Calming toys are designed to provide comfort, relaxation, and sensory stimulation for children, particularly toddlers, who may still be developing emotional regulation and self-soothing skills. According to Jooble, even though the specifics of jobs for a toy designer may vary, their main requirement is to always keep in mind the following positive effects of calming toys:
- Emotional regulation – calming toys help children manage their emotions by providing a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity. These toys can be beneficial during stressful situations, transitions, or changes in routine.
- Self-soothe – toddlers are still learning to soothe themselves when upset or anxious. Calming toys can help them develop these skills by providing a soothing object they can use for comfort.
- Sleep improvement – many calming toys are designed to help children fall asleep and stay asleep. They can create a calming environment, provide a sense of safety, and offer sensory stimulation that can help relax the child and ease them into sleep.
- Sensory development – calming toys with sensory features, such as different textures, sounds, or visuals, can help support a child’s sensory development. Sensory input can be soothing for some children and help them feel more grounded and secure.
- Cognitive development – some calming toys can promote cognitive development, encouraging children to explore, focus, and problem-solve. Engaging with calming toys can help children learn to understand their feelings and emotions better.
- Routines and rituals – integrating calming toys into bedtime or naptime routines can help children transition from active play to rest more smoothly. Consistent routines help children know what to expect, which can reduce anxiety and improve overall sleep quality.
- Attachment and bonding – some toys, such as a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, can become precious objects to which a child forms an emotional attachment. This attachment can provide comfort and familiarity, making it easier for the child to self-soothe when needed.
How to Choose a Calming Toy for Your Toddler
While not every child may need calming toys, they can be a valuable resource for many families, especially during sleep regressions or during the transition from two naps to one nap. Choosing calming toys to help your toddler sleep involves finding soothing, safe, and suitable items for their age. Remember that every child is different, so what works for one might not work for another. Here are some factors to consider when selecting calming toys for your toddler to sleep with:
- Safety. Ensure the toy is safe for your toddler, with no small or detachable parts that could pose a choking hazard. The material must be non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and free of sharp edges. Check for safety certifications or labels, such as the CE mark or ASTM International Standards.
- Age-appropriate. Choose toys that are designed for your toddler’s age group. This ensures that the toy is developmentally appropriate, provides the right level of stimulation, and poses no risks for your baby.
- Sensory features. Toys with sensory elements, such as different textures, sounds, or visuals, can help soothe your child. Consider stuffed animals, soft blankets, or toys with gentle lights or sounds.
- Familiarity. Toys or objects that your toddler associates with comfort can be helpful for sleep. This might include a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy they’ve bonded with.
- Ease of use. The toy should be easy for your toddler to hold, cuddle, or interact with and not too big or cumbersome. This allows your child to feel more in control and self-soothe. It also allows children to take their toys everywhere, as they are keen to do.
- Durability. Choose toys made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular use, washing, and potential accidents.
- Washability. Opt for toys that are easy to clean and maintain, as this will ensure they remain hygienic and safe for your child to use.
10 Top Types of Calming Toys
So many calming toys are available for toddlers, each designed to cater to specific needs and preferences. These are the 10 most popular types of toys that will help your toddler to sleep through the night:
- Soft, cuddly stuffed animals can provide a sense of security and comfort, helping toddlers feel more relaxed.
- Toys emitting gentle sounds, such as white noise, lullabies, or nature sounds, can create a calming environment and soothe toddlers’ sleep.
- Some toddlers find comfort in the gentle pressure of weighted blankets or toys, which can help them feel more secure and relaxed.
- Toys with various textures, colors, or sounds can provide sensory stimulation that may be soothing for some toddlers. Examples include fidget toys, sensory balls, or textured blankets.
- Soft lighting or projection toys that create a calming visual experience can make toddlers feel more at ease during bedtime and make it easier to fall asleep.
- Familiar objects, like a favorite blanket or a small pillow, can help provide comfort and security during bedtime.
- Reading a favorite bedtime story or engaging with a soft-fabric book can be a calming activity that encourages winding down before sleep.
- Gentle, calming music can create a soothing atmosphere that makes toddlers relax. Some musical toys are designed for bedtime and play soft tunes or classical music suitable for relaxation.
- Though not a toy, some parents find that using an essential oil diffuser with calming scents like lavender can create a more relaxing environment for their toddlers.
- Soft dolls or loveys can provide toddlers a sense of companionship and security during bedtime.
Remember to constantly monitor your toddler’s use of toys during sleep to ensure their safety and well-being. Even safe items can pose risks if not used properly. Also, regularly check for wear and tear or damage to ensure continued safety and protection. We hope this helps your family choose the right calming toy for your toddler!
Author Bio: Theodor Birsa is an experienced writer for job aggregator Jooble, and a proud father of two (soon to be three!) – a 7-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. He believes that raising children properly is one of the most outstanding achievements in anyone’s life.