Your Guide to Buying Baby Toy Gifts
Baby toys are good not only for fun and distraction but also for learning and development.
Below you'll find tips on what to buy to babies at different ages.
Note: The product links below are to Amazon, where you can see images of the products and read other parents' reviews. The links will open in a new window, so that you won't lose this articles while taking a look at the products.
Baby Toy Gifts Ideas
0-3 months baby toys
The newborn baby doesn't really need any toys. He needs only you! Being close to mom and dad is a favorite occupation. Soon enough though, the baby discovers his hands, making colorful baby bracelets and rattles fun baby toy gifts.
For some stimulation, invest in a baby mobile to hang over your baby's crib or changing table. It has to have bright colors and patterns to be interesting.
The best one I've ever seen (and used) is the Sweet Island Dreams Mobile.
It plays for 15 minutes and all the colors and shapes are so interesting for the baby that he can easily look at it for 15-30 minutes. If you have older siblings or plan on having siblings later on, this is invaluable. I could put our 18 months older daughter to bed while our infant had a great time looking at this mobile.
A brightly colored finger puppets can be a fun variation when playing to train the baby's eyes muscles as described above.
A baby play mat can also be a good baby toy gift, if not now then soon. It is not a necessity, but might make your baby a bit more positive to lying on his stomach.
Nice toys to look at in the stroller are also fun.
For the 2-3 month-old baby, buy a baby play gym. You don't have to buy an expensive one, because it will only last as a toy for a few months. (Unless you plan for siblings, of course...)
A baby-safe unbreakable mirror can be fun for the 3-month-old.
3-6 months baby toys
At three months old or so, the potential for buying fun baby toy gifts explode! The baby is now more awake, has a better vision and is gaining control over his body. Great fun!
With the new abilities to put everything into his mouth, your baby will enjoy all sorts of rattles and small stuffed animal.
Make sure they have some tiny part sticking out - tail, nose or something, that can be sucked upon. My children have become furious after a while, when they have tried to put a too big toy into their mouth.
And whatever you do, don't cut off the little piece of cloth with washing instructions (unless, of course, they might fall off). Chances are your baby will love these little pieces of cloth even more than the actual toy!
A baby-safe unbreakable mirror, so that your baby can talk to "another" baby, while on the floor is fun. Balls and toys that make sounds are exciting.
If your baby likes jumping on your lap, a baby jumper can be a real success. If using one of these, be very sure to read the instructions, so that you use is in a safe way. And never leave your baby unattended. Also, you should not use one of these until your baby is quite steady standing up (although not without support, of course).
A roly-poly toy that rights up itself is a fun new toy to introduce now, particularly if your baby has learned to sit or support himself on his elbows when lying on his tummy.
Toys that make sounds when your shake them, turn them around or squeeze them, are good now when your baby can use both his hands.
Does your baby like walking? My daughter decided that walking was all she wanted to do at six months. Not that she could!
I had to choose between walking with her more or less every minute she was awake or listen to her angry screams. So tiresome! Then I bought a baby walker, what a relief!
Walkers are considered not good as they will not help your baby learn how to walk faster. They can also be dangerous if your baby is left unattended in the walker. They can reach much higher and they can run into things. But as a baby toy gift - great for young, impatient walking babies!
6-9 months baby toys
Between 6 and 9 months old, most babies learn to sit without support and they start to move around one way or the other. Time for new baby toy gifts!
A high chair is of course not a toy, but it is a great place to sit and play with toys. If you haven't already bought one, get one now. One of my favorites is Stokke Tripp Trapp, a Norwegian design chair that can be used until your child is old enough to sit on a regular chair. It's not cheap but it is practically unbreakable.
Picture books with pictures of things that your baby can relate to, like toys or house pets are good baby toy gifts right now. Show the picture to your baby and tell him what it is.
If you haven't needed it before, a baby walker is now likely to be fun for your baby and a relief for you. Just don't leave your baby unattended!
If your baby can sit up without support, a ball is fun. Help your baby role it back and forth between you and him. Any other toys that can roll or move are also fun, such as cars.
Musical toys that make sounds when banged together are fun, like a small drum, cymbals or castanets. Just make sure that they are not too loud.
A somewhat terrible toy (for adults) that our babies really liked at this age was Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy (shown in the picture at the top of this page).
If you press different parts of its face and body, the puppy starts singing or rhyming in a (too) cheerful voice.
At 2 years old, our baby (now a gorgeous toddler) still used the puppy as a dance partner. Value for money, even if the voice drove me crazy sometimes.
If your baby is not moving around yet, or if your little one likes to take a break now and then, a baby gym that he can use sitting up, may be a good baby toy gift.
Also, to press a phone or a baby piano might be fun.
9-12 months baby toys
When your baby is approaching his first birthday, he is likely to have developed a pincer grasp. He understands and even may be says a few words and moves around the house crawling, walking or some other way. Many babies love to walk holding mom's hand, for hours and hours...
A push toy, like a walker can be great fun. The best ones at this age, I think, are those where you can control how easily the wheels roll.
If your baby likes sitting still for a while, shape sorters can be fun. Choose an easy one though, or your baby will loose his interest. Stacking blocks may also be fun. There are some toys that can be used both for sorting and stacking. Some sort of stacking cups are great! Your baby can build tower or try to figure out which cup can be put in which. A great learning toy!
10-month-old, one or our kids absolutely loved her toy phone. It wasn't even a mobile phone, but if made funny sounds and you could talk in the receiver - like mom does...
Don't forget the lovey. If your baby hasn't chosen one yet and you want to have a say, introduce a stuffed animal that you like, think is safe and that can be washed again and again...
One of the best baby toy gifts our children have received at this age is the ball tower from Fisher Price, displayed to the left. It has the longest name: Fisher-Price Baby Playzone: Pull Up Ball Blast. Who made that name up!?
I would never have bought it if it wasn't for the recommendation from another mother. All kids seem to like it!
Buying toys online
Now you are all set to buy great baby toy gifts. Want to shop online? Baby toys are great for online shopping. Remember to always compare prices. Want to check out some current deals? Browse the offers from the vendors below!
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