Oh Baby! You Can Make It Happen

by : News Canada

(NC)—Right from the beginning, a baby learns that certain actions within his or her environment can bring desired results. Typically the first sign of reinforcement comes from the baby's parents. For example, a baby learns early on in the development stage that crying will result in a parent picking him up, feeding him or changing his diaper.

Throughout this learning process it is important for parents to provide constant stimulation for their baby. Providing a baby with a selection of well-chosen toys that encourage activity and exploration is a step in the right direction.

According to the parents.com website, "a baby is fascinated by cause and effect and will enjoy any toy that responds to [his or her] actions and makes use of newly acquired motor skills." For instance, a baby will love toys that allow her to hit a ball with a hammer as well as toys with buttons that cause music to play or characters to pop up. Some high-tech toys for this age will name a letter, a shape, or a number when your baby presses a button. A baby is too young to actually learn her ABCs but she'll still enjoy interacting with these toys and being exposed to language.

Selecting a toy that provides different stages for a baby is essential – so that she will not become bored once she tackles that particular toy. Toys such as the Fisher-Price Classical Chorus Gym offer babies fascinating rewards from the early stages of reaching, through sitting and playing, right up to standing and playing the piano keys. Pressing keys to make music encourages baby's creativity and helps to stimulate the senses when the keys light up.

Toys that also provide more than one function are ideal for a baby too. Fisher-Price's Sesame Street 3-in-1 Baby Explorer is a good example of this, as it gives him three toys in one – a gym, an activity table and walker. Through this toy, a baby is able to develop sensory, motor and cognitive skills as he grows. In the gym mode, he can listen to soft music while developing his motor skills through click-clack pages, busy beads and adorable character toys. The activity mode helps a baby to develop her cognitive skills through character toys, which can be placed in one of two chutes to activate lights to help her to begin to understand 'anticipating surprises.'

Selecting toys that foster development while positively reinforcing a baby's actions are key to a happy, healthy baby.

- News Canada