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Helpful Items for Babies Healthy Development

Updated on March 29, 2011

Furnishings that are Helpful and Necessary for Babies

If you are a parent, grandparent, daycare provider, or simply lucky enough to have a baby around on any sort of regular basis you may be wondering what equipment, supplies, and toys you should invest in.

First of all a baby needs his or her own personal furnishings. Yes sir babies can be very territorial and like to know where they will sleep, get rocked, and simply hang out.

Life is also easier for the parent or care provider if they have materials to assist them at nap time, cuddle time and all through the day (and yes, the night).

Furnishings for Babies:

  • Crib (babies need to have a safe place to sleep)
  • Playpen and/or Portable Crib (works wonders when traveling or on outings)
  • Diaper Changing Table or Mat
  • Rocking Chair (ever so helpful when baby is crabby)
  • Backpack/Front Pack or Sling (baby loves to be held ever-so-close)
  • Boppy Pillow (marvelous for nursing)
  • Walker or Exersaucer (helps to entertain baby in a sitting position)
  • Highchair (even babies like to eat)
  • Unbreakable Mirror (babies are very vain little people)


Social Play Materials Help Babies Developmentally

Age appropriate social play materials consist of only a couple of items; primarily baby dolls that you can easily clean.  You can invest in a few baby dolls that vary in skin color which will help your baby to realize everyone does not look the same.

I purchased a baby doll for my son when he was about two months old.  By the time my son was eleven months old he would crawl around calling for his baby if he did not know where his toy was.  He called his baby “Babb” it was absolutely adorable.

Washable stuffed animals are also a great social toy to have around for babies.  They can be animals, dolls, or cartoon characters all of which help baby to recognize the difference between varied creatures.

Helping Babies with Literacy and Language Development

You may be wondering, “What in the world! My baby can’t even talk much less have a need for literacy and language materials.” Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Babies are observing, listening, and learning language from the time they are born (possibly from the time they are in the womb).

My own little eleven month old baby boy began saying his first words at nine months. Words such as momma and ilk (milk in adult language) were his first accomplishments in the big world of literacy and language.

A few easy tasks we can do as parents or caregivers consist of talking with baby, singing to baby, and reading to baby from the moment they are born or come into our lives. Remember these little guys and girls are like little sponges sopping up every word you say, song you sing, and story you tell.

Literacy and Language Material Ideas for Babies:

  • Cloth Books (familiarizes them with books)
  • Picture Books and Nursery Books (read to baby)

Helping Babies on Their Cognitive Developmental Journey

Even as babies are in their momma’s belly they have already began developing cognitively. The continued cognitive development of babies is definitely an area we want to support without any hindrance.

During the first year of a baby’s life their cognitive development is rapid. A baby’s memory, language, thinking and reasoning abilities are rapidly developing and maturing. It is important to have materials on hand which will assist baby on her exciting cognitive adventure.

Cognitive Development Material Ideas for Babies:

  • Various Grip Toys
  • Rattles
  • Toys with lights or sound affects
  • Material to look at, touch and explore (be sure they are safe for babies)
  • Toys or safe materials with different textures and noises
  • Your company (not a material but essential, play with baby, show him or her a variety of toys, ext…)

Assisting Babies as They Experience Sensory Play

Watching a child as they first discover their sensory motor skills is exciting and amazing. In the beginning baby often will not be sure what new thing he or she is doing. Boy baby realizes quickly that it was interesting and repeats his or her action or movement over and over again.

Babies are just learning sounds, textures, and what the world looks like. It is a wonderful experience to be a part of baby’s first adventures. Having materials to help enhance the learning experience is also a great idea.

Sensory Play Material Ideas for Babies:

  • Rattles (all textures and noises)
  • Mobile (hang them from a crib or playpen)
  • Teething Toys
  • Chimes (babies are learning new sounds)
  • Blocks (age appropriate)
  • Bath Toys
  • Birds/Fish


Helping Babies to Develop Their Large Motor Skills

Large motor skills can also be coined as gross motor skills. As babies begin using their arms and legs to move around, crawl, grab objects, or walk they are using their large motor skills. The development of large motor skills are necessary in order for babies to acquire enough balance to walk.

The amazing feeling that we get as parents or caregivers when baby takes his or her first steps takes on a life of its own. All of a sudden the household breaks out in cheers, claps and words of encouragement as baby steps into life’s incredible journey.

Large Motor Development Material Suggestions:

  • Crib Gym
  • Floor Pillows
  • Balls (all colors, sizes, and textures)
  • Baby Swing

Encouraging Babies to be Artistic and Musical

As we know all people are not blessed with a great singing voice or the ability to paint like Thomas Kinkaid. Although all children even little babies can be encouraged to explore what creative, artistic or musical talent they may possess.

Even if a baby does not grow up to be a famous musician or artist it is still very healthy developmentally to have him or her listen to music. It has even been suggested that a pregnant woman should put music up to her tummy for baby to hear in the womb.

Artistic and Musical Material Suggestions for Babies:

  • Wall Hangings, Pictures, and Photos
  • Music Box
  • Rattles that make Musical Sounds
  • CD Players or Tape Deck (listen to music often with baby)
  • Wrist or Ankle Bells


Last Thoughts on Babies Development

Remember to enjoy each and every stage baby goes through because time passes quickly and cannot be turned back.  Also, baby needs your ultimate goal to be focused on helping him or her to have healthy development in every area.  Best of luck and do not forget to have Fun!


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