What Toys Should Babies Play With?
Playtime is an important part of baby and child development, and toys are sometimes a necessary distraction. Keeping them close can help calm and entertain your baby when they’re feeling some type of way. But how do you know when to introduce toys and what toys will be age appropriate and safe for your baby?
We’ve got you covered. Tushbaby keeps baby safety top of mind, so we’ll review some of the age-appropriate favorites when it comes to toys and how parents can safely introduce toys to their babies.
At Tushbaby, we understand the importance of practical items —so all our products are designed to make life with a baby more comfortable and hassle-free. Take our famous Hipseat Carrier, for example: it’s designed for safe babywearing and features storage pockets to keep toys and other necessities within arm's reach.
What Types of Toys Should Babies Play With?
Table of Contents
- When should babies start playing with toys?
- How do you introduce toys to babies?
- Do babies need a lot of toys?
- Do babies need sensory toys?
- What toys should babies play with - birth to 6 months
- What toys should babies play with - 7 to 12 months
- What toys should babies play with - 1 year old
- What toys should babies play with - 2 year old
- What toys should babies play with - 3 year old
- What toys should babies avoid?
When should babies start playing with toys?
Babies are typically not totally engaged with toys until about six months of age. While it may take those six months for your baby to begin interacting and playing with toys, they certainly can become curious about their surroundings much earlier. Your baby can start to react to sounds and even smile as early as three to four months of age. While toys may not be ‘played’ with until later, introducing fun toys earlier can get them curious. For example, shaking a rattle to get their attention or using a toy to encourage them to look a certain direction.
How do you introduce toys to babies?
As your baby learns about the world around them, you may wonder how best to introduce these fascinating objects called toys. There are opportune times to get your baby interested in toys, like using toys during tummy time. Keeping toys nearby can allow your baby to reach for and get curious about their toys. Here are a few other instances to consider as you introduce toys to your baby in other ways:
- Use toys for bonding time: Playtime with your baby can be another great way to promote baby and parent bonding. Interacting with your baby, singing along with toys, and introducing some of your favorites can allow you both time to form an even stronger bond.
- Use toys for bath time: While baby is getting clean, they can receive important stimulation from the different colors and textures of bath toys. Then, you can wrap up baby in their towel and have some swaddle time before jammies and bedtime.
Using the Tushbaby hipseat carrier makes introducing toys to your baby an even more enjoyable experience. The added support of the hipseat carrier allows you the freedom to keep one arm available for toys, like shaking a rattle, while the other arm supports your baby. Plus, the Tushbaby evenly distributes your baby's weight so you can hold them longer—without exhaustion or sore arms.
Remember to be patient. Just like how your baby has their own preferences on when to be held and put down, toys are no different. You’ll likely notice very early on that your baby has some fan favorites or preferences regarding toys. That’s right; the baby is kind of the boss here when it comes to toy selection.
Do babies need a lot of toys?
Let’s be real: in the first few months of your baby's life, they really won’t need that many toys. Heck, they’re still learning what their hands are! As time passes, your baby will reach many developmental milestones that make for the perfect time to introduce toys. For example, your baby sitting up on their own is a huge milestone that makes for a great opportunity to introduce toys. Not only will your baby be able to keep themselves occupied, but they’ll also be able to develop all sorts of skills important for their development.
As your baby begins to collect those favorite toys, you’ll need something to lug them out of the house with—because no one wants a meltdown when Mom forgets the plastic horse that looks like it’s on its last limb at home. To be that mom (the one that’s always prepared), leave the house equipped with your Totebaby and Tushbaby!
The Tushbaby Carrier is a handy option for carrying a few toys, while also acting as your diaper bag and baby carrier. The five functional pockets allow you to store all the necessities (read: toys…and diapers) for an outing with your baby. Or, simply latch your baby’s toys to the external two loops on the carrier. Tushbaby’s memory foam-lined seat gives your baby the perfect place to hang with Mom or Dad for some play time and bonding. (Read more on promoting dad bonding with baby here!)
