Well, congratulations! You’ve made it through those first few harrowing months with your new baby. It’s not easy learning what all those little cries mean, but you’re well on your way to knowing your baby better than anyone. And now that they are a few months old, they are working on being able to do more through play. They will begin to manipulate things with their hands, roll over, and even sit up independently, opening their world of play even more. Playtime continues to be one of the most beneficial times for your baby. For some first-time parents, though, it can feel overwhelming when choosing which toys to buy or register for. So, here is a list of our favorite developmental toys for babies 3-6 months.
I’ve been through the baby stage three times with my children and worked with young kids for years before becoming a mom. When choosing toys for our babies, I always thought about purpose and function and how the toys would help foster our children’s development. The truth is, babies are expensive as it is, so I like to recommend budget-friendly toys. I like toys that babies can use for months if they are an investment.
Best Developmental Toys for Babies 3-6 Months
1. 3-in-1 Activity Center
This activity center may be a bit of an investment, but I assure you, you’ll get YEARS out of this one. At its most basic stage, it features a 360-degree rotating seat for your baby to freely explore all the attached toys and activities. You can remove each toy and place them in different areas to keep your baby’s interest. You can even reposition the musical keyboard so your baby can play with its feet and watch it light up through the clear discovery window. While the baby is sitting in the activity center, they will have both hands free to manipulate and play with the toys, which is so exciting for them!
When your baby gets a little older, you can remove the seat and position the standing surface on the top to create an elevated play surface. And a bonus is that it can become a bare activity table for drawing or coloring when your child enters the toddler stage. We have one in our home, and all three of our children love it. I enjoy having a place to safely put my baby where they can play and explore while I fold the 35 piles of laundry waiting for me.
2. 4-in-1 Discovery Play Gym
This activity center is versatile and will entertain your baby for months, if not years. You can use the floor mat while the baby is a newborn, and the included prop pillow can help prop the baby up for tummy time play. There is also a sit-and-play feature and a portable keyboard for when your baby is a toddler. The toys are removable, so you can take them on the go. It has over 70 melodies and sounds and features four languages. I’m always a fan of toys that can grow and change with a baby!
3. Tummy Time Water Mat
Tummy time continues to be an essential part of playtime for a baby. Tummy time is important for developing head and neck control, shoulder stability, and core strength, which impact a baby’s ability to roll over and eventually start crawling. Your baby’s vision develops at this age, so having toys close in view is essential. This water mat is a great sensory activity, and it will keep your baby engaged on the floor for longer periods for more tummy time exploring. When it’s not filled, it’s nice and compact for storage or travel.
4. Tummy Time Music Toy
Baby will love this musical toy for tummy time fun! Babies can push large, bright, interactive buttons to make sounds and music. The audio content is also in three languages.
5. Tummy Time Floor Mirror
Check out this floor mirror if you’re looking for another way to get your baby to enjoy tummy time. You can prop it up to encourage your baby to push up with their arms. This is a great way to work on the same muscle strength baby will need to roll over and eventually crawl. Babies love mirrors; who wouldn’t want to look at that adorable face? Get down on the floor with your little one so they can look at your reflection, too. Show them all kinds of emotions and funny faces. You can’t go wrong!
6. Explore & Play Activity Rattles
At 3-6 months, babies learn about cause and effect. Eventually, they will learn that their actions cause something to happen. At this stage, your baby will learn that by moving an arm or a hand, a rattle will make noise. These rattles are large enough for little hands to grasp easily and feature moving parts, different textures, and bright colors. I especially love these because most of them have a loop side of the rattle, so they can be easily attached to a stroller, high chair, or car seat. No more lost rattles!
7. Peek-a-Boo Sensory Fish
This fish is such a cute toy! You could even pair it with the Rainbow Fish book. Your baby will love lifting the scales to reveal the pictures underneath. There are different colors, textures, and even some crinkly paper babies will love to play with. Peek-a-boo toys like this are great at this age because they lay the foundations for object permanence. Object permanence is the understanding that an object or person still exists even if you can’t see or hear them. Newborns often cry when they can’t see their parent or caregiver because they don’t understand that their loved one hasn’t disappeared, they’re just out of view. Eventually, by around 7-8 months, babies will learn that things and people exist even when they can’t see them.
8. Indestructibles Books
Babies love exploring with their mouths. They often put toys and other objects in their mouths, and if they’re not putting things in their mouths, they’re drooling on them. So, it’s essential to have toys and items that will stand the test of time. These books live up to their name. We’ve had the same set of these books for five years, and none have a tear or a rip. They are chew-proof, non-toxic, and washable. These are some of my favorite books for the car because I can hand them back without worrying about the baby destroying them when I’m not looking.
9. Dimpl Wobbl
This toy is such a joy to watch. It has a bumpy sensory texture that babies will love to feel, and the button at the top is irresistible to push and pop. But the best part is your baby can use it as a teether and guess what happens when they throw or drop it? It lands upright every time! The weighted bottom allows it to wobble and tilt, but it’ll always land on its feet.
Your baby becomes alert and engages with their surroundings at 3-6 months. Their vision is becoming clearer, they are gaining more control over their arms and legs, and hand-eye coordination is improving. These skills impact a baby’s ability to play. Playtime is essential to your child’s development, so it’s crucial to find that “just right” challenge, where they learn through play without being left unable to do the task. Babies develop their motor milestones in their own time, so don’t be too concerned with when the baby is doing things like sitting independently or rolling over if they continue developing higher-level skills. Keep an eye on what baby is doing or what they seem like they’re almost able to do so you can adjust their play to meet where they’re at. Happy playing!
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