Best Toys for Newborns to 1 Year Olds: Engaging and Developmental Picks

Let’s explore toys for newborns to 1 year olds. The first year of a child’s life is fascinating. Countless milestones are reached, such as sitting unsupported, trying solids, crawling, first words, and many more beautiful experiences. However, perhaps one of their favorite achievements is their development in playing. From soft teddys to building blocks and ABC, a child’s progress in their ability to play and interact with toys is essential for many reasons. But equally as crucial is to ensure that you are providing your little one with the proper play equipment for their age and upgrading them as they age.

Toys for Newborns to 1 Year Olds

Plastic Animal Toys on Wooden Surface // Healthier Baby Today

Let’s take a look at the best toy options for each age group:

0-3 Months

  1. Mobiles with contrasting patterns
  2. Soft crib toys
  3. Gentle rattles

3-6 Months

  1. Tummy time mats
  2. Textured teethers
  3. Soft plush toys

6-9 Months

  1. Stacking cups
  2. Peek-a-boo
  3. Pop-up picture books

9-12 Months

  1. Push-and-pull toys
  2. Musical instruments
  3. Shape sorters

Tips for Selecting Safe and Fun Toys

Here are four essential factors that parents should consider before buying their baby toys:

  1. Make sure that the toys you buy for your baby are tailored to their age.
  1. Check for anything a baby could swallow or choke on, sharp edges, tiny holes where their fingers may get stuck, and other possible dangers.
  1. Try to choose toys that are easy to clean and maintain. Over time, dirt can build up, transferring germs to your baby’s mouth and hands. We don’t want that. 

Toys that Will Grow with Your Baby

Person Holding Yellow and Pink Lego Blocks // Healthier Baby Today

Choose toys that encourage creativity, imagination, and exploration:

  1. Building blocks
  2. Art supplies
  3. Dress-up clothes
  4. Different types of toys for babies
  5. Mobiles and crib toys

These visually stimulating toys capture a newborn’s attention, aiding their visual development. Consider captivating colors, simple shapes, and gentle swaying motions for mobiles. As your baby grows, soft crib toys with interesting textures and sounds encourage reaching and grasping, strengthening their motor skills.

Tummy Time Mats

Having tummy time sessions can help their little neck and back muscles strengthen, which helps prepare them for when the time for rolling around and sitting up comes, they’ll be strong enough to do so. Getting your baby an activity mat or making one yourself can help add an enjoyable and exciting element to tummy time.

Textured Toys

Textured toys can be the perfect solution for teething. These creative toys can come with different sections that offer your baby options to explore new sensations all in one. Some textured toys can be put in the fridge and are usually called teethers. Your baby can find both relief and entertainment while squeezing and gnawing on their toys.

Rattles and Shakers

Shakers and rattles are fantastic for auditory stimulation, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Rattles have been used for many years, and that’s because they captivate babies with their fun sounds. Getting your tot some rattles and shakers can help them develop many necessary skills they’ll need for the future, like motor skills and more.

Books With Sensory Features 

Sensory books can help build a love for stories and reading later in life. But while they’re still little, getting your baby books with pop-up pictures and sensory materials and objects can motivate many vital actions for their development, such as visual and auditory stimulation, practicing motor skills, strengthening muscles, and introducing them to different textures and hand motions. 

Stacking Cups and Toys

Stacking toys come in all different shapes, colors, and, of course, sizes. These often plastic or wooden toys can help babies understand how to use their fingers and hands. 


Showing your tot peek-a-boo games and toys can help them experience feelings like surprise and excitement. These simple, fun toys and games can also help your baby immensely.

Building Blocks

Blocks are almost a right of passage as babies have loved and learned from them for generations. They come in many different shapes, materials, sizes, colors, and decorations and are often tailored to age. This is useful because these toys can grow with your little one.

Be Involved in Playtime 

Child in White Long-sleeve Top and Dungaree Trousers Playing With Lego Blocks // Healthier Baby Today

While toys provide a fantastic foundation for learning, the most valuable play happens through interaction with you!

Here are some ways to make playtime magical:

  1. Get Down to Their Level – Interact with your baby on the floor, make eye contact, narrate your actions, and describe the toys. This helps them learn new words and understand objects.
  1. Follow Their Lead – Observe your baby’s interests and let them take the lead during playtime. This improves creativity and independent thinking.
  1. Make it Fun – Playtime should be a joyful experience! Sing songs, make silly noises, and create a fun and engaging atmosphere.
  1. Stay Consistent – The more a baby hears a word, the more likely they will learn what it is and how to say it. You can use boring daily activities to teach your little one new words.
  1. The best toys are those that spark your baby’s curiosity. Giving them a variety of age-appropriate and exciting toys can help them develop in many ways. But what helps them learn the most is your attention and involvement. 


Photo of Ball Pit Balls // Healthier Baby Today

Babies are little sponges, and what they absorb is essential. Giving your little one intriguing toys and playing interactive games can provide them with a boost in the development they need. We have 0-3 months old up all the way until 12 months. There are tons of different activities and items that can engage your baby’s senses. These bonding moments can benefit parents and children as they navigate and grow together.

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