The Best Baby Rattles of 2023

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Best Baby Rattles

Verywell Family / David Hattan

A baby rattle is far more than just a noise-making toy. Depending on its features, a rattle can help your baby learn and grow by strengthening his or her developmental skills, such as visual tracking and hand-eye coordination. Rattles come in all shapes and sizes, are often designed with bright, high-contrast colors, and make a variety of sounds.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is the Bright Starts Rattle & Shake Barbell Toy because it contains light-reflecting beads, has a twisted center that makes it easy for babies to hold, and is one of the most affordable rattles on our list. For a fun little toy designed for tactile stimulation, the VTech Baby Rattle and Sing Puppy features textures, lights, and sounds to stimulate your baby's senses.

Rattles provide tactile and auditory stimulation that can help develop a baby’s neurocognitive pathways. They can also stimulate visual development and help babies learn about cause and effect. When purchasing a baby rattle, parents and caregivers should look for one that is appropriate for their baby’s age and is safe to use. For example, a rattle should not have small pieces that could be choking hazards. You should also pay attention to the materials a rattle is made of and if it has any special features, such as buttons, lights, or teething elements. 

To determine the best baby rattles, we spoke to a pediatrician who helped us understand a rattle's benefits and what to look for when selecting one. Our list contains a variety of rattles for every budget, ranging from $3 to $69.

Best Overall

Bright Starts Rattle & Shake Barbell Toy

5
Bright Starts Rattle & Shake Barbell Toy

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy for baby to grip

  • Light-reflecting beads

  • Wipes clean

Cons
  • Sound may be too quiet

This colorful, dual-sided rattle is a great introductory toy for your baby. It’s the perfect size for little hands, weighing 1.6 ounces and about as big as an iPhone (6 inches). It has several different surfaces to grip and teethe, including a twisted handle down the middle and bumpy surfaces on both ends.

Each side of the rattle contains colorful beads that make a gentle sound when shaken. However, it may not be loud enough if you’re looking for something more stimulating for your baby. When cleaning the rattle, you shouldn’t submerge it in water as it could seep into the rattle. However, this rattle is durable, small enough to fit in a diaper bag, and is very affordable, making it a great choice overall. 

Price at time of publication: $3

Size: 1.75 x 2.13 x 5.8 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

Best Light-Up

SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

5
SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

Bed Bath and Beyond

Pros
  • Award-winning, patented design

  • Lights up red, blue, and green

  • Textured handle for gripping

Cons
  • Requires 3 LR44 batteries

  • No off switch

Created by early childhood experts, this light-up rattle was designed to educate your baby from day one. From the smiling face that changes colors with movement to the mirrored base that reflects your baby’s expression, every surface of this rattle offers a new, interactive experience. However, there is no off switch on this rattle, so you may need to replace the batteries often. 

Due to its many features, this rattle can help strengthen visual tracking skills, hand-eye coordination, and has even been recognized for its STEM attributes. It also comes with a baby milestones guide, which explains how to use the rattle to encourage your baby’s development. However, since the rattle is a bit heavy, you’ll want to supervise your baby to ensure they don’t accidentally hit themselves.

Price at time of publication: $24

Size: 2.25 x 2 x 5 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic; no PVC, phthalates, or lead | Age Recommendation: 0-12 months

Best Wooden

Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle

Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle

Walmart

Pros
  • Made of sustainable rubberwood

  • Develops fine and gross motor skills

  • Makes a gentle rattling noise

Cons
  • Wood color may look different than advertised

The Skwish is part geometrical maze and part rattle. It contains six wooden beads that when shaken, make a soft rattling sound as they glide up and down the wooden dowels. The dowels are fastened together by elastic bands, which allow your baby to squeeze the Skwish down and watch it pop back into place. 

This rattle is made from rubberwood, which is known for being sustainable and durable. It’s coated in a water-based, non-toxic finish, so it’s safe for babies to put in their mouths, too. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Size: 6 x 6 x 6 inches | Materials: Sustainable rubberwood with a water-based finish | Age Recommendation: 0 months and up

Best Ring

Sassy Ring Rattle

Sassy Ring Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Makes two different sounds

  • High-contrast colors for visual development

  • Easy for babies to hold

Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe

This colorful ring rattle has a variety of features that will keep your baby entertained. It has several different textures to touch and explore along with bold, high-contrast colors to captivate your baby’s attention. There are also two ways for your baby to make noise using this rattle: moving the click-clack rings back and forth and shaking the beads within the ring. It isn’t recommended to put this rattle in the dishwasher as water could get trapped inside the clear tube, so you’ll need to clean it by hand instead to prevent moisture buildup.

