What are the best baby toys for the baby’s first year of development and how and where do you find them?
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Our Picks: Best Baby Toys
Best 0-3 month toys
Best 3-6 month toys
Best 6-9 month toys
Best 9-12 month toys
There are so many baby toys out there and one may think they are all the same, but that is not correct.
There are many things to consider when picking out baby toys such as the age that toy is made for, if the toy helps with development, if the toy is going to be used for teething pain relief and more.
There are so many toys available and it can be overwhelming to find the best ones for your baby so we made a list of toys that are grouped by age, and we picked the toys that are the most durable, safe and engaging too.
Playtime is very important for the development of an infant and these toys can be a big help with reaching those milestones.
The first few months of bringing baby home are filled with diaper changes, all day nursing sessions and lots of sleep (for the baby.)
But playtime should not be forgotten as it plays a large role in the development aspect of development.
Infants can learn about themselves and their own abilities through play as well as explore the world around them. You can help your baby play with their toys and see the daily developments that your baby achieves!
Their brains grow quickly and toys can encourage language development and motor skills starting at infancy.
Keeping play simple is the best way to engage with your baby, and these toys can help you do just that.
Some of these toys can be played with for years, but we placed our focus on the best toys for the first 12 months of the baby’s life.
Best Baby Toys For 0-3 Months
We love the Yookidoo play mat because it takes your baby from infancy to the point where your little one can sit and play.
There are 20 activities to help with development and 5 soft bright colorful toys that hang from the soft bars.
This tummy time mat has a mute mode and a play mode, so you can have baby play in silence or with music on.
The convenience of this product is nice too as it stores well and is easy to carry around. This playmat is also washable.
This toy does require 3 AAA batteries and measures 15.8 x 15.8 x 3.9 inches.
Baby Einstein makes great toys and this take along tunes musical toy is no exception.
This is an award winning toy with thousands of five star reviews featuring stimulating lights and sounds that promote cognitive development.
This is a great toy to throw into the diaper bag and play while you’re out and about.
This toy does require 2 AA batteries and measures 5.13 x 5.13 x 1.08 inches.
Babies love the Lamaze Freddie The Butterfly teething toy as it crinkles with sound and has different textures for the baby to explore.
This is soft toy that stimulates all the senses and is made with safety in mind.
Filled with features; Freddie has a squeaker, clinking rings, tethered ladybug teether and knotted antennae perfect for chewing.
Easily clip this teether to your diaper bag, stroller or carrier for on the go fun.
This toy does not require batteries and measures 10.24 x 2.64 x 10 inches.
This classic rattle teething toy is a wonderful option for your baby as it is easy to hand wash and is is engaging and stimulating.
Babies love this mesmerizing maze as it is so colorful and easy to hold too.
the teething loops are soft rubber which is perfect for teething babies.
This toy does not require batteries and measures 5.02 x 4.04 x 3.54 inches.
Mortimer the Moose is a wonderful toy that will keep baby engaged for hours.
There are a lot of colors, textures and sounds that come in this cute little moose package.
The antlers are teethers and his legs are filled with materials that make a variety of sounds.
This cuddly moose has 2 textured rings which make him easy to grab for little hands.
Take moose along with you by clipping him onto the stroller, carrier or diaper bag with an easy to use clip.
This toy does not require batteries and measures 11.5×5.3×2.8 inches.
Best Baby Toys For 3-6 Months
This Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball is so much fun with all the bright colors and easy to grasp bumps.
The high contrast colors on the ball allow baby to focus which is great for strengthening vision.
The bumps encourage baby to grasp and eventually transfer the ball from hand to hand which encourages the development of motor skills.
This toy does not require batteries and measures 5.5 x 7.5 x 8.9 inches.
In our expert opinion, each baby should have a set of BPA free textured colorful multi balls.
These balls helps with developing tactile senses and are easy to play with and chew on as well.
Being BPA free these balls are very safe.
