Babies will benefit from different rattles at different ages. Here’s a rough rattle guide for the type of rattles your baby will enjoy during the first 12 months:
Although babies of this age may be unable to hold a rattle, they will still enjoy listening to the rattley sounds as you shake it for them.
For the first 2 months of life your baby’s vision will be very limited; depth of vision is only about 30 cm and they will find it very difficult to focus. Rattles with high-contrast, bright colours or black and white patterns, such as the Pebble Panda rattle, will be easier for baby to see and to track with their eyes. At around 2 months old baby’s eyes will become more coordinated, allowing her to track the rattle as you move it infront of her.
Between 3-4 months your baby’s tight little fist will begin to open. This is when you can try placing a rattle in her hand to see if she can grasp it. She will probably try to suck on it and most likely drop it frequently, but this is all part of her learning process. The wooden cat rattle is a great rattle for this age because it is quite small and light and won’t hurt baby’s face if she drops it. It is also finished with natural vegetable oils and colours, making it very safe for baby to put in her mouth.
From 4 months onwards your baby will start to learn about cause and effect; she will notice that if she drops or shakes the rattle it makes a sound, and that if she drops a round rattle such as the crocheted pink ball, it also rolls away. This makes rattles the perfect play toy for this age.
Babies will be having a fabulous time exploring their world by now. Some will start crawling or walking and will be picking up everything they can get their hands on. For this reason it’s important to provide non-toxic toys that are not too heavy and that encourage movement and sensory development. Rattles can be rolled, banged, shaken and chewed and are therefore the perfect accessory!
At around 12 months your baby will start to imitate you and those around them. Give him some knitted food rattles and some plastic bowls and he will have a great time serving you some morning tea!