When we first started therapy for Ruby, I felt overwhelmed by the thought of picking out the *right* type of toys to help her advance in her gross and fine motor skills. We got rid of 99% of Eli and Maddux's baby toys, so we were starting from scratch anyway, might as well make sure we made our purchases count. I read blogs and reviews for hours on end about the pros and cons of most any toy you can think of for a 0-12month old. I'm sure I learned what most other parents of ANY child learns: to each their own. What works for some may not work for others, and Ruby is going to like and learn from what Ruby likes and learns from.
That being said, we've definitely found some tools that proved to be more beneficial for Ruby. I'll list them below and briefly give a reason. Hopefully this will help other new parents looking for a place to start.
LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet
Fisher Price 1-2-3 Crawl Along Snail
This is another of Ruby's all-time favorites. This snail moves as it 'sings', and she becomes mesmerized by it. The one thing that isn't great is it moves so much that it often ends up on the other side of the room when Ruby pushes it. This will come in handy once she starts crawling, but for now, Mommy ends up chasing it.
Therapy Chewy Tubes
Vtech Move & Crawl Ball
I started using the Z-vibe with Ruby when she was about 3-months old. Before she would nurse, I would pop that gentle vibrating thing on her lips, then inside of her cheeks, and on her tongue for maybe two minutes total. This helps 'wake up' her oral muscles to more efficiently nurse.
Summer Infant Seat
Honey Bear Straw Cup
We started Ruby with this as soon as we started offering her solids at five months. Most kids with low muscle tone are advised to use straws rather than traditional sippy cups, to help strengthen the muscles and gets them to focus their efforts in the right areas. When we first started, we put the straw on her tongue and squeezed the bear a little to let Ruby know that liquid would come through the straw. Then she figured it out and we were able to stop 'helping' her very soon after. For about a month, 90% of the liquid would fall back out of her mouth because once she stopped sucking, she would totally relax her lips and they would open. Now she's more of a pro and we only lose a few drops here and there.