If you want to play with these balls in the bath, please block the hole with hot glue so that the moisture doesn’t breed mold and bacteria inside the balls.
This toy does not require batteries.
The possibilities of play that stacking cups offer are endless.
From basic stacking and knocking to tower over to playing with water these stacking cups can be enjoyed for years to come.
Teach baby basic math with counting and color concepts when baby is able to understand.
These stacking cups are made from food-safe, 100% recycled milk jugs in the USA and contain no BPA, PVC, or phthalates.
This toy does not require batteries.
Babies can have endless fun stacking these and knocking them over. So much fun and so much development happening at the same time.
Babies love the texture on these blocks because they are soft on the gums and provide relief when your baby is teething.
Because these blocks are made from a rubbery soft material, babies can throw them around and not making a lot of noise in the home.
This toy does not require batteries.
Every baby needs a pair or maracas for ultimate fun! These maracas ar the perfect size for your baby to grab onto and shake shake shake.
The soft fabric pom-poms made fun rattle sounds give your baby a gross motor skill workout and the colors and textures stimulate the senses.
This toy does not require batteries.
Best Baby Toys For 6-9 Months
These snap and lock beads are great for your 6-9 month old. There are 12 colorful beads per set and you can purchase multiple sets to work together.
These beads encourage the development of motor skills and hand eye coordination.
Help your baby figure out how to snap these beads together and pull them apart.
These beads feature different textures and colors so you can help your baby sort and line them up too!
This toy does not require batteries.
Pop up pals is a fun and engaging toy for the 6-9 month age range.
Enjoy four friends who love to pop out and blue.
Turn the blue knob, press the purple and push the orange to get the pals to pop out.
Shut the doors and hear the click, then pop them out again!
Babies love repetitive play which this toy is full of.
This toy measures 11.25 x 7.5 x 3.63 inches.
If you are looking for a great toy that you baby can grab onto and roll around then this OBall rattle and roll car is perfect.
Babies love the OBall products because they are easy to grab and chew on.
The rattle and roll car has fun rattle beads for extra fun sound effects.
Batteries are not required and this toy measures 4.3 x 4.2 x 3.4 inches.
If you’re looking for fun and education in a toy, look no further than this stacking tower of fun.
There are 6 unique stack-able spheres that balance, nest and spin too.
This toy is perfect for 6 months and up and is created with high quality ABS plastic.
Encourage motor skill development and spacial reasoning with this fun stack-able sphere toy.
Best Baby Toys For 9-12 Months
If you are looking for an activity cube, look no further than the Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube by ALEX Toys.
This cube is bright and full of color with 5 sides of fun featuring peek a boo doors, spin and match animals, turn and learn ABC word tiles and racing rollers.
The cube is sturdy and durable, so you can use it through the toddler years.
This toy does not require batteries and measures 12.00 x 12.00 x 16.00 inches.
When your little one enters the 9-12 month age range, they will love the turtle Ball Pit!
Parents will also love this unit as it is easy to store away when baby is not engaged in play. Just pop the balls into the turtle and zip them up.
The ball pit comes with 60 colorful balls that are soft and easy to grasp.
Kids will have a ball with this crinkling, jingling, multi-textured toy!
This toy does not need batteries and measures 13.4 x 11.8 x 17.7 inches.
This adorable pop n’ push car is great for your 9 month old who is starting to crawl and explore.
The back wheels are a pull back style that make the car zoom forward upon release.
There are colorful beads that pop as the car moves which engages the baby with sound and fun colors.
This toy does not need batteries and measures 3.1 x 5.8 x 8 inches.
Did you have a chatter phone when you were growing up?
This retro toy is still a hot commodity for little hands.
This toy encourages pretend play with the rigninging rotary dial and the fun eyes the roll up and down.
Babies can pretend to chat on the phone and pull the phone behind them when they start to walk.
This toy does not need batteries and measures 9 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches.
Every baby should have a shape sorting toy and this playskool cube is our favorite. The easy to grasp shapes make it easy for little hands to match and sort shapes.
