As we search for the best toys for babies, there are so many variables to keep in mind. The best baby toys, it seems, are able to develop certain cognitive skills, capture their attention, and, of course, be fun. As such, we find that when it comes to that special toy, babies have a very dynamic relationship with it-- maybe one musical toy with lots of bright colors can also develop fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, while another may earn the favor of your baby without actually doing anything special for them. That's why we decided to develop the criteria to really take a good look at the "best baby toys" on the market and see which ones actually deserve such praise.

Short on Time? Here's our top pick.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy, Ages 3 months +
  • A best selling favorite with thousands of 5 star ratings
  • Inspires a lifelong love of music.No Assembly Required
  • Baby can switch between 10 total melodies
  • Perfectly sized for ages 3 to 36 months
  • Volume control is music to mom and dad’s ears

The best baby toys are able to hold their attention and keep them engaged, help them to meet crucial developmental milestones in a cognitive and / or physical sense, and maybe even help babies in a more tangible way, such as soothing the pains that coming with teething. Some help engage your baby for tummy time, while others are ideal for capturing their imagination during a long ride in the car seat.

As such, when deciding on which baby toys were the best, we decided to take all of this into account and more. Although what works for one baby might not work for all babies, there is a fair bit of universality as to the type of toy that babies love. We think this list will definitely have the baby toy that your little one will love. Also worth noting that these toys are primarily aimed at children between under one year old.

So, let us begin. First, we will look at a few of the best toys on the market today. Not only will we look at the toy and analyze its benefits, its value, and its effectiveness, but we will also explore what ages the toy is appropriate for, and why the toy is worth your consideration. Then, we will turn to some Frequently Asked Questions which may clear up anything else you were wondering about!

Our Favorite Baby Toys of 2020

1) Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy, Ages 3 months +
  • A best selling favorite with thousands of 5 star ratings
  • Inspires a lifelong love of music.No Assembly Required
  • Baby can switch between 10 total melodies
  • Perfectly sized for ages 3 to 36 months
  • Volume control is music to mom and dad’s ears

Although it was difficult to determine the "best baby toy" it was simultaneously a simple choice. Babies around the world love this musical toy, which is enjoyed by babies as young as 3 months and is likely perfect for your little one. What makes this such a good toy for so many babies? The bright lights and pleasant tunes are irresistibly engaging for your little one, while it is also made to be safe for chewing, pulling, and other such activity Your baby will be able to shift between seven different melodies, and will surely find something to love about each. Not all toys are so durable and dynamic, but this musical machine is able to engage in all the ways babies love. Plus, for your own sanity, there is (thankfully) a volume knob so that you don't have to listen to the same seven melodies ALL the time... You will surely grow tired of them long before your baby does, but it's worth it!

The Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy has a broader age range than a lot of toys, though it is best suited for children from 3 months to 3 years, any of whom are likely to build a strong affinity for the toy. However, like so many toys, it won't be until closer to 6 months until your baby has a more refined understanding of the toy. This toy also requires two AA batteries.

2) Tiny Love Take-Along Arch

Colorful, vibrant, and beloved by babies around the world, this attachable toy makes even the most mundane moments playful and fun. Basically, you can hang this arch above their crib, car seat, or wherever your baby may be sitting, laying, or playing. Not only are there colorful critters and creatures hanging from this arch, but also mirrors and other shiny playthings, like propellers!

This is the kind of toy that is useful and fun for babies from their earliest ages and maintains its value for a long time. Not to mention, this toy is designed to be very portable. You can keep it in your diaper bag and have it with you whenever you leave the house. It is simple, but it is also dynamic, and it can create familiarity for your baby even in new environments that would otherwise be stressful.

Babies and their parents around the world gush about this toy because it is well-built, versatile, and simply fun. The fasteners are screwed on tight so you never have to worry about its sturdiness. Basically, babies love to explore the various elements of this vibrant and dynamic toy.

3) The First Years Stack Up Cups

The First Years Stack N Count Cups
  • Colorful Baby Toys: 8 brightly colored cups stack together with Unique Holes in the Bottom for water play
  • Stacking Cups: Children love to fit toy cups together, stack them up, or turn them over and hide things underneath
  • Baby Development Toys: Large numbers on the bottom to practice counting & number recognition
  • Made without BPA

These stack up cups are basically a right of passage for your baby! These are the simple, affordable toys that for whatever reason babies just love. Despite their simplicity, many parents report that these toy cups have helped their children learn to identify and become familiar with various colors, so it helps to learn in this sense, as well as in the sense that the stacking helps develop motor skills. And, as if this was not enough, the cups also have a numerical element that can help understanding as it pertains to mathematics.

