Best Toys for Babies
Today I wanted to share our picks for the best toys for babies. These are the toys that were favourites for our kids, and withstood the wear and tear that comes with being passed down through three children.
First, an important caveat. Babies need very little in terms of toys. They are just as happy playing with measuring cups, or pulling all of the wipes out of the container – trust me! Try to avoid going overboard, but since we all know that’s easier said than done, here are the toys that were the clear winners with our three kids.
Missed our other gift guides?
- 19 Best Toys for One-Year-Olds
- 25+ Best Toys for Two-Year-Olds
- 34+ Best Toys for Three-Year-Old Boys
- 67+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas that Kids (and Parents!) Will Love
1. Books. I’ve mentioned before that books are one of my favourite baby gifts. Babies love books from a surprisingly young age – listening to them and playing with them (i.e. pulling all of the books off the shelf!). You can find a list of some of our favourite books for little ones here.
2. Floor mirror. We all know that we’re supposed to do tummy time with our babies, but so many of them hate it (all of mine did!). A floor mirror like this one (Canadian link) makes it more tolerable.
3. Car seat toy. You will want to have at least one toy to clip on to the car seat when you’re on the go. Freddie the Firefly (Canadian link) is a universal hit with babies. He’s got all kinds of textures, colours and sounds for baby to explore. We also loved the Infantino Jittery Pals (Canadian link), which shake when you pull on them – they’re a good distraction when your little one is upset!
4. Winkle. This (Canadian link) toy was a favourite with all of our kids. It’s a rattle, it’s a teether, and perhaps most importantly, it’s one of the first toys that their little fingers are able to pick up on their own.
5. Links. Plastic links like these are a fantastic multi-purpose toy. They can be used to secure other toys to the stroller or car seat, and also make a fun toy for baby to chew on and play with all on their own.
6. Kick and Play Piano. I’ve previously mentioned our love for this little play gym (Canadian link). Like other play gyms, this has toys that hang over baby’s head for them to bat at. It also has a piano that babies can kick (and later sit up and play), which gives it longevity over some of the other options.
7. Easy-to-grab ball. Balls are a basic and entertaining toy for little ones. We had a couple of easy-to-grab options that our kids enjoyed: this one (Canadian link) and this one (Canadian link). The Oball is incredibly light, and easy to bend and manipulate. The Baby Einstein ball is heavier but has a fun little rattle ball inside. Both are very easy for baby to grasp.
Related article: Must-have Baby Items: 0-6 Months
8. Teether. Not necessarily a toy, but worth mentioning. I would suggest buying at least one water- or gel-filled teether that can be refrigerated for extra relief of teething pain.
9. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. We loved this (Canadian link) handheld music player at home, and even more so as a distraction in the car. When baby pushes the large button on the front, it activates music and lights. It plays classical music, which is much more tolerable for Mom & Dad’s ears than many other toys.
10. Exersaucer or Jumperoo. The exersaucer and jumperoo are fairly interchangeable – you certainly don’t need both. We had borrowed and hand-me-down exersaucers with all of our kids. They are used for an incredibly short period of time, so are an excellent item to buy used if you can. Although their useful life is short, they can provide very welcome entertainment if your little one takes to them. My oldest would happily play in his exersaucer for 30 minutes each morning if I let him, which gave me a chance to drink my coffee while it was hot!
Related article: How to Save Money on Baby Gear
11. Jolly Jumper. The Jolly Jumper (Canadian link) is another item that is very entertaining for a very short period of time. There are two models – one with a clamp that attaches to a doorway, and a freestanding version with its own stand. A word of warning – the stand version takes up a LOT of room. It does fold up for storage, but is still quite large and awkward to store. This is another item that is smart to borrow or buy used if you can.
12. Shape sorter. A shape sorter (Canadian link) is a classic toy that grows with your child. From filling the bucket and dumping out the blocks, to stacking, to matching the shapes of the blocks to their intended opening, this simple toy provides many different possibilities for learning and play. There are a ton of different shape sorters on the market, so you’re sure to find one that has just what you’re looking for.
13. Stacking ring. Another classic toy, these stacking rings (Canadian link) are entertaining long before baby is able to stack them in order. There are countless different versions of this – I also like the look of this wooden one by Melissa & Doug (Canadian link).
14. Nesting cups. When it comes to value for money, you can’t beat nesting cups (Canadian link). There are so many ways to play with this simple toy, and your child is sure to discover all of them. These have great longevity – my 3-year-old and 5-year-old enjoy building towers for their little sister to knock over.
15. Learning table. Once baby can pull to stand (and before, if you take the legs off) a learning table will provide hours of entertainment. We had an older version of this one (Canadian link), which all of our kids loved. This is another item that you may want to buy used.
16. Walker. Finally, a sit-to-stand walker (Canadian link) was our favourite walker-type toy when our kids were learning to walk. This one is not only a fun push-walker, the toys on the front are entertaining for babies who have just learned to sit.
Did I miss any of your favourites? What are the best baby toys in your house?