Price at time of publication: $6

Size: 5 x 0.5 x 5 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 0 months and up

Best Wrist

Bright Starts Rattle Wrist Pals

Bright Starts Rattle Wrist Pals

Amazon

Pros
  • Pack of two

  • Each has a silicone teether

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Can be too large for an infant 

This adorable set comes with a llama and a unicorn wrist rattle. You can also choose from a monkey and elephant set, although the elephant does not rattle. No matter which set you choose, you’ll find that each animal is adorned with a silicone flower, which is perfect for a teething baby. Since there are two rattles in this set, you can keep one in the car and one at home and they can be strapped to your baby’s wrists or ankles. Best of all, these rattles are easy to clean and can be tossed in the washing machine as needed. 

Price at time of publication: $6

Size: 2.8 x 1.75 x 6.5 inches | Materials: Silicone and polyester | Age Recommendation: 0 months and up

Best Set

iPlay, iLearn 10 pcs Baby Rattle Toy Set

iPlay, iLearn 10 pcs Baby Rattle Toy Set

Amazon

Pros
  • Each rattle has different interactive features

  • Includes storage container

  • Grows with your baby

Cons
  • Difficult to clean

One way to keep your baby entertained is to regularly mix up their collection of toys. With the iPlay, iLearn Rattle Set, you can introduce your baby to a new rattle once a month for almost an entire year. Best of all, each rattle is unique, offering different ways for your baby to play and broaden their developmental skills. 

As your baby gets older, you can offer them a rattle that is more advanced, such as the trumpet rattle or the IQ ball. Keeping these rattles clean may be a challenge though, as many of them have areas where water and moisture can get trapped. 

Price at time of publication: $36

Size: 6 x 3.5 x 2 inches | Materials: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 0 months and up

Best Sock

BlooBlooMax Wrist & Sock Rattles

BlooBlooMax Wrist & Sock Rattles

Amazon

Pros
  • Socks are 100 percent cotton

  • Machine washable

  • Matching wrist rattlers

Cons
  • Rattle sound may be too quiet

Around ages 4-7 months, your baby will begin to reach for their toes, which is an important developmental milestone. These sock rattles are a great way to encourage this skill, and they’re made of 100 percent cotton so they won’t irritate your baby’s skin. They feature a smiling bee and spider, and come with two wrist rattles. While each rattle contains bells, the sound is fairly quiet, which may not stimulate your baby as desired. 

Price at time of publication: $16

Size: 7.32 x 3.86 x 1.57 inches | Materials: Polyester, cotton | Age Recommendation: 0-3 years

Best Ball

Baby Einstein Bendy Ball Rattle

Baby Einstein Bendy Ball Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Made of flexible material

  • Easy for baby to hold

  • Wipes clean

Cons
  • Ball is smaller than appears

Your baby will be ready to shake, rattle, and roll with this colorful, bendy ball. It’s made of a flexible material that your baby can squeeze and has plenty of places for them to grip and grab. It also has a variety of colors and shapes to explore and contains a ball that makes a jingle sound when rolled around. 

As your baby gets older, you can roll this ball back and forth together and they may even enjoy throwing it as they strengthen their gross motor skills. While this ball is the perfect size for a baby, you may find that it is smaller than it appears in pictures.

Price at time of publication: $7

Size: 4 x 4 x 4 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

Best Toy

Bright Starts Oball Rattle & Roll Sports Race Car

Bright Starts Oball Rattle & Roll Sports Race Car

Amazon

Pros
  • Tires make rattle sound when moving 

  • Small and lightweight

  • Wipes clean

Cons
  • Stickers may peel off

This Oball Rattle Car has a durable yet flexible frame that encourages little hands to grip, grab, and bend. It can be used as a push car or rattle, and sits atop transparent tires that glide across surfaces and contain noisy, colorful beads. This car stands slightly more than 4 inches high and weighs about 2.5 ounces, making it the perfect size for your little one. 

Best of all, the car is virtually indestructible. It’s also a great toy option for tummy time and when your baby begins to crawl. As with all toys, be sure to supervise your baby while playing with this car as its stickers can peel off and end up in your baby's mouth. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Size: 4.33 x 4.22 x 3.41 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic, silicone | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

Best Teether

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

4.5
Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

Amazon

Pros
  • Soft, flexible frame

  • Can be refrigerated

  • Fits in a diaper bag

Cons
  • Can’t be used in microwave sanitizer

The Winkel has a flexible frame that is made up of brightly colored loops and tubes. These soft structures are perfect for teething babies and meet phthalate standards required for mouthing toys. In the center of the tubes you’ll find a colorful square that makes a gentle rattling sound when shaken. 

