9 month old baby playing with a toy for a 9 month old
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40 Best Toys For 9-Month-Olds You Can Buy On Amazon Right Now

Out with the rattles, in with the stacking cups.

If you’re a first-time parent shopping for new toys for your baby, it’s hard to know what’s worth your money. Or, if your friend has a wee babe and you’re just trying not to kill your house plants, maybe you need a little guidance on where to find the best toys for a 9-month-old baby. They’re not yet running across the lawn, and they’re likely no longer a newborn-like babe. These toys hit the sweet spot in between and are designed for babies who can sit (maybe even stand) on their own and can be enjoyed while playing in one place. Some might even help or encourage baby to take their first steps.

What to look for when shopping for toys for a 9-month-old

When buying toys for your baby, no matter their age, it’s a good idea to think about the developmental milestones they’re working on and choose toys that will help them build those skills. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 9 and 12 months of age, babies may be:

  • Pulling up to stand
  • Walking while holding onto furniture, also known as cruising
  • Looking for things that are hidden or placed out of sight (hello, object permanence)
  • Taking an item in and out of a container
  • Picking things up with their thumb and forefinger, which is called a pincer grasp

“Nine months is a really important age where, if they aren’t already crawling, they’ll be getting on hands and knees,” said Amanda Phillips, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Children’s of Alabama, in an interview with Romper. “Classic toys are always good, like blocks and stackable cups. Babies love to put things in and out, bang things together, and swap things from hand to hand, and blocks and cups are easy to manipulate. Balls are great too because they can hit them away and that can possibly motivate them to crawl.”

Phillips added that at 9 months of age, most babies still taste test everything, so choose toys that are safe to put in the mouth. She said to consider music toys that light up when hit to teach baby cause and effect, and bath toys for playtime in the water. She also cautioned parents to steer clear of a few popular toy options.

“We usually encourage families to stay away from walkers and jumpers because it’s not the right kind of movement. Push toys and activity centers are better. Even before they’re standing they can use these sitting and in a tall kneel, up on their knees with their butt off the ground,” she said.

So, since your little one will most likely want to spend their time practicing these skills, why not choose toys that help them along? There are options in this list for the most dedicated Montessori moms and the parents who are perfectly fine with plastic singing gadgets. Even if you opt for a toy that’s just plain fun, that’s important for babies too.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


A multipurpose shape sorter

Pros: This toy can grow with your baby for months to come.

Cons: The lid is designed to come off easily, which means the shapes can fall out and get lost.

Every baby needs a shape sorting toy — while at first your little one may not grasp the concept, they can start by using the bucket to take things in and out of, and then add the lid as they grow to challenge their fine motor skills. This one is super simple and affordable, with a bucket, removeable lid, and 10 colorful shapes to insert.

Review: “I bought this for my daughter and it became a favorite the 1980s! Now I bought it for her daughter (9 months old). She loves playing with the shapes and enjoys dropping them in the basket without the cover (too challenging for right now). But it will eventually be added, as she grows into it and continues using it. Perfect for developing fine motor skills!”


A barnyard bath toy set

Pros: They squirt water which could delight your little one.

Cons: Bath toys with holes in them can grow mildew inside and should be cleaned and/or replaced regularly.

By 9 months old, most babies are sitting up by themselves without any support, which means they may need something to do in the bath tub. This little assortment of eight animals is great because you can talk about all of their colors and sounds, teaching baby that pink pigs say “oink” and green frogs say “ribbit.”

Review: “These are super cute and my 3-year-olds love them, and they loved then when they were one and two years old as well. Like all squirt bath toys, you need to drain them after every bath and every once in a while soak them in something to get any possible mildew out (we use white vinegar). By doing this, they should last a year or two as bath toys.”


A simple sensory toy

Pros: The Dimpl is made with 100% food-grade silicone and is BPA-free for safe chewing.

Cons: With wear and tear, the frame around the bubbles can split around the edges.

The Dimpl’s plastic frame holds five silicone bubbles that can be pushed, popped, poked, and whatever else your little guy or gal has up their sleeve. The bright colors and soft-touch material provide a little extra sensory appeal, and the size makes it portable enough to play with on car rides or become a diaper bag staple.

