Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

6 great newborn toys for boosting your baby’s development

Everything is new to your infant. While your baby’s world seems to revolve around bottles and sleeping, his or her first few months are filled with cognitive and physical development. The best way to help babies explore their new world is through play. Your baby’s toys don’t have to be expensive to be wonderful for all-around development. There are a lot of stimulating and engaging newborn toys to appeal to your little one during his or her waking hours. You also don’t have to break the bank to purchase quality newborn developmental toys.

Here are some wonderful toys you and your baby will have a lot of fun playing with, along with others to have on hand in cribs, strollers, and playpens that are baby-safe.

Skip Hop Musical Egg Shaker Trio

A great developmental toy for under $15 is this adorable trio of musical rattles. Rattles are a baby staple and for good reason. Playing with a rattle helps babies to develop their hand-eye coordination as well as their reaching skills. These cute little guys are brightly colored and designed specifically for growing hands. The owl, hedgehog, and fox rattles make their own distinct sound and are ideal for ages 3 months plus.

What it’s great for: Hand-eye coordination and reaching skills

Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity and Teething Toy

Another super-cute and cuddly Skip Hop toy for a baby is this delightful elephant that is also under $15. Its soft, furry feel and colors will catch your baby’s eye. The different textures are a tactile sensation for little hands and mouths. This baby-friendly toy is PVC and phthalate-free. The elephant makes for a fun playpen or buddy-on-the-go in cars and strollers.

What it’s great for: Developing tactile skills

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Double-Sided 3-in-1 Play and Activity Mat

Simple shapes in black and white are an essential component of a baby’s early sight development. This unique play and activity mat from Manhattan Toy’s Wimmer-Ferguson baby collection is a perfect pick. With its straps, it can attach to the seat in the car to give Baby something visually stimulating to look at when traveling. It can also be used on the floor for tummy play. The mat is reversible and features different tactile sensations for Baby as well as sounds. It also includes a peek-a-boo mirror and a teether.

What it’s great for: Sight developmental tactile skills

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Tiger Baby Travel Toy

Be sure to take this cute tiger along on car trips and doctor visits. Another developmentally appropriate toy from Manhattan Toys’ Wimmer-Ferguson’s infant collection, the Tiger Baby Travel Toy is a roar. Babies will instantly be attracted to the black-and-while color along with the soft fabric and silky-smooth ribbons. The tiger can hang on the car seat or stroller to keep your baby busy in the car and out on walks. It also includes a teether and internal chime. This small toy packs a punch when it comes to hand-eye coordination and motor skill development.

What it’s great for: Hand-eye coordination and motor skills

Lamaze Freddie the Firefly

Get your baby interested in catching fireflies early with Freddie. Freddie is an engaging little firefly full of crinkle sounds and tactile sensations that engage Baby’s hand-eye coordination and auditory senses. Since Freddie is also a teether, the toy will help soothe your baby’s aching gums when teething. Freddie attaches to the stroller or infant seat to keep Baby busy when out and about. The fun jingling sounds and bright colors are a sure attention-getter and an ideal developmental toy for your baby.

What it’s great for: Hand-eye coordination and auditory skills

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas

Rattles are a perfect developmental toy for babies, and these Fisher-Price rattles are rockin’ and perfect for babies three months and up. With bright colors and attractive sounds, this set of two rattles is a great fit for little hands. The rattle works developing hand muscles along with Baby’s visual and auditory senses. With two, you can always have a rattle on hand at home and on the go.

What it’s great for: Developing hand muscles as well as visual and auditory skills

Newborn developmental toys are the best way to play with Baby because not only are they adorable and fun, but they help your baby with his or her cognitive and physical growth. A newborn’s world may seem limited, but those first 12 months are actually when a large majority of growth is happening. All of these budget-friendly newborn toys are perfect for playing at home or when out and about.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
What to do on Labor Day with your kids
Celebrate the unofficial end of summer with these fun Labor Day activities
What to do on Labor Day weekedn with your family

School may already be in session or just about ready to begin, but for kids and adults, Labor Day signals the unofficial end to summer. While many families pack up and head out for one final three-day weekend of summer fun, others choose to stay close to home and avoid the people-packed beaches.

Just because you decide to have a laid-back Labor Day doesn't mean you and the kids have to be bored. If you're looking for fun activities for the family on Labor Day, there are plenty of ways to relax and enjoy a day off before September school, sports, and extracurriculars amp up.