To provide extra teething relief, you can chill the Winkel in the refrigerator and let your baby chew on its cool surfaces. To keep this rattle clean, you’ll need to hand-wash it regularly as it’s not designed to withstand a microwave sanitizer. 

Price at time of publication: $14

Size: 5.02 x 4.04 x 3.54 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 0-2 years

Best for Tummy Time

Bright Starts Sesame Street Jingle & Shake Elmo Rattle

Bright Starts Sesame Street Jingle & Shake Elmo Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Has a slight bounce 

  • Makes a soft chime sound

  • Two handles for gripping

Cons
  • Top surface is hard

This adorable Elmo rattle is perfect for tummy time because it balances and sways no matter how your baby touches it. Its base is made of flexible Oball and contains a brightly colored ball that makes a chime sound when rolled. However, the top is much harder so you’ll want to make sure your baby doesn’t hit themselves with it. 

On each side of Elmo’s face, there are two handles that your baby can practice grabbing. The handles also have beads that make a rattling noise when shaken back and forth. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Size: 5.93 x 3.79 x 4.77 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 0-12 months

Best for Newborns

The First Years First Rattle

The First Years First Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Soft and lightweight

  • Good for teething

  • Multiple textures 

Cons
  • Hand-wash only 

If you’re looking for a rattle that is gentle enough for your newborn baby, the First Years First Rattle is a great choice. It boasts colorful patterns and several different textures, making it beneficial for both visual development and eye-hand coordination. Cleaning this rattle will take some effort though, as it needs to be hand-washed and air-dried.

This rattle resembles a cute bug with four legs and two antennas that make a fun crinkling sound when held. The legs and antennas are also good for teething, and the ring is made of a polyester fiber that is soft to the touch. 

Price at time of publication: $8

Size: ‎6.69 x 1.77 x 7.68 inches | Materials: Polyester | Age Recommendation: 0-12 months

Best Musical

Fisher-Price Maracas

Fisher-Price Maracas

Amazon

Pros
  • Set of two

  • Three color combinations

  • Good for car rides

Cons
  • Hand-wash only

These musical maracas will stimulate your baby’s senses in a variety of ways. While holding them helps strengthen gross motor skills, shaking them alerts your baby to noise and teaches them cause and effect. The soft poms on the top are perfect for gripping and teething while the colorful beads on the bottom roll around and make noise to keep your baby occupied and engaged. 

These rattles come in three color combinations: blue and orange, green and yellow, or pink and purple. As your baby’s coordination develops, they can hold one maraca in each hand. This set is also good for twins or for keeping one in the car and the other at home. 

Price at time of publication: $8

Size: 2 x 4 x 6.5 inches inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

Best for Stroller

BeeSpring Hanging Rattles

BeeSpring Hanging Rattles

Amazon

Pros
  • Use in stroller or car seat 

  • Three dangling toys

  • Varying colors and patterns

Cons
  • Slides around if not securely attached

If your baby has ever thrown or dropped their toys out of the stroller, the BeeSpring Hanging Rattles is a great solution. Its twisted frame wraps around a stroller or car seat handle and dangles in front of your baby to keep them occupied. However, you may want to try skipping a loop when attaching this rattle to prevent it from sliding around. 

This wrap-around rattle can also be placed on the floor with your baby to enjoy during tummy time. It’s designed using high-contrast colors and has a rattle, teething toy, and stuffed animal that hang from its base, as well as a cute bird that perches on top for your baby to grab and hold.

Price at time of publication: $52

Size: ‎5.75 x 4.21 x 3.62 inches | Materials: Polyester | Age Recommendation: 0-12 months

Best for Toddlers

Hape Beaded Raindrops Rattle

Hape Beaded Raindrops Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Makes soothing rain sounds

  • Easy to grip

  • Durable and well made

Cons
  • Water can get trapped inside

The Hape Beaded Raindrops Rattle makes noise in two different ways: by shaking it up and down or simply turning it over. Doing so will create a gentle, rain-like noise that will mesmerize your toddler. What’s more, they’ll be fascinated by the colorful beads as they trickle down the tube through its various twists and turns. 

The top and bottom of this rattle have rounded edges made from wood, while the middle is large enough for toddlers to grasp. This rattle could also be used by younger babies during tummy time, as it can roll back and forth to make a noise as well. 

