Top Toddler Toys: Best & Worst Equipment for Your Baby

Parents with young children, whether they are developing typical motor skills or are facing some challenges in this regard, can find help from ordinary everday objects often found in the home.

On the Floor
• a rolled up towel or nursing pillow can be used to support the infant under the chest for “tummy time,” keeping the arms forwards, and hopefully, making the baby more comfortable.
• Cushions from a sofa are useful for the child to kneel against prior to learning to
crawl. The same result can be had from playing at the bottom of a carpeted stair. Babies who can already crawl can practice crawling over a cushion, in preparation for learning to crawl up stairs safely.
2) Sitting – infants should have developed good head control before being placed in a chair.
• High Chairs- When the chair is a little too big for the baby, rolled up
towels or pieces of foam can be used to add support on each side of the trunk. They can also be used in the seat to raise the baby up so that the arms are comfortably at the height of the chair.
• Bumbo Chairs – these popular chairs have been found to be dangerous if placed on a table, as children can arch, or fall out of them. The position of the
infant`s back in a Bumbo is not ideal, as it is quite rounded, and many physio and occupational therapists are now recommending that a little pad (ex. a facecloth) be placed on the seat to correct this. It must be understood that this seat will not teach a child to sit, but when safely placed on the floor, with the back to a sofa or chair, and with a tray for toys, it allows the child to play and
look around. However, time in a Bumbo should be limited to several short periods a day, and should not take the place of sitting on the floor with assistance from a parent.
3) Standing – infants must have sufficient head and trunk control before parents should consider the following toys:
• Jolly Jumper – accidents have been reported with infants falling out of the jumper, or the clamp that is attached to the door frame coming loose, and falling onto the child. Another problem involves the harness which can cause stress on the scrotum in boys. The Jolly Jumper is not recommended for babies who were born prematurely and are at risk for increased tone, or infants showing arching or stiffness in the leg muscles for any reason. Children with low muscle tone should not be placed in a Jumper if they lack sufficient control to take weight through their legs correctly. Many physiotherapists are now recommending against use of the Jolly Jumper for any of the babies that they see. Constant supervision, and limits of 15-20 minutes at a time are important.
• Exersaucer – this is a better choice for parents who wish to stand their infant.
The motion involved is side stepping, which is a normal stage in the development of walking. It should be positioned away from hazards, and the legs of the saucer should be down, so that it does not tip from side to side. The height should be adjusted so that the baby’s heels are down. Again, the baby must be supervised at all times in the device, and the child should be taken out after 10-15 minutes, with a maximum of 3 sessions per day.

On the Floor

  • A rolled up towel or nursing pillow can be used to support an infant under the chest for “tummy time,” keeping the arms forwards, and hopefully, making the baby more comfortable.
  • Cushions from a sofa are useful for the child to kneel against prior to learning to crawl. The same result can be had from playing at the bottom of a carpeted stair. Babies who can already crawl can practice crawling over a cushion, in preparation for learning to crawl up stairs safely.

Sitting – Infants should have developed good head control before being placed in a chair

  • High Chairs – When the chair is a little too big for the baby, rolled up towels or pieces of foam can be used to add support on each side of the trunk. They can also be used in the seat to raise the baby up so that the arms are comfortably at the height of the chair.
  • Bumbo Chairs – These popular chairs have been found to be dangerous if placed on a table, as children can arch, or fall out of them. The position of the infant’s back in a Bumbo is not ideal, as it is quite rounded, and many physio and occupational therapists are now recommending that a little pad (ex. a facecloth) be placed on the seat to correct this. It must be understood that this seat will not teach a child to sit, but when safely placed on the floor, with the back to a sofa or chair, and with a tray for toys, it allows the child to play and look around. However, time in a Bumbo should be limited to several short periods a day, and should not take the place of sitting on the floor with assistance from a parent.

Portions of this blog post were taken from The Little Dipper, the Newsletter of the Vancouver Infant Development Program published by the Developmental Disabilities Association. This is a two part blog examining equipment for babies on the floor and seated. Tomorrow’s blog will include standing and walking toys.

Advertisements

2 Responses to Top Toddler Toys: Best & Worst Equipment for Your Baby

  1. here says:

    Cushions are great tools for the developing child. Firm cushions are preferred as they provide better support.

    Be very careful with young toddlers as cushions can pose a risk of suffocation.

  2. […] been getting some questions about the Bumbo Chair (when I blogged about it in an earlier article on Top Toddler Toys: Best and Worst Equipment For Your Baby (part 2 of Best and Worst Equipment For Your Baby over here). These questions have prompted further […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: