Best Infant Toys For Development and Stimulation

by | Jun 15, 2019

Although newborns don’t have fully developed senses and motor skills yet, they are still learning quickly about the new world around them.  It’s important to offer different sensory activities for them to explore and discover and start their journey toward developing so many new skills.

There are a variety of toys and activities that your new baby can use to stimulate all their sensory systems.  Most of these toys will target their visual, auditory, and tactile (touch) senses.

The important features to look for in a toy is if it is easy to grasp for a baby, brightly colored and stimulating, and multi-sensory (having a lot of sounds, textures, and colors). Your baby’s skills will be emerging very soon and you want to maximize their stimulation.

When organizing your home for your new baby, It helps to have multiple sets of toys throughout your house and belongings.  I like to keep a small storage box of toys in my living room, bedroom, car, diaper bag, kitchen, or any area you’ll be entertaining your baby.  

This way you’re never without some sort of stimulation/distraction for your little one and don’t have to run around your home to find one.

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

Best Infant Toys for Development and Stimulation

As a newborn, your baby won’t be able to do too much with toys other than look at them while you hold them overhead. As they approach 2-3 months, they should be able to grasp and be interested in these objects.

Most of these toys are great to start using around 2-3 months and up to 7 or months. Here are some of my favorites that your infant will love and keep them occupied for awhile.

Related Post: Symptoms and Relief for your Teething Baby and Top 10 Teething Toys

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Make sure your baby is getting all the stimulation they need to hit their milestones and next developmental stages. Use these toys for fun and play with your newborn or infant from 3-6 months old, including sensory and fine motor skills.

Teething and Grasper Toy

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

At this age your baby will start putting EVERYTHING in his mouth (and that doesn’t end after the newborn stage either!) This teething and grasper toy is one of my son’s favorites.

Once, your baby starts to be able to grasp objects (around 2-3 months), it easily allows them to grab and chew at the same time. My son loves reaching for this toy whenever he sees it and chewing on the wooden beads.

They’re the perfect size to get right in his mouth.

The teething and grasper toy will help develop your baby’s fine motor skills (grasping), hand eye coordination (bringing it to his mouth), and satisfy his oral sensory (teething) needs.

It’s easy for the baby to hold on to the skinny bars and wires that hold the beads together, as they slide back and forth and make a rattling sound. Definitely my favorite must have baby toy.

Other similar options: 

Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teething toy

Manhattan Rattle and Teether Grasping toy

Related Post: Symptoms and Relief for your Teething Baby and Top 10 Teething Toys

Crinkle Books

The only toys you will need for your newborn baby to promote sensory and cognitive development. Color and sound help stimulate their little eyes and minds.

These little books could keep my daughter occupied all day long. When they start to grasp around 3 months, they’ll love the sensory (auditory and tactile) feedback it provides and also love turning the pages.

It will start them learning about books, but it’s mostly just fun to hear the crinkle sound.

Other similar options:

Fluffy Tails Book

Peek a Boo Forest Crinkle Book

Crinkle Book Set

Related Post: Simple Activities and Positions to Prevent a Flat Head in Your Baby

O-Ball Shaker

The only toys you will need for your newborn baby to promote sensory and cognitive development. Color and sound help stimulate their little eyes and minds.

The holes in the O-Balls are perfect for little hands to grab and move.  This one is a great toy because it has a rattle which allows baby to start learning cause and effect (that he can grab and shake a toy and it will make noise).

Other options:

O-Ball Musical Frog Toy

O-Ball Rainstick Rattle

OBall

Light and glow toys to push

Make sure your baby is getting all the stimulation they need to hit their milestones and next developmental stages. Use these toys for fun and play with your newborn or infant from 3-6 months old, including sensory and fine motor skills.

This toy also teaches cause and effect, allowing your baby to push a button to light up and play sounds. Watch your baby start dancing to the music and see his excitement when he realizes he just made that happen.

Once your child can begin to press buttons (around 6 months), they will love that they can make it play. Up until then, they will be stimulated by the lights and music it provides.

Use it during tummy time to distract your baby from the hard work they’re putting in!

Other great options:

Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo

Dancing Yellow Duck

Think Gizmos Interactive Amusement Park

Plush Musical Toy With Dangling Parts

Make sure your baby is getting all the stimulation they need to hit their milestones and next developmental stages. Use these toys for fun and play with your newborn or infant from 3-6 months old, including sensory and fine motor skills.

This is a soft plush toy that combines bright colors, textures, and music to stimulate the senses.  It has the crinkle texture which babies love to feel and hear musical sounds, as well as dangling parts to chew on and manipulate.

