I’ll be honest that babies don’t need many toys the first few months of their life. They get plenty of stimulation just by eye contact and conversation. However there were a few items that managed to keep both of my kids attention so I could have my hands free to cook dinner or catch my breath! Plus it’s so much fun to go shopping for toys and watch them explore something new! As we made our way through the second round with Benjamin, I noticed there were a few go-to toys that both him and Emilia loved the most. Here are the 6 toys we couldn’t live without for the first six months.
Activity Mat/Play Gym
This is the one toy I recommend everyone buy. The mirror keeps the babies engaged with their own reflection and they’re able to practice reaching for items with the hanging toys. Both of my kids loved kicking the piano! The best part is you can adjust the piano and the toy bar so your little one can practice tummy time. As they grow older and learn to sit up, the can bang on the keys and fill your house with lovely music. Emilia still intermittently uses it to this day. We even keep one at my parents’ house. You can usually find them in great condition on Facebook marketplace.
Tummy Time Mat
Speaking of tummy time, this mat makes practicing it more fun! I bought this for Benjamin for Christmas because I felt bad he had so many hand-me-downs. He loved it! As long as you empty the water often, it doesn’t get moldy. I recommend following the instructions and adding a tablespoon of white vinegar along with the water to keep things fresh.
We are usually able to use this around 3-4 months when babies can hold their head up and aren’t so “bobbly”. We love this one because it easily converts into a toddler table. My mom group also raves about this one with a bouncer. It also converts to a table. When Benjamin wakes up from his nap, I’ll usually place him in the activity center first then rotate through the piano gym and floor play with the following toys.
The O ball. This is perfect to bring along on car rides and restaurants. It’s light, doesn’t make noise, and it seems to keep babies attention for a long time!
Crinkle books. These are another great option to bring on the go. Babies love the crinkly sound and the bright pictures and different textures keep them engaged!
Anything High Contrast
High contrast items are great for newborns and the first few months of your little one’s life as their vision is still developing. The patterns and pictures are great for holding their interest and working on their attention span. We love this board book and these flash cards.
I hope my recommendations were helpful. It always feels so overwhelming with all the options available on the market. These were items our family used and still uses to this day. I plan to make a similar post for toys 6-12 months once Benjamin reaches that milestone. I want to make sure I recommend versatile products that last!