Review: “My two granddaughters both love this toy. The youngest received it for her first birthday, though it is suitable for younger babies also. The 2-year-old immediately took possession and played with it for at least 20 minutes. It is colorful and attracts their attention. The baby caught on to the function quickly and liked handling it and chewing on it. All the adults had to try it out too. Will definitely buy this for baby gifts in the future.”


The best stacking rings

Pros: The stacking stick in the middle isn’t tapered so baby can put on the rings in any order instead of just biggest to smallest.

Cons: Reviewers say the clear plastic ring fills with water when washed (or baby drool when chewed).

With almost 40,000 reviews and a five-star rating, these rings are a clear favorite with parents and their babies. Stacking rings can aid developing babies’ motor skills and problem-solving brain power. This set includes rings in a variety of textures, sizes, patterns, and colors, all of which are meant to capture your baby’s attention and stimulate their senses.

Review: “Purchased these for my 7-month-old. The quality and design are great. The circles have different weights, shapes, and sizes which are great for learning. A couple of the smaller rings are made somewhat out of a softer material so it's not as hard when the baby tries to bite/chew on it.”


This highly-rated crawl ball

Pros: The ball plays 45 songs and recites animal noises to keep baby engaged.

Cons: The ball is heavy and can hurt if baby drops it on their toes.

By 9 months of age, some babies are strong crawlers already while others are still getting the hang of it. This Wiggle and Crawl Ball will entertain avid crawlers with plenty of songs, lights, buttons, and movement. And it may just entice babies still learning to crawl to get moving.

Review: “This is my 8-month-old granddaughter’s favorite toy. Had it for three months now and it seems to be one that she goes to the most. It has a little turtle that spins on the top of the ball. When turtle starts spinning, the ball will roll around. It lights up, sound and music are clear. Has buttons with numbers, colors and animal shapes. She has a lot of toys, but always picks this out!”


A set of stacking cups

Pros: The cups are BPA- and phthalate-free.

Cons: Since they don’t connect, it’s easy to lose cups around the house.

Stackable cup toys have been around for generations, and for good reason. Little ones love to nest them together and see what other toys can fit inside. They’re great in the bath for scooping water and watching it drain from the holes in the bottoms. This set includes eight cups, each with a number on the bottom for counting lessons.

Review: “If I could pick ONE and ONLY ONE toy to entertain a baby for the entire first year and beyond, THIS IS IT. Hands down, no question. These cups are frickin' amazing and versatile. Light enough for young babies to handle, sturdy enough for older babies and toddlers to beat on, no sharp corners, compact and easy to travel with, and they make a really satisfying clattering noise when you knock them down, unlike those soft blocks.”


Stacking boats for bath time

Pros: They’re dishwasher-safe.

Cons: They hook together to form a train but don’t stay connected very well.

This little set of six boats can stack, float, pour water, and link together to form a little boat parade. They’re a super affordable, highly durable option for a bath toy that doesn’t hold water inside (hooray for no icky, hidden mildew), and the bright colors will definitely catch your baby’s attention.

Review: “My older daughter likes to help wash her little sister by pouring water from the boats onto her back. They like to have boat races in the tub. And they are easy to stack and store! Best of all — run them through the dishwasher when they need a cleaning and they are good as new!”


The most realistic looking toy smartphone

Pros: Babies learn to mimic behaviors, so you can play telephone together if they have their own cell.

Cons: The volume is pretty low, and reviewers say it’s hard to hear.

This Laugh & Learn Smart Phone from Fisher-Price actually looks similar to a real iPhone, so it actually stands a chance of letting you use yours in peace. It sings 30 songs, teaches numbers and counting, calls out greetings, and responds to button pushing with lights and sounds.

Review: “Like many babies, mine is obsessed with my cell phone because it's bright, flashy, can be used to FaceTime Grandmom, and frankly because I won't let him have it — which means it's irresistible. I've been looking for a faux cell phone that baby can chew on (versus giving him an old non-working one), and the ones I found prior didn't have any lights, just some buttons you could press down, with gaps for drool to get inside. The buttons light up, which is one of the reasons he always wants my phone, and the songs and ‘apps’ really engage him.”


