a collage of the best baby toys

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Which toys should you choose? Some have bright lights and music, others are colorful and sensory, and the options are endless.

If you go to the toy aisle at your local store, you may be overwhelmed. You may still wonder what is best for your little ones, even though many packages detail ages and stages.

You can exhale a sigh of relief. We have toys that will grow with your child as they move and toys that will suit the youngest babies.

It is a subjective topic about the best toys for babies. Every day there are new toys hitting the market. It is important to pick things that are safe, age appropriate, and fun, because babies change so much in the first year.

For this list, we consulted readers on Facebook, asked our staff for their top picks, examined bestselling items, considered guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and weighed overall value and customer reviews.

The price ranges listed below are only estimates and can change depending on the time of year, sales, and other promotions.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Newborns don’t really need toys. They’re too busy adjusting to the world around them and cuddling with parents and caregivers. With any objects at this age, it’s important to foster safe sleep habits, so remember: Along with placing baby on their back, there should be no stuffed animals or blankets in the crib during nap times or nights.

Jellycat Soother Security Blanket

Jellycat Soother Security Blanket

Price: $$

Every baby needs a lovey, and you might have to have a backup in case. The Jellycat cutes come in a variety of animal shapes, from bunnies to reindeer, and are attached to a soft blanket.

They are small enough to fit in a diaper bag when you travel and your baby needs a reminder of home.

Baby Einstein Flip for Art High Contrast Floor Activity Mirror

Baby Einstein Flip for Art High Contrast Floor Activity Mirror

Price: $

Your little one is the most adorable thing you have ever seen. You can let them see their cuteness, whether they are on their bellies enjoying tummy time or you hold the mirror up to their face. You can clip the cards so your baby can see the designs.

This toy can grow with your child until they are sitting up.

The First Years First Rattle

The First Years First Rattle Baby Toy

Price: $

The baby will start grabbing on the knobs as they develop their ability to grip. You can also hold it in front of them. It has multiple parts that make different sounds, including the baby crinkle sound.

It is a great toy for your child to use.

Young babies up to 3 months need tummy time. It may be less inspiring to lay on a blanket. Consider getting your baby a play gym to play in.

You may want to find some visual aids, like books or cards. Babies of this age respond well to contrasting images.

Yookidoo Gymotion Robo Playland

Price: $$$

The Yookidoo play gym has lots of black and white contrast to make babies happy. A large mirror for gazing, a moving car for tracking, and adorable plush robot figures are some of the developmental activities included in this.

This gym is for your child to play in, with three modes: lay and play, tummy and play, and sit and play. The mat folds for easy storage or travel and can be used without music.

Price: $

The black-and-white art cards by Wee Gallery are great for sharing with your baby during their first year of life. The sight range for a baby888-607-3166 is about 8 to 10 inches at this age.

“The cards in the set are made from board book material, so they won’t rip when your baby starts playing with them. One side has a white background with a black image, and the other side has a black background with a white image.”

Boppy Black and White Rainbow Tummy Time Pillow

Price: $

Tummy time is good for babies at any age, and this toy may help your little one stay face-down on the floor a little longer because it’s so engaging. They can rest on top of the pillow and be gently propped up while getting all the benefits of tummy time.

It is smaller than a nursing pillow, but it is still a nursing pillow. A teething toy and a crinkly-sound toy are attached to this machine-washable pillow.

Between 4 and 6 months, your little one may start rolling over, reaching and grabbing, and babbling. The toys for this age should support these important milestones and other motor skills, like improved hand-eye coordination and being able to sit upright.

Colors are also more important at this age. Experts share that by 5 months, your baby should have developed good color vision.

SmartNoggin NogginStik Light-Up Rattle

Price: $$

The baby rattle is safe to use from birth and helps your baby hone their grasping and visual tracking skills with a light-up face on one end and a mirror on the other.

The rest of the body is bumpy and has contrasting colors.

It was designed by a mom and early intervention specialist and comes with a booklet detailing different ways to use it.

Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set

Price: $

Babies slightly younger are getting the hang of grasping things as well as the older ones. They grow fast.

The ball set is made of different colors, shapes and texture. This makes your baby go back for more play. As your baby gets older, you should use these balls as they are great for teething.

Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube

Price: $$

The musical cube is the right height for babies who are learning to sit upright. The sounds of the harp, French horn, piano, flute, and violin are combined to make eight Mozart compositions.