Help baby practice motor skills and enjoy the different tectures that the shapes have to offer.
Store the shapes within the cube to keep things simple and when you want the shapes out again simple open up the side of the cube and take the shapes out.
This toy does not need batteries and measures 5.63 x 5.66 x 7.52 inches.
Guide To Buying Baby Toys
Do Babies Really Need Toys?
Babies can play with their feet and tug on your nose for hours at a time, but there is a place for baby toys in your infants life.
Babies are constantly learning about the world around them, and everything is new and exciting. We can keep our babies safe by providing them with BPA free toys that engage their senses and let them safely explore and learn.
Babies do not actually need toys however since they do spend a lot of time sleeping and eating.
Around 3 months they do become more interested in toys, which is a great time for you to do simple activities with them to help with development.
So it is up to you, the parent whether you want to introduce your baby to toys and when you want to do so.
What Kind Of Toys Should Babies Be Playing With
Babies could be happy with a wooden spoon and takeaway container, so it’s not required for you to go out and spend a fortune on baby toys.
Great baby toys are full of features that help with the development of eyesight, fine motor skills and are safe too.
Things to consider when choosing toys for your baby:
Textures: You’ll notice a lot of toys have varying textures to them from velvet material to rubbery bumps. These textures help babies learn about motor skills and babies love all the interesting textures from 3 months and up.
Sounds: Baby toys are full of crinkles, rattles, and lullabies which helps your little get engaged with the toy. Babies are entertained when they hear jingles and squeaks as they shake and squeeze their toys.
Safety: Since babies do put everything and anything in their mouths, baby toys are created with safety in mind. There are no parts that can break and can cause choking in many baby toys, which is why they are a better alternative for play than household items.
Colors: It takes time for a baby to develop their vision from infancy until around 5 months of age. Toys with high contrasting colors help babies focus while brighter colors are enjoyed by babies older than 6 months or so.
Having a handful of bright and colorful toys can help distract the baby when they are fussy or simply make playtime more fun.
Baby’s Development Milestones During the First Six Months
The first 6 months are full of development and milestone hitting. Each baby will develop at different rates and your pediatrician can help you if you have concerns or questions about that.
According to the CDC here are some guidelines on milestones for the first 6 months.
- Holding up their head on their own
- Making eye contact and following objects with their eyes
- Cooing and gurgling
- Turning their head toward sounds
This is a great time to practice tummy time and holding soft toys in front of your baby to help reach those 0-2 month milestones.
- Social smiling
- Copying facial expressions
- Reaching for toys with one hand
- Rolling from tummy to back
- Holding and shaking a toy
Your baby should be able to hold a toy by 4 months of age. Help your baby with the holding of the toys like rattles and encourage reaching and shaking to develop those motor skills.
- Looking at themself in a mirror
- Responding to their name
- Showing curiosity at toys and objects (and trying to eat them!)
- Passing toys from one hand to another
- Rolling in both directions
- Beginning to sit without support
Hold a little mirror in front of baby and encourage smiling and laughing at this stage.
It is best to stick to simple toys that encourage open ended play when choosing toys for your little one.
Rattles, balls and play mats are awesome for encouraging these milestones.
Baby’s Development Milestones During Months 6-12
Months 6-12 are full of adventure for both parent and baby as they become more curios, start to become mobile and develop fears and opinions too.
The CDC has these following guidelines for months 6-12.
- Looks around at things nearby
- Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
- Brings things to mouth
- Begins to pass things from one hand to the other
- Rolls over in both directions
- Begins to sit without support
Help your baby learn these skills by naming objects and pointing to them and don’t be afraid to put toys out of reach so your baby can learn to reach, roll and crawl towards that toy.
- Looks for things he sees you hide
- Moves objects from one hand to another
- Pulls to stand
- Sit without support
- Pick up and eat cheerios
Help your baby hit those milestones by playing peek-a-boo, reading stories, and providing encouraging toys that help with sitting, standing and early walking.
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