The 18 Best Infant Toys of 2022

New babies will love playing with these teethers, books, play gyms and more

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Best Infant Toys

Verywell Family / Chloe Jeong

A developmentally appropriate toy is a great idea whether it's your own little one or a close friend's kiddo. The right toy is "all about stimulating the senses: visual, auditory, and tactile," says Laurie Leahey, senior editor at Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM). "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."

Reviewed & Approved

The Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy is soft to the touch and made with non-toxic materials, so babies can chomp all day long on this two-in-one rattle and teether. For a toy aimed at developing gross motor skills, we recommend the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker.

When searching for baby gifts, it’s important to review the age guidelines on the packaging to make sure the toy is suitable for the newest family addition. New parents should be aware of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline that “soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation should be kept out of the baby's crib.”  We looked carefully at toys that are safe, promote the development of milestones, and get children moving when reviewing products.

We've rounded up the best infant toys for the smallest members of your family.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

4.5
winkel-rattle

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Soft BPA-free teething tubes

  • Two-handed play for tactile development

  • Clips on strollers and tucks in bags

Cons
  • Can be a bit hard to clean

Suitable for babies from 0 to 24 months old, this toy is a mesmerizing maze of safe, soft, and continuous tubes. For gummy little ones, it's a perfect baby teething toy and great for clutching and promoting two-handed play. We think you'll love how easy the toy clips onto a stroller, so your little one can play while on-the-go, too.

Manhattan Toy Winkel

Verywell Family / Ashley Ziegler

What Our Editors Say

"This is my six-month-old son's favorite toy, hands down. When my sister-in-law saw him with it, she said it was her son's favorite toy as well, and he's seven now (so you know this is a certified hit that will span multiple babies)." —Julia Warren, VP of Commerce

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

The First Years Stack Up Cups

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Includes eight cups for varied play

  • For stacking and bath fun

  • Numbers on base encourage counting skills

  • Made without BPA, lead, or phthalates

Cons
  • Made from thinner plastic

A versatile toy, these stacking cups can be fit together, stacked up, built like a tower, or played with in the bath. Each one has unique holes and a number printed on the bottom. Recommended for ages 6 months and up, the eight cups will provide lots of fun. 

What Our Editors Say

"For $5, you can't do better. My daughter loved these simple cups so much, we got a set for our house as well as her grandparents'. The set kept her occupied, whether she was making noise with the cups, stacking them...or just throwing them on the floor!" —Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director, Verywell Family 

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

vtech-walker

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Fosters gross motor skills development

  • Activity panel comes off for moving fun

  • Seventy-plus songs, sound effects, and phrases

Cons
  • Base wheels don't lock

  • Ideal for more practiced walking babies

Meant for babies 9 months old to toddlers 3 years old, this learning walker will provide lots of fun and versatility to engage young kids for a long time. Littlest ones can play with the detachable activity panel and early walkers can use this toy to help them move along. Parents appreciate how much is packed into this toy. 

What Our Editors Say

"Even before she was walking, my daughter enjoyed playing with the sounds and features on this walker. Once she was ready to walk, it helped her learn how. She even put her favorite stuffed animal on the top and pretended to push it like a stroller." —Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director, Verywell Family 

Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack Bat-at Ring-Stacking Toy

Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack Bat-at Ring-Stacking Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Encourages gross and fine motor skills

  • Builds hand-eye coordination and size recognition

  • Five rings to grasp, shake, and stack

Cons
  • May be undersized for some

A classic for good reason, this budget-friendly toy has lots of developmental benefits. The stacking helps babies with hand-eye coordination and introduces them to the concept of relative size. Suitable for ages 6 months and up, this toy will engage young kiddos.

What the Experts Say

"Toys should provide a variety of different ways for kids to explore their curiosity and learn new ways of interacting with the world. Just because the picture on a box says that toys have to be stacked in a certain way does not mean that the child will choose to only use them that way. Children should be allowed to use the toys in whatever ways they want that are also safe." Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP, clinical psychologist

Vulli Sophie La Girafe Teething Toy

Sophie la Girafe

Courtesy of Target

Pros
  • Squeaking sound engages baby

  • Smooth, safe texture

  • Made from natural latex and food-grade paint

  • Fun appeal

Cons
  • Attention must be given to its care

A popular toy for many new babies, this sweet and cuddly giraffe is made from natural latex rubber and food-quality paint. With a subtle squeak and smooth texture, it's an instant hit with babies. Suitable for newborns to babies 12 months old, it’s perfect for teething babies and the squeaking sound inside is ready to attract a baby’s attention. 

What Our Editors Say

"My daughter loved Sophie during those early teething days. She was so attached to the French giraffe that we attached it via a hook to her stroller so she could teethe on-the-go!" —Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director, Verywell Family 

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym

 Courtesy of Target

Pros
  • On-the-go detachable, light-up keyboard

  • Five toys in one

  • Play mat features loops to attach toys

  • Washable play mat

Cons
  • Design could use some work

Fun for newborns on up, this easy-to-assemble toy is appropriate for so many phases of newborn development. Use it as a playmat, a kick-at musical instrument, and then later a piano for sitting babies. Parents appreciate how engaging the gym is, especially for active babies. 

