11 Best Baby Toys & Gifts for 6- to 9-Month-Olds
Best Toys for 6- to 9-Month-Olds
October 4, 2021

Best Toys for 6- to 9-Month-Olds

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Best Toys for 6- to 9-Month-Olds

Although all ages and phases of a baby’s development are amazing, six to nine months old just might be one of the best.

Gone are the marathon feeding sessions and the seemingly endless stream of dirty diapers of those first few months. The fog of those early newborn days has lifted, and in its place is an alert and curious little babe who loves to smile, babble and, most of all, play!

Playing with your child is important at any age, but especially as your baby transitions from a tiny newborn to a slightly older baby. Babies around this age love nothing more than interacting with the world around them—it’s how they learn, reach milestones and develop their senses. Playing with them is not only fun but good for building physical and cognitive skills as well as social and emotional intelligence.

Baby’s Development Milestones from 6 to 9 Months

There are so many developmental leaps to look forward to between six and nine months. Here are some of the milestones to keep an eye out for, according to the CDC, and how to incorporate play along the way. (And remember that all babies develop at their own individual pace, so this is only a broad guideline. If you ever have any questions about your child’s development, don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician.)

Social and Emotional Milestones:
  • Recognizing familiar faces (and unfamiliar ones!)
  • Enjoying playing with others
  • Responding to other people’s emotions

Try this: Use a baby-safe mirror to show your little one their own face. Smile, make funny faces and be silly, and show them how it reflects! There are even simple board books that focus on faces and emotions, and they can help your baby recognize different facial expressions.

Language and Communication Milestones:
  • Responding to sounds by making sounds
  • Stringing vowels together while babbling
  • Making sounds to show joy and displeasure
  • Responding to their name

Try this: Talk and sing with your baby throughout the day. Encourage communication by pointing at objects, talking about them and using books with common first words and household objects. Use musical toys to sing together, and practice reciprocal play by encouraging your little one to “sing back” to you. And when you get tired from singing all day, keep the music going with favorite children’s musicians like Raffi, Laurie Berkner, or Greg & Steve.

Cognitive Milestones:
  • Showing curiosity about the world
  • Trying to grab things that are out of reach
  • Passing things from one hand to another
  • Chewing on just about anything

Try this: Let your baby play with—and then drop or knock over—soft balls, toys and stacking cups, then pick them up and give them back; it’s a great way to start teaching the concept of cause and effect. And when they start chewing, give your little one a teether and watch them go to town!

Movement and Physical Development Milestones:
  • Rolling in both directions
  • Supporting their weight when standing
  • Sitting without support
  • Rocking back and forth in preparation for crawling

Try this: Use an activity gym to encourage your baby to move, explore and practice reaching for objects and sitting up. You can also position a soft ball just out of reach to encourage your little one to move toward it. You can even start rolling it back and forth to each other.

To help your growing baby achieve all those important milestones—and have fun doing it—we’ve curated a list of some parent favorites for developmental toys. And if you’re looking for a curated book or toy collection on the regular, be sure to check out these subscription boxes that you can sign up for that are specially designed by age and developmental stage.

So Many Activities!

Babies love all there is to do with this activity center—there’s a musical, light-up piano, a hooting peek-a-boo owl, a cloud with colorful beads, swaying trees and hedgehog bead chaser with spinner. Older babies will delight in playing the piano with their toes, and once kiddos reach toddlerhood, the toys can be unclipped from the top and the center transforms into a small play table.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 4 months-4 years (in table mode)

Crawling Ahead

Somewhere between six and nine months, you might notice your baby getting up on their hands and knees and rocking back and forth as if preparing for takeoff. This busy little bee can help them get going with three stages: 1) a wobbly rattle for pre-crawlers to wiggle with, 2) a circular movement pattern for beginner crawlers to follow and 3) random movement patterns for advanced crawlers to chase after. And thanks to the built-in sensors, it will avoid walls and obstacles on its own.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 5 months+

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

Stacking rings are a classic baby toy for building hand-eye coordination, and we love this soft, multi-textured option for babies just starting their stacking journey. Not only fun, it also teaches tactile and visual exploration through the varied textures and patterns, and since the rings are made of soft fabric, they’re easier for little hands to grasp than the usual plastic rings.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months+

Not Your Average Teether

Once baby’s first teeth start to appear, you’re gonna want to stock up on teethers to help soothe sore gums. There are lots of different designs for teething toys out there, but this set from Lucy Darling takes a unique, multi-use approach. While the flames and sides of the camper act as any regular silicone teether would to reach the front of baby’s mouth, the campfire logs can more easily reach back to the molars and feature a special texture to better massage the gums. And the beads on top of the camper slide back and forth to keep little fingers busy as baby gnaws away.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

High Chair Helper

Once your little one is ready for mealtimes in their high chair, don’t be surprised if they struggle a bit with sitting still (especially if you take a minute or two to prepare their food). If you’ve got an impatient eater, stick this onto the high chair tray to keep their mind—and most importantly, hands—occupied with the spinning, rattling, musical toys.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months+

Silicone Stacker

Some stacking toys have rings, some have blocks, others have rainbows! The 10 pieces of this stacker nest perfectly together to build baby’s spatial awareness and coordination skills. Our favorite thing about this set, though? It’s about as versatile as they come. Each colorful arc is made of silicone (and free from all the bad stuff, so they’re totally safe for chewing on), and they can also be used as ramps for toy cars, sculpture creations or bath toys (they’re totally water-safe!).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

Crawl Space

If you’ve noticed your baby making the first few efforts to start crawling, one of the best ways to encourage them is to place interesting things just out of reach so they’ll be inspired to keep moving forward. This mat gives baby nine interesting things to crawl toward, including high-contrast images, teething flaps, a mirror and even suprise crinkle noises hidden in some squares.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 months+

A First Friend

Your little one will love snuggling up with this extra-soft, super-cuddly doll—and you’ll love that it’s 100 percent machine washable to keep it looking (and smelling!) clean no matter what. With no small sewn-on parts to worry about, this doll is the perfect first play partner for even the littlest of littles.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

Fine Motor Fun

Fine motor skills involve finger dexterity and strength, and what better way to increase those than by practicing pinching and turning? This colorful ball will have your baby focused on figuring out how to work each knob, and they’ll be rewarded with a satisfying click each time they manage to twist a knob successfully.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

Building Emotional Intelligence

Happy, sad, surprised, silly—this simple book of diverse baby faces can help your baby learn all about emotions and the expressions that come with them, and provide the delight that comes from seeing another baby’s face.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 months+

A Bathtime Distraction

Bathtime with a wiggly newborn is one thing, but as your bundle of joy gets bigger, baths can become a whole other struggle for older babies who can’t keep calm in the water. Enter the bathtime distraction: this bumpy ball is covered in lots of different, exciting textures, and each one creates a unique waterfall pattern when water is poured out, making for endless visual and tactile enjoyment for your little one (and a chance for you to give them a good scrub-down). And no worries about mold with this bath toy; the two halves separate so it’s easy to clean and dry after every bath.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months+

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