Top 4 toys for babies 3-6 months for 2019

Posted on November 29th, 2019

Occupational therapist and infant specialist Meg Faure recommends the following toys for babies between 3 and 6 months old.

Your 3 to 6-month-old baby is at the cutest stage. He’s started to engage and explore the world through the sense of touch, vision and hearing. By stimulating his senses you will help his brain develop the neural connections needed for learning.

ALSO SEE: Top 4 toys for babies 0 – 3 months for 2019

There are more tactile receptors in the mouth than anywhere else on the body, so your baby will most certainly be exploring objects with his mouth. Many parents think this indicates the start of teething, but truly, it’s just your baby exploring the qualities of the object. A wonderful way to stimulate the oral tactile sense is to offer good quantity wood, silicon and plastic toys to hold and gnaw on. Make sure they are well suited for your baby. They should be non-toxic, small enough to hold onto, but bigger than your fist, so your baby won’t choke or swallow them. Choose toys in bright colours and with interesting textures.

Your baby’s milestones

Bright colours attract your baby’s attention now and his visual skills are becoming good enough to focus at a distance and to watch a moving object across the visual field. It’s time to start sharing books with your baby. Choose board books so your little one won’t destroy the pages. Choose pictures that are simple and bright with clear outlines. Books with pictures of faces, expressions and household objects are the best for this age.

Meg’s toy recommendation:

Eyes, Nose, Toes, Peekaboo! R93.50. Available from Readers Warehouse.

Eyes, nose, toes, peekaboo

Your baby is working hard on auditory skills at this time. He can identify where sounds come from and turns towards your voice. During this period your baby will start to coo and later babble. Stimulating the sense of hearing is important for language skills later. Obviously, the best way to do this is to simply talk to or read to your baby, but there are also wonderful toys that can help develop auditory skills.

Meg’s toy recommendation:

Jungle Jingle musical instruments, R615. Available from Kids Emporium.

Jingle Jangle Musical Instruments

Rattles in all shapes, sizes and with different sounds are great fun. Choose rattles that have a handle that fits into your baby’s palm. This will also encourage fine motor skills of grasp (and later release).

Meg’s toy recommendation:

Sofie the Giraffe multi-textured rattle, R269. Available from Kids Emporium.

Sofie Rattle

The sense of movement is situated in your baby’s inner ear (the vestibular system) and is a critical sense for the development of gross motor skills. As your baby perceives movement, a message is sent from the vestibular system down the spinal cord to the muscles. This stimulation activates muscle tone and is also the signal for balance reactions to be triggered. This is the reason that movement play and rough and tumble (gently at this stage) is so good for your little one.

A wonderful toy that stimulates the vestibular system is a swing or hammock. A baby swing is not only fun, but it can also keep your little one occupied for up to 10 minutes at a stretch. If you get a plastic bucket swing, you will need to prop your baby up with cushions inside the swing at this age. The benefit of this type of swing is that it lasts into the toddler years. If you choose a purpose-built young infant swing, your baby will be very comfortable but make sure he does not end up falling asleep and sleeping in the swing. Just 10 minutes three times a day will be perfect for swinging, but be sure to offer tummy time and mat play at other times.

Meg’s toy recommendation:

Hammock, R900. Available from Migi Designs.

Hammock

 More about the expert:

Megan Faure (BSc OT, OTR) is a lecturer for Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI) and regularly lectures to both professionals and parents on baby and childcare issues. Megan is the founder and chairperson of Infant Sensory Integration Training programme. She is also co-author of the bestselling baby care series: Baby Sense; Sleep Sense; Feeding Sense; Your Sensory Baby. Visit her website here.

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