Best Baby Toys of 2021
Best Baby Toys of 2021
January 7, 2021

Best Baby Toys of 2021

Best Baby Toys of 2021.
Photo by @simpleblyss
These colorful and simple toys can help kick off your baby's development and keep them entertained.Best Baby Toys of 2021

Do Babies Need Toys?

Newborns don’t actually need toys, since sleeping and eating are really their main interests. But around the three-month mark, many parents see their babies “wake up” and become more interested in the world around them; this is a great time to introduce them to fun toys and activities to help them with important development stages (and keep them entertained).

Which Kinds of Toys Should Babies Play With?

Realistically, babies are happy playing with household items like wooden spoons and plastic food containers, so don’t feel obligated to break the bank on toys. The best toys for babies have features that help with developing eyesight, fine motor skills and an ever-growing curiosity about their world—and, of course, are very safe.

Here are some features to consider when choosing toys for your little one:

  • Contrasting colors and patterns. A baby’s vision isn’t fully developed until they’re around five months old. To help them see and focus on objects, look for toys that have high contrast in colors and patterns; black and white is best for newborns (stripes, checkerboard, or simple images are easiest to focus on), while older babies love looking at brighter colors.
  • Varying soft textures. Toys with strips of satiny, velvety, rubbery, bumpy or fluffy material are an absolute delight for tiny, grabby fingers. Babies are working on their fine motor skills from about three months and up, and interesting textures make it super fun to develop those skills.
  • Safe for chewing. Babies want to put everything in their mouths. Everything. The time will eventually come when your curious bub will try to eat something not so great (pet food, a dirty rag, carpet fuzz, etc.), but you can make up for it by making sure some things are actually OK to gnaw, like toys and teethers that are free of harmful chemicals and made with one-piece construction (no small parts to break off and choke on).
  • Easy to clean. Toys that are machine washable and dishwasher safe are great when you don’t want to spend a ton of time washing toys by hand (we understand, you don’t want to be cleaning all day). It’s also a good idea to check if a toy has trouble drying all the way—plastic, silicone and rubber are especially susceptible to mold, so those toys should be thoroughly cleaned and dried fairly often.
  • Audible. Rattles, bells, crinkles, lullabies—if it makes a sound, your little one will pay attention to it. Babies love making things make noise, and you can encourage their curiosity with toys that respond audibly to their actions. They’ll be fully entertained if it jingles when they shake it or squeaks when they squeeze it (admit it, you may be a little entertained, too).

A few fun and bright toys will come in handy to distract a fussy baby or make tummy time more enjoyable. Whether you are looking for simple hand held toys for play time or soothing amusement for bedtime, we have a variety of great picks for you to choose from.

An All-In-One Toy

Technically an octopus, not a squid, Captain Calamari has eight knotted legs for your baby to touch and chew. Bright colors, high-contrast patterns and a mirror stimulate vision, while a crinkly hat, clanking rings and a rattle engage baby’s ears. Designed to clip onto the playpen, stroller or carrier, this silly pirate is well-loved both at home and on the go.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines: Ages 0+
Dimensions 5” x 4” x 10”

A Toy for Grabby Hands

This colorful grab toy is the perfect size for little hands and has a gentle texture for young ones to gnaw on. It can even be refrigerated to a cool temperature to soothe sensitive teething gums. It’s also lightweight enough to play with from an early age. Keep in mind: this toy shouldn’t be submerged in water (water can get trapped in the loops and cause mold) or sanitized in the microwave (it’ll melt).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines: Ages 0+

An Activity Mat

This activity mat can grow with your baby. Use it for tummy time, batting at the hanging animals, kicking the piano keys and, when baby is ready to sit up, turn the keyboard upright for a (slightly) more realistic piano experience. Each animal has their own exciting feature, so there’s a lot to do in this gym.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0–36 months
Dimensions 27” x 36” x 18”
Product Weight 4.61 lbs

A Mirror Toy

Babies love looking at other babies, and what better baby to look at than themselves? This soft-sided mirror isn’t fragile (it’s made from acrylic) and measures less than one square foot, making it extremely portable. To help baby enjoy tummy time, lean the mirror against a wall or another object, or expand the base so it stands on its own.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0+
Dimensions 9.4” x 9.8” x 1.5” (6.5” when bottom is open)

A Rattle

Skip Hop’s cute little shakers come with an owl, hedgehog and fox that make original rattle sounds. Each character has a different textured belly for little hands to grip and hold, and all of Skip Hop’s products are phthalate free. With bright colors and distinctive textures, these rattles are sure to stimulate your baby’s senses for healthy auditory and visual development.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines: Ages 3 months+

A Musical Toy

This may look like a cartoon version of an iPod, but babies really do love this musical toy. Your baby will hear versions of classical Mozart, Vivaldi, Chopin and Rossini along with seeing bright lights and colors. Plus, it’s a great size to throw in a diaper bag, and your little one can hold on to it by its caterpillar handle.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines: Ages 3–36 months

A Teething Toy

A lot of toys have teething features, but Polly Pineapple, created by Gnomgnoms, is specifically designed for comprehensive teething relief. A bright yellow body and friendly smile welcome little explorers. The textured body—made of 100% non-toxic rubber—is nubbly goodness for front teeth, while Polly’s leafy crown and rounded feet can reach all the way to back molars. Bonus: for every Polly Pineapple teether purchased, Gnomgnoms will make a donation that will feed a hungry American child for an entire week—that’s 21 meals.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0-24 months

A Pacifier

This simple concept soother is an adorable plush toy attached to a Soothie pacifier. The easy-to-grab animals come in different options like elephant or giraffe, and even if your baby doesn’t like a pacifier, some like to chew on the soft rubber section. Since regular pacifiers are small, they notoriously get lost when flung out of a stroller or car seat, but the animal part of this soother makes it easy to keep track of.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines: 0–6 months

A Soft Book

Encourage an early love of books with these soft, multi-textured pages. The lift-the-flap peek-a-boo images in this book are perfect for inspring giggles during playtime, and its portability makes it an easy option for distracting a fussy baby on the go.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months+
Dimensions 6.8” x 7.5”

A Bedtime Soother

The gentle melodies and soft nature sounds of this friendly little sloth make it a bedtime BFF. Turn it on during storytime or lullabies, or let it activate automatically at the sound of crying to help soothe your little one back to sleep. You can even record your own voice! Hang it on the outside of the crib by the hook-and-loop fasteners so it can keep watching it as baby falls asleep (remember to keep it out of the crib).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0–24 months
Dimensions8 4.5” x 8.25” x 4.5”

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