The 8 Best Baby Toys for 1-Year-Olds and Younger of 2019

Fun for your (very) little one!

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best for Music: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes at Amazon

"Great for long car rides."

Best for Stroller: Whoozit Stroller and Travel Activity at Amazon

"Throw it in the wash for easy cleaning."

Best Multipurpose: Bright Starts Lots of Links at Amazon

"Fantastic for hooking onto car seats and strollers."

Best for Fine Motor Skills: Rock-a-Stack and 1st Blocks Bundle at Amazon

"Two classic toys that have withstood the test of time."

Best for Reading Skills: VTech Musical Rhymes Book at Amazon

"More than 40 songs, melodies, sounds and phrases to explore."

Best for Crawling: VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball at Amazon

"Wobbles, wiggles, and rolls itself about after receiving a slight push."

Best for Standing: Discovering Music Table at Amazon

"The legs can be pulled off and placed on the floor for crawlers."

Best for Walking: VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker at Amazon

"The light-up part can be removed and placed on the floor."

Best for Sensory Development: Infantino Textured Ball Set at Amazon

"Your baby will get a kick out of feeling all of the different textures."

Our Top Picks

Best for Music: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

3.8

From newborns to well past the big one, your kid will love listening to the classical music this little player plays as well as the bright lights that light up in coordination with the song. This all-time favorite is great for long car rides and it can even help soothe them when they are cranky. 

Two AA-batteries are needed to operate this player that is lead and BPA-free so when they are bound to put it in their mouth you won't worry. This is suited for three months and up, but mom can just play the calming music for newborns as well. You'll be surprised that they always come back to this toy as one of their favorite's.  

Best for the Stroller: Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller and Travel Activity

3.4

This might be one of the weirdest looking toys for your kid, but trust us they will love this wacky face. The red "nose" honks when pushed, there is a mirror for them to catch a glimpse of their face plus other rattles, crinkle noises and more to keep them happy and engaged in the car seat, stroller or while hanging at home. 

This toy will keep them thrilled from birth through the one year mark as their minds start to notice new things on it. When it gets dropped on the floor or spit up on you can just throw it in the wash for easy cleaning. Your baby will love this so much we suggest buying two so you'll always have one on hand. 

Best Multipurpose: Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy

3.2

This inexpensive toy will provide hours of entertainment for little ones. From basic teething on the plastic rings when they’re tiny to learning to string them together to make all sorts of fun chains, these will get years of use. They’re fantastic for hooking onto car seats and strollers, so mom and dad won’t have to pick them up over and over.

There are 24 links in all that come in a variety of bright colors and different textured patterns. They all come in a reusable plastic bag so you can easily throw them in a diaper bag for fun on the go anytime. Simple, inexpensive, portable, fun — you can’t go wrong with these.

Best for Fine Motor Skills: Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and 1st Blocks Bundle

This bundle has two awesome classic toys that have withstood the test of time. The Rock-a-Stack has graced the floors of playrooms for many many moons. The colorful rings come in descending sizes so when stacked correctly they make a cone shape.

The other toy, Baby’s First Blocks, is all about sorting, matching and stacking. The top of the box has holes cut in various shapes (square, circle, star, etc.) and there are blocks that match each shape. Kids have to try to find a match to fit them in. Once they’re all in, they can dump them out and start over again. Both toys are great for learning new skills and developing hand-eye coordination, plus they’re just fun.

Best for Reading Skills: VTech Musical Rhymes Book

Books are a great gift at any age, but little fingers can rip paper pages. This talking book offers all the fun and learning of a book, but the plastic pages can’t be torn.

It comes with six classic nursery rhymes, which play as the pages are turned, and there are buttons that slide and twist on each page for added sounds and music. The book can be placed in vocabulary mode to teach them new words or in music mode where the sounds of various instruments will fill the air at the push of one of five buttons. In all, there are more than 40 songs, melodies, sounds and phrases to explore.

Bonus for parents: There’s a volume control button for times when a little quieter is needed.

Best for Crawling: VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball

There’s no other way to say it… kids will have a ball with this toy. Much more than just a traditional ball, this is one rolling, electronic source of fun and learning. The battery-powered ball (three AA batteries are included) wobbles, wiggles and rolls itself about after receiving a slight push, which encourages kids to get moving and crawl or toddle after it.

Once they catch up with it, the fun continues as there are buttons to push, sounds to hear and all sorts of learning to be had. In all, there are more than 40 singalong songs, sound effects, quieter, and phrases, and adorable animal buttons help teach animal names and sounds. It’s a great way to encourage tummy time, crawling and active learning too.

