A helpful list of eight attractive and developmentally appropriate newborn toys that are perfect for babies ages 0-3 months.
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You know by now that I’m pretty picky about what I buy. But when it comes to toys for the youngest babies, I’ll often defer to the professionals and give babies what they find most stimulating: newborn toys in bright colors with strange textures and funny sounds. That said, I’ll still try to find the better looking ones! If you’re looking for ways to entertain your very young baby in (relative) style, today’s post is for you. Trust me, even if it seems like your baby will never do anything but sleep and eat, you’ll soon want a few toys that will encourage your child’s development while adding some novelty to your day.
1. Activity Gym
An activity gym is my number one toy recommendation for new parents. My daughter began spending a few minutes a day at her “gym” within the first week of her life! An activity gym a perfect place to practice tummy time. Even if your baby doesn’t seem to enjoy it, it’s important to get some tummy time in every day. Tummy time helps strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles, which they’ll need to begin crawling and walking. Did you know that it provides a foundation for motor skills? Practicing tummy time on the floor at the activity gym for 3-5 minutes a few times a day is really pretty simple, and it’s a nice way to encourage your baby to interact with his surroundings.
When your baby gets older, she can start reaching for the hanging sensory objects and begin practicing her swatting skills at her activity gym.
You can read this detailed article on the developmental benefits of using a baby play gym written by Mama OT, a pediatric occupational therapist.
2. Soft Rattles
A friend advised me to resist buying wooden rattles for my baby until she could sit up and had established good arm control. Soft rattles are simply a gentler option. (And I’m all about minimizing accidental bumps and bruises!) I chose a variety of soft rattles with different colors, textures, and sounds to provide several different sensory experiences for my baby. I’m particularly fond of these soft rattles by Jellycat. But I also adore these knit rattles from Bla Bla Kids.
3. Sensory Books
Books are a great for children of any age, but sensory books are ideal for babies under six months old. My daughter played with this nursery novel on a daily basis. It provides several different stimulating textures, sights, and sounds (without any batteries or flashing lights)!
4. Crinkle Paper
Crinkle paper makes such a satisfying sound! It’s a simple toy that’s easy to make, and it fits into a crowded diaper bag without a problem. I found this brand on Amazon that offers an array of patterns and colors.
5. Tag Blankets
A few babies I know love to play with taggie toys. If you’ve never seen these before, they’re typically squares of fabric with tags or ribbons sewn around the perimeter. You can definitely find taggie blankets in bright colors at major retailers, but cute options abound on Etsy. (These make a nice baby shower gift, by the way!)
6. Finger Puppets
Playing with finger puppets is a fun way to talk with your baby! You can have the puppets interact with the baby, sing songs to the baby, interact with each other, etc. They’re soft, portable, and they can encourage your baby’s verbal development. I’ve found some affordable IKEA sets on Amazon. Finger puppets are also nice because they can transition with your child past the baby stage.
Consider using a mirror when your baby is playing on the floor. A mirror can also make tummy time a bit more interesting! Babies love to look at themselves in the mirror, so you’ll see little mirrors on many newborn toys. Here’s a helpful article from What to Expect about why this is true.
8. Take Along Tunes
Attractive Newborn Toys
Some of these toys are attractive and stylish, while others fulfill all the stereotypes I hear about garish baby toys. But the good news is that these diversions should keep your little one quite busy—when they’re not sleeping and eating, of course! I recommend buying a small bin to keep these items all in one place. I think it will delight you to see how much these small and simple things will thrill your son or daughter as you play together.