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First-time parents have enough worry on their hands that the added worry of knowing when their child is ready for toys can seem a little crazy. Though it may seem a little unnecessary, it is in fact vital to your child's development that he/she be given the appropriate toys/items at the correct time to stimulate their learning potential.

Recent studies suggest that black/red/white toys are the most appropriate to give to infants and young babies. Apparently, it is the colors that attract their attention and stimulate them. As the parent of one baby girl I have not found this to be true or untrue and suggest that you do not rule out different colored toys altogether.

Newborns and very young babies are not going to show much interest in toys at this time. However, it is always a good idea to keep a supply on hand and show them to your baby from time to time so you will know when he/she is ready to begin playing with them. A mobile is a good idea for a baby in this category. It is in their eyesight and it moves and makes noise and that is basically the extent of the toys they prefer at this age.

Two-Four months. These are the months that your baby begins to show great interest in their surroundings and begin wanting toys. I suggest a supply of noise-makers, preferably ones that include several different sounds and textures. Babies this age are enthralled by noise and are just beginning to grasp, if not hold onto items. Foot rattlers are a great idea for babies in this category. They begin to understand that they are the ones in control of the noise being made. Try using a bouncey seat. Babies begin wanting to sit up and look around and these seats give them a great chance to do just that.

Five and Six months. These babies are beginning to roll over, sit-up and even some are crawling. They have more and more control over their arms and can use their hands and fingers with a great deal of control. They begin reaching for things, so at this age even toys are not the only thing subject to their attention. Read labels on toy boxes to judge which will be the best for your children. Usually teethers, since babies begin getting teeth around these months. Also, baby gyms and walkers are a good idea.

Seven to twelve months. These months seem to zip right by, but for your baby they are a time of great learning and growth. Babies begin to crawl and walk during these months, so any toys are subject to their demands. Toys that babies can hold onto while walking or crawling are good during these months. Also, just about any toy will work for these curious babies. In fact, you will find that most prefer something that isn't a toy than the expensive toys you purchase them.

These first twelve months are a time of growth and learning for your baby. Follow these tips and listen and watch your baby for signs of what they are needing. When your baby begins grasping, get toys that he/she can grasp easily. When they beging reaching for things, get plenty of toys that are easy to manuever. When they begin wanting to crawl and walk, get toys that ease this transition for them.

Your baby's first year is one to be enjoyed and treasured. Just remember to listen to them and take tons of pictures!