Best Toys for Babies Under 3 Months

Do babies play?

They’re pretty small. They’re sleeping for at least 14 hours a day. Most of the time, they just lay there.


Actually, babies play from the minute they’re born! Yes, their version of play looks very different from what you might envision as play. Instead, they’re moving with purpose, looking around at all the interesting things to see, examining faces, and grasping at anything and everything.

And if they’re playing… how would an adult know how to play with them in a way that promotes development?


Baby Toys for 0-3 Months: What to Look For

The first three months of your baby's life are a whirlwind of growth and development. From sharpening their senses to exploring movement and communication, each experience paves the way for future milestones. While fancy, electronic, trendy toys might seem tempting, simple, safe, and stimulating options are the best fit for this age group.

When selecting toys for your little one under 3 months, prioritizes these key features:

  • Small and Lightweight: Opt for toys that are easy for your baby to grasp and manipulate. This helps build hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It is extremely important that toys should not be so small that they pose a choking hazard. A toy’s label should be clearly marked with the age group for which it is intended.
  • Contrasting Colors: Babies are naturally drawn to bold contrasts. Choose toys with high-contrast colors like black, white, and red to stimulate their developing brain. Toys with contrasting colors will help babies learn to track objects with their eyes and focus their attention and vision.
  • Sensory Stimulation: Look for baby-safe toys that include different textures and shapes, like teethers, rattles, board books, and fabric books. Babies are extremely curious, and because their mouths contain tons of nerves, most toys go directly into their mouths. When a toy goes in their mouths, it really means they’re exploring what it is.

Baby Toys for 0-3 Months: What to Have on Hand

While rattles and stuffed animals are classic choices, a wider range of toys can cater to your baby's evolving needs. Here are some excellent options for toys that support your baby’s growth and development:

Teethers

Teethers provide comfort and relief during the teething process, which can start as early as 3 months. Choose soft, textured options in different shapes and sizes to satisfy your baby's changing preferences. Remember, prioritize safety and opt for teethers specifically designed for this purpose, avoiding any small parts that could detach and pose a choking hazard, or materials that aren’t meant for baby’s mouth.

Bouncers

Bouncers offer a secure and soothing environment for your baby. Gentle movement can be calming and help soothe a fussy baby, and also contribute to the development of head and neck control as your baby attempts to lift their head and explore their surroundings. Additionally, some bouncers feature overhead mobiles or arches with hanging toys, further stimulating their visual and grasping skills. To avoid overstimulating your baby, steer away from bouncers that play lots of noises, flash lights, or bounce for long periods of time.

Tummy Time Mats

Tummy time is crucial for strengthening the neck and back muscles, which are essential for future crawling and rolling. However, some babies might find it challenging to stay engaged during tummy time. Tummy time mats provide a comfortable surface, often featuring contrasting colors, textures, and interactive features like mirrors or crinkly materials to keep your baby captivated while strengthening their core muscles.

Rattles and Small Musical Toys

Need a tummy time toy for your baby? Simple toys are perfect for stimulating your baby's auditory and visual senses. Interesting shapes and textures, and captivating sounds encourage reaching, grasping, and tracking movements. Rattles and musical toys also contribute to the development of hand-eye coordination and introduce your baby to the concept of cause and effect. 

Activity Gyms

These versatile playmats come equipped with hanging toys, mirrors, and textured surfaces, creating a stimulating environment for your baby to explore while lying on their back. These features encourage reaching, grasping, and visual tracking, crucial for developing hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. Activity gyms can also be used for tummy time as well, providing support and engagement during this crucial developmental stage. Look for activity gyms with adjustable heights, contrasting colors, and varying textures to cater to your baby's growth and evolving needs.

How do you actually play with an infant?

Okay, but how do you actually play with an infant? They’re just developing their neck muscles, they can’t catch a ball, and they’ve only just figured out smiling.

Our Happy Little People Baby Activity Cards are meant for this exact situation! Many parents struggle to find new and fun things to do with their baby. That’s why we created one-of-a-kind infant toys for cognitive development like our card decks, full of activities that help you play and connect creatively with your little one.

The First Year Card Deck includes 52 play-based learning prompts to help your baby thrive, beginning from birth. Each card is meant to enhance your baby’s awake time so you can allay the fears that you’re not doing enough, or doing it right. Each activity can be performed at home with objects you probably already have.

Pull a card, read the prompt, and enjoy connecting with your infant, while encouraging their development, including:

  • Bonding and trust
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Cognitive development
  • Auditory and language skills
  • Sensory play and awareness
  • Exploration

Remember: Always supervise your baby while they play, and choose age-appropriate options based on their individual development and interests. The journey of parenthood is filled with exploration and discovery, so embrace the joy of watching your child’s curiosity pave the way for a lifetime of learning. As your baby grows, their play needs will evolve. Our decks grow with them, providing easy-to-use, inspirational, and meaningful activities until age 5.