When you’re buying toys for your baby there are so many things to consider like what toys will help with development, the budget since toys are expensive, and maybe you’re even thinking about the theme for the nursery and getting toys to match.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the safety of these toys. Below are a few tips to keep in mind as you wander through the toy aisles picking out cute stuffed animals that will become their favorite and educational toys the keep their development on track.
- Age Appropriate
Always read the labels on toys and confirm that the toy is age appropriate for your child. Although we may think something is good for a baby, upon closer inspection it may be rated 3+ due to a cord or small pieces. Although not all toys or stuffed animals will have age labels so use the following tips to inspect them for yourself.
- Think Big Toys
When shopping for baby toys remember that in many ways, bigger is better. You don’t want anything that would be small enough for her to fit inside her mouth.
- Consider Weight
Although bigger is better in most ways weight is not one of them. When items start getting larger remember to keep weight in mind. You don’t want a heavy item or toy falling on your baby.
- No String/cords Longer Than 12”
Toys that have string, cords, or ribbons that are longer than 12” they can pose a choking hazard for your baby. Check toys to make sure they won’t have a potential of wrapping around your baby during playtime or while sleeping.
- Inspect for Small Parts
Likewise, small parts on a toy can be choking hazards. Look for small buttons, magnets, or other small objects on toys. These can be pulled off and become a hazard for your curious baby.
- Refrain From Buying Battery Operated Toys
Battery operated toys can be fun and good educational toys although batteries can be choking hazards for babies. Make sure that any battery operated toys have screwed on backplates rather than ones that click into place.
- Remove Packaging
The packaging is one of those simple things that can be fun to play with but for little ones, it can quickly go from fun to a choking hazard. Be sure to throw out all toy packaging after being unwrapped.
- Avoid Balloons
Balloons are another low-cost fun item for kids to play with but they can also become choking hazards. Don’t leave balloons laying around even if they are inflated because they can deflate or pop which makes them choking hazards for babies.
- Conscious of Chemicals
Last, but not least, some toys although they are designed for kids, contain chemicals in them that are not safe for little ones that want to taste everything they get their hands on. Make sure that the toys you are buying are safe by referencing ecocenter.org.
Many of the toys you get for your baby will be gifts from friends or family. Remember to read instructions/label for all new toys and give them a once over before giving them to your baby or toddler to play with. Not everyone is aware of age safe toys for your baby so always check quickly.
Likewise, if you have older children their toys may not be safe for your new baby. Teach your older children to clean up after themselves so that your baby doesn’t get into toys that may be choking hazards. Likewise, try to give toys a bin or holding location so that toys won’t be laying about for your baby to find if the toy is not age appropriate.