The 7 Best Baby Toys For Newborns
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It’s never too early to introduce your newborn to the idea of playtime, and the best baby toys for newborns are ones that will stimulate your baby and hold their attention — features like high-contrast images, sounds, mirrors, and lights are particularly great for this. Top options should also be age-appropriate (check the manufacturer’s suggested age guidelines) and safe, with no loose parts that could be a choking hazard. Generally speaking, you should always supervise your baby during playtime, and never place toys (or any loose objects, for that matter) in their crib while they sleep.
There are many types of newborn toys, so you may want to pick up a variety of options to get a feel for what your child gravitates to most. Newborns can’t fully recognize colors, so toys with high-contrast black and white images tend to be quite the hit — and they are believed to strengthen your baby's eyesight and their ability to concentrate. Toys that feature sounds, lights, or other sensory experiences can also be super fun; activity mats, rattles, and mobiles are all great toys that can have these stimulating features. If your baby detests tummy time, some toys can help to make it a bit more enjoyable, such as mirrors or comfy mats to prop up your babe. And if you want your little one to have some entertainment on the go, look for a toy with a clip to attach it directly to a stroller or car seat.
Regardless of the toys you choose, you’ll want to ensure they’re easy to clean because spit up and drool are inevitable. Hard toys (such as ones made from plastic) can usually be wiped down, while toys made from fabric should ideally be machine washable or at least easily spot cleaned.
These seven toys are designed for babies. They’re stimulating and safe, with tons of stellar reviews on Amazon to back them up.
1. A Highly Rated Activity Mat That Will Grow With Your Baby
Overwhelmingly adored on Amazon — with a knockout 4.8-star rating overall with more than 20,000 reviews — and a personal favorite in my home, this activity mat from Fisher-Price is certainly well deserving of all of the praise it receives. The mat is packed with activities that keep young babies entertained, utilizing music, lights, toys (including two rattle maracas!), and sounds to stimulate your baby’s senses. You can even adjust the content that it plays by switching between three different stages. The keyboard has five keys that light up when touched or kicked — a feature that my daughter particularly loved during her newborn days. The electronic features run on three AA batteries (included).
As if all of that wasn't already great, this pick is also just super versatile. With four different ways to play — your baby can use the mat while laying on their back or tummy, while sitting, or even take the fun with them since the keyboard is detachable — it’s a toy that your baby can enjoy for the long haul. And since it's easy to maintain — the padded mat is machine washable, and all of the plastic pieces can easily be wiped down — you won't mind using it over and over.
The activity mat is available in green or pink, and with or without maracas.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought for my newborn granddaughter who is now 3.5 months. She loves it!! Hits the piano keys when she kicks her feet and is now able to reach some of the hanging toys. It is so neat watching her grow and learn new things every day!"
- Recommended Age: 0 to 36 months
2. A Baby-Safe Mirror
Mirror, mirror on the floor, this pick from Sassy your newborn will truly adore… but seriously, there’s just something about mirrors that babies can’t resist! This one can stand up on its own thanks to the easel-style back, and measures a large 11.5 by 11.5 inches in size. Your baby can enjoy the mirror during tummy time when it's placed in front of them, or while they're lying on their back (with the mirror placed to the side). If a reflection alone isn't enough to keep your baby occupied, the mirror also has two attached toys: a ladybug with a spinning ball that rattles, and a bumblebee with crinkly wings.
In terms of safety, this pick has a soft frame construction and the mirror itself is made from plastic, so it should be suitable for babies with supervision. Amazon reviewers confirm this, giving the mirror an impressive 4.5-star rating overall on the site, with more than 10,000 reviews. Reviewers also indicate that this pick can easily be spot cleaned.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "It's really true what they say about babies and mirrors! My newborn son will be one month in two days from today and he absolutely adores his mirror. I like to pair it with a tummy time pillow so he holds his head up until he is worn out then he'll just stare into the mirror quietly observing himself. I really recommend this product. He loves when I crinkle the bee's wings and the leaves at the bottom of the lady bug. He doesn't find the lady bug belly very amusing yet but soon I imagine."
- Recommended Age: 0+ months
3. A Set Of High Contrast Flash Cards
Featuring high-contrast images, these black-and-white flash cards from Blulu will catch your newborn baby's eye (just hold each card up and let your baby look at it for about 10 seconds). The set includes 24 double-sided cards with high-contrast patterns and images of everyday objects. Each card is 5.5 by 5.5 inches in size with rounded corners to ensure that your baby won't accidentally get poked or scratched by them, particularly when they’re old enough to hold them on their own (with your supervision). Plus, the waterproof cards are highly durable and easy to clean.
