It’s no surprise to any of you, I’m sure, that babies learn through play. Every single thing that they can touch or look at or grab has the potential to become a play thing. Development is fast and monumental in a baby’s first few months, and making sure you have some of the best toys to stimulate baby is a good way to ensure your baby is developing at the right pace (whatever pace that may be varies baby to baby).
When I say “younger infants” I suppose you could think of birth to 6 months. However, toddlers still love rattles, and some babies play with toys that say 6+ months when they are only 3 months old, so I tend to not look at the age recommendations on the boxes. Unless, of course, there are small parts or areas of learning that are obviously not appropriate for an infant.
Keeping that in mind, if you follow age recommendations, you may want to verify that these toys will work for your little one prior to purchasing. The following list is of the top ten toys that MY daughter and I LOVED, and still love to this day!
10. Sophie The Giraffe
I rank Sophie at 10 only because B lost her before she could really understand what she was for. Prior to losing her, she wasn’t the best at grasping bigger toys, and she liked to shove Sophie’s legs all the way down her throat continuously. I think if Sophie would resurface now she’d be attached at B’s side. Since she’s been around since 1961, I think it’s safe to say that this is a fantastic and classic infant toy! Sophie is a must, and very few parents have a Sophie for their children.
9. Franky The Hanky Whale
B’s aunt & uncle bought her Franky for Christmas and he is both hilarious and perfect. He has 4 different coloured hankies in his blowhole, that you can pull back in through his mouth. In and out, in and out, in and out. Repetitive play is such a great way to learn! But Franky also has those classic Lamaze colours and markings on him that are specifically made to stimulate and entice baby’s eyes. And for good measure, some tags to stick in baby’s mouth!
8. Jellycat Stuffed Animals
Jellycat make beautiful animals. They’re wonderfully simple and sweet, and soft as can be. There are squirrels, owls, bears, bunnies, foxes, cats.. you name it! This is a great toy that can be introduced from birth, and very likely to be baby’s best friend for years to come. Plus they’re gorgeous. Good luck resisting collecting them all – we already have two bunnies!
Wubbanubs are fantastic (for babies who take soothers). If your little wiggler hasn’t yet discovered how to hold onto his soother, or put it back into their mouth, this friend can help. If you’re constantly misplacing soothers or they’re continuously bouncing under the couch, behind baskets, just out of view (always!)… this friend can help. Pleasing to the eye and cuddly, Wubbanubs help keep your soother with baby and helps teach baby to learn how to get her soother back into her own mouth. Which is a great skill to have while you’re driving. I haven’t been able to find the Wubbanub I’m looking for, so I’ve mastered finding the soother while driving in a pretzel like shape. Obviously dangerous! So, probably best to invest in a Wubbanub haha.
6. OBall Rattle
This thing is THE BEST. This is another toy that we have somehow managed to lose. Which is a massive shame. B had it in pink, and the reason we lost it is because we took it literally everywhere with us. It was without a doubt her favourite toy and a huge reason she learned to grasp things as early as she did. The shape and design of the toy makes it the perfect grasping toy from a very young age, and it doubles as a rattle. Plus it remains cool for a super long time because balls are just awesome all around.
5. Amazing Baby Blanket Teether Bear
As I post this toy I am shocked that the Amazon page selling it is not flooded with 5 star reviews. This flat toy is crinkly, soft, colourful, enticing, has rings, and even sports some teething discs. PERFECT for a younger infant who isn’t necessarily into toys yet, but loves sounds and touch. This bear went everywhere with us for the first few months of B’s life as well. Now it is in our bedroom toy rotation. She still loves the crinkle and all the doo-dads! Unless that crinkle noise is like nails down a chalkboard for you, I highly recommend grabbing this bear. If you can’t stand the noise, skip it. You’ll be hearing a lot of it.
4. Caterpillar Grasping Baby Toy
I grabbed this on a whim on Black Friday because I have a disease where I can’t say no to good deals. Unlike the expired cans of chicken of the sea, this time it turned out great. In our house, Melissa & Doug is a favourite. Their toys are high quality and top of the line, and as far as I know, almost all made out of wood. B loves to twist and turn the caterpillar and munch on his body. I don’t know how wood could be comfy on her sensitive gums, but she seems to love it! She has a bad habit of dropping him and not knowing where he went, but until that happens, she really enjoys playing with him. For the price, this is a fantastic toy for a little one that is just learning to hold and manipulate toys.
3. Go Gaga Mirror
Infantino is another brand we love in this house. Their toys are bright and stimulating for baby’s senses, not to mention safe and reasonably priced. Great Grandma bought this for B for Valentine’s Day and she absolutely loves it. I can hook it onto her car seat, or let her play with it on it’s own. It has handles, and tags, a teething ring, and of course a mirror. This toy also makes a gentle jingling sound when it is shaken, so it’s lots of fun to play with.
2. Lots of Links
Links. Are. Genius. They are both toys and equipment in one! Links can attach other toys to your stroller, high chair, child, etc. OR they can entertain your child solely on their own. Even just ONE link can entertain your child. WHAT! Yes. I love links.
Also, it must be said.. Yo dawg, I put links with your links, so you can play while you play.
No matter what gadget or toy we buy for B, her favourite thing of all is the people she loves. She will sit with me for what seems like forever without getting bored, just playing with my fingers and hands, interacting with me, eating and manipulating my face. Not only is this a great way to bond with baby, but they learn through touch in many ways as well. This “toy” has endless opportunities for play!
Well there you have it, our favourite toys and top 10 for young infants.
Do/did you have any of these toys in your home? What does baby think of them?