The cube is bright colors, like yellow, green, and purple, and the side lights can make the pace faster.

Babies tend to get their first teeth between 6 and 12 months, so there are definitely chewable toys on the list. They are hitting milestone like playing peekaboo, picking up objects with their thumb and pointer finger, and looking for hidden objects.

Yes, yeah. They are also moving so get ready for it.

Vulli Sophie The Giraffe

Price: $$

The gold standard of teething toys for more than 50 years has been the natural rubber product, called “Sophie”. Her shape, texture, and squeak make her appealing to little ones.

She is made using natural food paint and is not made with chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Sensory Toy

Price: $

Dimpl is a sensory toy that lets your baby push and poke different colored bubbles in their heart. The bubble wrap effect is rolled into a toy.

The construction is made from food grade silicone.

“This toy helps to engage your baby’s fine motor skills and introduces cause and effect.”

Babies can roll over in both directions. They move from sitting to crawling to standing to cruising as time goes on. Babies get used to crawling with toys and can chase after things.

Skip Hop Follow-Bee

Price: $$

This cute toy will keep your baby smiling and crawling all over the place. You can set it to pre-crawling, beginner crawler, and advanced crawler modes — each with different music, lights, and movement (like wobbling or circular pattern).

This toy has a smart sensor that can help it avoid obstacles. It would be great if it could vacuum up all those Cheerios while it was moving.

Lovevery Organic Cotton Play Tunnel

Price: $$$

There are many different shapes and colors of play tunnels that your baby will love. This one is made from organic cotton and is just under 4 feet long, making it more suitable for younger kids.

Your crawler will love moving through the tunnel. Even after your baby has started walking, crawling is still important for motor development. This tunnel collapses into a carrying case for travel or storage.

“That is correct! Your child may take their first steps before they are old enough to celebrate their first birthday. There is a lot going on in the last half of your baby’s first year.”

Keep in mind the AAP does not support the use of walkers for babies due to the risk of serious injury from such devices.

Melissa & Doug Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy

Price: $$

There are many push toys on the market. The basic entertainment features for your new walker are what sets this one apart.

Your baby pushes this cart and the wooden alligators are chewing on it. There are brightly colored fish on the wheels and butterfly and ladybug beads to keep your baby entertained.

“This toy doesn’t have batteries or flashing parts, but it makes a loud clacking sound when it moves forward and back.”

VTech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker

Price: $$

The walkers that the Apollution Alliancenixed are those that have a baby sitting in the middle and moving around the floor. This is not a walker like that because your little one is not seated inside.

A sit-to-stand walker is a good investment because it will grow with your baby. It encourages them to sit and engage with something, and there are lots of elements to make it feel different. They can push the baby like a shopping cart when it is ready to stand up.

“Your baby’s desire to play doesn’t necessarily diminish when you’re out and about. Try to find portable toys that are easy to carry in a diaper bag and clips onto car seats, strollers, or high chairs so they don’t fall down. If you are worried about germs, you can get these handy wipes.”

Bright Starts Oball Classic

Price: $

You can put this Oball into your diaper bag for on-the-go entertainment.

Its 32 holes are great for grasping, rolling, and bouncing. Consider clipping it to your child’s car seat or high chair with a strand of Bright Starts Links or Baby Buddy Toy Straps.

Lamaze Mortimer the Moose

Price: $

Mortimer the Moose is a favorite the world over. He hooks onto whatever you need him to and has a ton of sensory features in a very small package.

“His legs are tied and he has soft antlers. He is your baby’s best friend because you can take him anywhere you want.”

Bright Starts Teethe & Read Play Book

Price: $

This book is great for creating baby bookworms early on. It gives your child a soft book to look at. The binding area and the corners of the fabric pages can be used as a teether by your baby when they start getting fierce in the teething department.

They can take it anywhere if they hold on to the handle. It can be put in a bag for on-the-go amusement or clipped onto a stroller or car seat.

When it is time for a bath, play continues because water is a fun sensory experience. A floating rubber duck is a basic toy for tub play. For the toddler years, save more complicated stuff.

Skip Hop Zoo Stack & Pour Buckets

Price: $

The set of five small buckets has different colors and animal designs. They can sprinkle water with different speeds and different holes in the bottom.

You can put them away for easy storage. The manufacturer recommends these buckets for babies.

Munchkin White Hot Ducky

Price: $

The most classic bath toy is rubber ducks. This yellow friend is small enough for babies to pick up and float around. It is also affordable, so you can buy a few for ultimate bath playtime.

The duck has a disk on its base that shows the word “hot” if the water is too warm.

Ubbi Interchangeable Bath Toys

Price: $

Bath toys are fun until they start getting mold. You can clean these bath toys easily. You can put them in the dishwasher to make sure they are clean.

Each half of the animal snaps together for different purposes. They come in four different colors.

“There are some toys that have been around for a long time. Think streamlined toys that don’t have frills. The benefit of these favorites is that they promote open-ended play.”

Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks

Price: $$

The wooden blocks are popular with the baby world. They are easy to handle, have letters on them for budding recognition, and can stack to support different stages of development beyond the baby years.

Uncle Goose blocks are particularly giftable because they have a timeless heirloom quality.

Manhattan Toy Skwish Rattle and Teether

Price: $

The Skwish has been a favorite toy for a long time. It is made for grasping, rattling, and teething. The elastic ties that hold it together allow baby to squeeze it down and return it to its original shape.

The classic version of this toy has a nontoxic, water-based color finish featuring primary colors but also comes in natural wood and other finishes to match your home’s decor.

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

Price: $

Babies may enjoy playing with a shape sorter with the help of older siblings and caregivers, even if the toy says it is for ages 2 and up.

Placing the shapes into their corresponding holes speaks to the object permanence that babies start working on between ages 4 to 7 months and continue to develop over the first year.

The AAP encourages parents and caregivers to “go back to the basics” when it comes to toys for babies. Flashing screens and digital gadgets may seem like the coolest new thing, but they may not be good for your baby’s developing brain and body.

There are some things to consider when choosing a toy.

  • Try choosing toys that promote imagination and interaction. Added points if you can find toys that help your child work on things like fine motor or gross motor skills.
  • Understand that one of the biggest dangers with toys is choking hazards. Things that are choking hazards for babies include coins, marbles, toys that can be compressed by a baby’s mouth, small balls, button batteries, beads, and balloons.
  • No toys, particularly soft toys and blankets, should be placed in a sleep space with baby. The AAP says to keep soft objects and bedding out of baby’s crib until they are at least 1 year old.
  • Check packaging or descriptions for age ranges on toys. Most will give you a general guideline for the ages it’s intended to suit. Beyond that, try using common sense. (That toy drone you put in your cart may be more for you than for your 5-month-old baby.)
  • Remember that babies put pretty much everything in their mouths. Double check to make sure whatever you’re buying is made from natural materials whenever possible and is free from BPA and other questionable materials.
  • Don’t be too concerned with toys marketed for educational purposes. The goal for babies isn’t to drill them with ABCs or facts. Instead, it’s to give opportunities for interaction and bonding.
  • Include plenty of books. These will help with building imagination and thought.
  • Keep an eye out for toys that may promote stereotypes. These may be related to gender or race.

Babies can find toys that appeal to them.

  • There are sensory toys.
  • Pop-up toys have a surprise element.
  • Pretend toys are eating food.
  • rolling vehicles
  • There are dolls and stuffed animals.
  • There are board books.

Do babies need toys?

Babies can see best when things are 8 to12 inches away. They don’t only see in black and white for the first few months, so don’t exclude colorful toys.

Within a few weeks, your baby will become more interactive. They can be engaged with toys and hear different sounds.

“Babies aren’t able to control toys for a while, so toys should be relatively simple in nature.”

What toys are good for a 1-year-old?

By the time the baby is 1 year old, they are learning to walk. They can use toys that encourage them to stand or ones that can be put on the couch so they can cruise. You can get something that can sit on the floor with your baby if they are able to sit up by now.

When should I introduce toys to a newborn?

It is never too late to show your baby a toy. They will start interacting with toys as they grow, even if they are more interested in your company at first.

When can you put toys in a baby’s crib?

It’s best to keep toys out of your baby’s crib until you know that they absolutely cannot suffocate or get injured by them and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has decreased. This generally started decreasing around 6 months.

The AAP notes that hanging crib toys should be out of the baby’s reach and removed when the baby starts pushing up on hands and knees, around 5 months.

“While there are many toys on this list, you should rest assured that your baby doesn’t need every toy to be happy and healthy.”

“It is possible to aid in development and make life fun, but resist getting lured by flashy features or marketing promises, for example, your baby won’t be recognizing letters or numbers in the first year. The most loved toys are the simplest ones.”

toys are built for bonding Go down on the ground and play with your baby.