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Playtime Playoffs: Favorite Baby Toys for 0–12 Months

Enriching Baby Toys for Fun, Rewarding Playtime

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Vote for the Best Baby Toy

Vote for your favorite baby toys until polls close on June 11 at noon ET. We’ll share the winners publicly on June 18. For any questions, see our Motherhood Loves Community Awards terms & conditions.

Motherhood Loves Community Awards nominees have been carefully chosen by our team. We may earn a commission if you buy something through links on our site.

Interactive play is an important part of your baby’s development—encouraging them to develop their five senses, motor skills, and imagination. Developmentally targeted toys can help that journey, and those most durable and engaging will help your baby grow exponentially. Our team at Motherhood has selected 15 baby-safe toys that encourage open-ended play and sensory growth for your kiddos 12 months and under (though some can be used for toddlers too!). Let us know which is your favorite by casting your vote.

Best Baby Toys for 12 Months and Under Nominees

Crawligator by Kiddy Crawler

A finalist in the 2023 TOTY awards, this gross motor activity toy helps babies from four to twelve months develop mobility. With tummy time on the Crawligator, the littlest kiddos strengthen key muscles in preparation for rolling, sitting, and crawling. The toy shines in its fantastic ergonomic design and high-quality materials. Plus, its adorable alligator face is charming.

Fisher-Price Grow-With-Me-Tummy-Time Llama Baby Wedge

This cute and plushy llama friend supports your baby as they engage in early motor development, from lying on their back to tummy time to sitting-up to play. Lay out the double-sided blanket with a pocket, position the lama and your baby, and then let your little one play with an array of sensory development toys like a carrot teether, a watermelon rattle, and a self-discovery mirror.

HABA Rainbow Fabric Baby Ball

This easy-peasy toy is as simple as it gets, but classics are classics for a reason. The fabric ball engages your little one’s senses with soft textures like mesh, corduroy, and velour; visual patterns like stripes, polka dots, and florals; and sounds such as rustling, rattling, and squeaking. It’s also lightweight enough for young babies to manipulate and a great portable option for outings or travel.


Infantino Super Soft Building Blocks

Perfect for small hands, these super-soft squeezable blocks encourage open-ended play and help babies learn colors and counting. They’ll have endless fun grasping, stacking, knocking down, and chewing these squishy blocks—developing their motor and sensory skills along the way. Spread these out on the carpet, and you’ll know right where you can find your baby for the next hour or three.

KiwiCo Pop-Up Shape Sorter Puzzle

A toy you’ll want to keep around for a long time, this beautifully made wood sorter puzzle helps babies six months and up recognize colors, shapes, and basic facial emotions. As your kiddo sorts and places the larger blocks, watch their eyes light up as smaller painted blocks simultaneously pop up. Note that the smaller shapes do not come out of the box, so choking hazards are not a worry.

Lovevery The Play Gym

Combine an interactive play mat with a framed baby mobile and you get The Play Gym. This cute and colorful set offers versatile play for infants as well as toddlers, with five development zones, five detachable activity toys, and three card sets that encourage curiosity and exploration. During tummy time, little ones can practice skills like grasping, while interacting with various textures, colors, and shapes. Parents can consult the play guide for expert tips and activities.


Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson Learning Cube

An interactive cube perfect for travel, this toy encourages vision development with the brand’s signature, research-based, high-contrast graphics. Catch and hold your baby’s curiosity with features like peek-a-boo flaps, crinkle paper, a teething ring, a baby-safe mirror, and a bungee elephant trunk. The connection between objects and sounds also offers a great introduction to cause and effect.

Manhattan Toy Winkel

A great choice for teething babies, this soft, pliable, and lightweight toy is easy for babies to grasp thanks to its distinctive loop design. You can attach it to a stroller or high chair, where the quiet rattle holds your baby's attention without disturbing others in restaurants and airplanes (i.e., It's great for travel!). Another plus: You can refrigerate the Winkel when your kiddo needs something cold to soothe sore gums.

Mary Meyer Leika Friends Cuddlebook

Keep your baby safely busy while you work, drive, or run errands together with this soft and easy-to-pack book populated by cute woodland friends. Machine-washable fabric pages incorporate multiple textures and crinkle paper that babies love. They can develop their imagination poring over the multi-colored images by themselves or snuggled in your lap.


Melissa and Doug K’s Kids Flip Fish Baby Toy

This multi-textured soft toy delights infants with bright colors and a variety of patterns and hidden treasures. During tummy time, babies can squeeze the squeaky tail and lift the scales to find pictures. The diversely textured scales encourage grasping and sensory development. Plus, these fabrics are chew-safe and washable.

Miniland Sensorial Reef

Made for touching, looking, listening, and biting, this sea-themed soft toy does it all—with nautical flair. Multiple textures and shapes (a starfish, a coral, an octopus, a fish) combine with a removable rattle. You can hang this toy on your baby carrier or stroller and take it along on outings to keep your kiddo entertained.

Munchkin Mozart Magic® Cube

Nurturing a budding musician? This battery-powered musical cube introduces them to five instruments—harp, flute, piano, violin, and French horn— and lets them combine each in renditions of eight Mozart compositions. Babies love pressing the brightly colored light-up buttons to play with the sounds. Parents appreciate the cube’s safe, rounded edges and easy portability.


Project Montessori Baby Crawler Musical Crab

Watch your baby light up during tummy time as they watch this USB-powered crab walk around the room while music plays and lights flash. Your kiddo will want to crawl and follow as soon as possible to enjoy this playful fellow more. Smart sensing helps the toy avoid obstacles as it walks.

Sassy My First Bend and Flex Rattle Set

This easy-to-grasp, multi-colored rattle set stimulates and strengthens babies’ sense of touch, vision, and auditory awareness; flexible, squishy parts and a textured ring handle are great for holding and mouthing. The Peek-a-Boo Beads Rattle, the Bend & Flex Ring Rattle, and the Linky Link make soft noises when shaken and help babies learn cause and effect.

Skip Hop Explore & More Baby's View 3-Stage Activity Center

An interactive experience that babies can continue to use as they grow, this activity center starts as a bouncer chair with a toy table and converts to a coloring and play table for toddlers. The 360-degree rotating seat makes maneuvering easy. Six lock-in toy stations, including light-up piano pedals on the center's base, surround your baby with multisensory play opportunities.


About Motherhood Loves Community Awards

Our nominees are researched and selected as the top products in their category. Readers can vote once per category, per day. Motherhood independently selects the products and services we cover and recommend. We do not exchange currency, goods or services to be listed.