Best baby toys for 2020
  • Best Baby Toys of 2020

    March 03, 2020
    26 min read

    Toys are a fun part of childhood, and playing with toys is an important part of your child’s development, as play is how children learn.

    Whether it’s a colorful stack of cups that help stimulate vision and foster fine motor skills, a jangly rattle that introduces new sounds, or a push-button toy that helps teach cause and effect, you and your baby are bound to find a favorite in our list of best baby toys.

    More than 3,000 Pampers Parents voted to select their favorite baby toys. Find out which ones made the list to help you choose something your little one will absolutely love playing with.

    What's in this article:

    The Benefits of Baby Toys The Top 12 Best Baby Toys Safety Considerations When Buying Baby Toys

    The Benefits of Baby Toys

    Although you might initially think of toys as simply something to occupy your baby’s attention, toys can actually aid in your little one’s development. Here are some ways toys positively affect your child’s growth and development:

    • Social skills. Things like dolls, stuffed animals, and everyday household objects can help your child learn to imitate, learn new words, and even expand their creative horizons through imaginary play. All of this helps contribute to your child’s social and emotional development.
    • Language skills. Books, toy letters, and even card and board games later on can be wonderful opportunities for you to interact with your child, while also boosting his language skills and setting the stage for early literacy.
    • Problem-solving skills. Toys like blocks (see B. Toys One Two Squeeze Stacking Baby Blocks), shapes, and puzzles help develop your little one’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills (small movements of the fingers, hands, and arms) as well as contribute to cognitive development. They can even help with early math skills.
    • Physical skills. Balls and push-pull toys help your child develop gross motor skills (the muscle control and movements he’ll use for sitting, crawling, standing, and eventually walking), and can also help promote social interaction with other children when played together.

    The Top 12 Best Baby Toys

    Here’s the list of toys Pampers Parents voted as their favorites. You’ll find stackable toys, musical toys, travel toys, mini mobiles, and more right here.

    1. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

    Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
    Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game & Learn Controller

    Why pick this one? The Fisher-Price game controller introduces shapes, colors, the alphabet, and numbers to your baby. It can also help your little one develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination because there is a toggle switch, a joystick, buttons, and more for your baby to explore and play with.

    As your baby uses the game controller, he’ll hear songs, sounds, and phrases as he presses buttons and turns the knobs.

    Highlights: This toy can help your baby become familiar with shapes, letters, colors, and numbers just from playing with the game controller.

    Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game and Learn Controller
    Item size 5.9 x 3.9 x 2 inches
    Age 6 to 36 months
    Batteries 3 AAA required

    Price*: about $13.80 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Great for car rides ✕ Could have more functions and sounds
    ✓ Your child will have his own game controller instead of stealing his dad’s ✕ An off button would be great
    ✓ Fun sounds and lights ✕ Batteries die quickly
    ✓ It stimulates all the senses ✕ Could be smaller

    Buy it NOW

    3. B. Toys One Two Squeeze Stacking Baby Blocks

    B. Toys – One Two Squeeze Baby Blocks

    Why pick this one? Playing with this classic set of 10 toy blocks can provide different types of challenges for your little one. She can stack them, knock them down, and simultaneously learn about animals, colors, and numbers from the 60 different sides.

    Each block is uniquely designed and hand sculpted. However, there are some downsides: All those nooks and crannies can trap dust and dirt. Washing them isn’t so easy, since the squeaker holes can take in water.

    Highlights: The blocks are made out of a non-toxic material, and your baby will enjoy squeezing them and making them squeak. The blocks come with a convenient carrying case.

    B. Toys One Two Squeeze Stacking Baby Blocks
    Item size 2.1 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches
    Age 6 months to 3 years

    Price*: about $14.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Easy to clean✕ Would be great if they were dishwasher safe
    ✓ Soft texture ✕ They tend to get dirty easily
    ✓ Vibrant, stimulating colors✕ Contrasting colors would make it easier to see the designs

    Buy it NOW

    4. The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

    The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

    Why pick this one? Your baby will love to play with this set of eight colorful cups, featuring numbers that correspond with the number of holes in the bottom. Your little one might want to stack or unstack the cups, hide things underneath them, pour water out of them during bath time, or take them to the sandbox or the beach.

    Highlights: The plastic cups are free of BPA, lead, and phthalates.

    The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys
    Item size 3.5 x 3.2 x 2.5 inches
    Age 6 months and up

    Price*: about $8.00 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ A classic, favorite baby toy ✕ The edges could be smoother and easier to clean
    ✓ Simple and educational ✕ A few more cups in the set would be great
    ✓ Encourages motor skills
    ✓ Inexpensive

    Buy it NOW

    5. Fisher-Price Rattle 'n Rock Maracas

    Fisher-Price Rattle 'n Rock Maracas

    Why pick this one? These easy to hold maracas are fun for a baby to shake. They’re made with fabric pompoms with rattle beads in the other end. Your little one will start to learn that as she shakes them she can make a sound.

