hands and balance. It teaches them to sit up on their own if they haven’t yet and crawl.
24. Tunnels and Ball Pits: Tunnels and ball pits are great for crawling babies to be entertained by. They give them something extra to explore and perhaps prevent them from exploring unauthorized areas of the home.
25. Climbing Foam Shapes: Climbing foam shapes are perfect for crawlers to fine tune their motor skills and to even practice advanced motor skills such as gymnastics. They serve many other purposes such as imagination play, stacking and building, cushions for playing and sitting, etc. I love these for reading as well.
26. Push Toys: Any kind of push toys promote walking. Consider push toys that grow with baby such as the one on image number 20 that crawlers could grow into.
27. First 100 Words: You probably already started reading to baby in utero. You can technically read any book to baby even the encyclopedia if you wanted to, because everything you read is just background noise and hopefully you are reading to increase baby’s vocabulary. However, most babies start to pay a little more attention and you can actually join in and play with them around 7 months. Before then they are playing by them selves and ignoring you for the most part. Seven months old is typically a good age to begin repeating words with images for them to recognize. This book seemed very obvious for me to purchase and read to baby. However, I do not expect baby to repeat words any sooner than 12 months old. Baby may not repeat the words but do not doubt that baby will begin to recognize what the items are or what they are called. This is also a great time to start repeating shapes and colors.
28. Stack of Soft Books: These are slightly different from the one posted on image number 15. I like these because all they have are pictures of things and their names. They come with different categories such as transportation, shapes, numbers, land animals, ocean animals, etc.
29. Battat B. ABC Party Blocks: I love these blocks because not only are they soft and stackable, but they also have removable shapes inside. They allow for exploring more sensory skills while teaching letters and shapes.
30. Drop-in Shapes: Any toys that require baby to drop-in, match or identify shapes is perfect for this stage to physically show baby what you are teaching him/her. I like to say the shape then outline it with my finer and then outline the hole before dropping it in.
31-32. Squishy Bath Toys and Hand/Finger Puppets: Squishy bath toys, puppets or any other figurines are also great for show and tell. For instance, with animals I like to say wha† they are, what they eat, where they live, what they do and anything else I know about each. I proceed by mimicking and maneuvering each animal to show what they are like.
33-34. Singing and Dancing Toys: There are many many many plush or solid-standing singing and dancing toys that also teach body parts, colors, shapes and numbers. Honestly, any are great for baby to learn while playing on his or her own. It is important for babies to have their own play time uninterrupted for learning and exploring. Such toys are perfect for that.
35. Cause and effect toys: Now that baby has fine-tuned most of his/her basic motor skills, I find that most 8 month olds are entertained by many cause and effect toys. A great toy is one where you can place onto a base a ball or a car that rolls and comes out from another end. Other toys that require you to push, pull twist, etc. for a reaction are great cause and effect toys as well.
36. Activity Cubes: You can introduce activity cubes to older babies that are 9+ months. They can typically crawl and/or walk around them and hover over them while balancing well.
37. Insert and Identify Toys: Any type of toy that asks baby to identify, match or select things such as colors, shapes and numbers is perfect for babies 9 month or older.
38. Pull Toys: Any type of toys that are meant to be pulling such as those on wheels attached by a string are great to encourage babies to walk.
39. Push Toys: Push toys are also great for walking beginners. They provide some sort of support and a lot of encouragement. Just be sure your baby is truly ready and can hold his/her weight up and not fall forward onto his/her face.
40. Play Cars and Toys on Wheels: If you are looking to purchase any play cars or toys on wheels, it would probably be best to wait for baby to walk. This is for safety reasons and so that they can enjoy them much more.
41-42. Pretend Play: Lastly, many babies will begin to take interest in pretend play around their first birthday. Introducing toys such as play kitchens or working benches can be a great idea.
I hope that I explained my self well while reviewing these toys. If not, please feel free to comment below and I will gladly clarify.
