Do newborns really need toys? No. But sooner than you might think, your little one will go from not doing much of anything (except eating and sleeping!) to a baby who’s ready for some action and excitement.
Monogrammed baby blankets and onesies are cute, but when it comes to items your baby will get some long-term use out of, toys are where it’s at. But there are literally millions of baby toys, so how do you know what to get? Don’t panic! Just use our list below of 10 tried-and-true gadgets that we’re sure your baby will love.
It’s pretty amazing how something so simple can end up being a toy you’ll have for years, but such is the case with these stacking toys. Your baby will love the bright colors and the way this toy can go from playroom to bathroom. All eight cups have holes in the bottom making them great bath toys.
A shape sorter toy, like this classic from Fisher Price, gets you a lot of mileage. First, baby will be interested in the colors and exploring the shapes with his mouth. But soon, he’ll start to explore fitting the shapes in the basket and learning that certain shapes need to go in certain holes. This toy can easily entertain up through the early toddler years.
Normally we wouldn’t be huge fans of toys that make noise for obvious reasons. But we give this toy a pass because it’s got everything you need to keep baby entertained without being annoying for the parents who have to listen to it. The toy plays snippets of classical music (kind of nice actually!) and colorful lights turn on and off as the music plays. It’s also perfectly made for small hands to hold on their own — another big must in our book.
Babies are automatically attracted to anything that makes noise — and if they can make it themselves, even better. These simple rattles won’t make so much noise that you’ll want to hide them and they’re sized just right for even young babies to begin to start to hold.
Tummy time is one of the things you’ll hear about a lot with a newborn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies get 3-5 minutes of tummy time 2-3 times a day starting the day they arrive home from the hospital. The Lovevery Play Gym makes this easy by offering baby tons of visual distractions and grows as they do, offering enough space for baby to share with a friend and eventually morphing into a fun fort for your toddler.
Wooden blocks are a classic baby toy for good reason — endless stacking possibilities means limitless hours of open-ended play. Plus, as your child grows, they can begin practicing letter recognition and eventually using them to spell simple words.
This is a great double-duty toy. The plastic ring at the top makes it perfect as a stroller or car seat toy, but the colorful pattern, crinkly noises and fun textures mean baby will be into it at any time. Plus it’s got a built-in plastic teether, which baby can happily chomp on to ease sore gums once she’s teething.
If you’re getting the BABYBJORN Bouncer (which we highly recommend), you’ll want to add on this toy. At first glance the price might seem high, but we pretty much guarantee this will be a hit. We can’t tell you what it is, but something about the googly eyes and the beads are just irresistible. Put baby in the bouncer with this toy and you’ll get at least 10 minutes to yourself to take a shower.
Babies love balls — holding them, trying to hold them, throwing them, rolling them. It’s a deceptively simply developmental toy. These Edushape balls have the added advantage of being small enough for baby hands and each one is textured, making it fun to explore.
Once baby can sit up on their own, usually around six months, many love the feeling of freedom that comes with being in a jumper. It allows them to practice moving their legs, has tons of fun things to look at and interact with, and frankly is just plain fun. This jumparoo lets baby turn herself 360 degrees, with different activities sprinkled all around.
Editorial Director of MamasUncut. Currently back on the East Coast. Most days spent chasing after two young kids and our very patient rescue mutt. Learning that parenting never really gets easier it just gets … different. Love running and water views. Also all the coffee.