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Toys! Toys! Toys! The Best Toys for Baby’s First Year in 2020

Toys are an everyday must for babies. From the most extravagant expensive parent trap of a toy out there to the remote to your T.V. Your baby is going to play with something every day. Okay I take that back; you can probably make it a couple weeks after your baby is first born… and then you are going to need toys for the rest of your little ones life! Until I decided to write about toys this week, I really had not realized just how important there are in Savannah’s life. Her toys might just be needed to capture her attention long enough in the morning for me to get the coffee pot going or to brush my teeth. She tags along with me in the mornings while I go through my routine and she needs something to tinker with while I prepare for the day. Toys help our little ones develop. They learn how to extend their arms to reach for their toys at an early age. Toys often play music, have interesting textures, or assist soothe baby to sleep. Toys help baby with teething, with laughter, curiosity, and imagination. Of course, toys can be just as important to mom and dad. We do have to eat at some point!

Today I want to share with you some of Savannah’s favorite toys and the go to must have toys we use everyday to help her have a little fun and allow mom and dad that extra 10 minutes we most likely desperately need for who knows what! You know how much I enjoy researching baby topics by now, so I am also going to share a few helpful hints for all of you newbie parents. I did a little digging on how to buy safe toys, the best toys for different age groups, for teething, for bath time, and I thought I would share what I found to be the best sellers on Amazon and Target. I am not saying Amazon and Target are the best or only places to buy toys. I just know that my wife LOVES Target and I enjoy Amazon’s prices and I also love the feeling I get when a package arrives on our doorstep. Today a book I ordered for myself arrived while Savannah and I were sitting on our swing out front. The Amazon driver handed it right to me. It was the absolute best.

Here is a quick disclosure for you as well. Our daughter Savannah is 7 months old and the toys I am going to discuss range from newborns to about 7 months. Alex and I want to provide content on what we know with a little research involved.

Our Toys

Alex and I were so fortunate to have so many friends and family members gift us toys before Savannah was born and they just keep coming. We honestly were not expecting that. I’m sure most of you parents know what it’s like when you are preparing for your first child. The doctor’s visits and birth classes. We thought we’ll need a crib, we’ll need diapers, and that’s it right… Okay, maybe that’s what I thought, and Alex had it all figured out! Maybe, maybe not, but I really do not think either of us really thought about how much we would need toys for Savannah.

I think because we were gifted quite a few toys and neither of us really gave it too much thought is why we haven’t purchased hardly any toys on our own. We can honestly say that at this point, Savannah plays with just about 100% of every toy she has ever had. I will admit she has a couple stuffed animals that have not peaked her attention just yet. It’s really just the really big ones. The ones that are just as big as she is and not idea for her age just yet. I bet when she gets a little bit older, she will love those as well.

Here is a list of Savannah’s go to toys from 0 to 7 months.

  • Unicorn & Porcupine

At Alex’s reveal party, Savannah was gifted a unicorn from XXXXX and a unicorn and porcupine from Hope! The unicorn was really just the head with a blanket attached and the porcupine was fuzzy nd played music. The unicorn was really the first toy I can remember Savy holding on to when she was just a few weeks old. Alex and I would put it under her arm and it would stay there, mostly because she wasn’t moving around a lot yet. It sure was cute though and I think she liked it. Her porcupine would her fall asleep during nap time.

  • Flimsy Books & Rattles

When Savy was able to reach out and hold on to something we discovered her favorite thing were these flimsy book pages. I remember thinking how boring is this toy. It’s just one page from a book and it makes a crunchy sound. I was wrong! Savy LOVED them! It was really light, and she wasn’t dong as well with anything too heavy. If it was too heavy, she couldn’t hold on to it for very long. The book pages had a fun texture and were pliable, plus they made that crunchy sound. Eventually we upgraded her to a flimsy book with a handle. That became our go to car seat toy. We packed it every time we went anywhere.

We were gifted a few rattles and Savy likes them all. The ones that I pick for her the most was given to us by my mom. It has a yellow rotating sunflower on the outside and a bunch of rings that move along the handle. These toy makers are smart. They pack as much excitement into a rattle as possible these days! Rattles are good because they are top heavy and make plenty of noise. Savannah likes waving it around until it slips from her hand and then she reaches out to pick it up again.

