... / ... / ... / ... / Januari 2014 / Babies without toys often anxious toddlers

Babies without toys often anxious toddlers

Children who are not offered age-appropriate toys in their first months are likely to have more emotional problems as toddlers.

Scientific researcher Jolien Rijlaarsdam, of Erasmus MC, discovered this based on observations carried out at the homes of families taking part in the large-scale population study Generation R.

baby in de boxChildren undergo important emotional, cognitive and social developments in their first years of life. Scientific researcher and psychologist Jolien Rijlaarsdam of Erasmus MC discovered that children who did not have age-appropriate toys in their first months of life had more emotional problems at the age of 18 months as well as at the age of 3. “These toddlers were more anxious, withdrawn or miserable than peers who had been offered these toys when they were babies”, says Rijlaarsdam.

Cuddy toy
Playing with toys encourages children to explore and interact with others. Rijlaarsdam: "For this study, we visited babies in their homes at the age of three months. During the visit we observed whether babies had an area for themselves, such as a play pen or blanket, and whether they had a cuddly toy, rattle and toys with sounds within easy reach to play with. These are toys suitable for the development of very young children.

At the age of 18 months and three years, the parents were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the emotions and behavior of their children. Rijlaarsdam found a clear relationship between a less optimal playing and learning environment during the first months of life and more emotional problems at preschool age.

Generation R
Rijlaarsdam used data from the Generation R study. This is a study on the growth, development, and health of 10,000 children in Rotterdam. The children are monitored from early fetal life until young adulthood.

Also read the press release.

Date published: 20 January 2014.

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