    Some parents suggested that the fabric pompoms may get saturated with your baby’s saliva, especially if she’s in the teething stage. Cleaning them isn’t really possible.

    Highlights: Your purchase includes two maracas in different color pairs: blue/orange, green/yellow, or pink/purple.

    Fisher-Price Rattle 'n Rock Maracas
    Item size 6.5 x 4 x 2 inches
    Age 3 months and up

    Price*: about $5.59 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Entertaining ✕ Hard to clean as the fabric can get saturated from your baby’s drool
    ✓ Easy for your baby to grip ✕ More color options would be better
    ✓ Colorful

    Buy it NOW

    6. Vulli So'Pure Teether Duet, Sophie the Giraffe

    Vulli So'Pure Teether Duet, Sophie the Giraffe

    Why pick this one? These adorable giraffe teethers are made from 100 percent rubber that's safe for your baby to chew on, free from BPA, phthalates, latex, and lead. There are different areas to chew on, such as the giraffe’s ears, horns, and legs, as well as the rings.

    Some parents noted that the giraffe’s design wears off after a while. It might be a good idea to hand wash the giraffe since putting it in the dishwasher may wear down the design.

    Highlights: This set of teethers includes two different ones: an extra-flexible teether (“very soft”) for when your baby is early in the teething process, and a less flexible one (“soft”) for later on.

    Vulli So'Pure Teether Duet, Sophie The Giraffe
    Item size 4.7 x 3.5 x 0.4 inches
    Age 0 months and up

    Price*: about $26.06 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ The shape and material ✕ A bit pricey
    ✓ Easy to clean ✕ The design wears off easily
    ✕ Has a rubbery smell

    Buy it NOW

    7. Sassy Ring O Links 9-Piece Set

    Sassy Ring o' Links

    Why pick this one? This set of nine colorful rings offers tactile and visual stimulation for your baby as each ring has a different texture, making the surfaces more interesting for your baby. The set includes a textured handle that’s easy to grip.

    As each ring has an open end, the rings can easily be linked together like a chain, or simply attached to the black-and-white striped ring, which is meant to hold all of them.

    It’s best to keep the rings stored on the main ring, as there may be a tendency to misplace or lose some of the rings if they’ve been taken off.

    Highlights: The rings are top-rack dishwasher safe.

    Sassy Ring O Links 9-Piece Set
    Item size 8 x 5.9 x 2.5 inches
    Age 0 months and up

    Price*: about $4.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Easy to hold ✕ Could have more rings
    ✕ The rings could be more flexible

    Buy it NOW

    8. Fisher-Price Linkimals Lights & Colors Llama—Interactive Stacking Ring Toy

    Fisher-Price Linkimals Lights and Colors Llama

    Why pick this one? This llama toy from Fisher-Price is completely interactive. Your baby can stack the colorful rings or press the llama head to make the rings light up. This toy can play more than 25 songs.

    The stackable toy may help boost your baby’s motor skill development, and it may also help encourage problem solving, since the rings need to be stacked in just the right order for the toy to light up and play music.

    The flashing lights may be too overwhelming for a very young baby, and is recommended for babies 9 months and older.

    Highlights: The llama can be synced to additional Linkimals that you can buy separately, such as an otter, sloth, hedgehog, and moose. Grouped together, the Linkimals can talk to one another, sing, and light up to create an entire show.

    Fisher-Price Linkimals Lights & Colors Llama—Interactive Stacking Ring Toy
    Item size 9.4 x 6.5 x 6 inches
    Age 9 months and up
    Batteries 3 AA required

    Price*: about $11.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Educational ✕ More characters and colors to choose from for the stacking ring toy
    ✓ Entertaining ✕ It’s a bit too large
    ✓ Interactive ✕ Price could be cheaper

    Buy it NOW

    9. Sassy Wonder Wheel Activity Center

    Sassy Wonder Wheel Activity Center

    Why pick this one? While playing with this activity center, your baby can practice her motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

    The bright colors, beads, and multiple textures can capture your baby's attention. It takes only a swat to make the wheel spin around, and your little one will love all the movement and sounds.

    You’ll want to make sure that the toy’s suction cup base is securely attached to a sturdy surface, such as your baby’s high chair tray, before letting your baby play with this toy.

    Highlights: The wonder wheel can be taken with you when you travel so that you always have a favorite toy on hand.

    Sassy Wonder Wheel Activity Center
    Item size 8 x 5.9 x 5 inches
    Age 6 to 24 months
    Batteries 3 AA required

    Price*: about $7.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Can be suctioned to most surfaces ✕ The suction could be a bit stronger
    ✓ Provides hours of stimulation

    Buy it NOW

    10. Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toys and Gifts

    Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toys and Gifts

    Why pick this one? This simple tactile toy features five colorful silicone bubbles that your baby can push through the plastic frame. It’s the kind of toy that can hold his attention by engaging his senses and will also help fine-tune his motor skills.