P.S. I don’t know whether I am always the one more excited to play with a new toy or my baby is.
Boy do we love these cushion and stylish play mats?!
They are perfect for tummy time, early sitters, crawlers, walkers and even for adults to workout on. Rugs are cute but not the most hygienic.
Our two favorites are from House of Noa and Berry Lane Kids.
House of Noa mats are super playful tiles that you piece together and arrange to your liking or fitting. They are very similar to the alphabetical colorful ones, but more stylish. We purchased two sets of six to cover the baby’s room. Each set of six is $99, which comes out to a little over $200. I personally think the price is not bad, however Amazon has pretty amazing dupes for a quarter of the price. You can literally purchase four or more sets for the same quality and price. (I just really needed this pattern lol)
Berry Lane Kids mats are reversible and portable, our two favorite things about these. These are perfect for the living room because you can have two versions (like a day side and night side or a formal side and playful side). You can easily roll them up and travel with them. The Berry Lane Kids brand is one of the most popular for this type of mat. You can find them on Amazon, Nordstrom.com, and many children’s stores. However, Amazon carries many other brands with a lot more variety. Most mats on Amazon are all around the same price of $150 and quite comparable in quality and size. All you have to do to find them is search for “Reversible baby play mats” or click on the links bellow.
I know you can google and find a million + 1 things out there to help soothe teething babies. You can ask your parents and they can give you all of the old witch craft remedies as well. However, I have created a few list of my favorite items that seem to work well in different instances. Eventually you will come to learn that there is no one answer as there are times when some things seem to work and others do not.
Before I list everything, let me tell you that babies can begin teething as early as 1 month. My poor baby started at 1.5/2 ish. Others can start as late as 6 months. It is important that you pay attention to the following signs of teething (one or all may occur simultaneously):
Sucking or chewing of the hands, fingers, fists or any other items. If bottle fed, you may catch baby playing with the bottle by chewing on it rather than sucking on it.
Constant rubbing of the ears or cheeks. Their nerves which are triggered by teething run along their cheeks and jaw line. (Rubbing of the ears can also be a sign of an ear infection so it is important to be able to distinguish from the two.)
Very mild fevers or just running on a slightly higher temperature.
Very hot and/or sweaty heads.
Your finger is the most handy!
Any rubber or silicone toys including pacifier clips and pacifiers. (I have read that any kind of wooden beads or wood is not good for many reasons.)
Nuby Gumeez Teether specially for when they first begin and do not have any teeth at all. These are perfect for early teething babies because not much fits in their mouth, but these are very thin and fit better than a pacifier.
Water or rubber teething rings. They sell variety packs marked with different stages such as front teeth, back teeth and all teeth.
Soft and textured books with teething corners
Frozen milk, water or fruit popsticles. Search for teether pops.
Wet and cold wash cloths to suck on
Note: I give baby a chance to soothe him/her self a bit with teething toys. Once I notice baby beginning to get frustrated or antsy I give him/her one of the following remedies.
Camilia is what I like to use during the day. It is a vial of MIRACLE drops. 100% homeopathic.
I give baby Hyland teething (night) tablets at night. This is also another homeopathic remedy.
There are various teething gels which I chose not to use because even though they maybe homeopathic…. One: size to administer is not premeasured so you really can not monitor how much you have given baby and there are times you have to administer several doses back to back with any of these remedies…. Two: They instruct you to apply directly to gums and unlike the 2 previous remedies, you find yourself questioning if you are actually applying to the affected area.
YUP!!! When baby starts crying like crazy and its time for bed (most teething episodes for him happen to occur before nap time or bed time) and I have not given him any other remedies prior….. I dab a few drops of Tequila, Whiskey or Cognac and rub it directly on his gums both top and bottom. DO NOT get your baby drunk, I MYSELF use this form of alcohol on him barely enough to numb his gums. This is something my family has been doing at least since my sisters and I were born.
