The Best Toys for Newborns: No More Stuffed Animals, Please!

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Kimberly Jolasun

Unsure of what to get a newborn? Check out our top newborn gift recommendations that are cute, practical and encourage exploration.

Your sister’s baby shower is approaching, and you see the cutest teddy bear ever. Yes, baby needs a teddy bear. But 20 teddy bears might be too much. We’ve all seen the mom-to-be smile for the umpteenth time and say thank you as she unwraps the most darling stuffed bunny…zebra…well, you get the idea. So, what else can we get for that special baby on the way that moms will adore? Here are the hottest toys on the market for a newborn.

Tap into newborn baby senses

A newborn’s most developed sense is hearing. They are able to hear and recognize sounds months before they are born. In fact, they even remember sounds from the womb. Incredible, right? Toys that provide auditory stimulation promote creativity and learning are crucial for normal brain development. Music — preferably classical — is the obvious auditory stimulant of choice.  Our pick for a favorite auditory learning toy is this Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes toy.

Help make tummy time fun

Babies - from day one - need mental and physical exercise. Seriously! So think of that when you think newborn toys. These tummy time, high-contrast books are the perfect. Same with these. First, they are easy on baby’s newborn eyes and provide the right amount of stimulation. As baby grows, she can play with the textures and enjoy the mirror. 

A non-annoying combo toy for the win

The Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy is the perfect newborn toy gift. Parents love this — as do their littles! This perfect teether promotes two handed clutching and has a pleasing rattle sound which encourages cause and effect but isn’t loud enough to irritate mom or dad. (Don’t be the friend who buys annoyingly loud toys!) The bright colors are mesmerizing, and babies love to chew on the teething tubes. Later on, when teeth start to show up, this can be refrigerated to help soothe those sore gums.

The perfect toy for the mom-on-the-go

Perfect for a stroller or car seat, the Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Rattle Moon Stroller Toy allows baby to explore textures, patterns, and sounds. As you are enjoying your morning walk, your baby will be listening to the sounds of nature while her hands are busy with this rattle. This teething toy is perfect for the stroller and home.

Give baby what she wants - keys

We’ve all had babies go for our keys. We also know those sharp pieces of metal are horrible for a baby's mouth. Here is a set of keys much more suited for your little one. Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys with varied textures are perfect in promoting eruption of the front, middle, and back teeth. The cold texture feels so good on those sore gums and will bring much needed relief. Easy to grip, your baby will love this teether!

Go for a classic that will grow with baby

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys are a classic. From fitting them together, to stacking, to hiding things in them, babies are sure to be delighted with these colorful cups. As your baby ages, he will spend more time manipulating these cups in the bath and the sand enchanted by pouring one into the other. This is a toy that will last well into a child’s toddler years.

Gift the gift that grows with baby

Lovevery’s play gym is more than one toy. We think of it as a system that comes with lots of goodies that baby will use as she grows through year one. Plus it’s cute, so your friend won’t mind keeping it in the center of her living room. 

When in doubt - go with cash or a gift card

Some parents don’t give us much direction when it comes to gift giving. In that case, you can’t go wrong with cash or a gift card! 

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