Top 25 Must-Have Toys for a Newborn, Baby and Toddler

Top 25 Toys

Each of these toys, in different ways, saved my sanity during the first year(s) with my child. From baby to toddler, here is an evolving list of the Top 25 toys that I have found to be most useful and practical for my baby and toddler (toys that my baby actually used and loved) – starting at newborn, to baby and to young toddler (Ages 0-24 months).  These toys bought me extra time to, say, make myself a sandwich.  

Top 25 Must-Have Baby and Toddler Toys 

1.   Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
Link:  Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Our babysitter has the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes, and my daughter gets very, very upset when I have to give the toy back to our babysitter when I pick my daughter up after work.  It plays music and i think baby’s and toddler’s love it because it’s also easy to hold and carry around.

Age When Baby Will Start to Love It: 6-months 

2.   Laugh and Learn Remote
Link:   Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

The  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote is the best $10 I have spent in  a while.  Babies, for whatever reason, are obsessed with your TV remote controls (the real kind that you use to watch TV with), which is all great until they end up reprogramming your home television in Spanish and you don’t know how to switch it back (true story).  This toy satisfies this obsession, and may save you from calling your TV company’s tech support.  You can find it at Target or on  

Great for:  Remote control obsessed children.

3.   Sensory Development Chime Ball 

Link:   Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball

Sensory Development Chime Ball 

Babies love to pull on the tabs on these Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball, and they are so soft and fun to play with.  We received one as a gift and when my daughter was a baby, she would love to sit and play with the tabs, and now that she is a little toddler, she loves to hug it. It makes a great pillow for mommy if you want to lay on the floor with your baby too.  

4.   Activity Cube
Link:  EverEarth Garden Activity Cube

Activity Cube

My mom purchased a similar activity table to the EverEarth Garden Activity Cube from Pottery Barn Kids, and my little one goes nuts with happiness every time she gets to play with this at Grandma’s house.  It’s great for when your little one is able to sit up on his own.

5.   Kick and Play Piano Baby Gym

Link:  Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play

Kick and Play Baby Gym, by Fisher-Price

The Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play is amazing is our favorite baby gym because of it’s dangling mirror (babies love mirrors because they love looking at themselves), but it’s main asset is its kickable piano that babies LOVE – it plays music and lights up….very entertaining. Another great thing about this baby gym is that you can level up the piano as baby grows and starts sitting. The only downfall to this baby gym is that it is hard for the baby to roll over all the way without getting caught in the arch. I mention this play gym in my Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items article, but I felt compelled to mention it again here for a couple of reasons: (1) it is not only for newborns, and (2) because it’s awesome. 

6.   Oball

Link:  Oball


The Oball is great for those tiny little fingers because it’s an item that they are actually able to grasp with those tiny little fingers.  The was the first item that our daughter was actually ever able to hold.  She loves it.  It’s costs about $4.99 and is a toy that is worth every penny. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  The Manhattan Toy Winkel is also great for your little one to wrap their hands around, and it rattles slightly too.  Overall, my little one seemed more impressed with the Oball.

7. Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book

Link:   Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book

Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book

The Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book is great if you want to see your baby or toddler fascinated by a book, then you need to pull out this finger puppet book. My little one gets so excited each time we pull this book out. She kisses the giraffe every time. The author makes other finger-puppet books as well. You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.

8.   Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

Link:   Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse is the technical name for this toy, but I call it “Magic Seahorse” because it’s works like magic at calming your baby to sleep.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling soothed as well!  I also talk about his seahorse in the article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  

9.    Happy Giddy Tunnel
Link:   Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 

   Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 

Once your baby learns to crawl, she will love to crawl through a tunnel! They sell these in just about every store that also sells kids’ toys.  Here is a link to one on, made by Melissa and Doug if you are interested:  Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel.

10. Jumperoo
Link:   Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

Some of my favorite memories around from watching my little one bounce around in her Jumperoo.  A popular choice is the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo.  We bought the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo are were frankly not that impressed. There are a variety to choose from on (I like to read all the reviews before purchasing); here is a link: Baby Jumpers. 

11.   Alphabet Bath Toys 
Link:   Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers

Alphabet and Number Foam Bath Toys

My toddler is absolutely obsessed with the her foam alphabet and number bath toys (Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers).  She carries them with her everywhere around the house, and this really helped her learn the alphabet and numbers quickly.  It was amazing.  I bought mine at Target, and you can find them at Walmart in their bath toy aisle, or order them from

12.   Laugh and Learn Music Activity Table

Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table is the best activity table out there that I have found. Unlike other activity tables, the Laugh and Learn Fun table has multiple settings (Play, Music, Spanish, Learning Time), so it keeps your baby occupied for longer. You can remove the legs for baby to use it during the Sitting phase as well. The is one of those “Keep Baby Busy, Keep Mommy Happy” Toys. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

13.   Toy Links
Link:   Sassy Ring O’ Links

Toy Links

The Sassy Ring O’ Links are great for attaching toys to strollers and many other things too.  Baby’s love to play with these things.  Toy links are small enough to keep in your purse and pull out for brief entertainment for your baby while you are grocery shopping.  