Also, if your baby does not want to take a bath without bringing a toy or two into the tub, these cups are perfect-- especially because the holes on the bottom of the cup might help to prevent your baby from drinking the bathwater!

This pack of 8 cups is available for an extremely affordable price, has been given great reviews from parents in all sorts of areas in the world (around the globe, children love these colorful cups), and are excellent choices for any baby older than 6 months!

4) Safety 1st Mombella Ellie Elephant Teether

mombella Dancing Elephant Silicone Baby Teether &Toothbrush for Teeth Beginning & Eruption Period. Relieve Pain&Itch, Clean Tongue&Gum. with a Free Clip, Blue, 3M+, Small
  • DESIGNED WITH SAFETY IN MIND: Non-choking design and 1 piece injection leaves it impossible for choking hazard. It is also small enough for your baby to explore safely in the front, middle and back of the mouth. Also the round part makes sure it the baby can not put it too far to cause gagging especially for those 3 months babies whose gag reflection still exists.
  • MADE OF 100% FOOD GRADE SILICONE BY VERIFIED MANUFACTURER: All Mombella teether toys are made of EU standard LFGB grade silicone, which is approved for baby's mouth, free of BPA, PVC, Lead and Phthalates. And is made by certificated manufacturer. Soft and durable, freezer and dishwasher free, sterilizer safe.
  • A GUM MASSAGER & A TOOTHBRUSH : Multiple textured surface helps with teething pain relief, and the wruption of teeth. Also the soft bristles helps with tongue and gum clean, can be used as a soft teething toothbrush wityhout worrying that baby may bite off the bristles, our bristles are too short to be biten off. Bring teething and brushing together in 1 product.
  • EASY TO HOLD: Hollow elephant body makes it very easy for little hand to hold and directly head to mouth, especially for little babies around 3 months who just start to control their little hands .
  • MOUTHING IS MORE THAN JUST TEETHING: Your baby is also learning about general sensations such as softness, hardness, and firmness through mouthing experiences. Babies who have limited biting and chewing experiences seem to develop teeth later then those who are provided with appropriate chewing experiences. The chewing works the musles that open and close the jaw which will lead to better speech development.

It's no surprise that many baby toys are geared toward teething. The aches and pains of growing teeth is a tough stage for any baby, and many toys are able to address this. But, as a parent, its up to you to make sure that you are giving your baby safe toys that soothe pain with no risks or downsides. The Safety 1st Momeblla Ellie Elephant teether is ideal for this, providing relief from those sore gums which are so constant and unfortunate. With a design built for two-hands, this substantial toy will not be chewed apart and yet is soft enough that it won't cause any bleeding from the gums. Not to mention, the toy is built with a texture that allows it to actually aid those baby teeth I poking through!

This is an extremely affordable toy that never compromises safety, can be washed in the dishwasher, and will certainty engage your baby while also soothing their pain!

5) Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy, Ages 3 months +
  • A best selling favorite with thousands of 5 star ratings
  • Inspires a lifelong love of music.No Assembly Required
  • Baby can switch between 10 total melodies
  • Perfectly sized for ages 3 to 36 months
  • Volume control is music to mom and dad’s ears

We all know the importance of sensory toys. Baby toys can be fun, but they can also serve many purposes. This is a toy that combines many possibilities for play with the soothing needed during teething! Affordable and fun, this one of the more dynamic and helpful toys on the market!

6) Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack
  • Five colorful rings to grasp & stack
  • Bat-at rocker base
  • Top ring has shiny reflective surface inside with swirling, rattling beads
  • Introduces concepts of relative size & stacking

When you see these brightly colored plastic rings, you will likely remember your own childhood! These have been around forever, of course, and they have brought joy to countless toddlers in the process. But Fisher-Price continues to innovate, finding new ways to improve this iconic classic to optimize its potential. Needless to say, these improvements are making the toy more fun and more developmentally interesting, too!

You may have noticed our use of "toddle" instead of baby here. Babies love the bright colors which are such an important feature of this toy, but it takes a toddler to truly engage with this toy on its own terms. Toddlers can learn to stack the rings so that they fit, which is the intended use of the toy. Babies will generally just enjoy playing with the rings, potentially using them for teething. Nonetheless, the toy is not unsafe for babies, it is just highly unlikely they will see the same benefits as they pertain to motor skills and creativity.

