21 Best Developmental Toys & Gifts for Babies 0-6 Months
Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months
January 7, 2022

Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months

Babylist editors love baby gear and independently curate their favorite products to share with you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months.
Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months

Your newborn’s first few months of life seem to be all about diapers, feeding and sleep (or lack thereof).

But did you know that playtime is also a major part of your little one’s development? From cognitive and physical development to emotional and social growth, the importance of play is undisputed.

Through play, children of any age—even infants—can learn about themselves and the world around them. And you can join in on the fun, too: playing with your baby can help them achieve important physical milestones, develop their (quickly growing!) brains, teach them about emotions and social skills and encourage language development.

And it doesn’t have to get complicated. Especially during those early months, setting aside some time each day to get down on the floor to play and read with your little one can make a huge impact.

What Are Baby Milestones?

Your baby is going to grow and change so much over their first year. Each achievement they hit—things like smiling, rolling over, waving, standing and so many more—is called a milestone.

Baby Milestones Month By Month

There are some basic milestones your baby will begin to hit over the first six months. (Keep in mind that each baby develops at their own individual pace; these are a general guide, but don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician if you ever have any questions or concerns.) Here are the milestones to look for, according to the CDC.

Baby milestones 0–2 months:
  • Holding up their head on their own
  • Smiling
  • Making eye contact and following objects with their eyes
  • Cooing and gurgling
  • Turning their head toward sounds

Try this: Holding a soft toy in front of your 2-month-old baby during tummy time is a great way to help with head, neck, core and visual development.

Baby milestones 2–4 months:
  • Social smiling
  • Copying facial expressions
  • Babbling
  • Reaching for toys with one hand
  • Rolling from tummy to back
  • Holding and shaking a toy

Try this: Rolling a soft ball to your 4-month-old baby and placing toys about 12 inches in front of them will help encourage skills like reaching and hand-eye coordination as they “wake up” from those early newborn days.

Baby milestones 4–6 months:
  • Looking at themself in a mirror
  • Knows familiar people
  • Blows “raspberries”
  • Reaches to grab a toy
  • Rolls from tummy to back
  • Beginning to sit without support

Try this: A quick, simple game of peekaboo with your 5-month-old baby can start to teach complex concepts such as object permanence and social development.

What Are the Best Developmental Toys for Baby?

When choosing toys for your new baby, stick with safe, simple objects that encourage exploration and open-ended play. Things like rattles and other grabbing toys, balls, activity gyms and board books are great for encouraging developmental milestones during your baby’s first six months. There are even milestone subscription boxes tailored by age if you’re looking for a little more bang for your buck; the boxes by Monti Kids and Lovevery are particularly nice for developmental play.

To help you and baby get started on building important skills (and a great toy collection), we’ve gathered a list of best-loved toys for newborns to six-month-olds and beyond.

A Sensory Experience

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 crinkles and fun textures, and baby won’t be able to get enough of these sensory-packed squares. Keep them separate for an individual experience or attach them to form a soft book.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

A Smarter 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.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0-12 months
Dimensions with mat zones closed 24”H x 38”W x 43”L
Dimensions with mat zones opened 24”H x 50”W x 47”L

Tummy Time Boost

Some babies love tummy time while others might find it a little challenging. If you notice your little one resisting tummy time or refusing to practice lifting their head up while belly-down on the floor, try a small booster like this one. It props baby up just enough so they can interact with their toys while also strengthening their neck muscles. We love this tummy time booster because it also comes with a soft blanket and three travel-sized toys, plus it doubles as a regular stuffed animal once baby grows out of the tummy time phase.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

So Many Ways to Play

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.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+
Dimensions 11.8” x 8.7” x 0.5”

Easy to Grab

Watching your baby learn how to reach and grab for toys is awesome. Know what’s not so awesome? Watching them drop said toys and then having to pick them up 50 times. The Mombella to the rescue! This uniquely shaped toy + teether has a narrow stem that’s easy for babies to grab and hold onto. It’s fun for sucking on, chewing and soothing. Just remember it’s not a pacifier and baby should not be put to sleep with it.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

Mirror, 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.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0+
Dimensions 14” x 10” x 0.25”

A Rattlin' Good Time

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.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 mos+
Dimensions 2.25” x 2” x 2.75”

Just for Kicks

Get a kick out of playtime with this versatile play gym that’s powered by your little one’s kicks! This baby-favorite piano features four ways to play that grow with your little one—lay and play, tummy time, sit and play and take along. It’s great for musical discovery, physical development and even basic concepts like shapes, colors and numbers.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0+

