Most babies are born able to see, but in the early months they need to learn to team their eyes. This means learning to use their eyes together and stop them crossing as they track objects. By about 12 weeks, when they have developed more control over their eye muscles, they can follow objects moving with their eyes using a minimum of head movement.
This week’s homemade toy serves a dual purpose – it helps baby to practise those eye-teaming skills, and finds a use for all those empty small drinks bottles that everyone has in their cars and gym bags. The best bottles for this are Boots Shapers drinks bottles or Lucozade Sport bottles as they are not ridged (so baby can see the contents clearly) and the plastic labels can be removed easily.
Week 5: Tip-up and swirl bottle
What you need:
♣ An empty small plastic drinks bottle with a lid.
♣ Small interesting items such as beads, table confetti or small shells
♣ Food colouring (optional)
What to do:
1. Put the small items into the bottle.
2. Fill the bottle up to the top with water. Add food colouring if you wish.
3. Screw on the lid tightly. If your baby is strong enough to get the lid off, superglue around the inside of the cap, screw on and leave overnight to dry.
4. With baby lying or sitting in front of you, tip and shake the bottle so that they contents swirl around.
When baby’s able to hold the bottle and is on the move...
The bottle toy can be a great incentive for baby to move, as the filling will swirl about if it is knocked over or rolled along the floor. Be careful if baby tries to lift the bottle, as they are fairly heavy and will hurt if they are dropped on a little foot. A bottle part-filled with cut-up drinking straws, dried peas or pasta (without water) makes a good rattle.