Christmas is around the corner and many parents are asking me advice about toys and presents for their little ones, not only appropriate for their age also that they are respectful with their development and encourage them and supports the stage they are in without pushing them into movements their little bodies are not ready yet.
Below you can find some links for some of my top things I would recommend for the first year of life:
1. Babies need to spend a lot of time on the floor to be able to strengthen their muscles and develop body awareness as well needing to be safe. I absolutely love the mats from https://munchkinandbear.co.uk/. They are Shock-absorbent foam core, protects little ones from bumps and bruises on hard floors, provides insulation from cold floors and it is waterproof and wipe-clean. They are especially amazing for babies that brin up milk, as well as kids with eczema because it is super easy to clean them.
2. Toys to support fine motor skills like the Montessori ball that is thoughtfully designed to be easy for babies to grasp and move. Moving a ball from one hand to the other is an important skill that your baby will develop, it requires dexterity and enhanced coordination across their body as well as helping to cross the midline; a huge step in their development.
3. To encourage sensory stimulation we have to work with the most important senses at this age like the touch, for that we will use different textures, also the hearing with different sounding rattles. I recommend toys without batteries, there are so many beautiful sounds like bells, wood rattles, etc.. that there is no need in loud toys that sometimes will create an overstimulation in the baby.Wood rattles like Rodari rattles, bells, etc
Picture 12Taste would be the another very important sense and we can stimulate it with food that has different textures and with safe toys that they can introduce in their mouths. From four months they will be crazy about exploring with their little mouths and it is a highly important stage so my advice would be:
Teething toys BPA free, easy to grab for those little hands.
4. Books, yes, never is too early to start reading to babies, we can start with soft and full of textures and colours books but also spend some time reading stories to your babies brings a perfect bonding time.
5. Other toys to stimulate fine motor skills that are a must are towers, cubes etc. I am a big fan of wooden toys, this bring us closer to nature and far from toxic plastic products.
6. Treasure basket support young babies learning, development and curiosity through touch, taste sound and visual stimulation.
I hope this little list can make easier finding respectful Christmas presents to enjoy with your little ones. This list has been created without any economic interest, just looking from my clinical perspective as an osteopath and of course as a mum.
Remember if you are worried about your baby regarding the achievement of milestones, not sure how to encourage them to explore being respectful, please come to see us at the clinic.
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future”.
“Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur””