To help you and baby get started on building important skills, we’ve gathered a list of best-loved toys for newborns to six-month-olds and beyond.
Skip Hop Musical Egg Shaker Trio Rattle
Rattles are a staple in any baby’s toy box, and this trio of shakers takes the cuteness up a notch with friendly, colorful animal shapes. Fox, owl and hedgehog each make their own unique rattling sound and feature textured rubber patches to help little hands keep a tight grip for all that shaking they’ll be doing.
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Learning Cube
High-contrast images (simple shapes and pictures in black and white) are super important for a baby’s sight development (you’ll find a few high-contrast items on this list). Pair that with soft, squishy shapes, gentle rattles and squeaks, and you can see why parents love this multi-sensory cube for their babies’ first toy. Based on scientific research on visual development in early infancy, Manhattan Toy’s Wimmer-Ferguson toys can be used starting from even the earliest newborn days.
Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly
Created in conjunction with child development experts, each of the Lamaze animal friends features so many things your little one will love—bright colors, patterns and textures, a squeaker, crinkles, a peekaboo mirror, a teether, clinking rings and more, and there’s a great variety of animals to choose from (an octopus, a peacock, even a dragon!) It’s the perfect companion for playtime and tummy time, and thanks to a built-in clip, it’s perfect for attaching to strollers or car seats.
Lovevery The Play Gym
Placing your baby on an activity mat can help make tummy time a little easier for everyone—and this Lovevery play gym is the way to go. Thoughtfully designed and research-driven, it grows with your child and encourages developmental milestones along the way. It also comes with a guide that walks you through stage-appropriate play. Only downside? It’s not cheap. Lovevery also has developmental play kits.
Baby Einstein Bendy Ball Rattle Toy
What better first ball for your baby than one that rattles too? The large finger holes in the squishy, bendable plastic make it easy for baby to grab and shake, and the interior rattle ball makes for fun, noisy rolling across the floor. At four inches in diameter, this ball is perfect for babies three months and older to practice their fine motor gripping skills, and it can easily be tossed in the car or diaper bag as a travel toy.
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Double-Feature Mirror
Babies love looking at their own reflections—even if they don’t understand exactly what they’re looking at. Propping up a baby-safe mirror (no glass!) in front of your little one can help develop their vision and provide lots of tummy time entertainment. This mirror also comes with high-contrast art on the other side for even more visual stimulation.
These are some of the best toys to invest in.