Darling & Co Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten

Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten

 Courtesy of Darlyng & Co

Pros
  • Design replicates model of an infant's hand

  • For babies who can't hold teethers yet

  • Four colors and glow-in-the-dark option

  • Mitten protects baby from chewing on hands

  • Black-owned business item

Cons
  • Doesn't come as a pair

This innovative, soft teething mitten, made by a Black-owned business, is ideal for teething babies who may not be coordinated enough to hold teethers. The mitten protects the baby from chewing on their hand. Super lightweight and machine washable, it comes in four colors and even has a glow-in-the-dark option. 

Lovevery Play Gym Activity Gym and Play Mat

Lovevery The Play Gym

Courtesy of The Tot

Pros
  • Five Montessori-inspired development zones

  • Easy two-minute set up with no tools

  • Prevents overstimulation and grows with your baby

  • Encourages sensory, exploratory, and audiovisual development

Cons
  • Expensive

The experts at Lovevery have developed a splurge-worthy play gym, suitable for infants on up, that many parents feel is a must-have piece of gear. The five developmental zones on the mat reveal or conceal areas to prevent overstimulation so that they can grow as your baby develops. The mat promotes focus, features sound-making pieces, encourages sensory expiration, hiding and finding, and exploring color. 

Soft Cloth Baby Books

Soft Cloth Baby Books

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easily attaches to stroller or car seat

  • Crinkly, bright pages provide tactile, stimulating development

  • Made from safe soft cloth

Cons
  • Has to be spot cleaned

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. Parents love that each book has a fabric Velcro loop for easy attachment to a stroller, car seat, or anything else. 

What the Experts Say

"Contrasting colors and bright patterns really attract a baby's eyes. Baby toys with little tags or ribbons are also great because they encourage baby to pull on them, which works fine motor skills. And if the toy makes sounds—crinkle, chime, squeak—that's even better because it offers auditory stimulation as well as teaches baby cause and effect." — Laurie Leahey, senior editor, Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM).

Fat Brain Toys pipSquigz

Fat Brain Toys pipSquigz

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • BPA-free for safe teething

  • Various rattle sounds, textures, and colors

  • Encourages sense of touch development

  • Three unique shapes included

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons
  • Some might not care for material construction

Great for ages 6 months and up, these three uniquely shaped pipSquigz are made of high-quality silicone. They have suction cups that stick together, pop apart, rattle, have a variety of textures and bright colors. They’re perfect for an on-the-go toy. 

Hape Rainbow Xylophone

Hape Rainbow Xylophone

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Rainbow-colored for visual development

  • Builds creativity and fine motor skills

  • Easy to carry

  • Colored with non-toxic paint

Cons
  • Natural musical tone might deter some

Introduce your little one to the joys of music and rhythm while showcasing colors and promoting creative and musical play. While the toy is labeled for kids 12 months and up, it’s safe for younger babies while supervised. They will also practice grasping and holding the non-slip sticks and improve their dexterity and hand-eye coordination. 

Jellycat Bashful Bunny

Jellycat Bashful Bunny

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Soft and plush for safe play

  • Various size choices

  • Suitable right from birth

Cons
  • Can only be spot cleaned

  • Runs a bit small

Irresistibly cute and super soft, this bunny is sure to become a favorite stuffie for years to come. This adorable bunny will be your kiddo's bestie from babyhood to the big kid stage. Safe for all ages, use the appropriate AAP guidelines when sharing stuffed animals with an infant. 

Wee Gallery Crinkle Egg

Wee Gallery Crinkle Egg

 Courtesy of Maisonette

Pros
  • Made from organic cotton

  • Can crunch and crackle for gross motor development

  • Nice high-contrast design

Cons
  • White color may get dirty quicker

Cute as it is stimulating, infants will love crunching and crackling this cute organic cotton egg toy. While simple, your developing little one will fall in love with the stimulating sound and colors. The adorable and high-contrast design is cute and loveable, perfect for a baby with the same qualities. 

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toy

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Encourages fine motor, sensory, and circumstantial learning

  • BPA-free

  • 100% food-grade silicone bubbles

  • On-the-go toy

Cons
  • Some may deem small for its price

Parents love how simple, yet brilliant, this toy is. Babies from 10 months and up can push, pop, poke, and grab this perfectly portable sensory toy. Not only will the Dimpl engage the senses, but it will promote early cause-and-effect learning

Genuine Fred Fred & Friends Buff Baby Rattle

Genuine Fred Fred & Friends Buff Baby Rattle

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight with natural hand grips

  • BPA- and phthalate-free

  • Unique gift for babies of gym lovers

Cons
  • Harder plastic material

Fit parents will enjoy adding a buff baby to their family. This silly barbell baby rattle will have everyone amused while your little baby gets in on the workout. Safe for ages 3 months and up, the rattle is made out of BPA-free plastic. 

