The Best Newborn Toys For Babies Aged 0-6 Months


by Nor’adila Hepburn and Lulu Chang

While the first weeks with a newborn might feel like a blur of eating, sleeping, and snuggling, newborns are hard at work soaking up information they’ll build on throughout infancy and beyond. In fact, in just their first month of life, newborns are figuring out how to recognize sounds, process language, decode the visual world, and establish spatial abilities—even while they’re sleeping, according to Parenting Science. In this developmental stage, it can feel like they’re not doing a whole lot, but there’s a lot going on under the surface. And with the right toys, you can help them do just that. 

“Books are always the best kind of toy,” says Andrew Meyer, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital, noting that even at a young age, children can start to play with hardback books (even if they can’t read them). Another advantage to hardbacks? They’re easily cleaned. “Keep in mind that everything will ultimately end up in a baby’s mouth, which means you want to be able to easily clean your toys,” he says. That generally means you’re looking for a hard surface that can be easily disinfected. 

You’ll also want to look for toys that babies can easily grasp, or practice grasping, Dr. Meyer says. “As babies develop, their ability to grasp and transfer between their hands continues to improve and having toys that can aid in this ability can be hugely helpful,” he says. Rings, for example, are a great way to teach babies how to hold onto an object (and move it between hands), without presenting a choking hazard. 

Developmental Milestones for Babies Aged 0–6 Months

According to the CDC, there are several key milestones that your baby might reach during the first few months of their life. If your baby is not quite there yet, don’t panic. No child is the same. While this list is abbreviated, it’s a good starting point in knowing what type of activities to encourage your baby to pursue.

  • Your baby should be able to recognize faces and start to realize when someone is a stranger.
  • Your baby should enjoy looking at their reflection in a mirror.
  • When they hear a sound, your newborn should respond by making their own sounds.
  • If something is in their hands, they should begin to bring it to their mouth and pass it from one hand to another.
  • Your newborn should be able to start sitting without support.
  • The best way to nurture this developmental growth is through connection, care, and direct interaction, and adding a few toys curated for early enrichment can’t hurt. To help you choose, we dug into the best toys for babies, reviewing features, function, cost, longevity, and developmental support. 
Pro tip: The CDC offers a free Milestone Tracker mobile app and printable checklist. They have broken down their recommendations by various stages and age groups, up to five years old.

What to Consider When Shopping for Newborn Toys

  • Size: Choose a toy that is at least two inches in size. Anything smaller runs the risk of getting stuck in their throat.
  • Safety: Watch for toys that have small parts, screws, or pieces that can break off or get stuck in their throat. Look for BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free materials.
  • Stimulation: Babies need to be stimulated in order for them to grow. The best baby toys stimulate their sense of smell, sight, touch, or taste. Toys should let them use their hands to practice fine and gross motor skills.
  • Age appropriate: Baby toys usually suggest what age their toy is good for on the label. However, these are not one-size-fits-all recommendations. Opt for a toy that matches the age and developmental stage of your baby. 
  • Simplicity: It may be tempting to run out and get the latest gizmo, but baby toys do not have to be complicated to be good. Often your infant’s most beloved toys are simple and basic. Also, more complex toys may have smaller parts and may not last as long

After testing, researching, and talking to experts, we curated our favorite newborn toys below. No matter the toy, newborns and kids alike will enjoy playing and spending time with you, fostering that social connection.

Our Picks

Top Pick

Fisher-Price- Deluxe Kick 'n Play Piano Gym

Fisher-Price: Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

Best Lights and Music Toy for Newborns

Fisher-Price designed its Deluxe Kick & Play Gym for babies across multiple developmental stages. Newborns will start by using the mat for “lay and play” and then progress to tummy time. Once they’re ready to sit up at the adjustable keyboard, they should be well-versed in how to create their next musical masterpiece.

With four ways to play and multiple levels of learning content, this best-seller is perfect if you’re looking for a toy that encourages sensory experiences and development that grow with the baby, even if some infants may outgrow the smaller mat a bit early. Bright colors, songs, spoken phrases, and explorable textures will keep little ones entertained during playtime.

Pros

  • Removable keyboard for on-the-go play
  • Variety of bright colors, sounds, and textures for sensory stimulation
  • Learning content changes to fit baby’s age and stage
  • Grows with baby with four ways to play

Cons

  • Plastic stand for arch/keyboard doesn’t break down for storage/travel as easily as other baby gyms
  • Some users described the mat as too thin and narrow

Specs


0-36 months


Yes (3 AAA batteries (included))


Yes: Music, Crinkle, Rattle, Singing/talking


Detachable mat is machine washable (air dry)


9: 1 mat, 1 keyboard, 1 arch + stand, 5 sensory toys

Splurge

Lovevery The Play Gym

Lovevery The Play Gym

Best Play Gym

This award-winning activity mat is designed to grow with your baby and is meant to be appropriate for children from 0 to 24 months. With five development zones with activities meant to foster exploration and growth, this play gym is really several toys in one. There are four detachable activities that you can remove from the play gym (or hang from the top), as well as four sets of cards for enhanced learning. Plus, a Place Space Cover turns a baby play mat into a more toddler-appropriate fort. We also love the fact that it comes with a guide that actually helps you learn the best kinds of play for each stage of your child’s life. 