Toys with clips on them are also super convenient so you can attach them to the car seat, bouncer, or stroller. This makes sure that your baby won’t lose their toy and also great for reaching and grabbing when it’s positioned far away.

It’s really an all-in-one must have baby toy!

Other options:

PlayGro Activity Friend ClipClop

Lamaze Captain Calamari

Related Post: 13 Ways to Stimulate and Play with your Newborn

Activity Center

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

We use this activity center all the time and my baby loves it! The Skip Hop Activity Center is a great spot for your baby to be entertained while being exposed to various toys and gadgets.

You can start placing your baby in the activity center around 4 months old or once they have adequate neck and trunk control.

The raised floor surface gives your baby a chance to start strengthening his legs and maintaining an upright position to take a look at his surroundings. There are also several toys positioned around the table that encourage fine motor skills, visual stimulation, and cause and effect.

Research now shows that jumpers are not safe and developmentally appropriate for babies. Unlike the activity center, the baby is suspended and bouncing up and down leading to potential toe walking, poor posture, and injury.

That is why this Skip Hop Activity center is a better alternative. Read more about the developmental risks of regular jumpers here.

Hanging Toys

Make sure your baby is getting all the stimulation they need to hit their milestones and next developmental stages. Use these toys for fun and play with your newborn or infant from 3-6 months old, including sensory and fine motor skills.

A mobile is great for when your baby starts visually tracking objects around 2 months.  The movement will grab their attention and they can watch as it spins in a circle.  

Attach it to the baby’s crib or bassinet, but you will want to remove it once your baby is sitting up and can reach it. There are sometimes mobiles attached to baby swings and pack n plays which are great additions to look for when you’re shopping for them.

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

Your baby will start reaching around 4 months. When they are seated in a bouncer or swing, make sure there are toys hanging from above them so they can reach and grab.

It’s great if they are close enough for baby to actually touch while they are reaching.

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

Floor activity mats, swings, and bouncers with an activity bar are great for this. You can use one of the toys listed above that has a hook and attach it to a toy bar to add extra pieces for baby to grab. 

Floor mats are also good for tummy time which is essential to an infants motor development, as well as sitting up on their own.

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

Related Post: The benefits of tummy time and how to get your baby to enjoy it

Sensory Balls

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

These sensory balls are great for once baby can start using his whole hand to grasp objects. They will love the different textures, sizes, and shapes of these balls.

As they get a little older they can start learning how to throw and put these in containers.

Other options:

Small sensory balls

Puffer Balls

Related Post: Fine Motor Play 3-6 Month Olds 

Activity gym

Make sure your baby is getting all the stimulation they need to hit their milestones and next developmental stages. Use these toys for fun and play with your newborn or infant from 3-6 months old, including sensory and fine motor skills.

There are a ton of great benefits to tummy time in the first few months of life and every newborn should start being on their tummy right away.  [Read my post about Tummy time benefits and some tricks to get your baby to enjoy it more].  

You don’t necessarily need an activity gym to do tummy time, but the toys and bright colors give them some more visual stimulation, as well as objects to reach for and grasp.

Floor Mirror

A mirror allows baby to see himself while laying down.  He will be so interested in his reflection and seeing his own face.

Related Post: Fine Motor Play 3-6 Month Olds

Teether

Your baby needs help to develop his hands and brain from newborn through 3 months to 4 months to 5 months to 6 months old. Use these common baby toys to help your infant learn to grasp, reach, and even sit up. Look for colorful, easy to grasp, multi-sensory toys.

Once your baby discovers their hands and what they can do with them, they will constantly be in their mouth. This may be due to teething or just self-exploration and needed to chew or suck on something at all times.

Once they can really grasp and hold on to an object, they will start putting toys in their mouth too.

Use easy to grab teethers that will also help to give them some relief once they start teething, but they don’t even need to be getting teeth to enjoy these toys.

This one in particular is my sons favorite because it is so easy for him to grasp and around 5 months he is now able to get it in his mouth independently.

Other options:

Comotomo Teether

Bendable Silicone teether

Related Post: Symptoms and relief for your teething baby plus the top 10 teething toys

Let me know if you have tried any of these toys and what you think of them!

My newborn loves to play and is starting to discover his hands and feet. These are the only toys you will need for your newborn baby to promote sensory and cognitive development. Color, sound, music, and textures will help stimulate their little eyes and minds while they see, hear, and feel all the objects.

Hi I’m Marissa!

A mom of two little ones, here to provide some relatable experiences, tips, and tricks to the joys and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth through raising babies and toddlers.  Read more about me here.