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Best Baby Toys 0-6 Months According to Experts

Baby Toys 0-6 Months
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Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

updated: July 4, 2024
edited by Maya Dollarhide
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The first six months of a baby's life are a veritable whirlwind of development. They're not just learning to smile and coo; they’re experiencing the world through sight, sound, touch, and taste.

Baby toys 0-6 months can help to nurture this crucial growth phase—but with countless options available, choosing the right ones can feel overwhelming. Here, I'll navigate the myriad toys on the market for the littlest learners, with expert guidance from pediatrician Mona Amin, DO, FAAP, and Katie Billingsley, Director of Operations for the Washington, DC-based Fourth Trimester Postnatal Retreat.

Our top picks for the best baby toys for 0-6 months

ZoLi Chubby Gummy Teether

ZoLi CHUBBY GUMMY teether | 2 pack baby teething relief - Lilac/Grey, BPA free teething stick

ZoLi CHUBBY GUMMY teether | 2 pack baby teething relief - Lilac/Grey, BPA free teething stick

The ZoLi Chubby Gummy Teether is ideal for teething on the go, while this tummy time pillow with detachable teething toys is perfect for at-home use. “With speech and feeding therapists on our team, we know the importance of offering your baby a variety of shapes and textures they can easily explore with their mouths,” Billingsley says. She likes this one “since it allows for baby to practice bringing their hands to mouth, and offers a nice resistive stick covered in soft silicone that is satisfying for sore gums.”

Specifications:

  • Material: Toxin-free thermoplastic rubber
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 6 months+
  • Price on publish: $17.99

The bottom line:

A solid, versatile toy to help teething babies be more comfortable.

Get it here: ZoLi Chubby Gummy Teether


PatPat Rattle

PatPat Rattle

PatPat Rattle

“Once they start looking around more, a rattle is a useful toy for newborns to help them practice tracking objects from side to side,“ says Dr. Amin. This one from PatPat features a handle designed to fit in your baby's delicate hands, and it makes a sound when shaken to exercise hearing, while its colorful look helps with visual development.

Specifications:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 0-18 months
  • Price on publish: $7.99

The bottom line:

This colorful and cute rattle is an inexpensive toy that will go a long way to help your baby develop his or her sensory skills.

Get it here: PatPat Rattle


Crinkle Fabric Stroller Book

Crinkle Fabric Stroller Book

Crinkle Fabric Stroller Book

Available in Nature Baby, Rainbow World, Foodie Baby, City Baby, and Andy Warhol, this stroller companion entertains your little one while they enjoy the great outdoors. The colorful, crinkly pages cater to your baby’s curiosity and help to strengthen hand-eye coordination, in addition to encouraging early language skills. It’s also great for cars, planes, and any on-the-go situation. I’ve personally tested this book out with my six-week-old son on stroller walks and during tummy time, and he’s a big fan.

Specifications:

  • Material: Crinkle fabric
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Not specified
  • Price on publish: $12.99

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for something to entertain your baby while getting your steps in, this is the perfect thing.

Get it here: Crinkle Fabric Stroller Book


 

Dingle Dangle 3-in-1 Sensory Play Set

Dingle Dangle 3-in-1 Sensory Play Set

Dingle Dangle 3-in-1 Sensory Play Set

“Mobiles are a great addition over changing tables for them to visualize the fun patterns,” Dr Amin says. I tested out the Dingle Dangle and it’s made changing my baby a much easier task. I clipped this little mobile to his changing table and switched out the little animal attachments, and he absolutely loves it. This multi-use interaction and distraction product is designed for babies from birth to 18 months. The Dingle Dangle Baby Play Set features five interchangeable pieces. You can use it as a baby change helper, a portable mobile to attach to a cot, crib, or stroller, or as a sensory rattle.

Specifications:

  • Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Birth-18 months
  • Price on publish: $39.99

The bottom line:

This three-in-one toy entertains your baby while changing or on the go and comes in an easily portable little bag you can throw in your diaper bag for on-the-go.

