10 Best Baby Toys & Gifts for 6- to 9-Month-Olds
Best Toys for 6- to 9-Month-Olds
November 5, 2020

Best Toys for 6- to 9-Month-Olds

Babies start to develop a real interest in the world around 6 months and grow quickly emotionally, physically and cognitively between then and 9 months. These play toys for baby can help foster that development.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.

Build It Up, Knock It Down

It may look like a work of modern art, but it’s actually a super innovative toy packed with creative potential. Each uniquely weighted piece balances and nests on itself. Your little one—and you!—will love the endless stacking, topping, spinning and wobbling. Not only fun, this unique yet simple stacking toy is also teaching complex concepts like sensory exploration, spatial skills, coordination and more along the way. Looking for a non-plastic alternative? These stacking rings from Lamaze are soft with plenty of textures.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6-24 months

Music Time On the Go

Let kiddo control the tunes with this baby-sized music player. You’ll love the seven classical melodies (and the volume control button!) while your little one will love the soothing 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 3-36 months

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)

Rolling Into Playtime

Your little one may be getting interested in being mobile, and this zoomy little snail can help get your baby crawling. With a touch of its tail, the snail gets going with a spinning shell and cheerful tunes, leading babies on fun crawling adventures (about two yards at a time). Babies typically start crawling between six and ten months old, but if your kiddo isn’t mobile yet, don’t worry; all babies develop at their own speeds. And good news for non-mobile little ones: this snail is actually two toys in one, since the shell detaches to become a five-piece stacking toy complete with a rattle and squeaker.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months–5 years

A Speech Starter

Your little one loves to hear you talk, even if you’re just naming furniture, but they’ll soon learn some essential first words and pictures with this bright board book. One hundred color photographs and simple words will help your baby learn more about their world, and the tough board book pages will hold up to hours of reading.

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+

Sort It Out

With all the skills they help develop in your baby, shape sorters are a classic playtime go-to. Think of it as baby’s first puzzle—the job of fitting the shaped pieces into corresponding chutes fascinates little minds and encourages problem solving and fine and gross motor skills. This eco-friendly version is made from recycled plastic milk jugs, so it’s extra durable.

A Book About Feelings

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.

The Teether that Gives Back

Babies usually get their first tooth when they’re about six months old, and you’ll want to be prepared with a good teething toy. Enter Polly Pineapple, created by Gnomgnoms: specifically designed for comprehensive teething relief, this bright and friendly teether features small bumps for front teeth and a leafy crown and rounded feet for reaching 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 0–2 years

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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