There are a huge number of toys on the market for babies- some of which are a waste of money and some are well worth the investment- here are my top 7 so you don’t end up with a house full of useless plastic junk and an empty bank account.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First


It may seem like an outdated toy, but the humble rattle has stood the test of time. My daughter was given one at Christmas from Santa is it’s still one of her favourites all these months later. It makes a noise but it’s not overly offensive and you can opt for something more traditional or a soft toy that has a rattle embedded in its body if you are looking for something more exciting. A cheap, cheerful and effective toy to get us started.


These are very expensive new so it’s worth checking out eBay or on Facebook marketplace to see if you can source one second hand. Your baby is surrounded by toys that help with their coordination skills- all the while sitting in a position that encourages them to learn how to jump and stand ‘independently’ (designed for older babies-check the age range on the product).

Play mat

Play mats that play music, have things to reach for, mirrors and big bold prints to look at are all beneficial to your baby because they tune into so many different areas of their brain and encourage new skills. Again- you can pick these up cheaply second hand.

Cloth books

These often come with chewable handles that your baby can use during teething and the pages generally have material inside them that crinkles and crackles when your baby holds onto it which keeps them entertained. As well as that- they come in colourful prints and teach babies what to do with a book. They are like baby catnip!

Water play mat

You can buy these for under a tenner and all you do is fill them with tap water, seal them up and put them on your baby’s high chair table. They contain fun and interesting things that float inside (ours has barnyard animals) so your baby will enjoy trying to get to them and making the water slosh around inside.

Baby comforter with tags

Someone bought one of these for my daughter when she was born, and I had no idea what it was- but once I gave her it to play with- it has become a firm favourite. Babies are attracted to the different textures- the soft, fluffiness of the blanket and the silky smoothness of the tags. Plus- they have to focus on putting their fingers through the middle of the tags, so they help with dexterity.

Any toy that lights up and makes noise

Yes, you have to grin and bare at least one of these age appropriate toys in your baby’s toy box. Babies like things that make noise and flash. They are incredibly annoying for adults but like it or not, they help children to associate an action with a consequence. ‘If I push this button- this toy will react in this way’. Trust me- you learn how to zone out from the noise eventually.

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