The best toy for learning to stand and walk

Pros: The wheels have two adjustable speed modes: one for new walkers and one for faster movers.

Cons: Some of the pieces aren’t attached (like the phone) and can be easy to lose.

These push toys are in just about every must-have baby toy list, and for good reason. The play panel can detach from the frame so your baby can reach all the bells and whistles, or you can keep it attached to encourage your little one to stand to play with the features up top. It also helps them toddle about and practice walking before they’re ready to do it all on their own. With more than 74,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.8-star rating, it’s basically guaranteed to be a hit with your child.

Review: “Love this walker! My little girl is 7 months old and was pulling herself up to stand before we received the walker. She loves standing up on the walker and playing with the board. A 12-month-old little boy comes over every day and the two of them constantly "fight" over who gets to play with it. They used to get bored with their toys after only an hour or so, but now they play for hours! One of the best purchases.”


A remote that’s safe for babies

Pros: It comes with a volume control for parents and an automatic shut-off.

Cons: The songs it plays are about watching TV, which some parents may not love.

Does your little one always grab the real remote off the coffee table? Give them their own baby-safe version from VTech. This little remote flips through its pretend news and weather channels, recites colors and shapes, and teaches the concept of opposites with up and down volume controls.

Review: “My daughter has been interested in the TV remote since she was a few months old. As she got a bit older, she would try to be sneaky and would wait until no one was looking and she would hide our remote in her covers. Bought her this, and she was instantly enthralled with it. Lots of buttons and lots of different noises, but she always likes to hit the same button over and over again, no matter the toy. I love the volume control it has: off, low, and high. I turn it on low when she feels the need to repeat the same sounds.”


A set of toy keys

Pros: The keys are dishwasher-safe, a major perk for moms of teething babes.

Cons: Some reviewers say the plastic isn’t great quality.

Just like smartphones and remotes, kids love keys. This key set is a noise- and music-free toy that won’t drive parents batty, and the keys come on a plastic ring so the set stays together.

Review: “I have an older version of these keys for my daughter and ordered this set for a friend. My daughter loves to shake these and especially chew (or gum) on them. I love the fact that they are easy for her to grasp, and that they do not require any batteries. They are very colorful and make some noise (but not too much for a restaurant or around home. If you were at a show or the movies or a church service they may be distracting).”


A block set that sticks together

Pros: The blocks grab onto each other, so babies don’t have to stack them perfectly to build something.

Cons: These look just as painful to step on as a LEGO.

Infantino’s Press & Stay blocks have a gripping texture on all sides so even young babies can stack a few and create fun shapes. The set includes 24 blocks so your baby will have plenty of building materials.

Review: “This has been wonderful. Got these for my little at 6 months. He explored their texture and mouthed them at first and now at a year he puts them together and pulls them apart. As he continues to grow he will be able to build with them and learn new skills all with one toy!”


A talking puppy plush with 5 stars

Pros: It has three age settings so the toy can grow with your child.

Cons: The heartbeat sound it makes is a little unsettling.

The Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy combines the cuddles of a stuffed animal with the interactivity of bigger, plastic toys, so chances are baby doesn’t have anything else quite like it. It sings songs and can sound off with 100 different words, including parts of the body, numbers, shapes, and more.

Review: “I got this puppy when my son was 9 months. He always liked hugging and playing with it. My son is now 18 months and now is the time he really enjoys the puppy. He understands the body parts and the instructions that puppy gives. When he hears the puppy say the familiar words like peekaboo/high five he gets very excited. He feels like the puppy is his new friend. I carry it in the car and my son is engaged for a long time listening to songs that puppy plays.”


A pull-along dump truck

Pros: It has lots of features that will keep baby coming back over time.

Cons: The balls have a tendency to roll away and get lost.

