What Toys to Use with Newborns: A Guide for Parents

The First Years Stack Up Cups is a simple toy with lots of fun ways to play for your baby. It can also be used as a learning tool for color and number recognition as the baby grows. Many play mats come with a bunch of toys to hang over the head, but these can be very stimulating for a newborn. For now, remove the upper clip-on toys and then place the mat on top of a rug to create a clean and comfortable place to practice tummy time.

One of the oldest toys in existence, balls will see your child from childhood to adulthood. Babies will reach them during play on the floor, while babies who can sit and crawl will enjoy throwing, rolling and chasing them. Among the most versatile toys, cups or nesting boxes help baby to classify shapes and colors. Turn them around and the baby becomes a mini engineer, building tall towers.

Later, the cups and boxes can be used in imaginative games such as bowls or pots, nests or beds, doll houses and parking garages. If they are plastic, you can also use them in the bathroom. It's never too early to introduce books to your baby. Even if you still can't keep your head up, your baby will like to cuddle in your arms and listen to the rhythmic sound of your voice as you read.

Once they can sit down, babies like to turn pages and look at photographs. At this stage, parents should choose books made of sturdy cloth or cardboard with simple graphics. Interactive sensory books that squeak, have different textures that baby can feel or flaps that can lift are an excellent option. A toy that grows with your child, basic blocks are a must for any toy collection.

At first, a few colored cubes spread out during tummy time will attract the baby to raise his head and extend his fingers. Later, the small architects of the future will enjoy organizing and stacking them. Depending on your design, these multifaceted toys can also be used to teach colors, letters and numbers. Some even have puzzles on one side.

For babies, make sure their first set of blocks includes cubes that fit comfortably in their small hands. These colorful and durable links can be used individually (they are the ideal weight for a baby who works grasping it) or they can be joined together to form a chain that is perfect for keeping toys attached to the stroller. For the little gummy ones, it is a perfect toy for teething babies and ideal for grasping and promoting play with both hands. We also received suggestions from members of the What to Expect community, as well as from What to Expect editors and writers on what toys their babies love.

The key is to buy toys that babies can use at their current age and stage, while encouraging exploration and refinement of skills. They are so cute that they are the perfect toy to soothe a fussy baby during a photo shoot also for adorable photos. Instead of chewing on regular toys, give them the fruit-shaped silicone teethers so they can enjoy a toy while they chew. It's safe to play with them, but they're not a good option if you're looking for toys that your baby wants to put his teeth.

All the bugs in this popular multifunction toy collection have a super sweet expression that babies love, and they also find it very easy to hold on to them. And if the toy makes sounds, crackles, squeaks, it's even better because it offers auditory stimulation and teaches the baby the cause and effect. And for an affordable and simple option to add to the toy collection, The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys (see on Amazon) offers versatility with its set of eight colorful cups. The real reflective mirror of this tummy time toy allows baby to do just that, all while having a great time.

Newborns are fascinated by everything around them, so you could argue that babies will make their own toys. Finding toys for newborns that can actually push the baby to coordinate arm and leg movements can be a challenge. Realistic looking toys that look like adult objects are a solid choice as babies grow, as they want to mimic what they see their parents do, Leahey says. Toys for 6-12 month-old babies can help improve fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, or social and language development.

Plush toys, including stuffed animals, cloth books, rattles and toys with different textures, are a good choice for your newborn.

Latasha Stokely
Latasha Stokely

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