From day one, babies are growing and learning through play. They are taking in tons of information from the world around them that will help them develop spatial awareness, sensory integration, coordination, and motor skills. Aside from eating and sleeping, playtime is the most valuable time for your baby. For some first-time parents, it can feel overwhelming when choosing which developmental toys for babies 0-3 months to buy (or register for).
I am an occupational therapist by trade, and now I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been through the baby stage three times with my children and worked with young kids for years before becoming a mother. When choosing toys for our babies, I always thought about purpose and function and how the toys would foster our children’s development. The truth is your newborn will not need a ton of toys. So, I recommend budget-friendly toys that can be used for many months. Here is a list of the best developmental toys for babies up to 3 months.
Best Developmental Toys for Babies 0-3 Months Old
1. Activity Gym
Spending time on the floor is incredibly beneficial for your baby. Any developmental expert will tell you that tummy time is essential for developing a wide range of skills, and your baby should get some form of tummy time every day.
This floor mat is one we used with all three of our babies, and I love it for many reasons. All the manipulatives are moveable, so you can customize them and change them up to your baby’s interest. This mat will entertain your baby, whether on her back, tummy, or even crawling. You can even take the toys on the go and attach them to their car seat or stroller. Plus, the musical toy that is attached plays the sweetest music. It’s no secret that musical toys can get on parents’ nerves, so it’s essential to have toys you can tolerate for hours.
2. Baby Paper
This baby paper is hands down one of our favorite baby toys we had! The outer layer is a solid black-and-white contrast fabric perfect for a baby’s vision, and inside is a paper that makes a crinkly sound when a baby plays with it. It is non-toxic and compact for easy travel – you can stuff it in your diaper bag to take it on the go. Plus, it’s machine washable, so a baby can play with it repeatedly.
3. Tummy Time Activity Book
More tummy time entertainment! I love this activity book because it stands independently and features pictures with strong contrast, a large mirror, and reversible pages for extended play beyond three months. Use the black and white pictures with your newborn, and then turn the book to the colorful side once your baby’s vision is more established.
I always loved playing with our babies in the mirror. They love seeing themselves and watching your facial expressions. This toy is also small enough to take on the go and keep the baby entertained in the stroller or car seat.
4. Wrist and Foot Rattles
When babies are young, they cannot grasp toys and shake them. These toys are perfect for those early days. You can wrap the soft wristbands around the baby’s wrist, and the socks are ideal for tiny feet. Your baby will love to shake their arms and legs to make the rattles shake. This is one of the earliest activities for a baby to learn cause and effect. It’s also beneficial for body awareness and helping your baby understand his body parts.
5. Chew Cube
Babies love exploring toys with their mouths. Whether they’re teething or playing, I can confidently say that babies will almost always put a toy in their mouths, so we must provide them with safe options. This toy is a modern take on a classic teether. It was created by a mom and made of 100% food-grade silicone. Its flexible, textured edges will soothe babies’ sore teething gums, and the size and shape allow your baby’s hands to grip easily.
6. Toy arch
I always loved toys that could travel easily. At one point or another, your baby will need to travel. Whether you’re on pick-up duty for older siblings or just going to a routine doctor appointment, the baby will spend time in their car seat or stroller. I loved this toy arch for all three of our babies. It’s flexible, adjustable, and can be attached to virtually any car seat. I used it on our car seats, stroller, bassinet, and high chair to keep our babies entertained. You can move the toys around on the arch and attach other favorite toys along the open bar. This is one you can use for several months!
This list of best developmental toys for babies 0-3 months will get you off to a great start. During the first three months of their life, babies learn about their environment and how to explore their surroundings. They can move their arms and legs and enjoy different sights and sounds. They are learning how to track visual and auditory input and are also learning how to make eye contact and read faces. This is the time to encourage your baby to reach for the toys they want and spend more time on their tummies during play. When on their tummy, they will begin pushing up with their arms, which is an essential building block for learning how to roll over. The best thing you can do with your baby is get down on the floor with them and just play. Sing to them, talk with them, and have fun!
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