VTech’s Drop and Go Dump Truck sings songs about, well, being a dump truck, and plays the names and sounds of tools with the press of a button. Load the rocks into the hole in the front of the truck and watch them pop into the back, where they can be dumped out with the lever on the side. It’s fun for babies to push and play with crawling, and to pull behind them once they’re on two feet.

Review: “Bought this when my son just turned 7 months. Since the day it was delivered it’s been his absolute favorite toy. He plays with it everyday. He loves the rocks so much. He loves to hold it and bite it. Since he is still very young to ‘put the rocks in the hole’ (the toy says that over and over), I do it for him and it really entertains him. The toy has buttons that light up and teaches you to count from one to three (from the three rocks). You pull the blue lever on the side and it dumps the rocks. Overall great toy!”


These versatile rubber blocks

Pros: The soft material of this block set is great for teething babies (and is BPA- and phthalate-free).

Cons: If your kiddo loves banging toys together, these won’t make much of a sound.

Toss, squeeze, and stack with this 10-piece baby block set from B. toys. Each block comes in a bright color with an animal on one side and a number on the other, so you can talk to your babe about counting and critters while you play.

Review: “After much play from two children, these are still going strong and one of our household favorites. The colors are vibrant, the blocks are made of a thick and sturdy rubber, and the designs on them are so cute and very fun to look through. The carrying bag can be used to store the blocks, but we eventually threw it away after we got tired of bagging them up every day. They stack very well and stay stacked, but we turn them just a bit to help them stay balanced when the block tower gets high! Just for information’s sake, and because our kids think every toy in our house is bath appropriate, these blocks CAN be played with in the bathtub BUT they each have a hole in them, so the water can get in and become trapped.”


A simple bead maze

Pros: The size of this bead maze makes it super portable.

Cons: Some reviewers said the suction cups don’t work well (or at all).

Melissa & Doug’s toys are all about learning and development, and this bead maze is intended to help babies with their motor skills, sorting, and hand-eye coordination. It features two curving wires with primary color wooden beads, and two smaller wires built into the base.

Review: “Grandson is now 9 months old and still loves to play with this after he eats. What an awesome toy for such a low price. I went with our daughter to 9-month check up at pediatrician yesterday and they had a similar toy (larger) in the waiting room. We love love love it. Grandson is strong and did manage to pull the toy up (rubber placeholds still work great) and hit himself in the face but he didn't cry. I have seen some reviews say the toy doesn't stay in place but it has for us.”


An Amazon exclusive pop-up toy

Pros: This toy doesn’t require any batteries.

Cons: Once baby figures out the game, they may lose interest quickly.

This Amazon exclusive pop-up toy runs solely on baby power, and the cute little insects popping up with the push of a button or flip of a switch help your little one learn about cause and effect.

Review: “Wanted to introduce some more cause/effect toys into my son's play routine. I like to offer him organic items from around the house...but there is still something quite satisfying about pushing a button or twisting a knob and having something happen, so I bought him this one. He figured this toy out in about 2 days. He LOVES it and will spend 30 minutes with it on his own...He'll often crawl away, play with something else, and go back to this one.”


An at-home ball pit

Pros: The ball pit can be used indoors or outdoors.

Cons: Balls are not included and it takes up a lot of space.

Your little one will absolutely obsess over this miniature ball pit that’ll feel like a Chuck E. Cheese in their very own room. It has a mesh basketball hoop built in, which your baby will love to dunk balls into once they’re older. Until then, crawling through the colorful pit and tossing balls every which way will be plenty of fun. Unfortunately this pit doesn’t come with balls, but you can buy a pack of 200 BPA-free balls for $28.

Review: “This ball pit is perfect, easy to fold and set up! For anyone wondering how many balls to buy, there’s 200 in mine. When it’s completely unfolded there’s just barely enough to cover the bottom but if it’s folded up smaller the bottom is a little more full. Definitely would recommend this!”


An activity cube with lots to offer

Pros: For sitting babies, the bead maze can come off the top and rest on the floor for easy access.

Cons: Reviewers noted it’s smaller than the pictures make it look, so check the dimensions before purchasing.

