Baby Toys with Tags; Why do Babies Love Them?

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Taggies, also known as “tag blankets” or “security blankets,” have gained popularity among parents and caregivers as essential items for babies. These soft, cozy blankets are designed with colorful tags or loops sewn around their edges, providing infants with a unique sensory experience. While they may seem like simple comfort items, the science behind Taggies reveals that they can play a significant role in supporting parents to stimulate a baby’s senses and support their cognitive and emotional development. In this article I not only explain why babies love sensory toys so much and what other toys are great for babies.

Why Taggies are a Must-Have for Babies: The Science Behind the Sensory Stimulation

Tactile Stimulation: Babies are born with an innate need for sensory input to help develop their brain and nervous system. Taggies’ distinct design of soft, textured tags allows babies to explore different textures, promoting tactile stimulation. Studies have shown that tactile stimulation plays a crucial role in building neural connections, enhancing sensory perception, and improving overall cognitive development in infants (Van de Rijt et al., 2020).

Countless studies on living creatures from Worm larvae to Rats, and of course human infants have conclusively revealed the importance of sensory stimulation in infants for full and healthy adult maturation. The research is so conclusive that hospitals and neonatal wards include touch and sensory stimulation in their treatment of babies.

Visual Stimulation: The colorful tags attached to Taggies capture babies’ attention and encourage visual exploration. Visual stimulation is vital for developing visual acuity and hand-eye coordination in the early stages of a child’s life (Atkinson, 2020). The combination of vibrant colors and different patterns on Taggies aids in the development of the baby’s visual processing capabilities.

Sensory Integration: Babies experience the world through their senses, and sensory integration is essential for their overall development. Taggies provide a multi-sensory experience by combining tactile, visual, and proprioceptive (body position) stimulation. As babies reach out to touch and grasp the tags, they engage multiple sensory pathways simultaneously, fostering the integration of sensory information in the brain (Schaaf et al., 2021).

Self-Soothing and Emotional Development: The soft and comforting texture of Taggies, along with the attached tags, provides babies with a sense of security and familiarity. Research suggests that objects like security blankets can act as transitional objects, helping infants self-soothe during times of distress and promoting emotional regulation (Shai & Belsky, 2022). This emotional support is crucial for building a strong foundation for healthy emotional development in children.

Taggies from the original brand are certified as safe for babies for use as a toy.

Gift Boxes are available from Mary Meyer Amazon Store.

A wide range of blankets and toys to choose from, guarantees you’ll be able to find the perfect gift to sooth your baby.

What Toys do Babies actually need?

When considering what toys babies actually need, it is essential to prioritize items that support their early developmental stages and stimulate their senses. Simple, age-appropriate toys that encourage exploration, interaction, and sensory engagement are ideal choices. Less is more and quality rather than quantity is important. Some essential toys for babies include:

Soft and textured toys: Soft plush toys with different textures provide tactile stimulation and comfort for babies.

High-contrast toys: Toys with high-contrast patterns and bold colors are visually stimulating for newborns who are still developing their vision.

Rattles and grasping toys: Rattles and toys with easy-to-grasp handles help babies develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Teething toys: Teething toys offer relief during the teething phase and promote oral sensory exploration.

Musical toys: Toys that produce gentle sounds or music can capture a baby’s attention and encourage auditory development.

Activity mats and gyms: Activity mats with hanging toys or gyms allow babies to explore and reach for objects while lying on their backs.

Nesting and stacking toys: These toys promote problem-solving skills and spatial awareness as babies learn to stack and fit objects together. From around 6/7 months your baby might start to show interest in cause and effect toys, and stacking toys.

Cause-and-effect toys: Toys that respond to a baby’s actions, such as push-and-pull toys or pop-up toys, introduce the concept of cause and effect.

Ultimately, the best toys for babies are those that foster their curiosity, offer various sensory experiences, and promote their physical and cognitive development. It’s essential to consider the age appropriateness and safety of the toys to ensure a positive and enriching playtime experience for the little ones.

What Toys should babies Avoid?

Too Many toys.
Babies and children can easily have too many toys. Whereas theres nothing wring with having a good selection, rotate them and put them away to keep your baby interested. When your baby’s environment is too visually cluttered and too noisy nothing will stand out and your baby will not be able to focus on one thing for very long and lose interest. Instead keep a small low basket of toys out that your baby can select from when they are able.
Toys which are not certified as safe
Very Old toys, older toys need to be thoroughly checked that they are not broken/ that batteries have not leaked and that they are safety certified and don’t contain toxic materials, and of course that they are clean!

Too much plastic; whereas plastic has been popular because it it brightly colored and can be easily cleaned. Most plastic toys don’t provide your baby with much sensory stimulation or investigative reward and so they easily get bored and end up creating clutter.

