Best Infant Toys for Development (0-3 Months Old)

by Holly

Wondering what are the best infant toys for developemnt for your 0-3 months old?

Here is a list of baby toys that have been vetted by reviewers and critics to help you find the best of the best!

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

best infant toys for development

Playtime is crucial to a child’s development, more so in the first year of a baby’s life.

American Academy of Pediatrics had said that play is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of children beginning in early childhood (1).

Your little one’s large motor skills will progress at an astonishing pace. Sensory and thinking skills will soar. Small motor skills will be finessed.

There are lots of activities you can do with your baby to activate those brain and muscle cells, as well as age-appropriate toys, to help your baby achieve her developmental milestones earlier.

This post is all about the best infant toys for development

Best developmental toys for newborn

While feeding, rocking, sleeping, and diaper changes occupy most of a newborn’s day, bonding with your newborn through play is a great way to encourage development.

To help newborns stretch out from the curled-up fetal position they were so used to in the womb, doing tummy time will help develop the core muscles of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles.

In fact, tummy time is the most important baby’s first exercise (2). Oh, and do you know that newborns can practice tummy time as soon as they come back from the hospital?

Having a non-toxic play mat in a designated space in your house provides a safe place for your newborn to hang out.

With added toys to a play mat, this 5-in-1 activity gym not only grows with the baby but is perfect for tummy time.

The 48″ mat offers plenty of space for both baby and mom to play, with sides that fold up to form an enclosure as the baby grows. The included prop pillow will keep your newborn comfortable during tummy time.

A floor mirror is perfect for a 0-3 months old infant because it helps with tummy time and social development. Your little one will have no idea who he is looking at but will be fascinated by that adorable face. Watch how your baby reacts when he sees himself smiling or moving. By looking at his own reflection, a floor mirror teaches a baby cause and effect.

5-in-1 Activity gym that grows with baby – Best playmat for newborns and infants

High Contrast Floor Activity Mirror – Encourages tummy time and social development for newborns

These crinkle books will captivate your newborn’s senses. If your baby is not grasping yet, you can make the crinkle sounds for her to stimulate her auditory development. When she knows how to produce those crinkle sounds by grasping these books, she won’t stop!

These soft books are made of fabric and are machine washable. So, let your baby chew on these to stimulate oral muscle development.

My First Soft Book – Non-toxic fabric crinkle books to stimulate baby’s senses

Black and White Flash Cards- Best visual stimulation high contrast cards for newborns

These Black and White Cards are really well made. Thick and durable. My son started chewing on them and they are still going strong! What I love about this set is its really cute illustrations (with many design sets to choose from).  It comes in a set of 6 pictures and the reverse is a negative of the front. We flip these around every couple of days to get the most out of this set.

When your infant becomes a toddler, you can have her color in these cards. Find some cute frames and hang it up in the house!

Best developmental toys for 1-month-old baby

Infants can see objects 8 to 12 inches away so a mobile is a good option for stimulating a baby when your arms aren’t free. Also, babies love looking at bold patterns and faces and this mobile has the best of both worlds!

Your newborn will be captivated by the cute and friendly meadow creatures dancing above.

This patented mobile by Tiny Love plays 18 soothing melodies in 6 musical categories. Choose between calming tunes for naptime, more energetic music for interactive play, or use the shuffle option for a fresh listening experience every time – a total of 40 minutes of uninterrupted melodies!

When your baby gets too big, the crib mobile can be converted into a stand-alone music box that baby can carry around!

Tiny Love mobile- Best baby toys for newborn - 3 months
Images source – Tiny Love

Other amazing developmental toys for 1-month-old baby

Splashin’kids Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat – This sensory mat usually sells for over $25. If you can get it at under $20, that’s a steal!

tummy time mat for baby
Practicing tummy time on the Splashin’Kids Water Mat

Tiny Love Take-Along Arch – 8 different activities to promote baby development and can be attached to strollers, infant car seats, and more.

Best developmental toys for 2 months old baby

Baby’s starting to smile this month (yay!) and showing excitement when people are nearby. Mobiles and play gyms are still favorite toys for little ones, but you can also add small stuffed animals and rattles to the mix.

Wrap your baby’s tiny fingers around the rattle and he will probably keep a tight grip on it! Gently shake his hand so the rattle makes noise to teach him cause and effect.

Baby Activity Rattle and Teething Toy – Best soft toy for 2 month old baby

Fisher-Price Soft Maraca Rattles – Highest selling rattle for babies

Oball shaker and rattle best baby toy for 0-3 months

Baby W loves this Oball shaker because it is lightweight, colorful, and has interesting shapes for him to grab. He developed serious grasping skills just by playing with this rattle.

The textured rattle is clear and he loves looking at the colorful beads move when shaking the rattle.

As a mommy, I love it because it’s light and small. We have another one (in a different color) just for the diaper bag!

Looking for more?

Amazon has this page with only the BEST-SELLING rattles

Your baby is sure to love any rattle toy on that page!

Other amazing developmental toys for 2 months old baby

Infantino spiral activity infant toy

What I love about this Infantino Spiral Activity Toy is the 4 different toys attached to it. All the toys have different textures and make different noises.

  • The bee crinkles.
  • The little piggy (the reverse is a cow) has a bell inside.
  • The rings clap with one another.
  • The sun’s reverse side is a mirror.

We used to attach it onto Baby W’s stroller and infant car seat.

Now, it’s just a part of his crib and he loves playing with it before falling asleep.