14.   Poppin’ Play Piano, by LeapFrog
Link:   LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano 

Poppin’ Play Piano

The LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano toy is great for a baby who loves to play music.  It has multiple settings (which is great) and keeps baby entertained for about 20-minute increments in my experience.

15. Dino Walker

Link:   Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino

Dino Walker

This toy is called the Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino.  This friendly little dinosaur helped teach my daughter to walk, and now, she jumps up and down nearly every time she sees the thing (I have to hide it in the closet sometimes if I know I won’t be able to supervise her with it).  I love this thing.  

16.   White and Black Book
Link:   White on Black

White on Black Newborn Book

The book White on Black will entertain a newborn (as much as a newborn can really be entertained).  You can see pictures of my newborn infatuated with black and white images at Simple Way to Entertain a Newborn;  I just used my iPad and downloaded PDF images black and white from Google, to my iPad, that I thought my little newborn might like.  If you don’t have an iPad, then you could also Google some black and white images, and just print them! It was a hit with our little one!  You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.

17.   Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 
Link:  FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers

Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 

This is the coolest bath toy of all time for your child once your baby or toddler is able to sit up in an adult bath tub.  The FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers squirts out water and sings, and your child will love it.  We bought it from Barnes’N’Noble, but they also have it on  I’ve also just recently seen this toy at Target and Walmart.

18. Animal Magnets
Link:   Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

 Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

If you have a toddler and would like to get work done in the kitchen, then animal magnets are the way to go.  My little toddler is entertained by the Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box for at least 30 minutes, especially if I play and talk along with her while a cook.  I love these because I can keep an eye on my little one (as opposed to her wandering off in the living room and getting into something).  I also love these magnets because they don’t have tiny little stick-on magnets like others do (so I am not worried about choking).  These are great.

19.   Stuffed Elmo and Book

Link:  So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings)

Elmo and Elmo Book

If your toddler is as crazy about Elmo as my child, then you can’t go wrong with Elmo. I liked So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings) a lot when my little one was around  9-months-old, because it helps teach the adorable trick of “How Big is the Baby?”  I highly recommend pairing off any Elmo book with a Stuffed Elmo (see more about the power of Elmo over toddlers at Top 5 Toys for Young Toddlers).I wish that I could understand the magical, mesmerizing powers that an Elmo Stuffed Animal somehow has over children.  My daughter has been in love with by Elmo ever since she was 9-months-old, and Elmo continues to be her favorite toy now that she is 14-months-old.

20.   Car Seat Arch Toy
Link:  Car Seat Toys

Car Seat Arch Toy

Entertaining your bored, cranky baby in a carseat can be a lifesaver.  Your little one can bat away with her hands and make noises with this toy.  This sure came in handy when my baby was 6-months-old (especially when we were grocery shopping).  A popular choice seems to be the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch; we purchased the Bright Starts Take Along Carrier Toy Bar and were very happy with it (it’s also about $5 less); however, the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch seems to provide a lot more variety.  If I could do it over, I would have purchased the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch version.

21. Secure-a-Toy

Link:  Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy


The Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy is an amazing invention that prevents your baby from losing toys when riding in the stroller. I love these things.

22.   Stuffed Animal Net
Link:   Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time

Stuffed Animal and Toy Organizer Net

I am a big fan of the Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time because my child has what seems like a million stuffed animals (between the baby shower and moments of mommy weakness, we a have a lot).  It saves a lot of floor space.

23. Little Readers Chair
Link: Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham

Little Reader Chair

Our 18-month-old daughter loves her little reader chair. We received one from Pottery Barn Kids (as a gift), but has a cheaper alternative (the Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham). You will have quite a few options to choose from for a chair for your little one.

24.   Suction Spin Wheel for Highchair
Link:    Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy 

High Chair Toy – Suction Wheel

The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy will keep your baby occupied at his high chair for a solid 5 minutes while you prepare a meal.  That may not sound like much, but if you have a hungry baby and still need to get his meal ready, then that five extra minutes can mean a more peaceful meal preparation experience for you and for baby while you heat up the veggies and pasta.  The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy suctions to  the tray of your plastic high chair (TIp: The high chair tray must be squeaky clean in order for the suction part of the toy wheel to effectively stick to the high chair).  If you pair this suctions pin wheel with the bungee sippy cup cord (see How This Small Idea Solves a Big Sippy Cup Problem), then you’re feeding sessions will go much more smoothly.

25.   iPad Protective Case
Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition

iPad Protector Case

If you have an iPad, the this Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition can be a savior for it!  Not only does it protect your iPad from damage, but it also has the option for preventing your little one from pushing the “Home” button – so you don’t have to worry about her changing the keyboard in your iPad to “Mandarin Chinese”!  Downfalls:  It’s a tad bulky and it’s not completely water-proof; however, it makes an excellent first-line of defense.


26.   First 100 Words – Book

Link:  First 100 Words


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *