Toys

The 30 Best Baby Toys For Ages 0-12 Months

Updated on 20 September 2022 • 12 minute read

 

What Toys Are Popular For Infants?

The best infant toys depend on many aspects, including your baby’s age, developmental milestones, and interests, but learning toys are among the best sellers.

Toys that light up and/or make a sound are also popular for infants. They’re also great for motivating your little one to crawl, walk, and eventually run or develop other skills. (1)

 

Setting A Strong Foundation: Educational Toys

Babies learn most through play. 

Educational activity toys can make playtime a learning opportunity for your little one. These learning toys help them develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, cognition, social skills, language, and other foundational skills.

Aside from baby books (soft or board books), your little one can also learn their first words, counting, problem-solving skills, math, and other skills with educational kid toys.

Montessori-type toys, such as those offered by Monti Kids and Lovevery, are simple learning toys that let your child develop their creativity, imagination, independence, concentration, and problem-solving skills at every milestone stage. (2)

 

Age-Appropriate & Developmental Toys

The best baby toys match little ones’ emerging abilities and milestones or stages of development.

For example, a remote-controlled toy for your 6-year-old is too complicated for your 1-year-old

A rattle or shaker might bring lots of fun to your 4-month-old but might seem boring for your 3-year-old kid.

 

Should I Buy Toys For My Newborn?

Yes. Although your newborn spends most of their time sleeping, they can already start learning and being stimulated even at this young age.

Since they’re usually on their back, play gyms with hanging toys are bestsellers for this age range. Toys that make sounds or something they can reach for or listen to can also make a good choice at this age. (1)

Black or white contrast cards are also thought to promote neural connections and brain development. (3)

 

Can Big Kids Use Baby Toys?

Yes. Plenty of baby toys might still be interesting for older kids, or they might repurpose old toys.

For example, toy blocks aren’t just for toddlers. As your child grows, they’re likely to build more complicated designs with them or use their imagination to transform them into other uses.

 

Our 30 Recommendations For The Best Baby Toys

These toys can be a good choice for your little ones, or they can also be great options for baby gifts (instead of just sending gift cards):

 

Toys For Ages 0-2 Months

1. Lovevery The Play Gym 

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Price: $140
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This play gym features five developmental activity zones to promote exploration and growth. It comes with four sets of cards, four detachable activity toys, and a play guide with stage-based tips for parents.

The play space converts into a baby play mat and fort for toddlers.

 

2. Monti Kids Level 1

(source: montikids.com)

 

  • Price: Subscription, $195
  • Age Recommendation: 0-3 months

 

This toy set was designed to support your baby’s grasping strength and developing vision. 

It features an activity gym with different kinds of hanging toys and mobiles.

This Montikids kit is available under a subscription program.

 

3. Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick And Play Piano

(source: shop.mattel.com)

 

  • Price: $64.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This 4-in-1 play mat grows with your baby. It features a play gym and an activity center with a built-in piano (can convert into a take-along toy) that plays 65+ educational lessons, sounds, and songs.

Other toys in this musical toy:

  • Crinkle panda
  • Monkey cymbal clackers
  • BPA-free elephant teether
  • Lion rattle
  • Baby-safe self-discovery mirror

 

4. Sassy Black And White High Contrast Peek-A-Boo Soft Book

(source: sassybaby.net)

 

  • Price: $6.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This sensory toy features bold black and white shapes to catch your baby’s attention. The peek-a-boo flaps strengthen their hand-eye coordination, while the crinkle-filled pages provide your baby with auditory stimulation.

It has a chain link so that you can hang this toy on your baby’s stroller.

This soft book is small enough to fit in your diaper bag.

 

5. Tikiri Aria Organic Doll 

(source: tikiritoys.com)

 

  • Price: $38
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This handmade rag doll is made from safe, non-toxic, and 100% organic cotton. It also comes with a removable dress, nappy, and bandana. 

This baby girl doll is among Tikiri Toys’ bestsellers.

 

6. Lamaze Freddie The Firefly

(source: uk.tomy.com)

 

  • Price: $16.50
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This soft toy also doubles as a teether and an on-the-go activity center. It features a baby-safe mirror hidden in the firefly’s wing and a clip to attach the toy to your baby’s car seat, stroller, crib, or diaper bag.

The firefly toy also has bright, colorful parts with different patterns, stripes, and colors.

 

Toys For Ages 3-4 Months

1. Lovevery The Charmer Play Kit

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Price: $80 per play kit, available with a subscription
  • Age Recommendation: 3-4 months

 

This Montessori toy set helps develop your baby’s speech, oral motor strength, and social awareness. It also features different things to make tummy time fun.

The set includes the following:

  • Wooden rattle
  • Rolling bell
  • Baby-safe mirror card and framed mirror
  • Soft book
  • Crinkle bag
  • Silicone triple teether
  • Triangle teether
  • Organic teething cloth
  • Black-and-white, high-contrast card set
  • Hand-to-hand puzzle discs
  • Play guide

 

2. Splashing Kids Tummy Time Mat & Activity Center

(source: splashinkids.com)

 

  • Price: $17.99
  • Age Recommendation: 3+ months

 

This colorful, inflatable water mat has an activity center with brightly colored prints and floating toys. 

The inner splash pad can be filled with water for sensory stimulation. You can also add other bath toys inside the splash mat.

This baby toy is free from BPA (bisphenol-A, a toxic substance used in plastic manufacturing).

SAFETY WARNING: Never let your baby play unsupervised in this splash mat if there’s water inside. Babies can drown even in water that’s just 1 inch deep.

 

3. Infantino Prop-A-Pillar Tummy Time & Seated Support

(source: infantino.com)

 

  • Price: $40.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This is a caterpillar-shaped baby lounger and seat positioner with detachable toys: a crinkle sound sun and a BPA-free teether

It has different sections that you can reconfigure to create a play mat, lounger, or seat positioner.

 

4. Fisher-Price Tummy Time Grow-With-Me Llama

(source: shop.mattel.com)

 

  • Price: $32.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This soft toy also doubles as a push tummy wedge for your baby while playing. It can become a plush toy for your baby when they’re older. The llama plushie is machine-washable but make sure to remove the other toys.

Each toy set comes with:

  • Llama plushie
  • Watermelon rattle
  • Carrot teether
  • Baby-safe mirror

 

The smaller toys can be packed inside the llama plushie’s wraparound.

 

5. Kids2 Baby Einstein Light-Up & Musical Take Along Toy

(source: kids2.com)

 

  • Price: $10.49
  • Age Recommendation: 3+ months

 

This take-along toy introduces your baby to music and features a selection of 10 songs, including classical tunes from Chopin and Mozart. It has volume control.

 

6. Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy

(source: melissaanddoug.com)

 

  • Price: $24.99
  • Age Recommendation: 1+ months

 

This soft toy has different features to engage your little one’s interest:

  • Peek-a-boo scales with hidden pictures
  • Squeaker tail for grasping to help develop finger strength
  • Shatterproof baby-safe mirror
  • Crinkly scales for tactile exploration (related to the sense of touch)
  • Washable fish toy in a variety of textures and colors

 

7. Gathre Play Mat MIDI+

(source: gathre.com)

 

  • Price: $149
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This wipeable and water-resistant play mat is free from toxins, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), phthalates, and lead. It’s also compliant with CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) safety regulations.

This portable play mat has prints that your baby might find interesting. It also folds for compact transport or storage.

Aside from its use as a play mat, this product can also be used as a hangable tapestry or tablecloth.

 

8. Kids2 Bright Starts Oball Shaker Rattle Toy

(source: kids2.com)

 

  • Price: $4.49
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This baby shaker toy features colorful beads that rattle with every shake. Your baby can also identify the noise-makers inside the transparent handle.

It fits inside your diaper bag for on-the-go fun options for your little one.

 

Toys For Ages 5-6 Months

1. Monti Kids Level 2

(source: montikids.com)

 

  • Price: Subscription, $195
  • Age Recommendation: 4-6 months

 

This Montessori toy set focuses on tummy time and sensory exploration with the following toys:

  • Tummy time set (includes a baby-safe mirror and different pictures)
  • High-contrast cards with nature prints
  • Wooden book
  • Rattles in different designs
  • Interlocking rings
  • Teether ball
  • Spinning drum
  • Basket with tactile or sensory toys
  • Wooden wobbler toy

 

2. Lovevery The Senser Play Kit

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Price: $80 per play kit
  • Age Recommendation: 5-6 months

 

This Montessori play kit helps your baby develop language skills, strengthen their coordination and dexterity, and practice gross and fine motor skills.

The set also encourages fun during tummy time.

The kit comes with the following:

  • Organic cotton rainbow ball
  • Spinning rainbow drum
  • ‘Magic’ tissue box and tissues
  • Book (learning body parts)
  • Play socks
  • Tummy time wobbler
  • Play guide

 

3. Mobella Mimi the Mushroom Soothing Teether Toy

(source: mombella.com)

 

  • Price: $6.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0-6 months

 

It’s a colorful toy that can also be used as a teether and pacifier. It’s made from 100% silicone and is available in different colors.

This mushroom has a suction base that you can stick on your baby’s high chair tray.

 

4. Infantino Cuddly Teether Fox

(source: infantino.com)

 

  • Price: $7.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months old

 

This toy also doubles as a three-textured, BPA-free teether with soft, cuddly fabrics and crinkle sounds that promote sensory exploration.

 

5. Nuby USA IcyBite Gel Teether Keys

(source: nuby.com)

 

  • Price: $5.99
  • Age Recommendation: 3+ months

 

This multicolor teether doubles as a toy. It uses a gel that stays cold longer than in water-filled freezer-friendly teethers.

This colorful toy has multiple teething surfaces in a key design. It’s also BPA-free.

 

6. Kids2 Baby Einstein High Contrast Activity Mirror

(source: kids2.com)

 

  • Price: $14.99
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This toy set is designed to catch your baby’s eye during tummy time with high-contrast patterns, baby-safe mirror, and flip-through flashcards. 

A toy that supports cognitive development, it’s also designed to be carried around or hung on your baby’s stroller or play gym. The toys are wipeable for easy cleaning.

 

7. Sophie The Giraffe Teether Gift Set

(source: buybuyBABY.com)

 

  • Price: $49
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This baby gift set includes:

  • Sophie la Girafe teether toy
  • Mini Sophie la Girafe teether
  • Gift card
  • Gift bag

 

Toys For 7-12 Months

1. Monti Kids Level 3

(source: montikids.com)

 

  • Price: Subscription, $195
  • Age Recommendation: 7-9 months

 

This Montessori toy kit helps your baby learn to coordinate both hands together to begin self-feeding.

The kit includes the following:

  • Dining set with a mini pitcher
  • Cloth bibs and napkin
  • Cotton rope basket
  • Hex with balls
  • Interlocking disks
  • Rolling drum
  • Rainbow nesting cups (can also be used as stacking cups)
  • Box and ball set for learning object permanence (a partially hidden object is still there physically)
  • Wooden rainbow blocks
  • Book (first foods)

 

2. Fat Brain Toys OombeeBall

(source: fatbraintoys.com)

 

  • Price: $24.95
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

This set of connected, wobbly balls has different colors and textures, including dots, lines, and swirls, to encourage sensory exploration and develop fine motor skills, tactile learning, spatial reasoning, and object permanence.

All the larger balls, except the smallest, can open, and they fit inside one another.