Good luck, teething SUCKS!!!
Let me know of anything else you find useful and do not forget to share this post with your friends.
As previously mentioned, I am no doctor or any type of health care worker/specialist. The following remedies are those that I follow and believe in from experience and family tradition. They have saved me many times and I have made sure to have them handy every day since expecting my first born. All babies differ and so will their reactions to any of these remedies. With that being said, please use them at your own discretion.
Tea remedies for moms to drink:
Red raspberry leaf tea is a MUST for uterus support. Even prior to pregnancy this tea is known for aiding in cramps and much more during menstural cycles. Over all it strengthens the uterus and helps prepare it for birth.
Mother’s Milk aids in the production of breast milk
Camomile tea will help say “filter breastmilk”. Camomile tea is awesome for breastfeeding moms when they feel they have ate too much junk food or greasy food or any food in general that may cause gassiness or colic to the baby. I am not saying you can eat whatever you want and then have a cup of tea, but it definetly minimizes the effects “bad foods” can have on breastfed babies.
Tea remedies for everyone in general but useful for babies and safe to give to newborns in monitored quantities:
(When serving baby, I like to infuse the water to a lightly tinted color and serve about an ounce in baby’s milk for daily use or make it really concentrated and put about 2.5-5ml to serve as needed. These are natural teas/herbs, which in general can be safe if consumed in high quantities.)
Oregano tea can be used specially in the early newborn stages to strengthen babies’ tummies. This is a life saver if you have a gassy and colicky baby.
Ramon tea is a great medicinal alternative for diarrhea, vomiting and stomach aches. (Spit up and vomit is very common in babies so learn to distinguish unusual vomiting. Always seek your pediatrician’s advice for any serious medical troubles as serious diarrhea and vomiting could be a sign of greater issues. Switching to sensitive formula for formula-fed babies can also be the answer for continuous vomiting)
Prune tea will help produce stools. The number one source for me as a mom to monitor the health of my baby has been his stools. Making sure to have regular stools is important to me. Therefore, I use prune tea whenever I feel it’s been too long since my child has had a stool. I make this one VERY concentrated. I purchase the bag of pitted prunes from Costco and mash 1-2 in about 10-16 oz of boiling water until it is really dark and put 5ml in my baby’s drink and he usually passes a stool within the hour or two. If not, I just keep serving it in every bottle until he goes. Somehow it regulates his stools and they go back to his normal pattern.
Gripe water works miracles in fussy, colicky and gassy babies. It is also made from natural herbs and can be purchased at most supermarkets and pharmacies. Episodes of fussiness much like colic usually fade away with age. Fussiness usually consists of a whiney and crying baby mainly at or near bed time that cries, tosses and can’t be settled down for no real reason. Before you freak out because your baby is fed, burped, changed, etc. and won’t stop crying or settle down for no apparent reason, try a dose of gripe water. It won’t hurt to try it if not necessary.
Mint tea or Yerba Buena tea can be placed in baby’s bath to relax and sooth baby.
Breastmilk… Saving the best for last! In case you haven’t heard, it really is liquid gold! You can place breastmilk directly on baby acne and eczema or rashes to help them go away. You can even use it to clear your own skin! The best is that rather than tossing away your expired or soon to expire or contaminated breastmilk, you can use it for a milk bath on baby. Putting breastmilk in baby’s bath with help baby avoid rashes.
I really hope you find this useful and your baby(ies) continue to be healthy and strong!
Feel free to share any other amazing remedies with us in the comments bellow.
Bellow is a list of things to consider when shopping for baby items and a list of items I didn’t find necessary or useful.
Following my lists, I have also linked some of my favorite products to be specific as to what I meant on the list.
Please feel free to leave a comment for further explanation or clarification on anything. Also, do not forget to share this with any of your pregnant friends.
I hope you found this useful!