Pros

  • Multifaceted design will keep this in your child’s life for many months
  • Easily washable cloth design helps to keep everything clean; hard surfaces can be easily wiped down
  • Super quick assembly

Specs


0+


No


Yes: bell and castanet sounds for batting ring


Spot or wipe clean, machine wash; air dry (not dryer safe)


22: 5-zone play mat, wooden frame, 3 detachable toys, organic cotton teether, play space cover, 14 learning cards, guide

Best Value

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Soft Book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Soft Book

Best Book Toy

This washable cloth book has a lot of interesting features that make it engaging for babies and toddlers alike. The toy comes with crinkly fabric, a squeaker, and a carrying hook. Babies will love touching and gnawing on the different materials. Older kids can flip through the pages and practice counting fruit or checking under the peek-a-boo flap. The handle also doubles as a clip so you can hook it onto a stroller and go.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • No assembly required
  • Great for newborns, babies, and toddlers

Specs


0+


No


Yes: crinkle, squeak


‎Machine Wash


3: soft book, textured teether, c-clip

Also Tested

Manhattan Toy-Wimmer Ferguson Tiger Baby Spiral

Manhattan Toy: Wimmer Ferguson Tiger Baby Spiral

Best Newborn Toy for Travel

For families on the move, Manhattan Toy’s Tiger Baby Spiral ensures the baby has a sensory toy nearby—whether they’re in a stroller, car seat, or crib. The soft spiral is easily wrapped around a handle or railing, which makes this a perfect bring-along toy for infants. The cute and cozy tiger provides plenty of stimulation when given directly to the baby too.

Three hanging attachments help pique curiosity and promote play with crinkle paper, ring teethers, and a soft rattle with a mirror. As part of the organization’s Wimmer-Ferguson collection, the high-contrast design was optimized for early infant development, including features that encourage visual activity, hand-eye coordination, gross motor activity, and cause and effect.

Pros

  • Easily wraps around crib rail, play gym, stroller, or car seat handle
  • Lightweight and versatile style makes this ideal for families on the go
  • Black and white, high-contrast design appeals to babies 0–3 months

Cons

  • As baby’s grip strengthens, it’s possible to pull the spiral from where it’s hanging
  • When wrapped around infant car seat handle, hanging toys may not always be within baby’s reach

Specs


0-3 years


No


Yes: Rattle, Music, Crinkle


Spot-clean only


4: 1 spiral, 3 non-removable toys

Popular

Vulli - Sophie la Girafe Teether

Also Tested

Sassy-Baby's First Development Gift Set

Sassy: Baby’s First Development Gift Set

Best Toy Set for Newborns

This five-in-one gift set from Sassy is a starter collection of toys promoting visual stimulation and tactile learning. Engage your newborn with a rattle, teether, soft book, or linking rings in a mix of high-contrast and bright colors that support sensory development through play.

Small, lightweight, and easy to throw in a diaper bag when it’s time to leave the house, this set is an excellent value buy and makes a great gift.

Pros

  • Plastic is phthalate- and BPA-free
  • Mix of high-contrast and brightly colored toys for multistage engagement
  • Variety of shapes, colors, and textures for sensory stimulation

Cons

  • A good value overall, but may not entertain baby for quite as long as other toys in this list

Specs


0-24 months


No


Yes: 1 Rattle


Surface clean only


5 sensory toys

Worth A Look

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

Best Rattle Toy for Babies

Busy mouths love the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teething Toy. This teething toy is made out of BPA-free plastic and certified as safe for newborns to chew. It is big enough to hold your baby’s attention yet still lightweight. The Winkel Rattle has an atom shape featuring colorful loops, which makes it easy for babies to grab with both hands and encourages two-handed play. The center of the toy features a cube rattle that makes soothing sounds when it is shaken. Some parents said that they wish the rattle sound were louder.

Pros

  • BPA-free plastic
  • Makes sounds
  • Encourages two-hand play
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Rattle sound could be louder

Specs


Newborn and up


No


Yes: Rattle


Do not steam


1

Also Tested

Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror Developmental Baby Toy

Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror Developmental Baby Toy

Best Tummy Time Toy for Babies

Combine a mirror with tummy time and what do you get? Answer: hours of enjoyment with the Sassy Time Floor Mirror. This toy is perfect for encouraging tummy time for babies and features a standing mirror so they can look at their reflection while strengthening the muscles needed for sitting and rolling.

This toy is multi-sensory and suitable for infants aged one month and up. It comes with a bee and ladybug on the corners of the mirror for them to play with. It includes a tracker ball that makes a rattling sound every time they touch it. You don’t have to worry about your baby hurting themselves, as the mirror is tucked in a soft frame. The only drawback is that it is lightweight and can be knocked down easily.

Pros

  • Makes sounds
  • Soft frame
  • Large mirror
  • Encourages tactile play

Specs


Newborn and up


No


Yes


Spot or wipe clean


1

Popular

Mini Tudou Baby Blocks Soft Building Blocks

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