- : Toy recalls are on the rise. To find out about specific toys, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at www.cpsc.gov.
- Step 1: Visit toy stores. Even if you plan to use mail order or buy online, it’s a good idea to check out a toy in person.
- TIP: The best toys for kids 18 months and under include mobiles, soft books, rattles and other noisemakers, busy boxes, activity tables, stacking toys, and push- and pull-toys.
- Step 2: As you browse, ask yourself two questions about any toy that catches your eye—does it look like something my baby will enjoy, and is it safe?
- Step 3: Consider size and weight. Your baby will have the most fun with a toy that he can get a grip on, one that’s not too heavy or large for him to manipulate.
- Step 4: Look for a toy that offers different textures, especially for very young babies.
- Step 5: Choose toys that your baby can interact with. He should be a participant in making it jingle or roll—not a passive observer.
- TIP: Basic or old-fashioned toys like blocks or stacking cups can be very educational, whether or not they’re labeled as such.
- Step 6: Pick toys in bright, cheery hues. Even infants love different colors.
- Step 7: Do a safety check. Don’t buy any toy that your baby could choke on, that has small pieces that could break off, or that has a string or cord that’s shorter than six inches.
- TIP: If a toy is small enough to fit inside an empty toilet paper roll, it’s small enough to choke a baby.
- Step 8: Finally, rate its annoyance factor. Who cares what the baby likes—is the sound the toy makes going to drive you nuts?
- FACT: Dolls are the oldest known toys.
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