Things to consider when shopping for baby items:
Many items are only used for a few months maybe even weeks. For that reason, it is best to select multi-purpose items such as a:
swing with a removable bouncy chair
play yard with a changing top and removable napper
high chair with booster seat
bouncer and walker
convertible infant and toddler stroller
I highly suggest to purchase everything you can anticipate needing for baby’s first year. Stick to the basic amount of items you may need rather than purchasing an abundance of new born items you will not end up using. Spread out your selection evenly to expand your budget and be able to at least get a little bit of everything for the first year.
Use up those registry coupons and take advantage of them.
It will not be until Christmas or his/her birthday that baby will receive as many gifts and even then you will not get to select what will be gifted to him/her.
Although toys and other items are marked by ages in months, all babies develop differently and your baby maybe be ready for an item sooner than expected, which is why it is best to have the toys handy.
I presented my baby toys for 3 months at 1 month, toys for 6 months at 4 months and so forth. The reason being is that they develop and change so quickly. They learn every single day and they view things differently every day. First they are laying, sitting, standing, etc. So I wanted him to explore every toy before the box said he would be “ready to play with it”. It has allowed him to truly learn and get the most out of every toy because he has been able to view them in so many ways. For example, Baby first lays on play mat and just stares at the gigantic hanging toys… months in he is tugging and pulling at them because they now look much smaller and less intimidating … he sits and now pulls them off and shoves them in his mouth…. he crawls or walks and hides them in places or fills other toys with them…. You get the point!
It is best for babies to sleep on solid hard surfaces until they are one year old to avoid SIDS. You can purchase a double sided crib mattress that converts from newborn to toddler stage. I will link the one we have in the list bellow.
Crib mattress with hard side for infant and softer for toddler as well as waterproof and keep cool features https://amzn.to/33gtUa2
Jumper, Walker and Push Toy (I absolutely love how versatile it is but mainly the adorable original characters) https://amzn.to/33dmLam
Medela 2 oz Cylinders used to measure and store specially when storing small amounts for newborns https://amzn.to/2RcA4lV
Baby rubber spoon AND fork (I love these because they are 2-in-1 and this fork is actually much easier for babies to stab and trap bite size food in. But most importantly because you do not have to worry about babies poking or hurting themselves and you can give it to them to play with to familiarize themselves with it when learning to eat solids. They can use it as a teething toy as well.) https://amzn.to/2F9BNGh
Pacifiers (I like these because not only are they super cute, but they also push in to put away and serve as teething tools.) https://amzn.to/35qjiYQ
Pacifier Clips (affordable, washable and I love using these to attach light toys or teething toys to baby or stroller to prevent from falling on the ground.) https://amzn.to/3k1xWJS
Sample of Newborn Receiving Blankets (I prefer these for swaddling because they are a bit more firm so they do not bundle up bellow baby’s mouth and create a choking hazard.) https://amzn.to/2ZrqFve
Sample of Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets for infants and toddlers (I mainly use these to cover over and not actually swaddle. I use them as secondary blankets for newborns after they are swaddled or to throw over when nursing or just to block the wind or breeze. These are much larger and thinner, not so stiff. They can be used to cover larger babies that are more mobil and don’t run the same risks of choking as newborns do.) https://amzn.to/2RfA6cB
I am here to share my experiences, not here to reinvent the wheel! So I will start by sharing my ultimate favorite resources that are all basic, easy to follow and not overwhelming.
The sooner you can get to exploring these resources the better, I began the moment I considered becoming pregnant and it was so useful. It gave me time to further research any concept or idea that I wanted more explanation on. I was also able to navigate through the books and resources as I needed rather than scrambling through them when anything came up.
Classes to search for at your local hospital… I found most of these helpful, but I feel that I learned a LOT more from all of the resources listed above. In other words, these classes aren’t everything. Don’t think that you can learn and cram everything in these classes and truly be prepared. :
There are many many resources out there, but these are my top must haves.