Amazon reviewers give this pick a solid 4.7-star rating overall after more than 1,200 reviews, with many parents indicating that the cards provide a fun way to interact with their little one.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is probably one of the best purchases I’ve made on amazon. The price is excellent and the joy my newborn twins have gotten has been awesome! My girl is especially captivated by these cards. I love that there are both abstract and basic silhouettes and I find that the images provide me with great prompts for education and storytelling. It’s a very nice way to engage and entertain your infant during their limited awake time."
- Recommended Age: 6 weeks to 6 months
4. An Activity Book To Take On The Go
For entertainment on the go, this book from Sassy is a great bet. The soft book is loaded with fun activities, including liftable flaps for peek-a-boo, crinkle-filled pages for auditory stimulation, and black-and-white images and colorful creatures that your little one will love to look at. Most importantly, this pick has a built-in link, allowing you to securely attach it to basically anything you need, including a high chair, car seat, or stroller.
Amazon reviewers indicate that this pick has held up perfectly in the washing machine; they give the activity book a whopping 4.8-star rating overall on the site, among 2,700 and growing reviews.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is a nice soft book with eye catching colors for babies. It has a plastic ring that opens so you can attach it to something if you want. Easy for baby to grasp and chew on. Washed nicely as well."
- Recommended Age: 0 to 9 months
5. A Mat To Help With Tummy Time
If your newborn loathes tummy time, this mat from Bright Starts may be able to make it a bit more fun — and for only $25, it's certainly worth a shot. The plush mat features a bunch of ways to distract your little one, including a baby-safe mirror, a rattle, and a variety of other fun toys. It even has a bunch of small satin loops that your baby can interact with, which also double as places to secure toys. Beyond the distraction factor of this pick, the mat is also designed to make tummy time a bit more comfortable since it props up your baby. An included matching pillow offers additional support.
The mat comes in adorable polar bear, bear, and pink owl designs. When you're ready to wash it, you can just throw it in the machine.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Adorable tummy time mat! My baby loves playing on this and it helps make the play time more enjoyable for her. It's so colorful and comfortable with lots for her to touch and look at."
- Recommended Age: 0 months to 3 years
6. A Set Of Wrist & Foot Rattles
These four wearable rattles from Bigib are a total hit with newborns and young babies, since they make a fun sound whenever your little one moves their body. Two of the rattles are designed to wrap around your baby’s arms (they’re secured with hook-and-loop closures, which is why one size fits most for these toys), while the other two are built into a pair of socks for use on your baby’s feet. The rattles are bright and colorful, with captivating black-and-white stripes and adorable animals that your baby will love to look at and touch.
Amazon reviewers are wild about this pick, giving it a solid 4.6-star rating overall after more than 27,000 reviews. Reviewers also indicate that the rattles are machine washable.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My 2.5mo old grandson has just discovered his feet thanks to these ADORABLE (gentle) rattle socks and matching infant/baby wrist band toys. He loves them! ...and smiles when they are being put on, his reaction is priceless. Bright colors, soft material, solid velcro but not the stiff, hard kind. Would absolutely buy these again. Thank you! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
- Recommended Age: The manufacturer does not list a recommended age range, but reviewers indicate that it's a good fit for newborns and young babies
7. A Stimulating Mobile
While loose toys are a no-no for your newborn’s crib, this mobile from Manhattan Toy is a safe alternative to keep your baby entertained while in bed. The mobile displays 10 different discs at a time, all of which feature high-contrast images and colors to stimulate your baby and hold their attention. Some of the discs are simple in design, while others feature more complex graphics — the idea is that they're interchangeable, so you can swap them out as your little one grows. The discs are labeled by age to help you get a better idea of which images would work best for your child at any given time in their development (up to 5 months).
The mobile is super easy to install; it features a lockable arm to secure it to the crib and an adjustable cord that allows you to raise and lower the discs, as needed. The discs are made of plastic, so they're easy to wipe down.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is a wonderful mobile.[...] This mobile is versatile in that you can switch out the discs, and it’s really fun to watch baby enjoy it. [...] The Manhattan Toy mobile allows her to switch her gaze naturally, and track the disc that she chooses to with her developing vision. At first she loved staring [at] the black and white image of the baby face and now that she is older she will follow the colored images of the sun, car, and fish, and then switch back to the baby face which she still loves at almost four months. This is a must have mobile."
- Recommended Age: 0 to 5 months