Parenting and Family Life

The Best Toys for Baby’s First Year

So many changes happen within a baby’s first year of life. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my little guy discover the world and play with toys that were helpful in engaging his brain during his first year of growth.

I decided to share a list of all of the best toys for baby’s first year.

The best toys for your baby to have during their first year. These are perfect to add to your registry, and you'll be overjoyed to see them at your baby shower!

Making the most of your baby registry

Baby registries can be so overwhelming.

As a new mom you’re thrown into this pool of 1000 new decisions and opportunities that you only have 9 months to get a grasp on before a whole new set of expectations arises.

Toys? Blankets? Books? Clothes? Diapers?

Some registries, like Amazon, help make things a little bit easier by prompting you with categories for items you should consider adding to your registry. Unfortunately, baby registries still leave new parents with a lot of unanswered questions. I went in depth in an earlier post about how to choose the best baby registry, and you can read more about that here.

In an effort to ease the mind of expecting parents, I kept a list of all the toys that helped entertain and grow my baby’s mind!

Disclaimer: This article has some affiliate links in it. I will receive a small commission on some of the purchases made through these links, but that is at no extra cost to you. You can read more about this on my policies and disclaimers page here. Thank you for your support!

Interacting with your baby

Before I go into detail about all the toys that you need for your baby’s first year of life, I wanted to share a super important piece of information.

There is not a toy in the world that can grow your child’s mind like human interaction.

No toy can replace the growth that love enables.

Toys are simply supplements to teach babies because parents need breaks too!

I would never recommend you leaving your young child alone with toys for hours on end without taking care of them. Always, always check the baby toys to make sure nothing has malfunctioned or broken. Check in on your baby often to make sure they are doing good.

One of the best parts of parenthood is playing WITH your child.

The best toys for baby’s first year

Toys are a wonderful gift to purchase for expecting parents because most people are buying diapers and clothes.

Most parents shutter at the thought of a bedroom overrun by unused toys, but these are important for development!

Consider picking up a toy for a baby shower that would work for a child up to their first birthday. More often than not, the newborn stage is what is catered to at gender reveal parties and baby showers, so think outside of the box instead.

Baby toys for 0- 6 months

The first month of life for babies is mainly spent sleeping. Of course, never when mom closes her eyes…

When they aren’t sleeping, having baby toys like crib mobiles and carseat wrap toys help babies drift back off to sleep after they eat. Crib mobiles are excellent for helping sight and focus to develop. My son had a carseat toy that had a mirror on it, and that helped his eyes to develop as well as working as a teething toy.

There are tons of teething toys on the market, but nothing beats the teething pacifier clips. You don’t have to worry about baby dropping the toy on the floor, or misplacing it because it is connected to them! The teething pacifier clips are gentle enough for little babies to chew on them, but strong enough to deal with the wear and tear that is put on them through the first year.

One of my favorite toys, that my son still plays with as a 1 yr old, is the kick and play mat. It has an overhang like a mobile and a piano for babies to kick or press while they’re working on tummy time. You can detach the piano part to be used without the mobile when the baby gets older. Playing with the piano is great for eyesight, hearing, and motor skills. There are multiple settings for the piano to announce the color of the keys, play a song, or simply the tone of the key.

Baby toys for 6 – 12 months

The 2nd 6 months of life involves a lot of moving around. 

My son was born in May, so having a Christmas where he was 6 months old meant the grandparents went a little crazy with restocking the diaper stash and spoiling him with toys! The changes that happen within the first 6 months are so drastic that I was very thankful to have had the help with keeping up with my crazy boy’s growth spurt. Babies aren’t cheap!

Hands down one of the best toys that was ever given to us was a baby walker. This one has an adjustable seat, so you don’t have to worry that your baby isn’t tall enough to touch the floor! When my son was independent and wanted to walk versus being contained, I was able to remove the top toy part and he could walk around holding it. Another great part of this Chicco walker is the fact that it folds down to a very compact item that would be easy to store under the bed, or to take with you on a trip.

My son started walking around 11 months old, and refused to sit down in the walker after that. He was a little bit stubborn. He preferred having the freedom of going back and forth between crawling and walking. We got him this walker for our house and left the other one with the grandparents. The front is removable, so we would snap it off and we could take it in the car as well.

I used to laugh at my son walking around pushing the activity walker and holding his play keys in his mouth. If he wasn’t chewing on the keys, then he was trying to eat his cars. He didn’t care what it was, as long as something helped to make those little teeth stop hurting!

I heard wonderful things about the doorway jumpers, but my son HATED it. He didn’t like the baby swing either. 

He had really strong opinions.. but what baby doesn’t?!

The importance of baby toys

I could write a book on all of the reasons I feel as if baby toys are important, especially toys for baby’s first year.

I’ll stick to 5 main points:

  1. Hand – eye coordination.
  2. Teething
  3. Muscle building
  4. Eyesight development
  5. Entertainment
  6. Soothing

Okay I lied, I couldn’t narrow the list down to 5. 

I think you get my point, toys are important!

You’re enhancing their little brains, and raising smarty-pants kids by giving them toys. Your child doesn’t need a million toys, so you don’t need to go broke trying to buy them. I personally feel like playing is learning, so that is why I value children having toys.

Babies are the biggest joy.

It is incredible to see the little angel that you brought into the world is learning new things.

Play with and talk to your baby regularly to stimulate their minds and help them grow!

Which of these best toys for baby’s first year are you buying for your little one? Leave me a comment and let me know!

8 toys you need to add to your baby registry for your child's first year.

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My little corner of the internet where motherhood & military mix. Full-time wife & boy mama. Part-time content developer & social media strategist. All the time chatty Camille.


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