Your newborn baby spends the first part of their life taking in the wonders of this new world around them. For now, because their vision is still developing, your baby will rely on his other senses: sense of hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Among these four, it is the sense of touch that is the strongest and reliable.
Your baby is most familiar and most confident with their tactile sense. It is the first sense to develop, as early as their 8th week inside the womb. Your baby has been touching and feeling before they were even born! That's how primitive the sense of touch is for your baby. It just comes to them naturally. With this known, your baby will need to be surrounded with things that they would love to touch and feel.
However, with all the products marketed towards babies, it is dangerously easy to get carried away and overwhelm your newborn baby.
The Danger of Overstimulation
There are a lot of toys, books, and materials in the market aimed for stimulating your baby's sense of touch. Lights, sounds, all the bells and whistles – you name it. But does your baby really need all of these things?
Your baby needs stimulation, yes, but overstimulation is never a good thing. When too many things are happening, it causes an uncomfortable sensory overload. Your baby, whose most basic need is to feel loved and protected in a calm and predictable environment, will find it difficult to cope.
When your baby gets overstimulated, they get tired, fussy, and hard to soothe. When this happens, it means that all those sensations, noises, and experiences are too much for your little baby’s mind to process.
How to Stimulate Your Baby the Right Way
Your newborn baby's needs are quite simple and easy to meet. You already know that they need to be fed and have a place to sleep peacefully, but proper stimulation can get a little bit tricky.
Begin by establishing a gentle environment. Surround your baby with things that are soft, pleasant, and familiar. You don't need a lot of toys. All your baby needs are soothing music, a snug blanket, a couple of soft toys, and you – their sanctuary.
Let your baby explore the world in their own terms. Encourage it by providing toys carefully chosen toys that are both stimulating and calming.
Choosing the Best Toys for Your Baby
We cannot downplay the importance of toys for your baby's development. Toys are truly a baby essential! They help your baby learn and build an understanding of the world; thus, they are essential for imaginative active play. The right toys are also great soothers, which is perfect when your baby wants to wind down and rest.
What are the types of toys that are just right for your baby? You need to be mindful and choose carefully. We recommend toys that are simple and calming but pique your little one's interest and curiosity.
1. Knitted Toys
Knitted plush toys are a fantastic way to keep your baby delighted and entertained. These toys are soft and cuddly, making them the perfect companion for your little one. A huggable plush toy will also make them feel secure.
Now, if you are looking for the perfect knitted plush toy, keep in mind that your baby will probably be spending a lot of time with it. They will explore it when they are awake, and they will snuggle with it during sleep. It is best to look for a knitted toy that is made of 100% cotton, which will not irritate your baby’s delicate skin.
Aside from being soft and cuddly, a great plush toy will have interesting textures to stimulate your baby’s tactile responses. A knitted surface is a good example as it has gentle ridges and raised details that your baby will enjoy touching.
We recommend: Joe Monkey Knitted Toy. This baby toy has a textured knitted surface and has different shapes and details.
2. Soft Rattles
There’s a reason why rattles have never gone out of style. Rattles are an indispensable baby toy! As simple as they are, they help a lot with your baby’s development. Basically, the rattle produces a sound, which fascinates your baby and keeps them amused.
But beyond that, your baby learns the mechanics of producing a sound. The toy makes the sound when they strike it, introducing your baby to the concept of cause and effect.
There are a lot of rattles to choose from, made of different materials. For your newborn baby, the best option is a soft rattle made of fabric. It is safer and gentler, and it comes in more interesting details and textures to stimulate your baby’s tactile awareness.
Because the rattle will come in contact with your baby’s sensitive skin most of the time, your best bet when it comes to material is cotton. It is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and safe even for newborn babies’ skin.
We recommend: Theodore Elephant Knitted Rattle. This baby rattle is soft, cuddly, and looks charming!
In addition to knitted toys and soft rattles, we also recommend these baby essentials as additions to your nursery. First is a good quality play mat for tummy time, which is vital to your baby’s learning and growth. We recommend the Kayden Black Scallops Play Mat. This is made of cotton and comes in a highly contrasting pattern, which helps with your baby’s visual development.
Second is a lovely musical mobile. It is not just an ornament for your baby’s nursery; it’s a tool that enhances your baby’s creativity and curiosity. We recommend the White Stars Knitted Musical Mobile. It plays 12 soothing melodies and comes with soft knitted accessories that are made of 100% premium quality cotton.