Basic Gear Every Horizontal Baby Needs
Does Your Baby Have These?
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Posted: 2013-04-23 10:07:23 By: Joanne Oppenheim

 

A Mobile
A musical mobile in the crib is good for gazing. While baby is developing the ability to focus, slow moving mobile with bold contrast are most interesting. Most mobiles have quiet music and that can be a soothing extra for baby.

 

 

  
2007 Awards
Manhattan Toy Infant Stim-Mobile
(Manhattan Toy $24.99 Score: )

High contrast black and white graphics are now combined with bold colors so the mobile can be changed as baby grows. Designed with out music or motor, this versatile mobile is nevertheless more visually stimulating than most. The images are displayed so that the newborn looking up sees the whole graphic rather than just a sideways glance. It's design is based on research that indicates that newborns see black and white high contrast most easily during the first weeks of life. Babies are also visually attracted to images of a face, simple bulls-eye graphics and other bold patterns.
       Another plus is the ability to change the view. Like all of us, infants stop noticing things that are constantly in sight. Since you can change the position of the graphics, this is a more interesting mobile. Without a motor to make it turn, this is activated by baby's own motions as she moves her arms and legs. This mobile has no music, but you can add that with a stand alone musical toy.
      Based on the original all black and white Stimobile by Wimmer Ferguson, this is a classic.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2009 Award
Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile
(Tiny Love $39.95 Score: )

A jolly looking bunny, horse and chick will circle to the music of Bach, Mozart and others on the latest mobile from Tiny Love. These boldly patterned and bright colored critters are engineered to spin in sight as they turn. Their faces are looking down so baby is looking at them instead of just seeing their feet. The critters twirl under cones that have eye-catching black and white swirls inside. There are small plastic shapes that click as they slide on the armature. The music box that attaches to the crib rail also has a night light. This mobile does not have a remote control. Although the mobile must come down for safety reasons at 5 months, the music box can continue to function on the crib rail. Newborn. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2012 Award
Tiny Love Soothe n Groove Mobile
(Tiny Love $54 Score: )

A fairly gender free mobile that will fit in the nursery of boys or girls. The three fabric animals do look down on baby as they move about. They have dangly legs and big eyes. The mobile plays 18 tunes and will run for as long as 40 minutes. Of course, the mobile animals and armature need to be removed by five months but the music box, with electronic sounds, can remain on the crib side for baby to activate. It can also be removed and carried about as baby grows into toddlerhood.  So, this is a piece of equipment with a long life. Newborn-24 months.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 



A Play Mat
A play mat allows baby to be with the family—to be where the social action is rather than tucked away in a crib. Playmats with arches and dangly toys offer objects to gaze at as well as room for kicking, stretching and eventually reaching out.

 

 

 
2008 Awards
Tiny Love Gymini Monkey Island
(Tiny Love $59.99 Score: )

Newest in the Tiny Love play mat line-up, this one comes with the usual cross bars, dangly toys to bat at, mirror and bold graphics. What’s new here is a big monkey with a light-up tummy that plays electronic music when touched. We had mixed emotions about the monkey, but we think big brothers and sisters will like trying it out to entertain their new baby. Comes with a pillow for tummy time fun.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2010 Awards
Infantino Jumbo Patchwork Mat
(Step 2 $40 Score: )

A huge 47" square play mat provides plent of space for baby to roll, sit, and begin to crawl. It has 20 different play features with interesting sounds and textures to explore. Like the other mat from this company the Musical flower has a poor sound, but it can be removed and is difficult to activate, so it won't intrude too much or too often--or at all if you remove it. The patterns on the vibrant patchwork quilt adds visual interest, as does the safety mirror and lift up ears on the animal faces. Big enough for twins or more to share. Newborn and up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: This oversized play mat has lots of interesting features for little ones to explore. For children with motor delays, this gives them a larger than most play space with a variety of sensory learning opportunities.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


A Crib or Floor Mirror

A safety mirror attached to the crib rail or one that sits on the floor are sure to grab baby's interest. As baby moves so does the reflection. Even before he understands that the little face and moving eyes and hands in that mirror are his own, baby will be fascinated in watching the ever changing images.

 

 

  
2010 Awards
Wimmer Ferguson Double-Feature Mirror
(Manhattan Toy $24.99 Score: )

There is not a better quality safety mirror for babies than this one. Recently updated with all new graphics, this is pretty much distortion-free and baby will enjoy gazing at his own moving images long before he recognizes who he is seeing in the reflection. However, even before baby can use the mirror side, the high contrast black and white graphics on the reverse side will be interesting for baby to gaze at. Hang this in the crib or beside the changing table. Keep in mind, that the black and white graphics are visually stimulating, so for quiet time, you may want to take this out of visual range. The graphics include among others a pinwheel with target, a cat's face, and a baby's face. Research shows that newborns do not see colors in the first weeks and these black and white images, especially the faces, are the ones they latch onto visually. Newborns & up.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2009 Awards
Sassy Crib & Floor Mirror
(Sassy $12.99 Score: )

Even before baby knows who is in the mirror, his own bright eyes and moving reflection will catch his attention. The blue and white polka-dotted fabric framed mirror has high contrast black and white trim as well as a bold ladybug with a black and white tracker ball that moves with ease and crinkle sounding green fabric leaves on one corner. On the diagonal corner is a yellow and black bumblebee with satin wings that turns from side to side. Attach this mirror with its Velcro straps to the crib rail for newborns to gaze at or spread it's built in fabric easel form so that it stands on the floor for tummy time looking. The baby safe mirror is about as distortion free as baby mirrors get. You may get a few extra minutes in the morning when baby begins to babble at that face in the mirror. Looks like a big gift for the money and playtime value. 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP IDEAS: Play a game of hide and seek in the mirror. Get down on the floor with your baby and lean in to peek in the mirror  and then lean away. Like all peek a boo games this is likely to produce some puzzlement and laughter, too.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

Lap Toys
Toys that have interesting textures, sounds and colors are fun for first game that you play with baby. Since nothing is interesting for long, you need a variety of soft toys with quiet but varied sounds. A soft rattle with quiet sounds that will not startle makes a good choice. Those with bold high contrast graphics are also good for focusing on and will be enjoyed later when baby can take hold of objects. Best of all these are good for early interactions as you talk and play together.

