Your Questions About Baby Care

Helen asks…

What are some good toys for a 4-month old baby?

I’ve got twin girls and they will be 4 months old next week. What are some good (but not overly expensive) toys for their age? They were born almost a month early so they are a bit slow to catch up with some things, they don’t turn over by themselves yet. But they’re starting to grab things and put them in their mouth now. What are good toys to engage them and develop skills when they are so young? I don’t know anything about babies!

The Expert answers:

My baby loved soft colorful toys that made noise. Like squeaks and tunes.
He loved for me to read him hard card board books and especially like the ones with buttons you can push for sound.
A lot of the car seat toys kept him happy, so I bought some of those and just let him lay and play with those.
There really are so many options out there. Babies-R-Us was a great resource.

William asks…

At what age did your baby start to hit, an grab toys?

I have a winnie the pooh bouncy seat that lays back, and a 18 day old baby. Yesterday he saw me shaking the toy that hung above his head, he reached up an grabbed poohs foot, then for almost a hour he laid there hitting the toy to make it swing, once it sat still he would reach up an smack it again. Every now an then he would grab Pooh by his foot, an jerk him a little then let him spin in circles, all the while he’d be kicking or making a “goo” sound lol. He talks a lot. He also started try an hold his own bottle at 6 days old, now he holds his own bottles if their not to heavy for him, but he still puts his hands on it like he is holding it. He also holds his head up fora long time, loves to scoot across the floor, and last night I was holding him in the ol so normal baby position, an he leaned forward like he was sitting up, I had to put my hand on his tummy real fast so he wouldn’t flip out of my arms. He also turns over on his side. Hes only 18 days old!!! 🙂
So at what age did your child start to do more than stare, poop/pee, eat, sleep and cry?? 🙂
Well to be honest I was asking because I’m a first time mommy.. I don’t know when babies do these things, but I can just sit an watch him for hours when he plays with his toys.. 🙂
Well I’m sorry but he does scoot, rather he knows if hes doing it or not, he pulls his feet up to his butt, makes them flat on the floor an he pushes.
Noah’s Mommy – That’s what I thought the first time he scooted, then I put him down for tummy time under his gym an he done it again, and also about him hitting the toys as well, I thought it was more or less an accident, then he kept doing it, an I put him in his bouncy today an he done it again. Sometimes I think people don’t give their kids enough credit at times. Their smarter than we think. 🙂

The Expert answers:

Rolling over tummy to back 1 month
Rolling over back to tummy 3 months
Crawling 5 months
Walking 9 months
Stacking 7 months

18 days is nearly a month, but there is no way that he can scoot across the floor by himself. I dont mean to offend you…but a lot of the time we will put more stock in a what a baby is doing or trying to do. We put actions in our terms….right now at 18 days, they are just realizing they can see and have hands.
Congrats on your little boy.

Richard asks…

Wondering what to get baby (toys)?

My son will be 5 mos old, and has mostly discovery toys ( i am a consultant) but what other toys are good for a 5 mos old, and what do u think I should get him for christmas (he will be 6 mos by then) was thinking:
few discovery toys (his age)
a mailbox toy
high chair

but want more suggestions as wanna make his first xmas the best ever!!!! even though he wont know what is all going on…

The Expert answers:

Those Leap Frog activity and music tables are wonderful, you can leave the legs off until he’s pulling up to stand.

I’m sure he’ll be putting lots of things in his mouth soon, so anything that’s safe to chew on, teethers, etc, are a good idea.

A push toy/ride on toy for when he’s starting to pull up and take a few steps.

A floor gym if he doesn’t already have one (a floor mat with the arches with hanging toys).

Good luck, hope your little guy has the best Christmas!!

Charles asks…

9 month old baby cries when I make her play by herself. How do I get her used to being put down & alone time?

I DO NOT hold her all day. I work from home, so when she’s not napping, I have a blanket in front of my chair that she plays on or a variety of play apparatuses she uses. As long as the tv is on, she’s fairly content (which I detest doing). But if she’s left to play without a tv and just some toys, she gets bored and fusses. We have an Exersaucer, Jumperoo, swing…nothing helps. She gets bored very quickly and wants to be with me. She’s getting more mobile but that hasn’t even helped because she ‘mobilizes’ herself directly to me and wants to be picked up. I know this is normal. My question is, what’s the best way to get her to be a content, play-by-herself type of baby? I’m willing to let her cry it out, but will that work at this age?

The Expert answers:

Do you have a play pen? Or some place safe she could be confined (so as not to be in danger) that you could set just out of her view of you? This may help her develop somewhat of an independent spirit. As long as she can see you, and as long as she knows you are likely to give in she will manipulate, as it is of course human nature. I am definitely not saying to ignore her….but set a time frame when you know her tummy is full, she is dry and comfortable, and even tell her, “now mommy is going to work, and you are going to play alone” start out with a small time increment and build up, but the primary thing will be to STICK TO IT, just make yourself do it! Or this is a battle you will fight for years, and years to come in one way or another. I didn’t do this with my first, he’s grown and still demands attention, the younger, I started the day we came home from the hospital, by putting him in his crib at night for say a 6 hours night sleep, and sticking to it, same with alone time and play time, he is an ABSOLUTELY different child than his brother.

Michael asks…

what do you think of toys for both genders?

i just saw a commercial for a “Rose Petal Cottage” play center. this set-up is for young girls and it includes a washing machine, a baby, baby carriage, and a kitchen. i have to admit, it bothered me a little bit. as mothers, shouldn’t we be teaching our young daughters that they can be more than a housewife? aren’t we simply brainwashing them with gender roles from an early age by buying them toys that constantly reinterate what sex they are and what role they have in our society? i understand that small children want to be like mommy and daddy, but doesn’t that mean that we should be setting a good, fair example. i have a young son and i get fed up with the stereotypes he will have to face as well. i will never prohibit him from playing with any toy i deem safe; he will be allowed to form his own identity.
does anyone else, especially parents see this as an issue? what can we do to stop it? is there a way to lessen the potential damage on our children?
jackal-get a life. i feel sorry for you.
sarah: did you actually read my question?
i know that a parent’s attitude determines a lot, but so does pressure from society. what kind of parent wants to reinforce stupid gender roles by giving their young daughter a toy stove and washing machine? what kind of parent wants to only give their sons toy trucks and play guns? like another answerer said, the commercial only had little girls playing with it as if little boys can’t. you said yourself that you bought your SON this toy, so you must know and understand what i am saying. you did the right thing, in my opinion. i have 6 brothers, my mom let us all play with whatever toys we each had.
to george: not a single mother, the commercial didn’t come on during a kid’s program thanks. my child’s father was sitting beside me when it came on and also shook his head at how ridiculous the toy is.what does that have to do with anything? and for everyone else that keeps saying let your kid play with whatever toy they wish-isn’t that what i just SAID. read the question- i stated that my son will be able to make his own choices on what toys he likes. man, some of you can’t get past your bashing of so-called feminist ideology.
“i understand that small children want to be like mommy and daddy, but doesn’t that mean that we should be setting a good, fair example.”

this is what i said in the original question. this means i know that parents set the example for their kids. but we are not the only influence out there. if you don’t understand that, i am sorry.

The Expert answers:

If I had children, I would make sure that anything they played with was completely gender-non-specific. I had a toy kitchen and a whole lot of Barbies when I was a little girl, and if I hadn’t rediscovered feminism, they might have had a much greater impact on me.

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