Fun on the Go

This parent favorite is fun to say and fun to play! Featuring soft, narrow BPA-free loops wrapped around a central rattle, this colorful toy + teether is an ideal first toy for your curious little one. It’s great for grasping, shaking and chewing, and it can easily be tossed into your diaper bag or clipped to your stroller for playtime on the go.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0-24 months
Dimensions 5” x 3.5” x 4”

Music Time On the Go

Baby is in control of the tunes with this mini-sized music player. You’ll love the seven classical melodies (and the volume control button!) while your little one will love the cheerful music, flashing lights and easy-grip handle. A longstanding parent fave—we’ve yet to meet a kiddo who isn’t mesmerized by this toy—it will quickly become your go-to toy for portable baby entertainment.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+


Babies younger than three months old can’t differentiate colors very well (and the amount of color they can see is unknown), but they will stare endlessly at highly contrasted black-and-white images like the ones on these sweet little art cards. We also love this set for taking on the go, since they easily fit into a diaper bag and can keep baby entertained at a restaurant or grandparent’s house.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0-18 months

Shake, Rattle & Roll

What better first ball for your baby than one that rattles too? The large finger holes in the flexible fabric-covered bands make it easy for baby to grab and shake, and the interior rattle ball makes for fun, noisy rolling across the floor. At five inches in diameter, this ball is perfect for babies three months and older to practice their fine and gross motor skills as they grip and roll it around, and it can easily be tossed in the car or diaper bag as a travel toy.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

A Stylish Play Gym

There’s no shortage of play gyms out there, but if you’re looking for one that’s both functional and will blend in with your home decor, this one made of natural pine and neutral-colored toys won’t immediately stand out as “baby stuff.” The wood doesn’t have any varnishes or finishes (but don’t worry, it’s sanded completely smooth), and the hanging toys are made of food-grade silicone beads and beech wood shapes.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0-12 months

Hello Baby!

Right around three to four months old is when babies might start practicing grasping objects. The thick, round knob on this one-piece puzzle is the perfect size for a tiny grip, and once kiddo figures out how to lift the piece away, there’s a fun surprise waiting underneath—their own reflection!

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+


We understand the struggle of trying to find a stuffed animal that’s both soft enough and safe for babies to cuddle with (i.e. all new materials and doesn’t shed fibers that can get in baby’s mouth). Luckily, these plushies from Lambs & Ivy are both soft and safe and they’re adorable, too. (And bonus for adults: it’s machine washable!) And a reminder for caregivers: while your baby may love their furry friends, make sure to keep stuffies out of the crib.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

Baby’s First Book

It’s never too early for books—and this is one your baby will come back to again and again. It’s packed with sensory-stimulating features like ribbons, crinkly pages, flaps and a mirror, and the soft fabric “pages” are easy for little hands to turn. There’s also a silicone teething feature on one corner that baby can gnaw on to their heart’s content.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+


Where are all the animals hiding? Behind flowers, in the water, anywhere you can think of—little ones will delight in revealing what’s behind the felt flaps on every page, including their own reflection! Nosy Crow has lots of animals to search for, and since the felt flaps are much more durable than traditional paper lift-the-flap books, these books will last your baby through the infant months and beyond.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months-2 years

Easy Water Play

This mat could easily become your baby’s sensory play go-to. Just fill it with water (and make sure it’s sealed) and watch baby become completely entranced by the squishy texture and floating sea creatures. Heads up that this mat is on the smaller side and shouldn’t be used as a tummy time mat.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

High Contrast On the Go

Going for a stroll? We love a toy that can travel with ease, and this is a full-sized, visually stimulating mobile that clips right onto the canopy of your stroller or car seat. Since newborns can only see things about six to ten inches away, they’ll be much more entertained by a toy hanging right in front of them than the trees or people in the distance.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

All-in-One Teether

Is it a teether? Is it a spoon? Is it a toy? Nope—it’s all three! Even before baby is teething or eating solid foods, this toy comes in handy by letting baby practice their grip around the square-shaped animal, not to mention the smooth, soft silicone is great for gnawing on even before baby’s first teeth show up. And once they’re ready to try solids, it transforms into an easy-grip spoon that baby’s hands are already familiar with holding.

Bath Buddies

You can cross your fingers and hope your little one will like baths, but the truth is that some babies just don’t. Adding in one or two safe toys at bath time can help keep baby distracted from the fact that you’re trying to wash their hair, and we love that these little duckies go hand-in-hand with the water-safe book (yep, the book can go right in the water without getting damaged!).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 4 months+

Looking for more toys?

Check out our Toy Shelf in the Babylist Shop!

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.