A Word on Toys

August 21, 2011

I bought Astrid a 1970’s Fisher-Price record player music box on eBay when she was three months old. I loved that record player when I was six, how could she not share my glee? Probably because she could barely sit up at the time. It was going to be a while, a year to be exact, before she could really take on that record player. In the intervening months, she pounded on it a lot and tore the records off the track every time I wound it up. This, I think, was her way of indicating her displeasure at my buying her non-age-appropriate playthings.

The disappointing truth for expectant parents is that babies cannot play with toys, and by and large have no interest in them until they’re at least out of their first size of clothes. When I was pregnant and frequently in stores offering a rainbow array of exciting toys and piles of adorable stuffed animals, I didn’t connect the dots between knowing that infants are born with very poor vision and zero motor skills, and that meaning that they are incapable of and uninterested in playing with toys.

Toys are in your and your little one’s future, but they are not needed at birth and probably won’t be of any use for a few months beyond that. That’s why I don’t have lines and lines of cool toys in the Minimalist Mama Baby Prep Spreadsheet. It’s really not because I’m Scrooge-y!

If you just can’t resist pre-buying toys (or want to register for them), here are some toys for months 1-3 that your baby can see, hear or, inexpertly, touch:

  1. Things with black and white patterns (See First Toys: Black and White)
  2. Mirrors (please, infant mirrors only: no glass near the baby!) (See First Toys: Mirrors)
  3. Things that move in baby’s line of vision, namely mobiles (well, and people, but you know…) (See First Toys: Mobiles)
  4. Things that play gentle music (mobiles, crib toys or your iPod)
  5. A small transitional object (other than you) (See First Toys: “Transitional Object”)
And for very soon after:
  1. Things that make a small cause-and-effect noise (rattles, crinkle toys) (See First Toys: Rattles)
  2. Teething toys. Get Sophie the Giraffe. Everyone needs one. (See First Toys: Sophie the Giraffe)
Just remember as you pass by all the aisles and aisles of tempting toys on your way to buy a boring changing mat that you have years of cute dolls in strollers and Tinker Toys ahead of you!
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6 Responses to “A Word on Toys”


  1. […] Toys: Sophie the Giraffe See also A Word on Toys Sophie the Giraffe has been around for 50 years and is still sweet and effective. She’s a […]


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