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The sound of warm water splashing and the relaxing aroma of soap fill the air. Bubbles float into the humid air and end in a mesmerizing pop. A soft dry towel is hanging on a hook next to the tub.
It’s bath time!
This kind of moment for mother and baby is special. It offers them a unique connection as this is one of times of the day when a little infant is touched most by their parent’s gentle hands.
But you may wonder if they need something to keep them occupied. What about a bath toy? Should you add something fun to all the sensations?
Bath toys are a great way to entertain your young child in the bathtub, but they don’t need or even want bath toys until they reach a certain age. At about 6 months old they will learn to have more head control and hand eye coordination and their tiny fingers will start grasping things and they will show an interest in toys.
Newborns don’t need bath toys because they will not understand them. All the sights and sounds of the new big world around them will entertain the little one just fine without throwing a bath toy into the mix.
Bath toys are fun and knowing when to give your baby a bath toy is good. The older they get the more they will want to play in the bath and you will enjoy capturing the sweet moments of bubble beards and laughter.
To see the most popular bath toys currently on the market just click here.
What Age Do Babies Need Bath Toys?
According to a US News article, “Bath time is also a time for touch, which is critical for cognitive and emotional development, says Tiffany Field, a developmental psychologist and director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
When parents rub their baby’s skin in or out of a bath, it stimulates the vagus nerve, which is linked to different parts of the body. It slows down the physiology, so it slows heart rate, it slows blood pressure, it changes brain waves in the direction of relaxation.
So it’s basically a relaxation kind of response that occurs to having pressure receptors stimulated.”
Newborns need this touch from their parents but when they start to get older they will want to know more about everything around them and will want to use that sense of touch themselves.
Babies will start wanting or enjoying bath toys normally around six to eight months old. At this age they are able to sit up by themselves and be more alert to the things that are near them.
You may want to hand them something to keep them occupied during their bath at this age.
When your children reach this stage in life offering them small toys that float in the water is a good idea. They will have a blast observing it bob up and down and will learn to reach out with their hands and grasp onto it.
Plus this will make them happy and make your job of cleaning them a lot easier.
It is an exciting time for both you as the parent and for your infant when they start learning more about their world. Don’t rush them into growing up too fast and enjoy their little years. The time will come when they will want bath toys during their bathtime and you will know when that will be.
What Bath Toys Are Bad/Safe For Babies?
When it comes time to get your child some bath toys, knowing what to get beforehand can be helpful. Of course, regular cleaning of the bath toys that you buy is also a must.
Bath toys that mold can easily grow in are not healthy for your child to play with, but cleaning them and storing them in a safe spot will help prolong the life of a rubber ducky.
Some toys may also be toxic and you can check to see which ones you will feel more safe letting your baby play with. Non-toxic bath toys are a healthier option for bath time play.
Non-toxic living expert Aida Garcia-Toledo says “Unbeknownst to many parents, those squeaky bath toys that we all grew up with and that are still widely available can actually be some of the most toxic items in our home. The good news is that, if you know what to look for and what to avoid, there are many fun and non-toxic alternatives.”
She lists several non-toxic bath toys in her article.
PVC and phthalate free with no BPA are good options for babies bath time playthings. Those chemicals used to soften the toys may be harmful to your child.
So when shopping for bath toys check out the label to see if it is good to purchase for your child.
What’s The Most Popular Bath Toy?
Someone once said to soak away your troubles in a bath full of bubbles! Bathtime is just as relaxing for kids as for us as adults.
Memories are even made when your child is playing with their favorite bath toys. So what are the most popular toys for bath time?
Probably the most well-known bath toy is a rubber ducky. This yellow duckling looks so cute floating on the water amongst the soapy bubbles. Yet, there are other bath toys that are just as popular including boats, and plastic animals.
From boats and water squirters to bath buckets and a light up unicorn there are lots of bath toys to choose from.
Eight of the best bath toys are
- Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toys
- Boon Jellies Suction Cups
- Munchkin White Hot safety Bath Ducky
- Crayola Bath Time Fun Bundle
- Joyin 51 Pieces Educational Bath Letters
- 3 Bees & Me Bath Toy Basketball Hoop & Balls Set
- BabyBIbi Floating Baby Bath Books
- Nubi Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Fun Toys
Some additional adorable bath toy options can be found here.
So while newborns and babies under six months old don’t need bath toys, you can introduce them at around six to eight months or when your child shows an interest in playing with toys.
When they do need the toys to keep them happy during their daily cleaning you will be happy too.
Soaking in the tub can be an enjoyable time while they get to play with their toys. In the words of rubber ducky “Bath time is so much fun!”