Read more
Experts explain why kids watching YouTube isn’t a good idea
You'll want to rethink screen time after you know what experts say about kids watching YouTube
Young boy on an iPad.

You have things to get done around the house. But a small person who says they're bored is keeping you from making progress on your to-do list. And so, you do what many parents do in this stretched-thin situation: You turn on the television, hand over a cellphone, or put on YouTube. (Hey, no judgment; we have all been there, done that!) But is letting kids watch YouTube doing more harm than good?

Screens can be "addictive," as noted by Dr. David Greenfield, founder and clinical director of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. He explains that they have a dopamine-producing effect, and many realistic pediatric experts agree that, while screens are a part of our modern lifestyle, moderation should be enforced and limitations be set. Parents need to learn why they should be mindful of children watching YouTube and how to lay down the screen time law at home. We'll share some tips and words of wisdom from experts in the know.

Read more
8 great Father’s Day gift ideas for every kind of dad
Shopping for awesome Father's Day gifts? Here's what dads love!
Little girl with dad holding a wrapped gift

If you're shopping for your dad or helping your kids shop for theirs, skip the tie and sock section because he doesn't need more of those. We've got awesome Father's Day gift ideas for those dads who seem to have everything. The key to finding the ideal Father's Day gift is to stick to those hobbies Dad loves best, whether it's sports, backyard grilling, or Star Wars collectibles. Pair that special gift with a cool outing, and you've got the perfect Father's Day present.

Best Father's Day gifts
Before heading out to the mall or going online to order a Father's Day gift, take a moment to think. Focus on what your dad really enjoys doing. Is he a weekend sports dad going to games or is he the resident grill master? We've got awesome Father's Day gifts for all types of super cool dads.
Baseball dad
If the dad you're shopping for is the ultimate baseball fan and has patiently stood on the sidelines or been watching you play since T-ball, a personalized baseball mount will be a treasured gift. The baseball-themed block mount is available in different sizes. All the kids' names can be printed on the baseballs. This will look great next to all of the kids' baseball trophies.
Soccer dad
Soccer dads have been on the sidelines through all kinds of weather. Make his time at games and those long tournament days extra cozy with an ALPHA CAMP sturdy canopy lounge chair. Dad will truly appreciate the sunshade on sunny and rainy days. This chair features a cup holder and is great for the beach and camping trips, too.
Star Wars dad
Okay, so May the Fourth has passed, and Darth Vader certainly would never have been voted Father of the Year, but you can celebrate your Star Wars-loving dad with a Darth Vader Father of the Year shirt. It's available in an array of colors and comes in different designs featuring the best father in the galaxy.
Hockey dad
If the dad you're shopping for faithfully gets up with your rink rats to get that early morning, late evening, or whenever there's ice time, he deserves something super cozy to keep himself warm in those subzero rinks. CQR's thermal fleece pullover is sure to keep Dad warm and snuggly all year long, whether he's coaching from the bench or watching behind the glass.
Tech dad
Is your dad online for the newest Apple devices? Okay, so you are shopping for a tech dad. Chances are he's got all the hot and trendy tech stuff hot off the presses. So, how about a binary clock from CafePress? Binary is the language computers speak, and wouldn't a binary clock make a unique gift for your technology-loving dad?
Grill master dad
You've been chopped! Well, no, not really, but if Dad is addicted to the Food Network and would love to have Guy Fieri on speed dial, then a grill-related gift is in order. The Cuisinart CGS-W13 set is sure to please. The set comes complete with 13 pieces, and the grilling tools feature wooden handles. Personalize the handles with a special message for Dad using paint markers.
Fisherman dad
Would Dad rather be fishing? Then he will thank you every time he uses Swiss Ascent's fishing multitool. This multipurpose tool works as a hook remover, scale scraper, tape measure, bait cutter, flashlight, knife, scissors, weight scale, bottle opener, and foldable stand. Now, how cool is that?
Outdoor dad
Does your dad love being in the great outdoors? Do most vacations revolve around a national park or a new hiking trail? Then, he will really love a copy of America's Best Day Hikes: Spectacular Single-Day Hikes Across the States. Be prepared though! He'll definitely be planning some fun family road trips after reading this.

Read more