Useful information on choosing suitable cot toys for your baby.
Right from birth babies begin to learn about the world around them. The more stimulation they receive from their environment, the more opportunity they have to develop their senses and lay foundations for future learning. Cot toys provide a means of stimulating your baby's senses while they are resting and provide some entertainment for your baby in an otherwise bare environment.
Newborns are very short sighted, they are only able to focus on objects approximately 10 inches away and the rest of the world is seen as a blur. Young babies prefer to look at high contrast patterns, lights and brightly coloured objects; these in turn help to develop their vision. Many cot toys incorporate these attractive elements into their design and so help your baby to learn while at rest.
Babies also learn a great deal about their surrounding environment through the sensations produced by touch. They prefer soft, warm sensations to cold, hard ones so choosing cot toys that comprise different textures and materials will help to stimulate the development of this sense. Toys placed around the cot will also encourage your baby to reach and stretch towards them - this will help your baby to develop physically.
Babies also enjoy and are stimulated by music. Cot toys that play soft sounds and lullaby's will help to relax your baby and soothe them to sleep.
A huge variety of stimulating cot toys are available. The most popular are mobiles, toys that act as bumpers and tie to the side of the cot and colourful or musical nightlights. Mirrors are also attractive to babies as they are shiny and reflect light around the room.
When choosing a cot toy it is important to consider it's safety before the entertainment or developmental benefits. Cot toys should be tied to the cot bars so as to avoid suffocation and should also be free from hard or removable components and long strings. Once your baby is able to kneel or stand unaided mobiles should be removed from the cot area.
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