Noisy baby toys: Should parents use them to calm their kids?

What a baby expert has to say about using these toys to distract your child

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

We've all been out to eat or hanging out with friends when the baby starts to cry and the first thing mom or dad does is silence them with a toy.

Most of the time they're so flashy that they keep the baby distracted, but is that good for the child?

Tracy Lehman from the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center says while these toys might help distract the child, there's no educational value in artificial noises. However, there is when you're face to face with the baby.

Lehman said, “There's no educational toys out there that have been shown to be effective in helping or increase speed up development. Again, the life face-to-face interaction is really good for them, learning to socialize, being a part of socialization is really healthy.”

Dr. Sherri Sandifer from Texas Children's Pediatrics agreed, saying if you're using a noisy toy to quiet a noisy baby, it might be a bad idea.

She explained, “Kids are learning to use their voice, too, so you don’t want to silence everything all the time either.”

But experts agree there's no known, serious harm in the baby having noisy toys, when it could, in fact, help you avoid being stressed out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stricter guidelines for screens like televisions, tablets, or phones. The organization says technology should not be used to pacify babies, and suggest no screen time before your child turns 2 years old. Once again, they echo the idea that face-to-face interaction is the best way for your baby to learn, but there are also many studies being done on how the artificial light impacts their eye and brain development.

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