Do you have a newborn or infant? If so, when your baby reaches about three months old they will be ready to start playing with toys. That's the age babies begin to be more interactive with the world around them. They can grab ahold of things, notice more of their surroundings, and use more expressive vocals. It is the perfect time to introduce the best infant toys into their daily routine.
Some have lights, some make sounds, and many are bright and colorful. Some are a combination of all three. A good toy will make your child laugh and keep them occupied for hours. But the best infant toys not only keep your child entertained and giggling, they also help lay a solid foundation for fun learning.
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By the time your baby is old enough to start entertaining themselves with toys, you’ll be ready for a few minutes of personal time yourself. However, the best infant toys are so much more than just a distraction that allows parents a few moments of peace and (relative) quiet. They are one of the first bricks in the foundation of your child's education.
Infants are more than happy playing with just about anything. Cups, spoons and empty boxes to name a few. If you want to invest in the best infant toys for your child, there are several types of products designed specifically to stimulate their senses and challenge them to learn in a way that is both enjoyable and rewarding.
There are several classes of infant toys in production today. The best infant toys for your baby’s general development include teething toys, rattles, stuffed animals, electronics, and learning/educational toys.
Infant Toys FAQs
Choosing the right toys for your baby is harder than one might guess. That’s why we’ve included a few of the most frequently asked questions about the best infant toys.
What are the best infant toys for my baby by age?
From birth until six months old, the best infant toys for your child are the ones that make noises and that they can hold. Rattles, mirrors, stuffed animals, musical toys, and anything with vibrant colors and multiple types of texture are excellent examples. When your child is between six months and one year old, the variety of toys they will benefit from includes stackable toys, large balls, building blocks, vehicles that have wheels, dolls and action figures.
How can the best infant toys impact my baby’s social skills?
Playing with interactive toys such as musical toys, educational toys, and other skill-building and developmental toys help your baby to improve their social abilities generally. When a baby turns approximately three months old, they naturally become more interactive. Introducing them to toys which require more focus, or allow them to interact with their parents or siblings, will positively boost their social skills for years to come.
How do the best infant toys aid my baby’s physical development?
The best infant toys will aid in your baby’s physical development by encouraging them to be more active. Gripping, pulling, and crawling might not seem like much physical activity to us full grown adults, but it goes a long way in helping to develop young children’s physical fitness. Remember, just laying on their stomachs is a doctor recommended form of exercise. Active babies also have less risk of heart disease and obesity as they begin to age.
How will the best infant toys affect my baby’s mental skills?
Physical activity is linked to mental activity. Therefore, if your baby is developing physical skills, they are also developing mental skills as well. For example, when an infant stacks multiple rings onto a classic Rock-a-Stack, they are also learning how to count as well as colors and sizes.
The Best Infant Toys of 2018
Here it is, the list you have been waiting for, the best infant toys of 2018. Regardless if your infant is newborn or turning into a toddler, there is a toy on our list for them!
This #1 selling product is one of the best infant toys of 2018, hands down. Yes, it's technically a toothbrush, but it doubles as a teething toy. It's shaped like a partially peeled banana and has a soft bristle brush built onto one end. The Baby Banana Infant Toothbrush is for babies up to one year old. It consists of 100 percent food-grade silicone which is safe for your babies mouth and is both freezer and dishwasher friendly. Jump start your child’s oral hygiene with this fun toothbrush.
For music lovers, the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy is one of the best infant toys ever created. This infant friendly MP3 player comes with simplified versions of masterpieces from Chopin, Mozart, Rossini, and Vivaldi. Your child easily controls the device. With the press of a button, your baby can skip songs, activate lights, and adjust the volume. This product is for children from three months to three years old. It runs on two AA batteries.
This retro looking infant toy is great for infants six months to three years old. It's full of bright colors, different textures, and wacky patterns that are sure to captivate your small child and develop better vision. The built-in bumps make perfect handles for your infant to grip the ball and build stronger motor skills. Also, the sound of beads rattling help create neural connections in your baby’s brain.
Freddie the Firefly by Lamaze is one of the best infant toys for babies of any sex. This happy-go-lucky butterfly challenges all of your child’s senses and encourages them to explore. Freddie the Firefly comes with an antenna that doubles as a teether toy, built in jingling sounds, and a velour body with multiple additional textures attached. It also comes with a hidden mirror for your infant to discover and learn to track movements and increase focus.
