Baby's First Toys

Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months

September 27, 2018

Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months

Best Toys for Babies 0-6 Months

Chances are during your newborn’s first few months of life you’ve been thinking a lot about diapers, feeding and sleep. (Or lack thereof.)

But did you know that play is also a major part of development for your growing little one? 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. Playing with your baby can help them achieve important physical milestones. It can also help develop their (quickly growing!) brains, teach them about emotions and social skills and encourage language development.

And play doesn’t have to be 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.

Baby’s Development Milestones During the First Six Months

There are some basic milestones your babe will begin to hit over those 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, and how play can help.

Babies 0-2 months

  • Holding up their heads
  • Smiling
  • Making eye contact and following objects with their eyes
  • Cooing and gurgling
  • Turning their heads 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 and core development as well as visual development.

Babies 2-4 months

  • Social smiles
  • Copying facial expressions
  • Babbling
  • Reaching for toys with one hand
  • Rolling from tummy to back
  • Holding and shaking a toy

Try this: Giving your 4-month-old baby a rattle to hold will help encourage skills like reaching and hand-eye coordination as they “wake up” from those early newborn days.

Babies 4-6 months

  • Look at themselves in a mirror
  • Respond to their name
  • Show curiosity at toys and objects (and try to eat them!)
  • Pass toys from one hand to another
  • Roll in both directions
  • Begin to sit without support

Try this: During this phase, something as simple as a game of peek-a-boo with your 5-month-old baby can start to teach complex concepts such as object permanence and social development.

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).

These toys are just right for babies from birth to around six months old (and even beyond) who are looking to get their play on.

So Many Ways to Play

This soft, friendly firefly with endless possibilities for play will quickly become one of your baby’s go-to first toys. Created in conjunction with child development experts, Freddie features so many things your little one will love—bright colors, patterns and textures, a squeaker, crinkly wings, a peek-a-boo mirror, a teether, clinking rings and more. It’s the perfect companion for playtime, tummy time and even on-the-go travel thanks to a built-in clip perfect for attaching to strollers or car seats.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0+ months

Play, Rattle and Roll

What’s a better first toy than a ball? How about three—plus two more bright, easy-to-grab toys perfect for little hands and growing minds? This gift set includes five tactile toys that are not only fun but will help your baby with visual development, hand-eye coordination, sensory play and even teething. It’s the perfect starter playset that will grow right along with your little one, and also makes a great gift.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0+ months

Mirror, Mirror

Watching a baby look in a mirror is not only insanely cute, but important too—it can encourage self-recognition and multisensory engagement. This soft, baby-safe cloud mirror is perfect for tummy time and features a visually stimulating design, a teether and crinkle fabric for extra sensory fun. It stands on its own or can be hung via the two attached straps.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0+ months

Just for Kicks

Kick off playtime with this ultra-fun, ultra-versatile play gym that’s powered by your little one’s kicks! The gym 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
Age Range 0+ months

Cozy Fun

Sometime during those first six months your baby is going to discover their feet. Add these adorable rattle socks to that Insta-worthy moment so they’ll be amazed every time they kick! These soft, cozy socks not only keep tiny toes warm, but rattle every time they move, aiding in sensory development. Pandas not your spirit animal? They come in lots of other designs, from koalas to monkeys to unicorns.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0-12 months

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 rolled into one is an ideal first toy for your curious little one. It’s great for grasping, shaking and chewing, and can easily be tossed into your diaper bag or clipped to your stroller for playtime on the go.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0-24 months

A Smarter Play Gym

If you’re looking for a thoughtfully designed, research-driven play gym that grows with your child and encourages developmental milestones along the way, look no further. With everything from high-contrast Montessori balls and a wooden batting ring to mirror cards and a detachable cotton teether, this (gorgeous) play gym will take your little one through an entire year of play and beyond, featuring five developmental play zones for each age and stage and ultimately transforming into a toddler fort. It also comes with a guide that walks you through stage-appropriate play. Only downside? It’s not cheap.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0-12 months

Get Shakin'

Shake, rattle and play with these three adorable shakers. These egg shakers are a great way to have fun while also introducing music to your growing baby. Each character makes its own unique sound, and even features a textured rubber patch for easy gripping and tactile stimulation.

Additional Specs
Age Range 3-12 months

A Baby Favorite

This bestselling toy has large buttons, so it’s easy for parents (and eventually baby) to toggle their way through recreated classical pieces from the likes of Chopin and Mozart. Meanwhile colorful lights move to the melodies to encourage auditory and visual perception. It’s small enough that you can take it anywhere—throw it in your diaper bag for on-the-go tunes. Oh, and there’s a volume control for when things get a little too loud.

Additional Specs
Age Range 3-36 months

A Brain Builder

Since most babies won’t start rolling from back to tummy until closer to four to six months, keeping a mobile above your little one’s crib (a safe distance away, of course!) is a great way to entertain and educate. This one, with 10 interchangeable high-contrast cards (black and white on one side and color on the other), will fascinate babies as their vision begins to develop. There’s a simple arm lock for easy installation on most cribs, and the arm adjusts to change the height of the mobile as baby grows.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0-5 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. Packed with sensory stimulating features like ribbons, crinkly pages, flaps and a mirror, the soft, high-contrast “pages” will capture baby’s attention and are easy for little hands to turn. And once baby’s done reading, the book folds into a stand-up playhouse for even more fun.

Additional Specs
Age Range 0-12 months
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