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Parental Guide to Baby Toys

Pediatricians and other child care professionals will explain that toys are important in the development of children. It may not be obvious at first, but from the moment babies are born they need to be stimulated. They should practice motor skills and learn about sounds and language, all while working through the 'growing pains'; such as teething.

Teething is a very unpleasant time for both the baby and the parents. The baby hurts and mum and dad often don't know what to do to help their child. That is why new, inexperienced parents should know that a number of toy manufacturers have created numerous bright and attractive toys to make that part of growing-up a little easier. Gum soothers and teethers give the little one something to chew on, and when cooled, they will relieve some of the painful irritation. Many models will only easy sore gums, while others with built-in noise makers will distract the child from its ache. For example, a rattling caterpillar squeaks, crunches and has a bendable body to play with, but also has a convenient textured teether link ring for biting and holding. 

Babies like to be comforted. They love to be held and cuddled and do not understand that sometimes that is simply impossible. Indeed, it would not be the first time that a baby woke up alone from a nap because mum is on the phone and dad is fixing the roof. They may open their eyes in the middle of the night when the parents are sleeping and some time may pass before their need for attention will be met. Therefore, it is important to familiarize a baby with a comfort toy or blanket as soon as possible. 

Giraffes, elephants, lambs, owls, cats and other animals come in various shapes, sizes and materials. Children are fond of animal toys and generally keep them around during their entire childhood, sometimes even beyond.

Kids, especially toddlers, love stuffed and fluffy playthings. Monkeys, dogs, teddy bears and even dolls make wonderful and affordable gifts, and most of all they are usually quite safe. When buying a baby toy check for small parts that can be ripped or chewed off. Babies' mouths are always exploring and if they end up biting off a button eye or a loose label, choking hazards increase drastically. Prevent accidents from happening by simply checking each toy for unsafe elements before handing it to those little adventurers.

Crawling babies need more stimuli than newborns. An activity chime ball will encourage sensory development, while a discovery gym will create a perfect entertainment environment. This toy has it all, from lights and music, animal squeakers, attractive rattles, and funny boing boing sounds, to textured fabrics and shiny, colorful ribbons. This kind of play station is versatile, very functional and most can be adjusted to grow as the baby develops.

Knowing what baby toys selection to choose from is good, but even better is if the toy that ends up in your shopping basket will also be washable. Toys are touched by everyone, from big brother who believes the Humpty doll is his, to Max, the family pet, who loves chewy toys. Whatever the reason may be for passing toys around, remember, they need to be washed frequently so those nasty germs won't stand a chance to spread around.