Best toys for babies 0-6 months
From 0-6 months, your little one is steadily developing. Cherish these moments - it’s an exciting time to see your baby develop their own little personality. Playtime is a very important way to help develop your baby’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills.
Through playtime, babies 0-6 months can learn more about the world around them. From hearing to motor skill development, your baby isn’t just tapping away at their toy - they’re constantly learning! And many of these milestones can be encouraged through little pleasures like tummy time, baby sensory toys and stimulating play.
The NHS states, ‘you can give your child lots of different opportunities to play, and it does not need to be difficult or expensive’. So, using playtime to engage with your baby’s development is a fascinating learning experience for you and your little one!
You may be wondering, “Well then, what are the best toys for a baby to play with?” - don’t worry, KendaFam, we’ve got you covered! 💙
Developing your baby’s play in the first 0-6 months.
Let’s look at some general developmental milestones (do note that every baby is different and develops at their own pace, so this may vary):
- Your newborn may be able to recognise their soft, cuddly toys, ideal for tactile play.
- From 2 months and up, your little one may recognise sounds, such as a gentle rattle.
- From 3-4 months, your baby may begin to grasp things around them.
- By 5 months, your little one could be learning about cause-and-effect. Pushing, pulling and squeezing toys has a direct effect - a sound may come out or the toy moves a certain way!
- Around 5-6 months, your little one may be developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Great for toys which involve drawing (with pencils!), putting things into other things and building blocks.
- 6 months and older, your baby might be developing an awareness and enjoying social interaction.
What are the best toys (and methods of play) for babies, 0-6 months?
Let’s dive into the best toys (and methods of play) for your little one’s early development. ✨
🎐 0-2 months: mobiles and activity mats 🎐
Dangling toys can help your baby’s physical development as they reach and learn tactile ‘grasping’ skills which strengthen their reflexes.
Along with playing a part in the maturing of their visual awareness skills, dangling toys also help stimulate your baby’s motor skills.
Best toys for babies 0-2 months: We recommend dangle toys, rattles, grabby toys, play gyms and tummy time boosters. Anything on-the-go and multi-functional (like a teether which also serves as a rattle or crinkle toys which serve as squeezy balls) is recommended to get your little one engaged and stimulated in every which way!
Top tip. Tummy time is a FANTASTIC way to engage your baby in tactile play. Introducing a soft toy in front of your baby, during their tummy time can help to develop a baby’s fine motor skills, from strengthening their head, neck and core to advancing their vision development.
🎵 2-6 months: music boxes, rattles and chimes 🎵
A baby’s hearing is one of the first senses to develop and by the time they reach 2 months old, they might even be able to recognise sounds.
Best musical toys for babies 2-6 months: Rattles, crinkle toys and chimes to stimulate your little one’s ears (and if the toy is safe to chew on, even better!). We also love an interactive, musical play gym or cot mobile.
Top tip. Gentle music can serve as a relaxing, calming and soothing experience for your baby. And new research shows that soothing music can also help your baby’s brain develop quicker. Soothing music has been linked to babies learning to communicate better and grasp complex topics later on in life!
Try our Spotify playlist here to get your little one to snoozing WHILST promoting their development (we call this a win-win!).
🌈 2-6 months: colourful and textured toys 🌈
Contrasting colors and bright patterns will attract your little one’s attention and get their vision development going. This is because colourful toys are much easier for babies to see. Textured toys also help your baby to develop their motor skills through touch.
Your baby gripping, grabbing and poking their toys also helps to develop their muscle strength and hand-eye coordination.
Best colourful and textured toys for babies 2-6 months: On the go toys are PERFECT for infusing a little colour and texture into your little one’s playtime - especially since they’re also fantastic for distracting your baby when they become fussy in public. We love a cuddly teddy or plush toy! Teething toys and balls are also a great way to introduce textures into your baby’s life.
Top tip. If your baby is 4 months and older, try rolling a soft ball in front of them. They might be able to develop their movement and vision just by reaching for the ball!
💨 4-6 months (and older): moving/push and pull toys 💨
Another one for developing your little one’s eyesight and coordination: moving toys can help your little one’s eyesight. A baby is more likely to see a moving object rather than a stationary one.
Best push and pull toys for babies 4-6 months: Toy carts, wagons and cars - anything with wheels for movement!
Top tip. Push and pull toys can also help your baby (or toddler) with their cognitive skills. These types of toys can also promote balance and help your baby to work on their coordination, which will eventually lead to them walking on their own. Exciting!
👀 6 months and up: peekaboo and sensory toys for object permanence. 👀
Any sensory toys, or toys which help your little one with their object permanence (game of peekaboo, anyone?) can be incredibly stimulating for your little one.
In fact, a peekaboo toy (or simply playing peekaboo with your 5 month old) can help to ease your baby’s separation anxiety when they hit their toddler years. Games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek, along with sensory toys, don’t just stimulate your baby’s cognitive AND social development; they help your baby practice object permanence!
Best toys for babies 6 months: Any sensory activity panels, hide and seek books, peekaboo books, pop ups and lock and key toys are useful for babies 6 months and up.
Top tip. Take some time out of your day to engage in a peekaboo session (with the help of a toy or two) with your little one. Dedicating this time to building your baby’s object permanence will come in very useful for the future. The sooner your 6 month old learns that an object (or family member) still exists, even when they can’t see them anymore, the better to develop their independence.
🧸Toy safety for babies 0-6 months 🧸
As we mentioned earlier, the right toy can be a wonderful way to stimulate and develop your little one's functional, motor, cognitive and independent skills. It's vital to also consider your baby's safety when choosing the best toys for their age.
- Look for the CE and UKCA marks on any toy you buy. This means that the toy meets regulatory requirements.
- Look for the voluntary BTHA lion mark. This stands for the British Toy and Hobby Association and ensures the toy meets statutory safety requirements.
- Avoid toys with long hair, loose ribbons and other hazards.
- ALWAYS check the age grading before purchasing ANY toy.
Best toys for babies 0-6 months? We have you covered.
We hope we’ve answered the question, “how do I know what the best toys are for my 0-6 month old baby?”
It’s important to keep engagement, education and entertainment in mind when choosing the right toys for your little one. A safe toy (or three!) with lots of colours, musical properties, push and pull features, safe accessories AND textures will get your little one stimulated and occupied.
Any great, multi-faceted toy can help your baby discover so much about the world around them. The world of play really is an exciting time, full of developmental milestones such as cognitive learning, physical and motor growth... AND giggles galore! 💙
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