This Play22 Activity Cube boasts spinning numbers on one side, a shape sorter on another, a track puzzle, an abacus with rainbow beads, and a brightly colored bead maze on top. Toys like this are great for 9-month-old babies, because the cube can be reached while seated but encourages your little one to move around all the sides.

Review: “Got this for our one-year old grandson, and it's great! Very nice, and sturdy construction. At first I thought it would be too small, as I was envisioning the size you usually see in waiting rooms. This size is actually better. He loves it and can easily manipulate all the different options. He even likes picking it up with both arms and dropping it (as they do with everything at this age!) and it is holding up well.”


A set of pull-back car toys

Pros: Need to wash the cars? The covers come off with a simple Velcro fastener.

Cons: Babies just learning to push may get frustrated by the pull-back mechanism.

Having little car toys can help babies learn about pushing, pulling, and rolling, but many toys with wheels are built with small parts that could present a choking hazard to tiny drivers. This set from Melissa & Doug is safe for children 9 months and older. Just roll the cars backwards to rev them up, then let go and watch them race across the room.

Review: “These are a must-have for young kids. They are so much fun! No batteries, great design, colorful, and well made. That's what we want in a toy. My grandsons started by watching the cars moving when we operated them. Then they started crawling after them...over and over again. It won't be long before they figure out how to make them go and then they will have another level of fun with these cute vehicles.”


An activity table that teaches three languages

Pros: The legs come off for babies who aren’t ready to stand yet (and for easy storage).

Cons: Some reviewers say the legs aren’t sturdy enough for babies pulling to stand.

Baby Einstein’s activity table features piano keys that can teach baby to count, a French horn rattle, drum, and guitar, and four buttons that call out additional instruments and shapes. It plays snippets of classical music as your baby mashes the buttons, and can toggle between English, Spanish, and French modes.

Review: “A year and half after purchase, this is the one toy that has survived the test of time. My son was too tall for it out of the box but he loved it all the same. Yes, they'll trap their fingers in the flap that changes from music to numbers but they learn to move their fingers and it's hardly a major injury. Eventually I got sick of him tipping it over all the time so I took the legs off. Now at 26 months he carries it around and still loves to bang on all the buttons. He loves counting and the number keyboard is a favorite.”


A crawling toy and rattle combo

Pros: Your baby can fall in love with the bee, then get to chase after it months later.

Cons: Babies still getting used to crawling might slip, and if they’re chasing a hard toy like this, bonk their heads.

This Skip Hop bumblebee has three stages: it starts as a handheld rattle, then pops into the cloud when baby is ready to try crawling. It can be set to move in small circles to stay close by, or to move faster without a set pattern as your baby gets the hang of moving on all fours. If your baby catches the bee and pulls it from the cloud, the base plays music and lights up as a fun reward.

Review: “We use this toy every single day, for hours at a time, and one month later, we still haven’t needed to replace the batteries. The music is cute and pleasant, and not too loud. This works great on carpet. The weight of the bee is substantial but still light enough for a baby to pick up one-handed.”


A complex sorting toy

Pros: Since it’s made of wood, it’s built to last.

Cons: Reviewers say the paint chipped easily when their babies chewed the shapes.

Looking for a sturdy shape sorting toy? Melissa & Doug’s version looks like it could survive just about anything. It comes with 12 shapes color coded to match their opening in the wooden drum. Once all the shapes are inside, your baby will love shaking the sorter to hear them clatter.

Review: “I was actually looking for a rolling drum and decided to buy this instead because it’s less expensive, can be used to make noise while rolling, has uses far beyond a rolling drum, and is Melissa & Doug, which has always been a pretty durable line of wood products. This toy has been fun for and will continue to grow with our baby. While it’s been used for months, there very little sign of wear and tear. Recommend for anyone that wants a learning toy for a youngster.”


A fire truck with jumbo wheels

Pros: The large tires on this toy can conquer concrete and grass outdoors just as easily as the floors inside.

Cons: It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, just a few moveable ladders.

