Child development #1
Hello Friends, as I announced it in January, in addition to the blog, I propose you some posts around child’s development and playing.
For this first post I answer a question I received on Instagram “When do you give babies their first toys (at what age) and what kind of toys ?” It is a good question because it is hard to know what to give a baby who spend their day sleeping, eating and filling their nappies…. Of course I am kidding babies do so many things !
Did you know … ? The first year of our life is the one we learn the most compared to the following years of our lives
Along the first year, the development of your baby is astonishingly fast. They learn to use their hand to grasp, hold and manipulate things. To improve their exploration, they use their mouth. They learn to control their body, hold their head, to sit, to crawl and to stand. They develop their sociability and their relationship with their parent(s)/carer(s).
The following pictures will show you what you can propose to your child and at which age.
Beware, the ages mentioned below are only indications ! Every baby is different and follow their rhythm to grow and blossom.
- When : 0-3 month old
- What : Mobile with simple shapes and contrasted colours. Simple images with contrasted colours, usually black and white.
- Why : The sight of a new born is very poor. Indeed before 4 month old, a baby can see only at a distance of 30 cm, not all the colours and with a narrow perspective. Their vision is fuzzy.
- When 4-7 month old
- What : Teething rings, small balls, block, rattles, tea spoon …
- Why : First it is important to give safe material to your baby and absolutely avoid small pieces which could be swallowed and make baby suffocate ! From 4 to 8 month old your baby will become stronger ( can hold their head, the spine is stronger ) and the gestures are more accurate. Along these months the baby will be able to open and close voluntarily their hands, to pick up and give an object when the adult ask it. The toys and objects must be light, easy to grasp, without danger for the mouth.
- When: 8-12 month old
- What: Balloon, carton book, maracas, bells, baby hammer, toys with wheels, cubes, ride-on, baskets, abacus, trolley…
- Why: baby understands now the concept of container/content and take great pleasure to empty and fill baskets, trolley, boxes. It is also the time you can start to play hide and seek with them. Show them a ball and hide it under their shirt, a pillow, a blanket in front of them. Before 8 month old, if the object disappear, the baby doesn’t care anymore and focus on something else. At 8 month old they start to understand if it is disappeared from their view, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore.
The lists of toys given above are indications, of course there is a larger choice of material you can use. The question is: How I choose ?
First, Toys and materials are chosen if they have the following functional qualities :
lightness, simplicity, handling abilities.
Then, remember the simplest toys are the best because they give the baby the possibility to explore and improve their body as we have seen this before. So it can be toys but also wooden spoon, large jar lids, plastic boxes, hair brush, wallet, … the list is without end.
Finally, you, Parents are the best to choose what is good for your baby, with your observations you know what your baby knows and is able to accomplish. it is with your observations, you can identify which material is best suited . Trust yourself you are the best person for your baby.
I hope this first post was interesting, pleasant and helpful. I took pleasure to write and draw it. Let me know in the comments what you thought about it and if you have anything else to say. I will read and respond your comments, questions and suggestions with pleasure.
Next article I will speak about the “playing” time without toys or material before 1yo. Story, music, sociability,… We will see together how to spend quality time with your baby.