 

3. Lalo High Contrast Cards

(source: meetlalo.com)

 

  • Price: $20
  • Age Recommendation: 0+ months

 

These cards help your baby learn about some common objects and their names. It’s available in the following sets:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Farm animals
  • Safari animals
  • Fun foods

 

Each high-contrast card is in black and white. These cards are free from lead and phthalates for your baby’s safety. 

 

4. Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Toy

(source: kids2.com)
  • Price: $16.99
  • Age Recommendation: 3-36 months

 

This plush musical octopus toy features a soft, huggable body for tactile stimulation. It also lets your baby learn the basic colors in English, French, and Spanish.

This wipeable plush toy plays classical melodies when its head is squeezed.

 

5. Lovevery The Inspector Play Kit

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Price: $80 per play kit
  • Age Recommendation: 7-8 months

 

This Montessori play kit lets your baby learn by tapping into their natural curiosity about the things around them. The toys in this set can help practice nesting or stacking, learn about object permanence, and promote speech and memory development. 

The set contains the following:

  • Ball dropbox
  • Wood and felt ball sets
  • Puzzle
  • Nesting stacking cups
  • Board book (basic sign language)
  • Texture cards for common words
  • Drinking cup
  • Treasure basket
  • Play guide

 

6. Radio Flyer All-Terrain 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike

(source: radioflyer.com)

 

  • Price: $129.99
  • Age Recommendation: 9 months to 5 years

 

This ride-on toy grows with your little one and can be used with the following configurations:

  • Infant trike
  • Push trike
  • Learn-to-ride-trike
  • Classic trike

 

For your baby’s safety, this trike has a 3-point harness, high back seat, removable canopy for UV protection, removable safety tray, and adjustable seat and parent push handle.

 

7. Melissa & Doug Giddy-Up & Play Activity Toy

(source: melissaanddoug.com)

 

  • Price: $99.99
  • Age Recommendation: 9+ months

 

This cuddly ride-on toy features sound, full of textures, and skill-building activities.

It promotes dexterity, hand-eye coordination, fine motor strength, and grasp.

Aside from having rattling reins that your baby can shake, grasp, or pull, there’s also a shatterproof mirror to engage your baby’s interest in light or their face.

When used with batteries, squeezing the horse’s ears can activate neighing and galloping sounds.

 

8. Manhattan Toy Brilliant Bear Magnetic Stack-up

(source: manhattantoy.com)

 

  • Price: $26
  • Age Recommendation: 0-12 months

 

This stacking toy introduces your baby to colors and sizes using the magnetized connecting discs and a bear face-shaped topper.

All the pieces have a non-toxic, water-based finish that meets or exceeds EN71 (European standard) and CPSIA safety regulations.

 

9. Hape My First Musical Walker

(source: toys.hape.com)

 

  • Price: $74.99
  • Age Recommendation: 10+ months

 

This music walker encourages your baby to walk but also features an activity center with musical instruments (xylophone and pound drum) and spinning blocks. 

The walker has adjustable speed settings for different stages and plays fun music while your baby pushes it around.

It uses child-safe wood and natural materials with water-based paint and non-toxic finishes.

 

Quick Guide: What Toys Do Babies Need In Their First Year?

It’s a good idea to pick appropriate toys for your baby’s age and developmental stage. 

In their first year, babies typically prefer toys with faces (such as baby-safe mirrors), bright or high-contrast colors, and simple objects. (1)

Babies also love toys that make noises (e.g., rattles and shakers), squeeze toys, textured objects, and soft dolls. (1)

They also love biting on their toys, especially if they’re teething. So, toys with teethers can be a good idea.

Soft books (with fabric pages) are ideal for newborns and younger babies, while board books are great for your toddler. Your baby is more likely to tear the thin pages of regular books accidentally.

Below are some of your babies’ developmental milestones to help you pick their toys. 

 

Milestones For Ages 0-2 Months: What Toys Should A Newborn Play With?

