The holidays are just around the corner, so I wanted to launch my blog with baby gift guides full of toys, books, and activities that are perfect for your little one's development! I am only including items that are supposed to arrive in time for Christmas, but I know shipping is getting more delayed with every passing day, so order as soon as possible to make sure you get your gifts in time.
Lots of High Contrast Black and White and Tummy Time Activities
It can be hard to know how to play with a newborn, but you don't need to feel pressure to entertain them every minute they're awake. Newborns only need short bursts of stimulation and play time, about 10 minutes out of each time they are awake. Mainly, they just need to snuggle, sleep, feed, and build a strong bond with you, but when you do play with them, make sure you are doing tummy time and exposing them to lots of high contrast black and white images and toys. Newborns have very poor eyesight and the first colors they can see clearly are black and white, followed by red and green closer to 3 months old. Showing them high contrast black and white images is the most visually stimulating thing you can do for your newborn's brain and tummy time is the most physically stimulating thing you can do. Lots of babies hate tummy time, but I find if you make that your baby's play time, they enjoy it so much more. Here are my favorite toys and activities for 0 to 3 month olds...
Foldable Wooden Play Gym $55
This play gym is great for dangling toys above your baby, which they will love to swat at between 1 and 3 months old. I love that the actual play gym is a nice wood tone and it folds for easy storage, but I would definitely recommend you hang more visually stimulating toys from it than the wooden ones that come with the gym.
Hanging Black and White Toys $19
These high contrast soft toys are so cute and great to hang from a play gym like the one I linked above and they are also perfect to use with strollers and car seats. Their soft design means they are perfectly safe and the rings mean your baby won't constantly throw them down while you're taking a stroll or driving.
Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow $30
I wasn't a huge fan of the Boppy for nursing, and in fact lots of lactation consultants don't recommend a cradle hold or a Boppy for nursing, but I loved using mine for tummy time, bottle-feeding, lounging, and assisted sitting when Zoe got a little older. This link is for the pillow only, but you can find the cutest washable covers that match your style on Amazon, Target, and Etsy.
Black and White Flashcards $9
These cards are great to put out in front of your baby during tummy time and the ring means they won't get lost
Black and White Board Book $12
There are so many black and white baby books out there, so look for you favorites, but I think this one with its high contrast animal images is adorable.
Soft Car Seat and Stroller Mobile $17
This is a great car seat or stroller toy that also uses high contrast black and white, but you can attach the little fox anywhere, including on a baby play gym or a crib. Your baby will love swatting at the different animals and seeing the light reflect in the little mirror.
Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy $19
This is a great little multi-use toy. Babies will love to grasp at it and move the beads back and forth, which are both fantastic for their fine motor skills and they can also use it as a teether and throw it like a ball (it is pretty lightweight).
Baby Flash Cards $13
It's always useful to have a big deck of black and white flashcards that you can show your baby during their play time. Zoe loved staring at the images as a newborn and she still likes going through the deck and look at them now as a 13-month old.
Tummy Time Triangle $18
I looked at a lot of tummy time activity centers and this one is my favorite! You can flip between several adorable high contrast images, turn it to the baby safe mirror, and it even has a teether attached.
Infinno Tummy Time Mat $15
Your little one will love this aquarium like tummy time mat. I don't have one at home, but Zoe was obsessed with the one she had at daycare, so I will most definitely be buying one next time around.
Fisher Price Baby Bouncer $30
I know everyone registers for the $200 Baby Björn bouncer, but I have heard nothing but amazing things about this $30 bouncer. I always used my 4moms HQ seat with Zoe and didn't have any bouncer at all, but from everything I have heard about this little bouncer, I definitely should have purchased. I also love that it comes with a detachable activity bar to keep your little babe busy.
Mushie Silicone and Wood Pacifier Clip $15
I tried several brands and these are my favorite pacifier clips because they work great and almost look like a cute piece of jewelry with Zoe's outfits. I have 2 clips from Mushie and that's really all you'll ever need. When I first brought Zoe home from the hospital, she loved her pacifier, which was a lifesaver, but the constant spitting it on the ground and searching was driving me crazy. Buy the most neutral colors you can because then your little one can use the clip with whatever they wear!
I always like to be totally transparent so most of the links on my blog are affiliate links, but I don't pick items based on whether or not I have an affiliate link for them, I simply pick items that I love and use!