Our babies are best off with human connection and with nature and the arts. Everything else seems to me like a substitute and less than the best, so I examine it carefully. Is this toy developing the baby’s intelligence? How can you know? You don’t. You know they want to sell it to you and that’s the real motivation behind marketing of toys and most products. This is all you can know. Your baby or child may master that toy and it looks complicated and requires brain power. But what it does to the total development you cannot know. You can use things; I only suggest not to believe in their value.
Your baby does not need toys. Your child does not need toys. Toys did not exist until recent history. I grew up with one stuffed monkey that was repaired a couple of times, a couple of board games, a ball (for a limited time) and a rope. I did have a piano and attended classical music concerts. My best childhood memories are of pretend games with my brother, outdoor games with neighborhood kids with sticks, ball, acting, running and imagination, singing and dancing. These things are nature/God’s brain developing plan. Can we top it with substitutes? I doubt it.
The industry wants to sell their products. More rooms (one for each child which is more furniture, toys etc), more gadgets, more things and even artificial experiences. Many of these make children more addicted and dependent on external stimulation and less self-reliant.
I invite you to go “raw” with parenting. Raise your own child directly, with eye contact, talking, reflecting, singing, listening to music, dancing, acting, touching the earth, smelling its aroma, sitting in a puddle getting messy, gazing at a butterfly and laughing together for no reason at all.
Notice that the most joyous moments of your life are when you are with those you love; connected and surrendering to the moment.
You want your child to know so much. Why? So he will be happy! But he is already happy. Be with his happiness so he can keep this joy alive and familiar. Why train the baby out of her natural inclination for being exuberant and thriving on human connection? We don’t need anything. Nature didn’t goof nor missed anything. It gives us for free the greatest joy of all in every moment.
Sure, use gadgets and modern comforts as much as you want. But when you remember that you don’t really need any of it for you to be happy, you are free to enjoy life in the moment. Don’t believe anything! And, empower your children not to believe anything.
Without believing that your baby and child need toys or other stimulation, you save money and you spend more time relaxing and enjoying your child.
(You don’t need to spend time to earn as much money; you spend less time on shopping and on cleaning; more time with your child.)
If your child could be an adult for a minute and reflect back to you about her own childhood, she would say, “I wish you spent more time with me.” No need to feel guilty for any kind of substitute you do use; only to cherish the moments that you do have with your child and know: YOU are the best and most educational “toy” your baby and child have.