SKANEATELES, N.Y. – It seems that everywhere you look these days there are baby strollers, infant car seats, and young couples just on the verge of becoming parents. Nobody is really calling this time a Baby Boom, a la that famous term for those born between 1946 and 1964 who are now the grandparents of this new generation, yet perhaps New Baby Boom is in order. According to statistics from the U.S. government, while the birthrate now and in recent years doesn’t approach the rate experienced during the Baby Boom, the number of births per year – some 4 million in 2010 – is approximately the same as it was at the peak of The Boom. In other words, in sheer numbers there are indeed a lot of babies entering the world of the United States – and they are going to need toys. And not just any toys. Babies from birth to one-year-old are on the most compelling journey of development they are likely to experience in their lives, gaining new skills at a rapid pace. It is very important at this stage of life – or should we say, these stages of life – to augment a baby’s development with toys that are age-appropriate and stimulate the senses and abilities that are emerging seemingly on a daily basis. Baby researchers, not to mention parents, are quick to point out that toys that are either beyond a baby’s abilities or not stimulating enough for a new stage – that is, toys that aren’t age appropriate by being over their heads or of the “been-there, done-that” variety – won’t be played with. And let’s be clear here: “play” is the term that is often used, but in reality this is serious business for the developing baby, with the senses becoming keener with every action and reaction. This is education and physical development where things like vision, tactile response, hand-eye coordination and motor skills are being acquired and honed every waking minute.
Baby development experts note that in the first month of life, a baby is becoming accustomed to sound and starting the path of recognition of the parents’ voices and other regular sounds in the environment. Such toys as music making mobiles and rattles are good ideas. Also, this newborn has a great sense of touch, so textures are great stimulation, like soft fabric dolls with different textures. In month two the baby will expand on these stimuli and begin grabbing or batting at objects, especially if they make squeaks or other sounds. By month three the baby’s vision is developing apace and the child will begin to show pleasure at bright colors – so picture books at great. In month four, babies tend to begin to roll over and move around in an attempt to grab things. During this time and over the next several months a baby will be able to sit up and hold onto things, even pick things up, so rattles and other noise-making toys and objects start to become fascinating. Of course, choosing the right toys for these stages of life means selecting items that won’t present a choking hazard, as babies will start to mouth everything. Also, many experts agree that this is not the time to introduce electronic toys, or toys that simply amuse, but rather to select toys that physically and mentally engage the child’s development of the senses and motor skills. In that regard, HABA is a leader in the toy business in making educational, stimulating toys for children of all ages, and we have a complete line of safe, age-appropriate and engaging toys that are lovingly designed with special details that will help babies discover their world. For the newborn, take a peek at Bob Burrow Pure Nature-Organic Soft Rattle. Thanks to Bob Burrow and his round shaped face he is easy to grasp, and being such a snug and cuddly companion he immediately creates a good mood. He is made of high quality cotton produced by controlled organic farming, with polyester filling, and the entire toy is washable and hygienic. As baby gets a little older, try the stimulation of the Fabric Book – The World of Mipsy Mouse. This fabric picture book is the home of Mipsy Mouse finger puppet, and it doubles as a playhouse complete with a flap door, rustling foil and peephole for Mipsy to greet friends. Made of cotton and polyester, this fun toy is brightly colored, fun to look at, tactile so it’s fun to touch, and can be stimulating for the very young baby and the older baby alike. To see the entire extensive collection of HABA toys for the 0-12 months crowd visit
. Here you will discover books, rattles, dolls, cuddly toys, fabric books, mobiles, plush toys and more – all designed to be stimulating, exciting and, above all, fun for baby. HABA makes high-quality toys under strict guidelines that meet and/or exceed all safety standards. They are sold throughout the U.S. at finer toy shops and stores, as well as through a few select online distributors. For complete information call HABA at 800-468-6873, contact us on the HABA USA Facebook page, or email at info@HABAusa.com