Newborn Toys You Need for Baby's First Year

toys for newborns

Babies spend lots of time eating and napping, but actually a ton of neurological activity going on behind the scenes that has lifelong implications. According to research, it’s found that the more you expose babies to how the world works in those early years, the richer their neural networks become. It’s "all about stimulating the senses: visual, auditory, and tactile," says Laurie Leahey, senior editor at Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM).

Welcoming a new baby with some developmentally appropriate toys is a great idea. It seems that fun baby toys aren’t just cute stuff for parents. When it comes to the best toys for newborns out there, your little one might not exactly be ready to kick a soccer ball or put together a puzzle, but there are plenty of fun ways of baby hitting key milestones and gaining skills.

"Sensory stimulation for babies is a key feature because that's the way babies explore the world around them. Toys that are safe for babies to put in their mouths or that offer a lot of different textures, colors, patterns, and sounds will really help promote the development of a baby's senses." Says Leahey. Which poses the question: Which toys will actually help your baby get the sensory stimulation and learning skills in that first year?  We've rounded up the best infant toys for the little one in that first year.

7 Top Newborn toys - Hahaland’s way of “play to learn”

1. Baby Visual Stimulation Cards (SHOP NOW)

baby black and white cards


For the first few months, your newborn's vision will be fuzzy. He will only be able to seeing best at 8 to 12 inches from his face and have a hard time processing anything that isn’t a very high contrast image (think black, white, or red). Baby Visual Stimulation Card(including black and white card set) are great for stimulating their senses and letting them discover the surroundings. As your baby gets older, you’ll want to increase the complexity - show them more baby flash cards with bright colors and more visually appealing patterns to stimulate imagination and brain-eye coordination.

2. Multi-Textured Sensory Balls (SHOP NOW)

baby sensory balls
pic by IG@morgannikole

By about 8 weeks, your baby is ready for rattles and teethers, cloth toys, soft squeeze balls, and musical and chime toys. The multi-textured sensory balls come in bright colors and interesting textures to encourage sensory exploration - both tactile and visual and contribute to the development of children's motor skills. These will be perfect sensory toys once baby start using his whole hand to grasp objects and get a thrill from textured toys that are safe to test out in their mouths. They will love the different textures, sizes, and shapes of these balls. As they get a little older they can start learning how to throw and put these in containers.

3. Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy (SHOP NOW)

Manhattan teething toy

Suitable for babies from 0 to 24 months old, this teething and grasper toy is the best developmental toys for small babies. Until his eyesight is fully developed, your baby will use sound to get a sense of where an object is. With built-in rattles, the teething ring offers auditory stimulus. It’s a rattle! It’s a teether! It’s both! For gummy little ones, it's a perfect baby teething toy and great for clutching and promoting two-handed play. It will help develop your baby’s fine motor skills (grasping), hand eye coordination (bringing it to his mouth), and satisfy his oral sensory (teething) needs. Definitely a must have baby toys!

4. Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy (SHOP NOW)

rattle teethers toys
pic by IG@stampoilsmama

If you’d like to add some more cute-shaped Rattles & Teethers to your baby toys collection or as a newborn gift, this Rattle Teether Toy Set would be your top choice. It comes with 10 environmentally-friendly, heat-resistant toys that are non-toxic, no sharp edges, BPA-free and totally odorless (no funny smell). They each make a rattle noise when shaken and various textures help in the development of smell, taste, and touch. During tummy time, your baby can reach for, grasp, grip, shake, and mouth teethers. On top of that, the patterns and colors help with eye-tracking skills. They’ll also be great for taking with you on the go for car seat and/or stroller play.

5. Soft Cloth Baby Books (SHOP NOW)

soft book for baby

There is nothing like a book for helping your baby learn. Stock an infant’s library with a sweet, soft cloth book that is safe for any age. Pages crinkle with sounds while bright colors and textures attract baby’s attention. The baby cloth books have lovely bright jungle creatures and marine life inside with 3D tails to amuse babies. They will appeal baby to overturn and advances their hand-to-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Reading aloud to your baby and teaching your baby all different sorts of concepts and vocabulary will help build neural networks and stimulate brain development. Talk about a development toy! Parents love that each book has a fabric Velcro loop for easy attachment to a stroller, car seat, or anything else.

6. Baby Avtivity Gym & Playmat (SHOP NOW)

gym mat for baby
pic by IG@stampoilsmama

Kick & Play consistently wins best-toy competitions because it's fun for babies at many ages and stages. Baby gym mat can help to keep your baby amused during tummy time and encourage babies to use and develop the muscles in their arms, legs, tummy, back, and neck. This Montessori-guided play gym is suitable for infants on up, that many parents feel is a must-have piece of gear. It comes with hanging baby toys attached for little hands to grab at, and the floor of the gym is often brightly colored with interesting textures. A newborn baby can lay down on their back and kick the piano keys to hear music and as they grow, they can play with the piano.

7. Baby Lovey Security Blanket (SHOP NOW)

baby lovey blankie

A soft cuddly friend can help babies build confidence and security. And they’re available anytime—day or night. A sweet and soft baby lovey is especially comforting during times of stress (like an illness or a parent’s absence) and for babies with cautious, sensitive temperaments. Whether you’re searching for fan-favorite baby security blankets with animal heads or a more simple (but still super-soft) blankie, we’ve found a baby lovey perfect for your little one. This ultra-cushy security blanket comes with the sweet face of an animal friend attached: an elephant and a lion. It provides a ton of tactile stimulation, thanks to the teether ring and plush fabric.

Baby’s first year is an exciting time for both little one and parents. Embracing parenthood is a riveting journey because of responsibility it brings with it. But don’t devote extra time to researching and picking up new toys. They’ve got the whole world around them to explore. We’ve listed some of the entertaining and educational infant toys to help your baby keep learning and growing.

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