Price at time of publication: $14

Size: 2.24 x 2.24 x 7.87 inches | Materials: Wood, BPA-free plastic, child-safe paint | Age Recommendation: 12 months and up 

Best Novelty

Genuine Fred Fred & Friends Buff Baby Rattle

Pros
  • Gentle rattling sound

  • Cute photo op

  • Easy to wipe clean

Cons
  • Not designed for teething

The Fred Buff Baby Dumbbell Rattle is the perfect gift for a baby whose parents are fitness enthusiasts. Not only does it make for a great photo op, but this rattle can also help your baby develop their gross motor skills with its natural hand grips. It makes a gentle rattling sound when shaken and can be wiped down whenever it needs to be cleaned. Although it’s made from BPA-free plastic and contains no phthalates, this rattle isn't good for teething due to its overall shape.

Price at time of publication: $12

Size: 5.71 x 2.17 x 1.97 inches | Materials: BPA- and phthalate-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

Best Stuffed Animal

Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Animal Activity Toy

Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Multi-Sensory Rattle

Amazon

Pros
  • Attaches to wrist or diaper bag

  • Includes three teethers

  • Ears make a crinkly sound

Cons
  • Bandana bib teether is hard to reach

This adorable elephant is far more than just a rattle. It has a variety of different textures, patterns, and sounds to engage your baby’s senses and keep him or her occupied. In addition to making a rattling noise when shaken, this elephant has big, floppy ears that make a crinkling sound when touched. 

The elephant’s ear also has a mirror for babies to delight in their reflection and lots of different fabrics to feel and touch. There are three different teethers on this elephant as well, although the bandana bib one is challenging for babies to reach. While this stuffed elephant can’t be cleaned in the washing machine or dryer, you can spot-clean it with a damp cloth and mild detergent then set it out to dry.

Price at time of publication: $16

Size: 5 x 4 x 10 inches | Materials: Polyester, BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: Newborn and up

Best Soft

Jellycat Bashful Bunny Grabber Rattle

Jellycat Bashful Bunny Grabber Rattle

Nordstrom

Pros
  • High-quality craftsmanship 

  • Soft, silky coat

  • Makes a gentle rattling sound

Cons
  • Not meant for teething 

If you’ve never held a Jellycat stuffed animal, you are in for a treat with this rattle. It makes a gentle noise when shaken and has a golden beige coat that feels soft and silky to the touch. Your baby will also love rubbing its long, floppy ears and holding its plush paws and fluffy feet. 

Although this rattle isn’t meant for teething, Jellycat products are incredibly well made and will likely be one of your baby’s treasured toys for years to come. To clean this rattle, you’ll need to hand-wash it in cold water and lay it flat to dry. 

Price at time of publication: $14

Size: 7 x 3 inches | Materials: Polyester | Age Recommendation: 12 months and up

Best Keepsake

Pottery Barn Salisbury Rattle

Pottery Barn Salisbury Rattle

Pottery Barn

Pros
  • Made from lead-free pewter

  • Great baby shower gift

  • Can be personalized

Cons
  • Not a toy

While it’s not meant for play, this beautiful Salisbury Rattle from Pottery Barn is a treasured keepsake that your family will enjoy for generations to come. It’s made from lead-free pewter, which shines just like silver and won’t tarnish. For an additional cost, you can customize this rattle (up to 13 characters) to display your baby’s name, birthdate, or a special phrase. This rattle would make a beautiful gift for expecting parents at a baby shower or sip-and-see party.

Price at time of publication: $69

Size: 4 inches long | Materials: Lead-free pewter | Age Recommendation: For display only

Best for Tactile Stimulation

VTech Baby Rattle Sing Puppy

VTech Baby Rattle Sing Puppy

Amazon

Pros
  • Over 20 songs, melodies, and sounds

  • Cheeks light up

  • Textures and crinkly ears provide tactile stimulation

Cons
  • Requires LR44 batteries

  • For older babies

This rattle has lots of textures, lights, and sounds to stimulate your baby’s senses. When shaken, its colorful beads bounce around and the puppy’s cheeks light up with glee, introducing the concept of cause and effect. It also has a music button that plays more than 20 different songs and phrases, as well as an on/off switch to control sounds. And this puppy’s ears are made from fabric that makes a crinkly sound when touched.

Keep in mind that while this rattle comes with batteries for demonstration purposes, you’ll need three LR44 batteries for regular use. All in all, your baby will be drawn to this rattle’s colorful, high-contrast patterns, friendly melodies, and variety of textured surfaces.

