7 Essential Toys for Encouraging 0-6 Month Development

You do not need to have a ton of toys in order to teach your baby new things, but it is fun to have a few good quality items on hand!  Simple toys work well to encourage all of the different areas of development (read more about developmental milestones here).

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Best Baby Toys for 0-6 Months



This has to be one of my favorite baby toys of all time!  It is perfect for little ones because it is easy to hold on to  so it makes it easy to explore.  They can use one hand to grab it or hold it in mid-line for a closer look.  It is light weight so babies can shake it all by themselves.

Another great option for balls are ones like these as they provide lots of different textures that your baby will enjoy.


Babies learn through exploring with their mouths and rattles provide a safe option for doing just that.  They fit perfectly into your little one’s hand which allows them to take a closer look.  They can practice grabbing and dropping them which is great to refine small motor skills.  When they give the rattle a shake they are learning about cause and effect.

Shape Sorter

A shape sorter is a very open-ended toy that encourages learning in many different ways.  The shapes are small enough for your baby to hold in their hands and perfect for banging on tables or high chairs.  If you take off the lid your baby can play the very entertaining game of putting things in and dumping them out.  It may seem like a simple concept but it requires your baby a lot of coordination to do just that.  Put the lid back on and show them how to put the shapes in through the holes and you have just made a very challenging but fun game!


Mirror play allows your baby to meet their best friend…themselves!  Make sure you get an unbreakable one like this one.  This is a wonderful way to entertain your baby during tummy time and encourage social skills.  While your baby is laying on a blanket or play mat ( this one would work well)  Just place the mirror in front of them and tell them about the baby they are seeing.


Simple cars like the one pictured above are another one of my tummy time favorites!  Slowly rolling a car like this one front of your baby will encourage them to track it with their eyes which is great for vision skills.  Place it just out of reach and let your baby try to reach for it or squiggle to get it.

Soft Squishy Books


Soft squishy books are one of my all time favorite baby toys!  Reading to your baby is one of the BEST ways to encourage development in ALL areas (read more about early literacy skills .)  From day one I started reading to my son and incorporating a story into our bedtime routine.  He loves books now in his toddler years!

They are versatile because you can take them anywhere to entertain your little one (they even make ones that clip onto your stroller like this one so you don’t lose them!)

Soft Toys


Soft baby toys allow your baby to hold and explore while feeling safe and cuddly.  The ones pictured above are great because they have teethers for feet so your baby can mouth and gnaw them for oral stimulation and it will help soothe sore gums.  If you are looking for a clip on options these ones would work well!

Related Posts That You Will Enjoy


One Minute Milestones:  How to Encourage Development in Daily Routines

Baby Resources Page

Complete Guide to Baby Skills 0-3 Months

5 Fun Bath Toys That Encourage Development

 Did your favorite toy make the list?  Tell me about it in the comments below or find me on Facebook!  I would love to hear from you!


Need Help Keeping Track of Your Baby’s Milestones?


An easy way to be PREPARED for you next well baby visit is to download the checklist below!  It is FREE and PRINTABLE.  I know you have a lot going on with a new baby (I have been there too!) so print this off so you can EASILY keep track of all the exciting milestones your baby is doing!  This includes milestones to look for from birth to 12 months.


Essential Baby Toys


Baby's first Christmas List: Perfect gifts for babies 0-6 months. These toys help encourage the development of language, cognitive, and motor skills. Simple toys make great gifts for a first Christmas present.

About Kayla ONeill

This is me and my beautiful bouncing baby boy! Before my little guy arrived I earned a Bachelor's degree in Special Education Birth to 21 as well as my Masters in Education. For six years I worked as an Early Interventionist serving children and families from birth to age three before becoming a stay at home mom to be with my son.

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