    This toy was designed for babies 10 months and up, so it might be something to introduce later on as your baby enters into toddlerhood.

    Some parents found that the silicone bubbles attracted a lot of dust and that the toy didn’t hold up well to active use.

    Highlights: The toy is BPA free and the bubbles are made of food-grade silicone.

    Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toys and Gifts
    Item size 14.2 x 8.1 x 7 inches
    Age 10 months and up

    Price*: about $12.95 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Sensory stimulation ✕ Could be cheaper
    ✓ It’s a quiet toy ✕ Wish it was smaller in size

    Buy it NOW

    11. Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Jitter Stroller Toy

    Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Jitter Stroller Toy

    Why pick this one? This friendly plush cloud features a two-sided face with a sun flap, raindrop, star, and a cloud-shaped teether. The cloud vibrates and shakes when your baby pulls the teether, and the star squeaks when pressed. Your baby will adore this multi-sensory experience.

    The built-in loop makes it easy to attach to the bar of your baby’s stroller or infant carrier. You’ll want to make sure it’s securely attached so your baby doesn’t accidentally pull it down onto himself.

    Highlights: The toy is PVC free and phthalate free.

    Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Jitter Stroller Toy
    Item size 8 x 5.5 x 2 inches
    Age 0 months and up

    Price*: about $8.69 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Great sensory experience ✕ Wish it could make noises or play music
    ✓ Love that it can attach to a stroller or car seat

    Buy it NOW

    12. Nuby 10-Count Little Squirts Fun Bath Toys

    Nuby Little Squirts Fun Bath Toys

    Why pick this one? This might be a good option if you're hoping to make bath time a bit more fun for your little one. The set of bath toys includes the classic rubber ducky as well as nine other floating aquatic characters, including a shark, duck, penguin, and turtle, among others. Each of them squirts water and is easy for your baby to hold.

    It’s a good idea to let the toys completely air-dry after each bath, to prevent them from becoming moldy.

    Highlights: These fun bath toys are BPA free.

    Nuby 10-Count Little Squirts Fun Bath Toys
    Item size 3.5 x 2 x 1 inches
    Age 6 months and up

    Price*: about $7.18 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    ✓ Colorful ✕ Mold can form easily if not thoroughly dried after each use
    ✓ Fun
    ✓ Inexpensive

    Buy it NOW

    Safety Considerations When Buying Baby Toys

    When it comes to buying baby toys, make sure you’re choosing ones that are safe and age appropriate.

    If you happen to have an older toddler, it’s a good idea to keep his toys separate from your baby’s to ensure your little one doesn’t get injured or choke on a small part of a toy that wasn’t intended for a baby her age.

    Be wary of hand-me-down or homemade toys. Check them carefully for loose or broken parts. It may also be worth looking up second-hand toys on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to see if they have been recalled. Although vintage toys can look appealing, be aware that any painted toys from before 1978 may contain lead. Avoid these.

    Toy-Buying Dos

    Before buying that brand new toy you’ve had your eye on, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Make sure the toy you’re considering is suitable for your baby’s age
    • Toys should be strong enough to withstand chewing
    • If the toy has a battery compartment, make sure it is securely closed with a screw, requiring a screwdriver to open
    • All small toys should be larger than 1 1/4 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches long. (If it fits into a toilet paper roll, it is too small and a choking hazard.)

    Toy-Buying Don’ts

    Here are the types of toys to avoid as they can be dangerous for your little one:

    • Toys that need to be plugged into an electric outlet
    • Motorized riding toys
    • Toys with small parts or sharp edges
    • Toys that can shatter or break if thrown or hit
    • Toys with strings longer than seven inches
    • Toys with small magnets
    • Toys with springs, gears, or hinges that could trap your baby’s fingers, hair, or clothing
    • Any toy recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    Buying your baby a toy doesn’t have to be rocket science. Once you’ve checked off all the safety boxes, it’s just a matter of choosing something you think will be fun and engaging for your little one.

    Don't assume that you have to pick a toy that's elaborate or expensive. Simple toys will delight a baby who’s learning all about the world for the first time. Anything that engages your baby’s attention, stimulates her senses, encourages her motor skill development, or all of the above will be a good choice now and in the years to come.

    Read more about your baby’s development milestones to learn other ways to support your little one’s happy and healthy development.

    Recall Notice

    Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    *Prices are correct at the time of writing.

    How we wrote this article
    The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below.
    The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

    See all sources
    All links sources

    Kids Health: Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    Healthy Children: Toy Buying Tips for Babies & Young Children: AAP Report Explained

    Book: Caring for your baby and young child birth to age 5, Sixth Edition Paperback – November 2, 2014 by American Academy of Pediatrics (Author)

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