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Learn & Play: Toys for Babies

As a new parent you’ll be overwhelmed by the shelves of gizmos that rattle n roll, squeak and sing. While it doesn’t take a ton of toys to entertain a baby, there are plenty of playthings to help them laugh and learn their way through those first-year wobbles.
Early days
In between sleeping, feeding – and the odd bout of crying – your newborn will love to look and listen. Although the world still seems a bit fuzzy through their eyes, they are captivated by bright colours and high-contrast patterns: so, now’s the time to shop for mobiles, soft picture books, wind chimes and sensory toys that squeak and rattle. 
Lay & play
One of your baby’s first challenges will be to master tummy time, which will help them to develop muscles in their back and neck. From one month, give your baby their first workout on a soft play activity mat. 
Your best option is an activity gym, with a multi-sensory play mat and overhead toys, lights and music. Your baby can then also lay and play, learning to kick, touch and grasp objects. 
First moves
Stacking rings and building blocks are fun toys that teach your baby about sizes, shapes and colours; they also encourage them to sit independently. 
Whether it’s a bottom shuffle or a traditional crawl, your baby will start to explore from around six months. Encourage this with roll-along animals, crawling tunnels and interactive crawling balls – just be prepared for how fast they move!
Step by step
The last few months of your baby’s first year mark several memorable milestones – from crawling to baby steps, your little one will take a giant leap in their development. 
Looking for a standing ovation? An activity table gives your baby plenty to explore while learning to stand and cruise: they can learn letters, numbers, opposites, shapes, and greetings while on the move. Ready to take it to the next step… then encourage them to get moving with push-along walkers, many of which reward every little step with fun sound effects.
Good thinking
As quickly as your baby is developing physically, they are learning to think, solve and communicate. From six months, encourage problem-solving skills with shape sorters, let them imitate you with toy telephones, and introduce them to books with textures that can be rubbed, flaps that open, and pull tabs that reveal new pictures.