If you’re sick of singing, flashing toys, you’ll love this one. This little fire truck is meant for indoor and outdoor use. The plastic construction makes it easy to wipe clean (an essential trait if you’re going to be taking it outside and bringing it back in), but the materials comply with FDA food standards, so it’s safe for your baby to mouth.

Review: “Outstanding truck! My kid loves it. It's very safe as well. There are no meaningful sharp edges anywhere on the truck. Definitely a durable piece. After all, kids can be hard on toys, you want them to last. This is built to last.”


A safe, snuggly plush

Pros: It comes in three sizes, so you can choose a travel-friendly lovey or a giant cuddle buddy.

Cons: It’s not machine washable.

Jellycat plushes are some of the softest stuffed animals on the market, making them perfect for babies. If your 9-month-old is starting to get attached to toys, this is the gift for them. Even parents love Jellycat, so don’t browse their site unless you’re ready to buy yourself a plush version of blue cheese.

Review: “I bought this puppy when my son was around 3. I was very, very low on money at that point in my life and though it wasn't expensive, it FELT costly. Well-made, weighted a bit, soft. It's eight years later now and ‘Mr. Puppy’ is the thing he would take if the house caught fire. It goes on all the trips, stays in his bed, is occasionally washed, and lives a great life. He has worn, and looks loved, but has stood up to a rambunctious boy without so much as a split seam. Occasionally I knit him a tiny hat or my wife sews him a little shirt.”


A 5-star rated singing purse

Pros: It comes with a phone, keys, compact, and more, so there’s no need to purchase accessories separately.

Cons: The accessories don’t light up or make sound.

Fashionistas in training will love having a purse just like Mom’s, complete with a credit card, phone, and more they can take in and out. It also gives little ones a chance to practice opening and closing the handles, and using a zipper. The purse plays catchy tunes, counts, names colors, and even says some phrases in Spanish.

Review: “Gave this to my niece for her first birthday and she loved it! The accessories are light, so they don’t weigh down the purse, making it easy for her to hold. She loves the cell phone and mirror that comes with the purse. The music is fun and the buttons easy for her one year old dexterity.”


Two suction cup toys

Pros: These toys cling to high chair trays, walkers, and activity centers to occupy baby or refresh a toy they’re tired of.

Cons: Reviewers say the suction isn’t as strong as they’d like.

This vibrant animal duo have suction cup bases to stick anywhere to keep your little one engaged on-the-go (or in their high chair while you finish up some dishes). The critters include parts that spin and twist, rattle, and more.

Review: “We had one of the Sassy suction toys already and I bought these to swap out for variety. The bird quickly became the new favorite. I've washed it — like, scrubbed dried on food off of it — probably 100 times and it still looks brand new. The tail fabric still looks crisp and new as well. It's a fun interactive toy for him and it suctions well to his Joovy walker tray. Definitely recommend!”


An tissue box toy

Pros: The plush box has a weighted bottom to hold it in place while baby pulls out the play tissues.

Cons: Some reviewers said the tissues bleed dye when washed.

Some babies just love unraveling a roll of toilet paper or yanking all the wipes out of the package. If yours shares the same passion, they’ll love this tissue box toy. It’s full of silky and crinkly fabric tissues that can be pulled out and stuffed back in endlessly. The vibrant colors will keep your little one coming back to this toy instead of the real Kleenex box.

Review: “My son is a wipe puller, constantly trying to pull them out and make messes. I got him this as a Christmas gift and he plays with it daily. Great product for an 18-month-old who likes to tear, rip, and mess with paper or wipes. He now leaves that alone and plays with this. Plenty of ‘tissues’ provided.”


A singing play lantern

Pros: It’s fun for babies to press the buttons and watch the lights, and big kids can use it to play pretend.

Cons: The base is a little heavy, so babies who like to sling toys around may bump their heads.

This is certainly the cutest camping lantern you’ll ever buy. Press down on the top of the lantern to make it sing, call out phrases and colors, and talk about all things nature. Or, swap to lights-only mode and twist the knob to change the lantern’s color.

Review: “Very sturdy seems to have very good quality. My 1-year-old beats this toy to death and it keeps on kicking. It has a nice feature that switches from play mode to lantern mode and the volume can be set to a nice reasonable level.”


