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  • jillybeansnyc

My Fave Toys for the First Six Months

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

I often get asked when toys should be introduced to babies. This question is usually followed by "What baby toys do you recommend?" For years, I've been emailing this list (with regular additions and modifications being made, of course, but some toys just never go out of style!) to parents. Now that I'm a parent myself, I get to see them in action with my daughter. I've finally made the list into a blog post! So here’s the deal:

In my opinion, all toys and materials are not created equal. I gravitate toward toys that are designed with developmental purpose in mind. My feeling is that once your baby is starting to reach for or swat at items (figure between 2 and 4 months), they are ready for their first toys! Keep in mind that what’s great about a lot of these options is that they can grow with your child and will still be fun, appropriate, and engaging past the first six months.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you).

1. Lovevery Play Kit Subscription

I am obsessed with this company and regularly recommend their products as must-have purchases for parents. I love that they are designed to support and foster child development. But most of all, I love that Lovevery and I share the fundamental understanding that play is the foundation of learning, and how incredibly important it is in the early years. These are beliefs I've always kept as a teacher and a business owner, that now, take on an entire new meaning as I'm becoming a parent myself.

If you’re going to invest in one toy-related purchase for your baby, let an annual subscription to Lovevery be the one. Every two months you’ll receive a box filled with toys that are designed to support your baby at the exact place they’re in developmentally. I also love that they throw in descriptions so you can understand the purpose behind every toy you receive!

**And while it's not exactly a toy, I need to give a shoutout to the Lovevery Play Gym as well. I love that this activity gym has so many different options for play. There are five different developmental zones, but unlike many other play gyms, they can be concealed to prevent overstimulation. Like many of the products on this list, I just added this to my own baby registry!**

2. Bababall by Manhattan Toy

There are so many products that I love from Manhattan Toy! This ball has it all: different textures and satin ribbons attached to the outside for tactile stimulation, rattling noise for auditory stimulation, and bright colors for visual stimulation.

3. Winkle by Manhattan Toy

The Winkle is great because it’s lightweight and easy for little hands to hold.

4. Skwish by Manhattan Toy

This is one of Manhattan Toy’s most popular baby products. I love it because it the shape alters when baby holds it in his/her hands. It also makes a rattling noise and the little beads move around, which is very visually stimulating.

5. Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror

Tummy time is vital in the early months for building core strength that will eventually help little ones crawl, sit up unassisted, etc. I find implementing some toys for stimulation can be really helpful when engaging babies it tummy time, since it’s not always their favorite. Mirror play is great for cognitive development, and I love that this mirror is soft and that it can stand up on its own.

6. Bright Starts O-Ball

There are so many varieties. This is the original and it's great. With 32 finger holes, it’s easy and light for little hands to grab. It's soft and malleable, which is great for when your little one starts teething! Check out their rattles and cars too!

7. Rainbow Stacker

Obsessed with this silicone rainbow stacker from the MOMA store. Stacking toys are great for developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. And since it’s silicone, it’s safe for mouthing and chewing as baby gets bigger (and easy to clean)!

8. Edushape Sensory Balls

These are a favorite in my classes, and they serve lots of purposes: massage, teething, and great to hold.

9. Plan Toys Beads Rattle

Plan Toys is a fantastic toy brand. All products are made from sustainable materials and non-toxic paint, which is extra comforting when it comes to a baby toy that so often gets mouthed. It's the perfect size for tiny hands to grasp, and the wooden beads provide your little one with auditory stimulation.

10. Sassy Ring O Links

This toy has been a favorite of Rae's right from the start! There are lots of textures to explore which is a great way to engage in sensory play with your baby right from the start. The bright colors and bold patterns engage baby’s developing vision. Plus, link play is beneficial well into the toddler years, so a toy like this is a great investment for your child's collection!

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