Price at time of publication: $14

Size: 2.01 x 5.32 x 7.01 inches | Materials: BPA-free plastic | Age Recommendation: 3 months and up

How We Selected the Best Baby Rattles

Before creating our list of the best baby rattles, we spoke with Lyndsey Garbi, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer of Blueberry Pediatrics. Dr. Garbi educated us on the various health and developmental benefits of rattles and what features and safety measures parents should consider when choosing a rattle for their child. We then spent two weeks reviewing more than 35 different rattles to determine the best products for this list. The rattles we chose vary in cost, size, material, and features and provide a well-rounded selection for parents and caregivers.

What to Look for in Baby Rattles

Safety

Safety is the most important aspect to consider when choosing a rattle for your baby. For example, a rattle should not be so heavy that a baby can hurt themselves with it. This is especially true for keepsake rattles, like the Pottery Barn Salisbury Rattle, which is meant for display only. 

In addition to purchasing from reputable manufacturers, caregivers should make sure their rattle meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines and has a Children’s Product Certificate that verifies it has met safety testing requirements. Keep in mind that no part of the rattle—including the handle—should be so small that it can go into a child’s mouth and pose a choking hazard.

Age Appropriate

Depending on its material and features, a rattle may be more appropriate for toddlers instead of infants or vice versa. For example, The First Years First Rattle is designed specifically for newborns because it’s made from soft material and doesn’t have any ornamental pieces. The Hape Beaded Raindrops Rattle is an example of a toy that is made for toddlers (ages 12 months and older) because it has wooden ends and is a bit heavier and larger than other rattles. Before you purchase a rattle for your baby, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommended age range.

Material

The rattles on our list are made from a variety of materials, both soft and firm. While some, like the BlooBlooMax Wrist & Sock Rattles, are made from polyester or cotton, others are made from plastic or silicone, like the Bright Starts Oball Rattle & Roll Sports Race Car. It’s important to choose a rattle that is made from material that is safe for babies. This means choosing a rattle that was designed with water-based paint, silicone, BPA-free plastic, or lead-free material. 

Features

From buttons and music to lights and textures, rattles can come with a variety of features. While a rattle should not overstimulate your baby, certain features can actually be helpful for their development. For example, rattles that are designed with high-contrasting colors, like the Sassy Ring Rattle, can help strengthen a baby’s vision. On the other hand, a rattle like the Bright Starts Oball Shaker that has different textures and parts to grab provides tactical and auditory stimulation for babies. 

As your baby leaves the newborn phase, a rattle that has several features can help keep them engaged and entertained. For example, the Bright Starts Sesame Street Jingle & Shake Elmo Rattle is perfect for tummy time because it sways and balances back and forth, makes a pleasant chime sound, and has a flexible base that gives it a slight bounce when tossed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are rattles safe for babies?

    Rattles are safe for babies as long as they meet certain requirements. For example, rattle manufacturers should meet CPSC requirements and possess a Child’s Product Certificate. Additionally, a rattle should not be too small that it could pose a choking hazard and should be made from child-safe materials, such as BPA-free plastic, wood, or silicone. 

    “Rattles shouldn’t have small pieces that can be bitten or broken off and should be [made of] a material that won’t hurt a baby if they hit themselves in the face,” says Dr. Garbi. “There should be no sharp edges after normal wear and tear, and a rattle should not be made with lead-based paint.”

  • When should I introduce a rattle to my baby?

    “Babies learn to hold things in their hands very early,” says Dr. Garbi. “They have a grasp reflex from birth, [which enables them to] close their hands around an object that touches their palm. A rattle is great for this and can also stimulate their interest, give them something to focus on, teach cause and effect, strengthen their hand motor skills, and foster hand-eye coordination.” 

  • Are wooden rattles good for babies?

    Wooden rattles can be good for babies as long as they’re not too heavy. The Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle is a good example of a rattle that is made from wood but is lightweight and has a spongy feel due to its elastic bands. 

    Keep in mind that hand-me-down wooden rattles should be avoided because wear and tear could create chips, cracks, or sharp edges.

  • What size baby rattle do I need?

    In general, a rattle should not be so small that it could pose a choking hazard for your baby. It should also not be too large or heavy that it could injure your baby if they accidentally hit themselves with it. 

    According to CPSC guidance, all toys (and small parts of a toy) intended for children under 3 years of age should be at least 1.25 inches wide and 2.25 inches long. A good rule of thumb is to use the "toilet paper roll test": If it fits through the hole of a toilet paper roll, the object is a choking hazard.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Laura Lu is an experienced health writer who has a Master of Science degree in Health Communication. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Media Psychology, Brit+Co, and Parents.com, to name a few. She’s also a mother of two young children who have thoroughly enjoyed several rattles on this list.

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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