A weighted, textured stacking toy

Pros: The weighted bases, rubbery bottoms, and jagged edges help babies stack the pieces without having to balance them perfectly.

Cons: If your baby likes to throw things, these could actually do some damage.

These broken eggshell-looking things are called Tobbles, a fitting name as they wobble around on rounded bottoms, and then topple over when baby stacks them up and pushes them down. The set comes with six pieces and a base.

Review: “This is one of my grandson's favorite toys. I got them for him when he was about 6 months old and he's been playing with them for three months so far. They are a constant source of entertainment. They are great for stack and knock-it-down play, but also the shape, color, and smooth texture are all appealing to him. Definitely a five-star. We see this being a great toy to grow with him for a long time.”


A working piano and sheet music

Pros: The piano wipes clean with a damp cloth.

Cons: Since it’s made of wood it’s heavier than most toys. Some reviewers recommend only using it on the floor.

This adorable little piano has a five-star rating on Amazon — not surprising since it’s a collaboration between two of the biggest toy brands out there, Baby Einstein and Hape. Baby can poke at they keys to hear notes and create their own original masterpieces. The piano comes with color-coded sheet music so that, as your child grows, they can learn to play real songs.

Review: “I was skeptical of this product, as I am with all musical toys (they often sound horrible). But I got it because it said it sounds like a real piano. And I am actually really happy with it,” says one Amazon reviewer. “The sound is only ever so slightly tinny, but a far cry from most other musical toys. The melodies are nice and you can change the setting to piano only or to playing songs when you touch the keys. Most importantly, my 14-month-old loves it! At this point he simply likes listening to the melodies and dancing to them, but I suspect when he's older he'll enjoy creating his own melodies.”


A pony to push or ride

Pros: Baby can use it as a push toy now and a ride-on toy later.

Cons: Some reviewers say the wheels don’t roll well on smooth floors.

Doesn’t every child want a pony at some point? This little walker transforms from a push toy into a bouncer, and eventually a rolling ride-on toy, so it’ll entertain baby for the long haul. It lights up and sings with motion, and has a few fun games on the front.

Review: “I bought this for my second daughter, who is just now turning 9 months, and has started pulling herself up to stand. This is one of the best quality baby toys I’ve ever seen. The songs are SO GOOD, and the combination of bouncy seat and two sets of handles that she can pull herself up on are also great! I love that it’s gender neutral (one of the songs mentions cowboys AND cowgirls) and the colors are so nice. She will be able to play with it for at least another year and a half. I seriously love this toy, and would recommend it for any baby or toddler!”


An elephant ball popper toy

Pros: The trunk can be positioned to pop the balls out and right back into the top, so no chasing them all over the floor.

Cons: The air pump is loud, according to reviewers.

Pop a ball into this elephant’s ears or arms and watch it fly high out of the trunk. The toy plays 10 different songs when it’s on to keep little ones moving and grooving.

Review: “Keeps her attention and she loves to try to figure out what happens when she puts the balls in different spots. Songs are fun and she loves to dance to them, but there’s no volume control. The air blowing out is also loud, but that’s what makes the toy so fun.”


A singing puppy pull toy

Pros: Sturdy construction means this pup can take some hits.

Cons: The string isn’t very long, so pulling it can be a challenge.

The VTech Pull and Sing Puppy has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, so it must be doing something right. This puppy sings, introduces parts of the body, has a light up nose, and carries a little house key rattle.

Review: “My 10-month-old granddaughter quickly learned how to bark like a puppy and said ‘doggy’ within an hour. This is adorable, high-quality and absolutely fun for the family to play and help the youngest in the family learn. She had a yellow dress on and every time the puppy said find my yellow button, she pointed to her dress and the puppy's yellow button. Amazingly fun and interactive. Learning made fun for all!”


A talking armchair

Pros: Reviewers say it’s easy to put together.

Cons: Kids who like to climb may try to stand in the seat.

