Four Times When Toys Can Make Parenting Easier

By Dawn Papandrea

Shared byJennifer
One of the secrets to parenting babies successfully is learning the graceful art of distraction. OK, so there’s more to it than that, but learning how to fend off fussy time can help keep you sane, and it’s totally doable! It’s all about using the right techniques, tactics, and toys.

The idea is to learn what stimulates your baby’s senses, and captures her attention, so you’ll be able to tackle the daily baby to-do list with less crying, squirming, and screaming.

Here are some suggestions for toys that can make your life as a parent easier by getting your little one to focus on something fun, keep calm, and—when she’s raising a ruckus—quiet down.

1. For the high chair food flinger. It’s amazing how fun it will be for your infant once she discovers how to launch her sippy cup, mash her fruit, and dump out her snacks. Oftentimes, besides those activities being super-entertaining for her, it’s a sign that your baby is done eating and wants out of her high chair. To stretch out feeding time so you and the rest of the family can finish up your meal, try a toy that’s designed to stick to a high chair or booster seat tray.

2 . For the stroller-hater. If you’re one of those parents at the mall pushing an empty stroller while carrying your baby on your hip, we feel your pain. Some infants crave the comfort of your arms to process the overwhelming sights and sounds surrounding them. Other babies shun the stroller when they grow bored or simply miss being held. While shopping marathons with baby may not be in your immediate future, toys can keep your baby engaged for a short period of time, like while you try on a few items or are in a checkout line.

3. For the squirmy diaper change baby. Anyone who has tried to diaper a growing baby knows that once he starts rolling and kicking, things can get, well, messy. Try keeping him calm with music. A musical toy with buttons to press will keep him entertained, and his roaming hands occupied!

4. For the ill-timed screecher. Whether it’s during a lull at religious services or in the middle of your first family plane ride, you can hope for the best, but should be prepared for the worst in terms of your baby’s lack of volume control. Since it’s not safe to bribe them with lollipops just yet, you might want to try out a teether toy that’s colorful and soothing to sore gums.

Do yourself a parenting favor and put all those baby toys to good use. You’ll not only brighten your infant's day, but you can minimize a few parenting challenges along the way, too.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.