Although they’re a ways away from playing with LEGOs, tea party sets, or board games, babies as young as one to three months old are capable of interacting with and enjoying age-appropriate toys. In addition to being safe — see these guidelines from BabyCenter — the best baby toys are those that stoke a little one’s curiosity and capture his or her attention, whether through interesting shapes, sizes, textures, noises, or colors.

Best toys for babies 0 to 6 months

Inflatable Water Mat 

Inflatable Tummy Time Premium Water Mat

$15.25

This ocean-inspired water mat is the perfect place for strengthening head, neck, and shoulder muscles through the activity known widely as “tummy time.” To use it, simply inflate the perimeter with air and the inner rectangle with water, place it on the ground and stand by while your baby practices holding his head up, swiveling it from side to side, and eventually rolling over. The mat is intended for babies three months old and up. You can read the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations for daily tummy time here.

Kick n’ Play Piano Gym 


Deluxe Kick 'n Play Piano Gym

 

Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

$39.88

With 4.8 stars and more than 20,000 ratings on Amazon, the Kick n’ Play Piano Gym is a little stimulation hub for rapidly expanding minds. It features a plush and machine-washable playmat beneath an arc holding four dangling toys, and a vertical keyboard on one end that babies can “play” with their feet. Newborns to three-year-olds can enjoy the piano gym, which has three levels of smart stages that grow alongside her.

NogginStick Light-Up Rattle


NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

 

NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

$23.99

There aren’t a ton of toys that advertise “Ages: Birth +,” but the NogginStick Light-Up Rattle is one of them. Shaped like a stick person with no arms or legs, the colorful rattle has a head that lights up and changes from red to blue to green when shaken, as well as a mirror on the bottom of the base. (Judging by my three-month-old, babies love looking at themselves!) The stick body is long and thin enough for a baby’s hand to grasp whenever he’s ready, too.

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Best toys for babies 6 to 12 months

Stacking Cups 


Stacking Cups Toy

 

Once your baby hits six months, she may be ready to start exploring stacking cups (also called nesting cups) such as the eight-piece set by Danish company Mushie. Suitable for both dry and wet use, each BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free plastic cup has a distinctive cut-out design on the bottom that will liven up bath time and water play. She’d never know it, but the cups aren’t just for fun; they also encourage the development of organization, language, and fine motor skills.

Dimpl Baby Toy


Original Dimpl Brand Baby Toy

 

Original Dimpl Brand Baby Toy

Fat Brain Toys

amazon.com

$12.95

An Amazon favorite, with 4.8 stars and more than 18,000 ratings, the Dimpl is a great choice for six-month-old babies and older. Marketed as a “portable, sensory delight,” it looks like a plastic disk with five differently-shaped bubbles made of 100% food-grade silicone nested within. Every time your little one manipulates the bubbles by pressing them in and out, he’ll be working on sensory exploration, fine motor skills, and cause-and-effect learning.

Best bath toys

Floating Purple Octopus Bath Toy


Floating Purple Octopus with 3 Hoopla Rings

 

Floating Purple Octopus with 3 Hoopla Rings

$6.99

To take your baby’s bath time to the next level, check out the Floating Purple Octopus Bath Toy. Part floating toy, part interactive game, the buoyant and flexible octopus comes with three rings — shaped like a fish, a star, and a striped circle — that can be placed or tossed onto its tentacles. Intended for children 18 months and older, the octopus is a great teaching tool for hand-eye coordination.

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Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy 

Play Bubbles Bath Toy, 4 Count” href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I3K25R0?tag=toysdaily0c-20″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener” data-embed-id=”a14537a6-148f-4891-b69f-403eebf36cdc”>
Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy, 4 Count

 

Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy, 4 Count

$7.99

Babies as young as four months old will have a ball with this set of four Float and Play Bubbles, each of which encases either a turtle, a penguin, or a fun abstract shape in its transparent shell. The contents of each bubble rattle and roll, while the textured ring encircling each one moves freely around it. It’s never too early to start working on motor skills or hand-eye coordination, and these floating bath toys are a fun place to start.

Best teething toys

Infant Toothbrush & Teether 


 Yellow Banana Infant Toothbrush

 

Yellow Banana Infant Toothbrush

$6.79

With the look of a miniature banana with a toothbrush head on the top, the Baby Banana does double duty, serving as a teething toy as well as a training toothbrush. It’s designed for tiny, sensitive mouths and made with 100% food-grade silicone (bristles included). In addition to letting her gnaw on it when she starts teething, you can freeze it for a little extra relief and, when that first tooth erupts, apply a dab of infant-safe toothpaste to the bristles.

Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy 


Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

 

Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

$14.99

Not your traditional teether, the Winkel is a “mesmerizing maze of soft, continuous BPA-free teething tubes” that functions as much as a toy as it does a soother for sore gums. The cube in the center rattles, the loops offer great clutching practice, and, like the Baby Banana, the Winkel can be frozen for extra gum relief when needed. It’s suitable for newborns and up, and is Amazon’s Choice for teething toys for babies 0-6 months.

Sophie the Giraffe Teether

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Sophie The Giraffe New Box

 

Sophie The Giraffe New Box

$23.89

For a teether with a little something extra, look no further than Sophie the Giraffe. A seven-inch-tall giraffe, it’s made of 100% natural rubber and offers little mouths several shapes and textures to explore, whether they go for her legs, ears, neck, or body. Sophie the Giraffe is flexible, squeaky, and safe to chew on, and has been loved by children for more than 55 years.

Best toys for baby development

Black and White Jungle Alphabet Cards 


Educational Flashcards for Babies

 

Educational Flashcards for Babies

$19.99

As long as you set your expectations appropriately, these jungle animal flashcards can be a great entertainment and learning tool for little ones up to three years old. Highly contrasting colors like black and white are easier for infants to perceive than bright colors, which come a little later (starting with red), making these cards an excellent choice for brand new babes. Once he’s old enough, he can also use them to learn the alphabet and work on memory skills.

Three-Stage Activity Center


 Baby Activity Center: Interactive Play Center with 3-Stage Grow-with-Me Functionality

 

Baby Activity Center: Interactive Play Center with 3-Stage Grow-with-Me Functionality

$96.99

It takes up a good amount of space, but unlike most baby toys, the three-stage activity center by Skip Hop is a purchase that your baby can enjoy for a few years as she grows and develops. Starting at four months, she can sit in a swivel chair in the middle of the unit while playing with various toys that suction to the edge. Once she outgrows that, she can transition to holding onto the outside while cruising around, and later, use it as her own mini activity table.

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