The Laugh & Learn Song & Story Learning Chair does something you may not realize you have to do with babies: teach them to sit on furniture. When your little one sits down on the seat, the chair plays music as a reward. To add to its overall cuteness, it even has a side table with singing crayons, a working reading lamp, and a book for your little one to practice turning pages.

Review: “I LOVE this chair! It's so frickin’ cute. It's for my son's first birthday and I'm very excited for him to have his own little seat. It's not super quiet nor is it super loud, perfect volume. Super easy to put together as most pieces just snap together. We were missing the two screws but we had some spare so it wasn't a big deal to us! Definitely recommend for any little that needs their own chair!”


A wooden walker that’s built to last

Pros: It’s made with real wood to withstand plenty of rough-and-tumble play.

Cons: The price point is higher than comparable walker toys.

If you’re looking for a push walker toy that doesn’t make a ton of animal noises or sing songs every time your baby touches it, this is the model for you. It’s made with wood and non-toxic paints, and has rubber treads on the tires to help protect your floors and provide traction for baby. The walker includes a xylophone and sticks, shape sorter, number blocks, and more to keep your little one entertained from all angles.

Review: “I purchased this walker for my 9-month-old who is starting to cruise. I don't like the overly colorful and noisy Fisher-Price ones, and was looking for something more organic. This walker is visually stunning, has items that every baby at that age is drawn to, and glides so smoothly and easily across the floor.”


A customizable play house

Pros: It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

Cons: The slide and doorway opening are on the small side for some kids.

This Little Tikes playhouse can be positioned as an enclosed, four-sided house, or opened up for easier access to all of its fun features. It has doors and shutters to open and close, a telescope, a mailbox, a window planter ball drop zone, and an activity panel with a mirror, spinning gears, and more.

Review: “I gave this to my 9-month-old son for Christmas. He LOVES it. He uses it to pull himself to a stand. He goes in and out through the slide. The size was exactly what I expected...My 3-year-old daughter will get in it with him too. He loves to play with the balls and blocks in the mail box. It keeps him entertained and away from getting into things he isn't supposed to.”


This popular play center

Pros: It’s a great place to corral other toys when you want to tidy up the room.

Cons: The car can slide around if placed on tile or hardwood floors.

This adorable little car has a shape sorter side, a ball drop zone, and an interactive dash board with steering wheel, radio, ignition, and more!

Review: “The car is really good for babies who are learning to pull themselves up. My son does crawl and scoot around it playing with all of the functions. He especially loves the radio. I'm pretty sure this car taught him his sense of rhythm because he started dancing to the hip hop song and now his favorite thing to do is push the radio buttons and dance. He even stood up by himself dancing for the first time the other day. He's always playing with this car in one way or another. He likes to put his toys in the space where he's supposed to sit — but hey, it kind of helps me look like I've cleaned the living room.”


A rocking unicorn

Pros: This rocking toy has a seat with supportive back and sides, and a safety belt.

Cons: Baby can only use this toy with your help and supervision.

This Labebe unicorn rocker is made with stain-resistant, pill-proof fabric to withstand life with a baby. The real wood base offers plenty of sturdiness but it’s still lightweight enough to rock with ease.

Review: “Can I give it 10 stars? I bought this for my daughter's first birthday present because of how much she loves to rock. I could barely put it together before she started trying to get on it. I kept having to tell her no and finally had to get Daddy to run interference so I could get it screwed together. She absolutely loves it. More than any of her other toys. I've already recommended this to others twice.”


A foam obstacle course

Pros: You can clean the play set with a damp cloth or wet wipe.

Cons: Some reviewers say the pieces are smaller than expected.

Giving your baby ramps and arches to crawl over and different levels to pull up on can help them make some serious strides in developing their coordination. The soft foam means the shapes are safe to play on and easy to arrange in whatever way you think baby would love.

Review: “We got these for my baby around 6 months. They have been great for crawling & learning to stand. We can’t wait to see how she plays with them in the future.”

There’s a good chance the baby you’re buying for will love any toy in this list. If you’re still shopping for the perfect gift, just keep those 9-month milestones in mind so they can learn and play.

Source interviewed:

Amanda Phillips, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Children’s of Alabama