Realistic-looking toys that look like adult objects are a solid choice as babies get older, as "they want to mimic what they see their parents doing," says Leahey.

Oli & Carol Pepita the Apple Teething Toy

Oli & Carol Pepita the Apple Teething Toy

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

Pros
  • Uniquely handcrafted and hand-painted

  • PVC-, BPA-, phthalate- and nitrosamine-free

  • Made from natural Hevea-tree rubber

  • Safe from birth

  • Soft texture soothes gums

Cons
  • Must hand-wash

Your tot will feel like they are taking a bite out of a real apple with this teething toy. Made from natural Hevea-tree rubber, this realistic apple toy has hand-painted details and is a must-have for teething, bath time, and tactile play. Suitable from birth on up, this lovely apple gets hand-washed. 

Fat Brain Toys InnyBin

Fat Brain Toys InnyBin

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Unique shape-exploration design and concept

  • BPA-free

  • Encourages fine motor skills and tactile development

Cons
  • Might be harder for younger babies

Great for ages 6 months and up, this toy provides an incredibly unique shape-exploration experience. The innovative shape sorting box comes with six chunky, textured shapes that fit through the elastic bands of the cube. The colorful toy encourages fine motor skills, tactile exploration, and experimentation. 

What the Experts Say

"I would stay away from toys that have too many colors or make too many different noises. I like to follow a pattern of one action leads to one reaction from the toy (rather than multiple actions and noises)." Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP

Fat Brain Tobbles Neo Infant Stacking Toy

Fat Brain stacking toy

Courtesy of Fat Brain

Pros
  • Grippable textures and bright colors for engagement

  • Builds fine and gross motor and visual skills

  • Can balance, nest, spin, and stack

Cons
  • Some might want more play diversity

Perfect for ages 6 months and up, this innovative toy challenges babies to balance, nest, spin, and stack these spheres in gravity-defying angles. Parents appreciate the thoughtful design and versatility of this colorful toy. Don't be surprised if your toddler is playing with this bright toy into their big kid stage.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a choice that’s both soothing and attention-grabbing, the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle (view at Amazon) offers relief from achy gums while its BPA-free tubes encourage gross motor skills.  

And for a no-frills, affordable choice to add to the toy collection, The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys (view at Amazon) provides versatility with its set of eight, colorful cups. 

What to Look for in Infant Toys

Safety

It’s important for parents and caregivers to opt for larger toys when shopping for infants. Toys and their parts should not be able to fit into an infant’s mouth to prevent choking.

Avoid toxic materials due to potential poisoning, as well as thin plastic, loose stuffing, button batteries, high-powered magnets, and toys with bean-like pellets. When in doubt, check the manufacturer's age recommendation. It should be listed in the product description.

Milestones

By four months of age, babies have developed vital skills that help them learn, vocalize, move, and play. Toys can help babies reach developmental milestones. 

  • Language development: To encourage babbling, the LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book (view on Amazon) is fun, interactive, and can be used throughout the first year.
  • Reaching and grasping: Help babies strengthen their ability to reach for toys with one hand with the Pretty Please Freeze Teethers (view on Amazon).
  • Motor development: Get babies moving and strengthening their upper body with the Lovevery Play Gym (view on Amazon). It's perfect for tummy time.

Physical Activity

Promote motor development, self-regulation, and peer interaction with toys that encourage physical activity. Check out balls, push and pull toys, or ride-on toys when shopping for infants.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most popular infant toys?

    “Infants tend to gravitate to toys that have contrasting colors as their vision is still not fully developed,” says Neela Sethi, MD, who is a pediatrician, lactation expert, MAM Baby ambassador, and mother. “They also like varying patterns or prints. Toys with a soft texture or varying textures tend to interest babies as well,” adds Dr. Neela.

  • When should I introduce toys to a newborn?

    “Newborn babies can only see about eight to 12 inches at birth, so toys are not necessary very early on,” says Dr. Neela. She says that for newborns, your voice and face are great developmental tools. “As they begin to see farther away, a crib mobile can not only help soothe them, but also entertain them. Once they begin tummy time, activity mats and mirrors are fun to play with,” says Dr. Neela. As they get older, you can start to introduce new sights and sounds. “Toys that have sound associated with them can be extremely fun for babies,” Dr. Neela adds.

  • Does my infant need a lot of toys?

    Although a parent’s attention is the most important toy for a newborn, it is helpful and fun to get new things to pique your baby’s interest. “Things like a simple play mat or a mirror are extremely entertaining, especially as your baby begins tummy time,” says Dr. Neela. She also loves toys with buttons that babies can push to make a sound, as well as options that have contrasting colors and textures. Remember that young babies love to put things in their mouth, so try to find toys that are safe to chew. Similarly, toys that are easy to clean are especially important at this age.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. Her go-to infant toys are non-musical, easy to wash, and don’t take up a lot of space. Can you tell she has three kids?

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6 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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