Babies are natural-born explorers. Even before they can crawl, talk, or walk, they’re ready to figure out how their hands, eyes, and ears work by playing with toys. However, not all toys are safe or appropriate for infants and toddlers.
We’re going to help you figure out what to look for when shopping so you can choose the best toys for your baby. We’ll even introduce you to some of our favorite toys that will be a great fit for your little one.
Benefits of Toys
Do babies even need toys? The answer is yes! Toys are a great way to get babies started with sensory play. Age-appropriate toys introduce your little one to new sounds, sights, and feelings so they can become comfortable with the world.
Playtime and toys are great for helping babies develop important skills such as hand-eye coordination, rolling over, and figuring out preferences. As a bonus, toys help keep babies engaged and occupied when you’re not directly interacting with them.
What to Look for In Baby Toys
With so many toys available today, it can be hard to choose which ones are best. To get started, consider the following factors.
Toys designed for infants keep babies’ safety and abilities in mind. This probably goes without saying, but toys labeled for three-year-olds and up are not appropriate for infants!
Even if a toy is labeled as appropriate for infants, it’s always good to check it out yourself. Make sure the toy doesn’t have small parts that present a choking hazard. Also, check to ensure the toy is free from sharp materials and small pointy ends because we all know everything ends up in your little one’s mouth sooner or later.
Ride atop toys for infants and toddlers should include proper safety mechanisms. For example, a bouncy toy for a baby unable to support themself should include a well-fitting harness and/or proper supports.
Last of all, age-appropriate toys are made for your baby’s current developmental stage. They will be complex enough to keep your little one entertained and engaged but not so complex that your child will become frustrated. Remember, toys should be fun!
Made From Safe Materials
Along with choosing toys that include an age-appropriate design, you should also check and make sure toys are constructed from safe materials. Here are some common things to look out for and avoid in baby toys.
- Lead paint
- Plastic containing BPA, BPS, or PVC
Types of Appropriate Baby Toys
To help you narrow down what types of toys are a good option for your baby, check out this age-based breakdown.
Toys for Infants 0-6 Months
For younger infants, look for toys they can easily hold, shake, look at, or reach for.
- Large rings
- Activity mats
- Big soft blocks
- Soft stuffed toys
Toys for Infants 6-12 Months
As your little one grows a bit older, they will be able to hold themselves up, crawl, and eventually stand. They’ll be more interested in noise and begin recognizing words. The following toys will keep them engaged and learning.
- Large cars to push around
- Nesting toys like rings or balls and cups
- Large wooden or plush blocks
- Large balls
- Puppets and dolls
Toys for 1-Year-Olds
When your little one hits the one-year milestone, they can be hard to keep up with! They’re standing, walking, and eventually trying to climb everything that’s around them. Your child will also be able to solve simple puzzles and be interested in using their imagination.
- Make-believe toys like kitchen sets, baby strollers, and cars
- Non-toxic markers or crayons
- Toys with recordable songs
- Puzzles with switches, knobs, buttons, etc.
Some of Our Favorite Baby Toys
Now that you know a bit more about what to look for when choosing toys, we’re going to introduce you to some of our favorite baby toys available in Singapore.
Skip Hop Farmstand Grow & Play Activity Gym
It’s never too early to introduce your little one to fresh fruits and vegetables! This farmstead activity gym makes it easy and fun with a garden scene. The mat is made from soft plush material that your infant will love, and it even comes with a watermelon pillow to help with tummy time.
You and your little one will love that you can detach the hanging items such as the avocado rattle and beet squeaker. It’s suitable for young infants to toddlers, so your little one can enjoy it for multiple years.
Skip Hop Explore & More Jumpscape Foldaway Jumper
When your little one grows old enough to be able to support themselves upright, you can move onto this fun jumper. One great thing about this Skip Hop jumper is that the seat swivels a full 360º so your baby can spin as well as jump. The included clip-on toys allow little hands to explore.
When you’re not using the jumper, it folds for easy transport or storage.
Jellycat Bunny Soft Toy
If you’re looking for a soft toy your little one will love, you can’t do much better than the Jellycat Bunny Soft Toy. It’s made from super soft material that won’t irritate your baby’s skin nor shed all over the place.
If you ever thought all stuffed animals are the same, the Jellycat Bunny will change this. This item is also a great gift for any newborn you know.
Parklon PE Roll Playmat
Playmats give your little one a soft and comfortable surface to play on while also helping them explore and play! The Parklon PE Roll Playmat is printed with a road that’s perfect for toy cars as well as friendly animals. It’s made from lightweight polyurethane that is easy to clean.
Choose a Toy Your Baby Will Love
Now that you know a bit more about toys for little ones, it’s time to find one or more your baby will love. If you still need help deciding what toy to choose, head on over to read toy reviews left by other parents.