Get it here: Dingle Dangle 3-in-1 Sensory Play Set


Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile To-Go Travel Toy

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile To-Go Travel Toy

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile To-Go Travel Toy

Billingsley loves this one for travel. “It’s an ingenious mini mobile with a clip that allows you to take it virtually anywhere and position it above baby,” she says. “We enjoyed using this high-contrast mobile clipped to strollers, bassinets, and car seats for a reliable way to engage baby on the go.”

Specifications:

  • Material: Various, including polypropylene card stock
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 0-5 months
  • Price on publish: $15.99

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for an inexpensive toy for a gift or for your own little, look no further than this bold-colored, high-contrast mobile that works well for home or travel.

Get it here:


Lovevery Play Gym

The Lovevery Play Gym - Baby Play Mat - Wooden Activity Play Gym and Mat, Stage-Based Learning and Development for Babies to Toddlers

The Lovevery Play Gym - Baby Play Mat - Wooden Activity Play Gym and Mat, Stage-Based Learning and Development for Babies to Toddlers

For tummy time, Billingsley is a fan of this activity mat. “It’s a great way to get the baby comfortable and interested in tummy time, which is recommended starting from birth,” she says. “The Lovevery Play Gym comes with a variety of toys and cards for baby to explore, as well as a helpful activity and development guide for parents.” This mat is designed to teach focus, sound making, encourage sensory exploration, hiding and finding, and exploring the bright and beautiful colors.

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% organic cotton, polyester, soy ink, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Newborn to toddler
  • Price on publish: $140

The bottom line:

If you have space for it, this play mat will provide your baby with hours of educational entertainment.

Get it here: Lovevery Play Gym


Lalo The Play Box 0-12 Weeks

Lalo The Play Box 0-12 Weeks

Lalo The Play Box 0-12 Weeks

Designed specifically for newborns aged 0-12 weeks, this thoughtfully curated box features a cute book and expert-developed toys that nurture your baby's senses and encourage exploration. It comes with vision cards, a sensory book, a play scarf with a ring, wooden rattle, a little book about love, and milestone blocks for your baby photos. My son spends a lot of time playing with the lovey and vision cards in the box.

Specifications:

  • Material: Various
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: 0-3 months
  • Price on publish: $90

The bottom line:

This chic play set offers varied toys to help your baby develop and learn.

Get it here: Lalo The Play Box 0-12 Weeks


Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Musical Activity Station

Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Musical Activity Station

Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Musical Activity Station

Billingsley says if you’re looking for something with bells, whistles, and buttons to push, try this toy. “It plays classical tunes, animal sounds, and names colors while lighting up in a compelling display that’s captivating enough for any baby to lift their head up to,” she says. “It also can be elevated to the perfect angle, and plays in English, French, and Spanish.”

Specifications:

  • Material: Not specified
  • Batteries required: 3 AAA batteries required (not included)
  • Age range: 3 months+
  • Price on publish: $13.99

The bottom line:

You can’t beat the price of this toy that teaches babies all about music.

Get it here: Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Musical Activity Station


Warmies Plush

Warmies Sloth Warmies

Warmies Sloth Warmies

Available in a range of animal shapes, these fully microwavable stuffed animals provide hours of soothing warmth and comfort. I have the duck iteration and it adds a cute touch to my son’s nursery. He loves to play with it. These plush toys are scented with lavender and are perfectly weighted to aid sleep, ease anxiety, and provide relaxation when heated. You can also chill the Warmie in a freezer for cooling relief.

Specifications:

  • Material: Not specified
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Safe for all ages
  • Price on publish: $29.99

The bottom line:

Available in a slew of adorable animal shapes, from sloths to dogs to ducks, these microwavable and chillable stuffies will comfort your little one while providing entertainment.

Get it here: Warmies Plush


Cuddle + Kind Dolls

Cuddle + Kind Dolls

Cuddle + Kind Dolls

Super soft and adorable, these dolls come in a variety of animal iterations to entertain your baby. But best of all, each hand-knit doll’s purchase provides 10 meals to a child in need and empowers 1,000 female Peruvian artists with employment. Cuddle + Kind dolls are available in two sizes and dozens of designs and add an artisan vibe to any nursery.