We know multitasking is one of a mom’s many talents. and while we have to multitask with babies, we also want to prioritize keeping them safe—yet another benefit of the Tushbaby. Not to mention, Tushbaby is perfect for babies who like to be up one minute and down the next (because we know that’s the reality for most). The Tushbaby helps keep play time flexible for you both.
- The Totebaby is the ultimate mom tote bag that can act as many things, including a toy bag, sustainable grocery tote, and more. For longer days out of the house, this buttery vegan leather tote can help you carry those favorite toys and all the baby necessities. Not to mention, you’ll look chic while doing it.
Do babies need sensory toys?
Sensory toys can play a big part in your baby’s sensory development because they encourage your baby to get accustomed to their senses, like hearing and sight. Sensory play helps build nerve connections in the brain's pathways and promotes language, fine motor, and gross motor skills while boosting cognitive growth.
While sensory toys are great, keep in mind that there may come a time when your baby needs a break. Exposing your baby to all new sounds and sights can be overwhelming, which can lead to baby overstimulation. Keep an eye out for signs like spacing out or jerky head movements that may cue it’s time for some quiet time.
Overstimulation can cause a clingy baby, meaning they’ll need extra snuggles; use your Tushbaby Carrier to support your arms, shoulders, and back. At the same time, your baby sits comfortably in the pediatric-recommended M-shaped position to promote healthy hip growth. The Tushbaby features an open design, similar to organically holding your baby on your hip, but eliminates the strain on your body and evenly distributes your baby’s weight. It straps high and tight above your natural waist, similar to a fanny pack, and takes the practicality of a fanny pack to a whole new level.
Now that we’ve covered how to introduce toys to your baby and where to stash them, let’s review some common and age-appropriate toys for your baby:
What toys should babies play with - birth to 6 months
- Rattles: Perfect as your baby begins to respond to sounds around them.
- Teething Rings: That’s right, once your baby starts teething, any toy may end up in their mouth for pain relief. Teething rings are a safe way to allow your baby to play with or use toys for teething relief.
What toys should babies play with - 7 to 12 months
Around this time, your baby may begin to sit up on their own. This is a great opportunity to incorporate toys that build your baby’s hand-eye coordination. For example:
- balls (Or rolling toys they can pass from hand to hand)
- stacking rings
Parenting tip: with the right attitude, any safe kitchenware can be a toy. Using some of your plastic tupperware can be an excellent alternative for stacking!
What toys should babies play with - 1 year old
Now that your baby is beginning to master some of the ring stacks and may begin to stand or walk on their own, it can be a great time to introduce:
- Building blocks
- Shape sorters
- Push and pull riding toys
What toys should babies play with - 2 year old
With a curious toddler on your hands, let their imagination to run wild with:
- Play kitchens
- Arts and crafts
- Age-appropriate puzzles
What toys should babies play with - 3 year old
Three-year-olds can have many preferences when it comes to toy selection. With great imagination and more hand-eye coordination, your three-year-old may enjoy:
- Cars, trains, or other vehicle toys
- Baby dolls or age-appropriate stuffed animals
- Coloring books
- And much more!
What toys should babies avoid?
The most important consideration when deciding what toys should babies play with is safety. This means introducing your baby to toys that are age-appropriate. Avoid toys that can become a choking hazard or cause harm to your baby. While we’ve given some age-appropriate suggestions, do your research to determine what will be safe for your baby with their age and development. Your baby may decide which toys should be avoided by preference alone, so be patient if they don’t love the same toys or books you did as a child.Tushbaby products can be a great way to carry your baby, and all their favorite toys, for maximum enjoyment of playtime and baby-parent bonding for you both. Check out our Tushbaby products like the Tushbaby Carrier and the Totebaby to see firsthand how they can make life with a baby easier. From our portable Changing Pad to our accessory-packed Totebaby Carrier, Tushbaby offers products you’ll wonder how you ever lived without!