What developmental baby toys should you consider and avoid for infants?

Well, developmental baby toys come in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures... Let's get you prepared before you buy, or if you are the creative type, before you make your own homemade baby toys.

What should you choose?

  • Mobiles. Babies like to look at different shapes and patterns, as well as color contrasts. You could hang it above their crib or changing table- the recommended height is 14" for babies under 3 months old. You can raise it as the baby gets older. And as they age, they will begin to reach for it, which makes mobiles great developmental baby toys that promote hand-eye coordination.

  • Toys for snuggling or hugging. Bright colors! Bold patterns! Soft! This is what babies like! Baby learning toys like dolls, stuffed animals or puppets (could be homemade baby toys- paint or embroider the faces on- no buttons or snaps they could choke on). These will teach them the perception of soft and hard,large and small, plus bright and dark.

  • Unbreakable baby learning toys that rattle or squeak. They can grasp these baby toys to shake, chew on, explore, and listen to.

baby mobile

  • Pictures to look at, but keep them out of reach.

  • Music CDs, tapes, records, or radio (however you can provide it) with soft or gentle music. This works great for naptime.

  • Baby mirrors. When infants reach the age of around 2 months old they are intrigued by their image in a mirror. They learn to focus as well as a sense of self. Some great places to place them are at the base of a wall where they will lay and on the sides of their crib or changing table


It is so important that you select the Best Toys for Kids.

Developmental Baby Toys to Stay Away From:

  • Baby learning toys with sharp edges

  • Homemade baby toys or purchased toys (like dolls or stuffed animals) with button eyes that come off and be a choking hazard.

  • Toys with parts about the size of a half dollar- 1 1/4" OR LESS should be eliminated from your toy box as these are SERIOUS choking hazards.

  • Balloons, unless they absolutely can not reach them.

old lady with glasses

baby with pill bottle

Our friend here, Shirley R Wrong, thought she would save lots of money by giving the kids in her child care pill bottles for rattles. NOT A GOOD IDEA, if they play with them long enough they might just get them open. OR an older child shows them how to open them.

  • Toys with cords more than 12" long. Lots of pull toys have long cords that could get wrapped around their neck.

  • Toys that have toxic or lead paint, you can check manufactures web sites for recalls. Many toys from China have recently been found to contain lead paint.

Developmental baby toys will help the infants you care for with their interests, motor skills and needs. Please keep these suggestions in mind as you buy any baby learning toys.

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