Tom and I are hoping to raise a grateful, gracious daughter, which is something we consider in all facets of our parenting. When it comes to toys, we want Georgina to have everything she needs in order to learn, grow and feel fulfilled. We do not want to overwhelm her with unnecessary toys, nor do we want her to treat birthdays and holidays as occasions to rip through piles of presents and then ask what’s next without even playing with anything.
We are trying to start early with our less is more approach to toys. (By the way, I loved this article on why fewer toys will benefit your children. Also, I realize after looking through these photos that Georgie does have a fair amount of toys! We will be making a toy donation post-Christmas :)).
Here are a few of Georgie’s very favorite toys:
I love wooden toys. You never have to worry about what plastic-y chemicals are in there, and they just feel so wholesome and baby appropriate. My number one favorite toy company ever ever everrrrrr is Haba – a family owned German company whose toys all meet or exceed every US and European safety standard there is – and we especially love their handcrafted wooden rattles and clutching toys. We must have 15 of these guys (most courtesy of Grandma!) with Georgie’s favorites include this, this, this, this and this. There are endlessly adorable options.
Lately Georgie has also been loving this wooden and felt puzzle. She isn’t quite putting the pieces back where they belong yet, but she loves chewing on them. Tip: Save the box. It makes storage much easier, plus it’s good for chewing 😉
Teethers are massively important for the obvious reasons – babies love putting things in their mouth and these feel great against their gums. Pop them in the fridge for added gummy yumminess (I’ve read time and again that the freezer makes them too cold which hurts and potentially harms tender baby gums, but I also know plenty of moms that swear by frozen teether toys).
We love this banana toothbrush (bonus: also teaches early hygiene habits!), mini Sophie, the Honest butterfly, this popsicle, and all Chewbeads, particularly the Gramercy stroller teether and these necklaces.
Soft Toys & Books
Aside from Haba wooden goodies, this is my favorite toy category. Soft toys are so cuddly and sweet and much cuter in my opinion than the plastic toys with all the bells and whistles and lights. We love this Haba fabric book (Georgie is obsessed), this Haba fabric ball and anything and everything from Jellycat and Bla Bla. This colorful flip fish is a great one, and the Manhattan Whoozit lives on Georgie’s stroller bar, and is very, very well loved.
Plastic Toys & Jumperoo
As Georgie got a bit older, I started to buy and love Melissa & Doug toys, like these pop blocs farm animals. This is a favorite of Georgie’s and every other infant in Manhattan by the looks of what is in everyone’s stroller, and this is another classic. We also love this little guy.
Ahh, the great Jumperoo debate. Or maybe it’s not a great debate at all, just one I went back and forth with for quite awhile. The pro: babies love this thing like crazy. The con: it’s a huge hunk of plastic. (There is also some contention with the jumperoo as some people say it’s not good for baby’s legs. I spoke with our pediatrician who assured me that it’s fine in small doses.) Georgie gets the biggest smile on her face and goes crazy with her chubby little legs every time I put her in the jumperoo, plus every mother I know has this thing. I would say it’s definitely a must-have.
Also, now that Georgie is pulling up to stand, and even starting to cruise a bit, we got her this learning walker which she adores. Another slightly large hunk of plastic, but another good one. Trust me!
A few other gems:
A good mirror is an amazing toy from the time your baby is just a few days old. We got this one for Georgie which we would prop up during tummy time when she was teeny tiny, and which she still loves now.
A highchair toy is cute and fun on occasion. We don’t always put Georgie’s on her tray, but it’s a good one to pull out if she’s hungry and I’m still cooking, or if she’s particularly fussy.
Also, anything with tags, any cardboard boxes or keys or remotes are cherished treasures in the Cain household. Not always the most sanitary, but we like to see it as immune system building 🙂
^My sweet honey bunch sucking on her fingers and playing with her beloved Jellycat mouse. Also, thighs!!!