 

 

 
2012 Awards
Sassy My First Rattles
(Sassy $5.99 Score: )

Choose a predominantly hot pink or blue set of ring or dumbbell rattles. These are classic rattles that have been updated many times, but the basic shapes are exactly on the mark for baby. There are patterns for visual stimulation, textures to interest little hands, and quiet rattle sounds that are not too loud. In other words, this is just right.

SNAP: Use these colorful rattles for tracking games and early interactions. At first you will do all the actions to get a reaction. These are easy to grab and fit well in little hands when your child is ready to reach out and take hold of things.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2012 Awards
North American Baby Long Legs Puppy
(North American Bear Co. $28 Score: )

These black and white puppies, an 18-inch or 8-inch squeaker will grab the attention of newborns and continue to please for a long time ahead. Like the other Baby Long Legs from the same maker, these dolls are a lovely combination of knit and plush. The big one is totally on the mark for toddlers who like a big but light enough huggable to drag about. The photo of this soft cuddly doll with long legs and arms and floppy ears does not really convey just how cute it is. The legs are not rigid or wired, but soft and easy for little ones to grasp. The features are stitched and baby safe. There is also a grey elephant version as well as a pink mouse and a pink or blue bunny. Also adorable, Baby Long Legs Squeakers, Puppies, Bunnies, Elephants and Pink Mouse ($12.99 each) 8-inch miniatures of the bigger dolls that are good for tracking games and will be easy for baby to clutch and carry. Baby safe and machine washable.   All ages.

SNAP: We suggest the Baby Long Legs Squeaker from this collection. Use the small high contrast black and white pup for tracking games. It is eye catching and the squeaker inside will attract baby's listening as well as visual attention. Soft,safe and totally cleanable for infants and toddlers.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 
2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Winkel
(Manhattan Toy $14.95 Score: )

Easy for little hands to grasp, this colorful toy can be used for tracking games with newborns and will be perfect as baby begins to reach out and take hold of things. It is easy to clean, light-weight and fun for passing back and forth when baby gets to that stage, as well. Newborn and up

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2010 Award
Guess How Much I Love You, Nutbrown Hare Blanket Buddy
(Kids Preferred $14.99 Score: )

A clutchable mini blanket with the head and arms of Nutbrown Hare in the middle. The blankie is satin on one side and has patches of velvety velour on the other side. Between the patches are small satin ribbon tabs with images of butterflies, feather, and mushroom on them. Use this like a hand puppet fot grabbing baby's attention. Later on your baby will probably like fingering the satin binding and the fleecy feel of the blankie. Share this with the board book version of this blue chip storybook. Also, in the same line, a forgettable Stroller Toy with the Nutbrown Hare pair printed on it in faded tones, a small crinkle tab, textured knotties, and when you press the middle the sound of a big kiss. A poor substitute for the real thing.  It's designed to hang on the stroller, though you need strong fingers to activate that smooching sound.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2013 Award
Blossom's Cherry Bye Bye Buddy
(Bunnies By the Bay $17 Score: )

Babies love the satin lining of this pink and white 11" buddy blanket. She's a plush floppy-eared bunny attached to a snuggly small pink velour blanket, lined and edged in white silky satin. A good take-along travel toy, she has a strap at the back to attach to stroller so she doesn't get lost along the way. Washes beautifully, machine wash and tumble dry. Available in many other colors. Newborns & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

Carrier and Stroller Toys
Brightly colored toys with patterns and textures are easy to attach to car carriers or strollers and serve as a diversion away from home. In coming months these will be toys baby will enjoy handling. But for starters they will sway and make quiet sounds for on the go time. Also nice, a musical pull toy for overnights away from home.


 

 

 
2009 Awards
Sassy Go-Go Bugs
(Sassy $10 Score: )

Wrap these three colorful bugs on the arm of the car carrier. Each has a distinctive sound without being intrusive. There are licks of high contrast black and white dots and stripes for eye-catching appeal above the lavender butterfly, the back and yellow bumble bee and the big red and black dotted ladybug. Baby will be gazing at these long before they can reach out and touch the satiny wings on the swinging bugs with stitched on features. You can reposition the bugs with their adjustable straps so that they appear in different locations from time to time. Keep in mind that baby stops noticing things that are always in the same place, so being able to move them is a real plus. Newborn & up.

            The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2010 Award
Manhattan Toy Buggybu Soothing Sound Bug
(Manhattan Toy $24 Score: )

Hang the Velcro fabric straps of this colorful Buggybu Musical toy on the crib rail or stroller. Give the smooth wooden ring a tug and the three parts of its body pull down and play Brahms Lullaby as they move back up. Each of the round segments of the body have ribbons to touch. The body of the Buggybu, itself has multiple textures. A fleece face with stitched features, crinkly wings, and segments done in cord and knits with satin piping. Altogether this is a toy for sensory feedback.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 
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