Specifications:

  • Material: Cotton yarn
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Newborn+
  • Price on publish: $68

The bottom line:

Though somewhat expensive, the purchase of these super-cute dolls—available in a variety of animal shapes—goes toward feeding hungry kids, so it’s a win-win when it comes to gifting.

Get it here: Cuddle + Kind Dolls


Steiff Hoppie Rabbit Musical Pull Toy

Steiff Hoppie Rabbit Musical Pull Toy 10

Steiff Hoppie Rabbit Musical Pull Toy 10

This charming, light-gray bunny is more than just a stuffed animal—it's a delightful source of comfort and entertainment. I keep this by my son’s bassinet to encourage him to drift off to dreamland quickly, thanks to the dulcet tunes of this plush toy. The rabbit’s embroidered eyes mean it can be safely given to newborns.

Specifications:

  • Material: Soft plush polyester
  • Batteries required: No
  • Age range: Newborn+
  • Price on publish: $37.95

The bottom line:

The Steiff Hoppie Rabbit Musical Pull Toy provides comfort, promotes sensory development, and plays a calming lullaby to pacify your baby.

Get it here: Steiff Hoppie Rabbit Musical Pull Toy


How we selected the best baby toys for 0-6 months

To choose the best baby toys for zero to six months, I spoke with a pediatrician and a postpartum educator. I also had my six-week-old baby son test out a number of the items on this list.

In addition, I researched reviews of various types of toys that received ratings of at least 4.6 stars and I considered the types of toys that are beneficial, engaging, and entertaining for this age group.

How to choose toys for newborns?

Whether you’re looking for shower gifts or are shopping for your own baby, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind while shopping.

Keep the size of the toy in mind

Watch out for any small pieces, Dr. Amin says. “If an item can fit into the cardboard part of a toilet roll, it’s a choking hazard,” she explains. “All toys should also be played with on the floor to ensure baby doesn’t roll off of high surfaces.”

Opt for black and white contrast images

One of the main differences between shopping for toddler toys and for the 0-6 month range is the difference in visual development. “As your baby begins to open their eyes more and look around, black and white contrast image cards or books are great for them to fixate on and visualize,” Dr. Amin says. “Babies can look at high-contrast shapes and patterns longer because their eyes are more capable of distinguishing distinct color changes. So black and white card sets can help to work their visual muscles and coordinate their eye muscles.”

Choose non-toxic materials

Choose toys made from safe, non-toxic materials like BPA-free plastic, wood, and organic fabrics.

Look for sturdy construction

Look for well-made toys that can withstand a baby's exploration without breaking or coming apart.

Ensure there are no sharp edges or points

Toys should have smooth, rounded edges to prevent injuries.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What toys should a newborn have?

While newborns don't necessarily "need" toys in the traditional sense, there are safe and stimulating objects that can support their development in the first few months. Here are some suggestions, keeping in mind that every baby is unique and their preferences may vary. For visual stimulation, toys like mobiles, crinkly books, and mirrors are good. For tactile exploration, soft toys, rattles, and teethers work well.

Dr. Amin recommends black and white contrast images, a rattle, and teething toys for when babies start putting their hands in their mouth, and a Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle, which is a comforting pacifier with a stuffed animal they can grow with. These can be used from day one to calm and soothe while keeping the baby occupied—but note that these aren’t to be used while sleeping, shares Dr. Amin.

If you’re planning ahead, read our guide on baby toys for 6-12 months.

Does a newborn need toys?

“Thankfully, newborns don’t need many toys and keeping it simple and within budget is the best approach,” Dr. Amin says. “Those first few months are more about bonding, cuddles, sleep, diapering, and feeding.”

When should I introduce toys to my newborn?

Dr. Amin recommends that a play gym or play mat for tummy time is useful to have from day one. She also suggests black and white cards with images once babies start opening their eyes more. Introduce rattles after six weeks to help them practice tracking.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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