In this new version, there is one ring that is reflective and almost transparent; within this ring, your toddler or baby will be able to see all of the little beads which cause the famous rattling sound associated with this toy. Any baby should find joy in the sound of the rattle, while toddlers generally become very enamoured and curious about this special ring.

This remains a classic that just keeps getting better and more beloved with age. Not to mention, the price is great and babies can get years of enjoyment from having these rings around.


What is the Child Protection and Toy Safety Act?

The Child Protection and Toy Safety Act, or CPTSA, is an American policy that ensures safety by demanding that toys are made without dangerous chemicals. This means that toys must be made without materials that are flammable, poisonous, or in any way radioactive-- before the late 1960s, this was a problem. Obviously, we want to ensure that babies are playing with safe toys, and the FDA put this ban in place to ensure that this was the case. Because of this act, toys for babies have to go through a serious vetting process which makes sure that there is no risk of choking cutting, or other harmful effects. Obviously, some toys still have the potential to harm if misused or allowed into the hands of children too young to handle them, so please pay attention to the labels which warn and regulate how the toy ought to be used. Therefore, any toy being sold in legitimate marketplaces for children and babies must meet rigorous standards as pertaining to health and safety.

Are vinyl toys safe for babies?

Vinyl can be divisive, and we get a lot of concerned parents asking if they should be buying toys for their babies that contain or are built from vinyl. This is obviously fair, because vinyl is known to be somewhat dangerous, and babies love putting things in their mouths. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that we vinyl has been heavily researched because it is present basically everywhere and in a huge majority of the plastics and products in our homes. We understand your caution, but as of now, the evidence seems to suggest that traces of vinyl in baby toys are not particularly dangerous. As such, many of the best baby toys on the market continue to use vinyl, and it is hard to find an action figure, activity mat, or other baby toy or product. Vinyl or not, the choice is yours, but we can assure you that there is no science to suggest that PVC or other common vinyl composites are particularly harmful for kids!

Nevertheless, toy companies, developers, and manufacturers understand your concern. Because of this, many of them are working to develop toys that don't have any traces of PVC and generally try to keep any of the harmful chemicals associated with vinyl out of the process. Therefore, there will be options that are vinyl-free, even though this does not necessarily mean that toys made with or from vinyl are any less safe!

When should you give your baby toys?

Different toys will have different ages. Some are for the "optimal" age and some are, in a sense geared toward their safety, more of a restriction. Certain toys are only going to work at their full capacity for babies in certain stages of development-- it does not do much help, necessarily, to begin developing certain fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination in the first weeks of a baby's life, for instance, because they can't even control their own movements in these early stages. Many toys, such as archs and other dangling sets of colorful animals and objects, help to strengthen eyesight and simply engage the baby in a way that seems to be pleasant to them. Most toy developers are very good at indicating when it is best to introduce a certain toy to your baby, and will also enlighten you as to what the intended developmental goal of that toy is (if there is one); for example some musical toys are perfect for creating happy attitudes during tummy time, and this can work for as long as tummy time is necessary. Eventually, toys become a huge part of development and a very helpful tool for all sorts of reasons-- from learning the alphabet to just having a few quiet minutes to yourself!

What are the best toys for newborns?

At first, your baby will hardly be able to comprehend its surroundings, let alone require toys for engagement. It is often said that for the first days and weeks, the only toy that matters is the parents. The time you spend with the baby and all of the sensory stimulation that causes will be more than enough to captivate any baby. Nevertheless, certain toys can help young babies as soon as they initiate the phases of reaching and grabbing. Be careful, definitely make sure whatever you give to them at this case is safe, but certain dangling treasures and rings won't hurt!

What kind of toys do Newborns like? What toys are 0-3 months?

To be honest, if your newborn is not seeming to enjoy toys, it's because they don't yet have the capacities required to truly enjoy them! Some newborns will have affinities for certain toys, but there is nothing to indicate that a certain type of toy appeals to newborns. It is not until after three months that babies actually seem to be able to enjoy having fun. Nevertheless, it never hurts to bring something like the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch with you in the diaper bag, as familiar colours and shapes can help babies adapt to new environments and remain relatively calm on car rides. There is nothing unsafe about using such toys, so long as the developer doesn't say that the baby fails to reach the age limits. Generally, bright colours and fun sounds will entertain your newborn!

About the Author Tom Brewer

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