The Rock-a-Stack is by far one of the best infant toys ever created by Fisher-Price. It comes with a base and five rings. The top ring is shiny and filled with beads. This classic toy for babies and toddlers helps children develop essential critical thinking skills. It also teaches your baby about colors, sizes, and counting. The Rock-a-Stack is an excellent toy for practicing balance, stacking, and coordination.
When your baby hits the stage where they are grabbing everything that isn't bolted down and putting it in their mouth, the Baby Elefun Silicone Teething Toy is one of the best infant toys that they can get their hands on. It's made of perfectly safe food grade silicone and can be cooled in the refrigerator. This product is easy to clean and long lasting so that it can be passed on to your next little one. Also noteworthy, a mother of two children created the Baby Elefun.
Do you remember the classic xylophone from Fisher-Price? Well, now it has a fresh new look. It still comes with eight colorful musical keys and is still just as exciting as it ever was. However, it's now mobile due to the addition of wheels and a tethered mallet. The mallet acts as a handle to pull the xylophone all around as well as a component for striking keys and making music. This all-time favorite toy of music lovers will teach your baby to appreciate good tunes.
This set of Ice Gel Teether Keys by Nuby is one of the best infant toys for assisting your baby’s first teeth coming through the gums. Unlike other teething toys, the Ice Gel Teether Keys aren't just for the front teeth of children. They also reach their middle and back teeth. These keys are also designed to be cooled in the refrigerator to ease your baby’s teething phases. In addition to helping with teething, the Ice Gel Teether Keys also promote the development of their motor skills. This product is geared towards three-month-old infants and on up.
Another of the best infant toys on the market is Baby’s First Blocks Set by Fisher-Price. Infants love to drop the blocks through the five openings on the lid. And while they’re playing with the blocks, they’re also learning about colors, shapes, coordination, and critical thinking/ problem-solving. When they get done loading the blocks into the bucket, they’ll enjoy dumping it and starting all over again. The bucket also comes with an easy-to-carry handle so you and baby can bring it along wherever you go.
Last but not least, is the Oball Shaker, one of the best infant toys in the rattle category. The rattle is see-through and consists of two flexible mini Oballs filled with colorful beads that create exciting sounds for the baby. It’s BPA-Free and perfectly safe for your baby to use for teething. It is also easy for infants to hold and it comes clean easily. However, you should not fully submerge it in water.
Safety Warning and Features
Before making any permanent purchasing decisions concerning toys for your infant, there are several safety aspects to consider.
Read the warning labels and instructions
Make sure that you read the warning labels and instructions that come with all infant toys that you purchase for your child. These labels exist for a reason, they will inform you about any potential dangers of the toy.
Does the toy contain toxins?
As your child grows, and you begin to consider buying art supplies, crayons, or toys that contain liquid, it is crucial to check for toxic chemicals. Usually, this information will be located on the warning label or in the instructions.
Are there sharp edges or points?
Infants have a habit of putting everything they can get their hands on into their mouth. That is why it’s so crucial to go over any toys you purchase to check for sharp edges or dangerous points.
How durable is the toy?
The durability of infant toys is another vital aspect to consider because babies love to throw things. If the toy is not durable, it may shatter into pieces and cause bodily harm to your child.
How many parts does the toy have?
Toys with multiple small parts are not safe for small children as they pose a choking hazard. Avoid toys with tiny removable pieces until your child is out of its infancy.
Choosing the Best Infant Toys for Your Baby
The Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack is our pick for the best infant toy of 2018. This timeless classic has kept infants entertained for decades and will continue to do so. It’s affordable, helps children develop much-needed problem-solving skills, and is altogether a blast for your infant.
Toys aren’t necessary for your baby, but they are incredibly beneficial. Depending on your tastes, and budget, there are countless infant toys to choose from for your baby. Also, don’t forget to keep in mind several things while shopping: What will the toy teach your child? How long will it entertain your child? Is the toy safe? Does it stimulate multiple senses?
Have you recently purchased an infant toy from our list for your little one? How do you feel about it, or better yet, how does your baby like it? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.