Best for Standing: Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table

This table is set with fun and learning activities galore for kids to explore. Piano keys recite words in English, Spanish and French as well as classical tunes and lots of busybody buttons, balls and switches to keep them entertained and happy. 

It’s a great toy for those who are just learning to pull up and stand, but the legs can also be pulled off and the tabletop placed on the floor for crawlers and tummy time entertainment. Designed for kids 6-36 months, this table will serve up heaping helpings of fun for years to come.

Best for Walking: VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

A must for any household with a young baby, the sit-to-stand encourages young babies to learn to sit and play with all the buttons and musical keys. When they are starting to walk, this walker helps give them a lending hand.

This toy is suited for children nine months and up, and the light-up part can be removed and placed on the floor for tummy time fun. With 70 sing-along songs, noises and sayings your baby will delight in all this has to offer. Even after they've mastered walking they'll love pushing this around the house or outdoors, so it has a long "shelf life" in any home.

Best for Sensory Development: Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set

This set of balls will delight them from six months on. Teething babies will like to chew on the BPA-free nubby textured balls while those getting closer to the one-year mark will learn how to roll the ball to you in a game of "catch".

Your baby will get a kick out of feeling all of the different textures that help him develop his sensory abilities. You'll be surprised that one week might love the red ball and the next he won't let the yellow one leave his side. Though it is a "simple" toy, it will get years and years of playtime. 

Tested by Verywell

How We Tested

We bought three of our readers’ favorite baby toys for 1-year-olds (and younger) that our reviewers tested for six hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these toys, from their targeted skills to their versatility. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Baby Toy for 1-Year-Olds and Younger

Versatility: Sleepless newborn days and nights can seem endless, but then you blink and all of a sudden that tiny baby is growing and hitting all sorts of milestones before your very eyes. When it comes to toys, consider just how long your baby will be interested in them. Some can transform and entertain them through several stages, even into the toddler and preschool years, while others focus on more limited stages. If you have more than one little one, it’s great to scoop up those that entertain them all or that can be passed down easily.

Targeted skills: Some toys help develop a baby’s motor skills, while others are more sensory based. Some provide a mix of both. Make sure you choose an assortment of toys that encourages the development of a variety of skills, and, of course, above all, look for ones that are fun and will elicit giggles, coos, and other baby good times.

Functionality: Think about how you want to use the toys. Do you need some that are easy to take on the go? Or are you looking for something to take up a permanent spot in their playroom? Beyond size, also consider how loud a toy is and how easy it is to clean. The best toys are those where fun and functionality meet.

Test Results: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy (Best for Music)

3.8

What We Like

  • Holds baby’s attention

  • Good for development

  • Great price

What We Don't Like

  • Cleaning around the rings is difficult

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
Baby Einstein Musical Toy
Baby Einstein Toy
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Toy

Our testers recommended this baby toy based on its entertainment value and straightforward design. “It also helps with their development — pushing the button to make the music play and holding the side handle,” explained one of our reviewers. Our testers struggled to come up with negatives, but one mentioned it’s “a little tough to clean around the rings on the handle.” Overall? “The price is amazing for a musical toy,” one of our reviewers raved.

Test Results: Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller and Travel Activity (Best for the Stroller)

3.4

What We Like

  • Colorful, fun design

  • Easy to grab

  • Lots of different textures

What We Don't Like

  • Velcro isn’t very strong

  • Difficult to clean

Manhattan Toy
Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller and Travel Activity
Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller
Manhattan Toy Whoozit Travel Activity

Our testers loved how entertained their babies were by this toy, with one of our reviewers revealing, “It's a great price and something that is very engaging when the baby is in the stroller or car seat for a longer length of time.” Highlights? [There are] lots of different textures, rattles, loops, and crinkly fabric to play with, which keep their attention for longer — always something new to discover,” described one of our testers. In terms of negatives, one of our reviewers noted, “The velcro closure isn't very strong, making it easy to pull off the stroller bar.” Our testers also said it’s a little difficult to clean.

Test Results: Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy (Best Multipurpose)

3.2

What We Like

  • Great variety of colors

  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to hook and unhook

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult to clean up/store

  • Not as engaging for older babies

Bright Starts Accessory Toy
Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy
Bright Starts Lots of Links
Bright Starts Lots of Links Toy
Bright Starts

While our testers felt this toy is best for younger babies, one of our reviewers noted it’s “incredibly inexpensive.” One of our testers particularly liked the “variety of colors to look at and learn” and the fact that the links are “easy to hook on and off from each other.” The negatives? One of our testers wished for a storage container so she didn’t have to link all the rings together when she was ready to put them away. One of our reviewers also said it’s “not super engaging for an older baby.”

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