Jumpers, Walkers and anything that holds your baby in an artificial sitting or standing position.
These types of toys can be fun for a couple of minutes but they encourage your baby to be upright before they are physically ready which does not support their physical bone development and muscle strength.

Why are sensory balls good for babies?

Sensory balls are great for babies because they offer a wide range of sensory experiences that promote their physical, cognitive, and emotional development. These soft, textured balls come in various sizes, colors, and materials, designed to stimulate multiple senses simultaneously. Here are some reasons why sensory balls are beneficial for babies:

0-6 Month toys

Genius Baby Chime, Rattle and Roll Balls

These beautiful balls are great to rattle and roll and interact with your baby

TeyToy 8-in-1 Sensory Ball

This is a great size for baby to hold, with 8 different textures and sounds.

Baby Sensory Rattle

This baby rattle has balls which are small enough for baby to hold

6-12 month toys

Edushape Original Baby Sensory Ball, Great for sitting opposite a baby who can sit and rolling to them. The bumps help baby to grip and stop the ball.

Tactile Stimulation: Sensory balls have different textures, such as bumpy, ridged, or smooth surfaces, which provide babies with valuable tactile stimulation. Exploring these textures helps develop their sense of touch and enhances their fine motor skills as they grasp, squeeze, and manipulate the balls.

Hand-Eye Coordination: As babies reach for and try to grab the sensory balls, they improve their hand-eye coordination. This process is crucial for developing the connection between what they see and what they can do with their hands.

Gross Motor Skills: Sensory balls encourage babies to roll, crawl, or chase after them, promoting the development of their gross motor skills. As they interact with the balls during playtime, they build strength and coordination in their larger muscle groups.

Visual Stimulation: The bright colors and contrasting patterns on sensory balls attract babies’ attention and enhance their visual development. Following the movements of the balls can help improve their focus and tracking abilities.

Sensory Exploration: Babies love to explore the world around them, and sensory balls offer a safe and engaging way for them to do so. By touching, rolling, and shaking the balls, they learn about cause and effect, object permanence, and the concept of spatial relationships.

Sensory Integration: Sensory balls provide a multi-sensory experience, combining tactile, visual, and sometimes auditory elements. This helps babies integrate information from different sensory channels, which is crucial for their overall sensory processing and cognitive development.

Calming and Soothing: The soft texture and gentle rolling motion of sensory balls can have a calming effect on babies, helping to soothe them during moments of fussiness or agitation.

Social Interaction: Sensory balls can be used in caregiver-infant interactions, encouraging bonding and play between babies and their parents or caregivers. These balls can also be introduced in group settings, promoting social interaction among babies during playdates or in childcare environments.

What Toys do babies like most?

Soft plush toys: Babies are often drawn to soft and cuddly plush toys, which provide comfort and security during play and sleep.

Rattles: Colorful rattles with gentle sounds or small beads inside are fascinating to babies, encouraging them to shake and grasp the toys, promoting their hand-eye coordination.

Teething toys: Teething toys provide relief and comfort during the teething phase when babies experience discomfort due to emerging teeth.

Activity mats and gyms: Activity mats with hanging toys or gym structures overhead allow babies to reach, bat, and kick at the toys, stimulating their motor skills and sensory exploration.

Musical toys: Toys that produce sounds or music often captivate babies, engaging their auditory senses and encouraging their responsiveness to different sounds.

Nesting and stacking toys: Babies enjoy exploring nesting and stacking toys as they learn to fit objects together and develop their problem-solving skills.

Pop-up toys: Interactive pop-up toys that surprise babies with hidden objects or characters can be entertaining and help develop their cause-and-effect understanding.

Mirrors: Baby-safe mirrors, either on toys or as standalone items, intrigue babies and promote self-recognition, fostering their cognitive and social development.

Books with colorful images: Even at a young age, babies are drawn to bright and contrasting colors. Board books with large, colorful images can capture their attention and encourage early interest in reading.

Sensory balls and textured toys: Soft sensory balls and toys with different textures provide tactile stimulation, helping babies explore and develop their sense of touch.

Final thoughts

Toys with tags are loved by many babies as the different textures support a baby’s need for tactile stimulation. Baby’s don’t need many toys in fact too many can be overstimulating. Toys with tags and different textures offer gentle stimulation that isn’t too overwhelming and can be very soothing. Books with tags and textures offer a lovely bonding sensory experience for parents with babies and begin a journey of reading and learning together. Sensory balls can offer slightly older babies tactile stimulation and the opportunity for fun games. when it comes to plastic less is more! Whether it’s a sensory blanket you are buying or thinking about tys consider their “sensory diet” in their playtime offering your baby a range of different experiences to enjoy.

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