Best developmental toys for 3 months old baby

Babies in their third month are still captivated by high-contrast patterns and bright colors – so bring on the brightly colored play mat, mobiles, and rattles.

A soft ankle or wrist rattle allows your little one to experiment with sounds that she can make.

Your 3 months old will also start to bring things to her mouth. Easy to hold and bright colored toys will be crucial to your baby’s development at this stage.

Foot Finders & Wrist Rattles for Infants – Great for sensory and motor development for 3 month old babies

All-In-One Rattle, Teether, Shaker, Musical Toys – Best for all around 3 months old baby development

Other Amazing Toys for 3 Months Old Baby

best infant toys for tummy time

VTech Tummy Time Discovery Pillow – This pillow will make every baby love tummy time

best musical rattle by vtech

VTech Baby Rattle and Sing Puppy – Multi-purpose rattle that teaches cause and effect

By the 3rd month, babies should be able to life head 45 degrees when on the tummy. So continue to give your baby lots of opportunities to practice tummy time on the activity mat!

Don’t have an activity mat for your infant yet?

Check out these top 5 activity mats parents love

Award-winning toys

Award winning toys set the standard for quality and innovation. Our picks of these award winners are not only fun but age-appropriate for your 0-3 month old infant.

Tiny Love award winning infant activity best newborn toy

Tiny Love Black & White Infant Activity Play Mat With Book

award winning sensory newborn toy by VTech

VTech Lights & Stripes Zebra

award winning best musical plush toy for babies 0-3 months

Vosego Ludwig Van Beethoven Virtuoso Bear – 40 mins Classical Music for Babies

Lamaze octotunes best musical toy for infants

LAMAZE Octotunes Musical Plush Toy

Award-winning toys doesn’t mean breaking your bank.

Check out these award-winning toys under $20!

Best wooden toys

Wooden toys inspire creative play through their simple and organic design. While babies may be captivated by electronic toys, adding a few wooden toys to the mix will help their inspirations soar.

Also, compared to their plastic counterparts, wooden toys are eco-friendly and can sustain a lot of abuse. Good quality, eco-friendly wooden toys also don’t contain PVC, phthalates, or toxic chemicals used in plastic toys.

Our picks of the best wooden infant toys are not only non-toxic but they are age-appropriate for your 0-3 months old. Your infant will sure to love these toys while you can rest assured that they are safe.

Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether – Award winning toy best for clutching motor skills

Forest Buddies Wooden Baby Teething Toys – Best non-toxic teether for babies 0+ months

little dove Wooden Baby Gym with 6 Baby Teething Toys – Foldable and safest baby gym

PlanToys Baby Key Rattle – Bright and colorful keys enhances baby’s fine motor skills 

Looking for more eco-friendly wooden toys?

This US-based company makes a wide variety of innovative and safe baby toys.

Bonus! Everything is handcrafted locally in Vermont, USA, and very affordable!

More amazing wooden toys for 0-3 months old baby

Best sensory toys

Sensory toys and play are important in developing language skills, fine motor skills, and inducing a sense of calm. By providing your baby toys that stimulate her senses, it helps build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways and also increases brain activity.

This multiple newborn toy award winner is one of the best sensory toys for your infant. The continuous tubes promote clutching and two-handed play, while the middle cube provides a pleasing rattle sound that babies love. Your baby can lick and teeth on the safe, colorful, and BPA free loops.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy – colorful rattle and teether to stimulate baby’s senses

HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball – Best soft toy for sensory

Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys – #1 best selling teether for babies 0+ months

Links Toys – The most versatile toy for babies 0+ months

Bright starts links best toy for infant stimulation and sensory

The links toy is THE most versatile toy ever! It can be used as a toy, a teether, or link toys to another. They usually come brightly colored and have different patterns for sensory exploration.

As a toy and teether, your baby can explore the different patterns with his hands and mouth. We mostly use it to link small toys to our activity gym.

When my baby starts teething, I stick a couple of these links in the refrigerator and my baby loves it!

Since your 0-3 months old is too young to play with complex toys, teethers are one of the best toys to stimulate senses.

A good teether will have different textures for sensory exploration and is small enough to train her hands-on grasping skills.

An added bonus is that you can use the teether to soothe baby’s gums when her teeth start coming in, at around 3 to 7 months of age.

NATURAL TEETHERS FOR BABIES

Frequently asked questions

How to organize baby toys?

how to organize baby toys with storage bins

Your newborn probably doesn’t have lots of toys yet, but for sure you’ll accumulate more toys as your baby grows.

Plan ahead by getting a set of fabric storage bins. Each bin can store toys in its own category, whether it be stuffed animals, Legos, or wooden toys.

We have 6 storage bins now and they fit and look nicely inside Baby W’s closet.

If you are leaving your baby’s toys outside for easy access, you can store them in bins with lids to avoid dust.

how to organize small baby toys

To organize smaller toys that are easy to get lost, such as puzzle pieces, we heavily rely on freezer bags.

By separating different toys, you can teach your baby how to clean up after moving onto the next set of toys when he gets older.

Got more questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below!

Conclusion on best infant toys for development (newborn-3 Months Old)

Babies’ development starts the moment they are born. Providing them the best toys that are age-appropriate will boost their cognitive and physical development.

We all know babies love toys, but your caress, cuddles, and the safe and secure environment around them are the most important things for them.

Now I want to hear from you:

What kinds of baby toys are your favorite?

Do you favor wooden toys? Or do you think your newborn will love sensory toys?

Tell me by leaving a reply in the comments below!

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