  • Baby Gymnasiums or Play Mat  

Alex and I really wanted to give Savy a place to play that was all her own. These baby gymnasiums are soft on the bottom and usually have some sort of mobile on the top. The one we picked had animals that hanged down and a balloon that played music in the middle. We have noticed that babies go through faces where anything that plays music is a big attention grabber for them. This also turned into the spot where we did tummy time and practiced rolling over.

  • Baby Einstein Star

Grandma Roberts surprised us with this little musical star by Baby Einstein. This was a HUGE hit for Sav. It plays several different tunes and is motion sensitive. It lights up which is always a plus. The outside has a lot of different color contrasts and the outside is really soft so she can chew on it. She chews on everything now!

  • Board Books

Savannah has a small library of baby board books now. She got some from Meghan, Sandy, and just recently Grandpa Berthold! I would say her favorite board book is The Hungry Caterpillar because inside it has a section with a bunch of small pages that can fan out and it’s packed with fun colors. We set it up just outside of her play mat and she will roll over to it. Eventually she tries to eat it. That’s why it’s they are made with a thick board cover so babies can’t get through the pages!

  • Baby Table Play Center

The play table is amazing! We recently got this for Sav Bee and she LOVES it! The floor is suspended in the air so it wobbles all over the place and is just at the right height off the ground that she can reach with her tippy toes. There are so many fun toys on the top and a big bowl to put snacks or a pacifier in for now.

How to Buy Safe Toys

Toys are obviously a must and important for our little ones and they have a great time playing with their toys. Before picking out a toy, we want to make sure our little ones are safe. Here is a great article by Healthy Children that will help you with tips for buying safe toys. Things like reading the toy’s label, making sure the toy is bigger than your child’s mouth, too loud, well made, sturdy, and of course try to avoid toxic materials. This list really takes a deep dive into the realm of possibilities and it could scare you, but it’s probably worth learning so you can be prepared.

For me, the biggest safety issue is making sure your baby isn’t going to swallow or choke on something. Savannah will try to put anything and everything into her mouth. One time she found a piece of paper and started sucking on it and it wouldn’t have taken long for that to get wet and break off into her mouth. I had to snatch that up right away! Alex also got us a separate set of cleaning tools and dry space for all of Sav’s belongings and toys so that her things are always extra clean.

For 0-2 Months

At this age, babies are starting to hold their head up, smiling, making eye contact, cooing, and looking in the direction of sounds. At this stage you want soft toys that you can hold with your baby and start to help them turn their head and follow the toy. Maybe pick something that plays a sound as well.

For 2-4 Months

At this age, you will notice your baby will start smiling more frequently, copying your facial expressions, gurgling, blowing bubbles, reaching for things with one hand, enjoying some tummy time, and even grasping onto a toy long enough to rattle it. A rattle is a perfect option. Rattles are top heavy so they will help with coordination, reaching and holding, building strength, and they make fun noises.

For 4-6 Months

At this age, babies will recognize themselves in the mirror, respond to their own name, start rolling all over the place, show curiosity for new things, and even begin to sit up without support. An baby paly center or activity gym could be a great fit at this age. It will help your baby take that next step into standing up. I play peekaboo with Sav while she is inside, and she gets so excited!

For Teething

Teething is probably not going to be an easy time for your baby or for you. Luckily, there are toys that can help take away some of the pain. Here is a great article that talks about teething, teething symptoms, and toys you can get that will help with teething. Teething toys gently rub on your baby’s gums or they can be cold to the touch which helps with the pain. The most popular teething toy I found in my research is Sophie La Girafe. She is a cute little giraffe from Paris!

Best Sellers

I like looking through the best sellers anytime I am thinking about buying something. You cannot necessarily assume a toy is good because it’s on a best seller list. But you will find toys that are mostly affordable and probably have a lot of reviews. Alex and I like it when we can see what other parent’s experiences have been. Here are a couple lists from Target and Amazon on their best-selling toddler toys.

Wrap Up

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Tell me in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about toys for little ones! Toys help our little ones learn and develop just as much as they enjoy playing with them AND they help mom and dad get through this crazy thing called parenting! Also, if there is a topic you would like us to cover, let us know and we will try to do that for you. Thank you for reading and happy parenting!