Milestones

Your baby might show the following milestones: (4)

  • Looks at toys for a few seconds
  • Watches your move
  • Reacts to loud sounds
  • Tries to hold help up during tummy time
  • Opens their hands briefly

 

Suggested Toys

  • Soft books
  • High-contrast books
  • Hanging toys
  • Play gyms 
  • Activity gyms or other products with activity centers
  • Stuffed animals
  • Soft toys

 

Milestones & Toys For 3-4 Months

Milestones

Your baby might be ready for these milestones at this age: (4)

  • Turns head toward the sound
  • Looks at their hand or feet with interest
  • Tries to grab a nearby toy or object
  • Holds a toy if you put it in their hand
  • Brings their hand to their mouth
  • Attempts or successfully pushes up on their forearms and elbows during tummy time

 

Suggested Toys

  • Baby loungers for tummy time
  • Play mats
  • Sound-making toys (rattles and musical toys)
  • Different balls (textured balls, soft balls, etc.)

 

Milestones & Toys For 5-6 Months

Milestones

Some milestones you might notice at this age: (5)

  • Begins to sit with some support
  • Rolls over
  • Moves toys or other objects from one hand to another
  • Begins to see in full color and over longer distances
  • Starts to crawl
  • Gets their first teeth
  • Understands object permanence and cause-and-effect concepts

 

Many babies begin to eat at this age, but ensure to check for signs of readiness and consult your pediatrician before introducing solids to a baby younger than six months of age.

 

Suggested Toys

  • Toys for reaching and grasping
  • Toys that make a sound (e.g., musical toys)
  • Toys for exploration
  • Baby-safe mirrors
  • Teething toys

 

What Toys Does A 6-Month-Old Baby Need?

Milestones

Your baby might already exhibit these milestones at this age: (4)

  • Reaches for a toy they want
  • Likes to look (and “talk”) at themselves in the mirror
  • Pushes up during tummy time
  • Puts things in their mouth

 

Suggested Toys

  • Board books
  • Personalized books
  • Simple vehicles
  • High chair toys
  • Blocks
  • Puzzle toys (e.g., links rings)

 

Milestones & Toys For 7-12 Months

Milestones

Important milestones for this age: (6)

  • Starts to pull up to stand
  • Bangs toys on a solid surface (e.g., the table) to make a sound
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Begins to grasp toys or things using the pincer grasp (thumb and finger)
  • Starts talking or might say their first word before their first birthday

 

Suggested Toys

  • Activity cubes
  • Activity table
  • Bead maze
  • Ball pits
  • Animal toys
  • Bath toys
  • Stacking toys (cups & rings)
  • Activity walkers
  • Pull-along toys

 

How To Choose The Right Toys

Safety 

Some safety reminders:

  • Baby toys should be free from any choking hazards and other injury risks (laceration, puncture, strangulation, etc.
  • Most babies love to put things, food or non-food items, in their mouths, and the toys come in contact with their skin. So, it’s best to choose products free from toxic chemicals such as BPA, PVC, phthalates, and heavy metals such as lead and cadmium.
  • For any product with batteries, always check the battery lock to ensure your baby doesn’t open it. When ingested, batteries can be deadly.

 

Special Features

Some toys have special features that make them ideal for different activities or a wider age range. 

Montessori-type toys (e.g., Monti Kids and Lovevery play kits) have seemingly simple learning toys that help your baby develop their imagination, creativity, concentration, independence, problem-solving, and other skills. (2)

 

Which Brand Is Best For Baby Toys?

Plenty of toy brands offer a wide range of baby toys and products. Here are our recommendations:

  • Monti Kids
  • Lovevery
  • Melissa & Doug
  • Hape
  • Tikiri Toys
  • Kids2
  • Fat Brain Toys

 

 

 

References

(1) https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/play/toys

(2) https://montikids.com/why-montessori

(3) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41292-019-00180-6

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

(5) https://www.choc.org/primary-care/ages-stages/4-to-6-months/

(6) https://www.choc.org/primary-care/ages-stages/7-to-9-months/

 

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