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The 8 Best Toys to Put on Your Baby Registry and Why

Kierstin is a mom to two little girls and creator of the satirical podcast Really Good Advice for New Moms.

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What Baby Toys Should I Register For?

Before I had a baby of my own, I used to peruse baby registries and get hyped about "someday" toys. Then, when I was actually expecting a baby, people started asking me where I was registered, and I realized, "Wow, this is my time. This is my shining mommy-glory time to show the world all of the cool stuff I want."

And then my brain just stopped working because 98% of it was focused on growing a fetus. So I Googled "What to register for my baby" and obviously came up with options times infinity. The experts, bloggers, and toy ads will all tell you what they think you need (or don't need), and as I agonized over the endless opinions, it was my first lesson in not letting other people tell me how to be a mom.

That said, I found that the best suggestions came from other mothers. So, I don't know you, I don't know your baby, and I don't know what you guys need. But here are the top toys that have proven themselves entertaining, sturdy, and perfect for sensory play and development in my daughter's first few months of life, and I'd bet that at least one of these will strike a chord with your little one too.

Sophie the Giraffe

Sophie the Giraffe

1. Sophie the Giraffe

I almost didn't register for this toy because she's super expensive for a baby toy and looks a little suspicious with those dilated pupils, but my best friend gifted her to me, and this giraffe has been a great teething buddy for each of my daughters.

Why I Recommend It

As my baby has shown an interest in putting pretty much everything in her mouth, Sophie has been her favorite. Now I understand what all of the hype over this pricey little giraffe is all about. She's shaped in a way that allows even the most uncoordinated baby to shove Sophie's pointy little ears and soft neck into their mouth. Plus, she squeaks, which is a bonus when you're three months old.

Where to Buy

Target, Amazon

2. Taggies Original Blanket

This is the first toy that my daughter ever showed an interest in. I think it's because hers is bright and colorful enough for her to see, even when she couldn't see that well. I hang it from her car seat or Snuggabunny.

Why I Recommend It

The noise never ceases to amaze her, and recently, she's figured out that if she grabs the loops, she can shove the crinkly awesomeness into her little mouth. Plus, I can throw it in the wash with her other laundry to keep it clean!

Where to Buy

Amazon, Walmart, Spearmint LOVE

3. Sassy Floor Mirror

One of my daughter's favorite things is to look at herself, as most little babes do. In fact, research shows that staring at herself in the mirror has a positive impact on her development.

Why I Recommend It

The best thing about this mirror is that it gives my baby incentive to do tummy time which she generally can't stand, and motivates her to lift her head and back so she can flirt with herself. Plus, it's easy to wipe it down with a sanitizing wipe before I put it away until her next tummy time sesh.

Where to Buy

Amazon

4. Cloud B Sleep Sheep Sound Soother

This is the one toy that came to the hospital with us.

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Why I Recommend It

Even if it wasn't always calming our daughter down, it actually soothed her dad and me. The songs aren't annoying as you'll find with some baby toys, and the soundbox can be pulled out to give this soothing sheep a good ol' bath when it's tossed in the wash with baby's spit rags.

Where to Buy

Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond

This is the first toy our daughter was ever able to hold onto on her own!

Why I Recommend It

They're super flashy, easy for baby to see, and while they don't make noise on their own, she's taken to clacking the rings together to create her own rhythyms. The different grooves and textures are great for sensory development and teething, and you can loop them through other toys to create fun contraptions for baby to explore. Set these in the top rack of the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Where to Buy

Amazon, Target

Although neutral colored toys may fit your aesthetic better, keep brightly colored toys on hand too - they aid in baby's visual development.

Although neutral colored toys may fit your aesthetic better, keep brightly colored toys on hand too - they aid in baby's visual development.

6. Oball Rainstick Rattle

Nothing irritates our kid more than this toy, and I say that's a great thing because it causes her to really fight for what she wants—which is to put the center rattle in her mouth, an impossible task, but it gets her baby senses flowing!

Why I Recommend It

I imagine that later on, when she's come to terms with the center of this rattle, she'll begin to enjoy it for what it is: a nice colorful ball thingy that she can roll around and shake and squish.

Where to Buy It

Amazon

7. Board Books

Some of our favorite titles are:

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Mindful Baby Board Book Set
  • Peek-a-Who?
  • Moo Baa La La La
  • Any "My First..." books featuring real photos

8. JellyCat Stuffed Animals and Security Blankets

People are going to buy you stuffed animals anyway, so it's a good idea to throw a couple of high-quality (durable, washable) ones on your registry. And while stuffed animals are not supposed to go in the crib, they're nice for snuggling during supervised naps and rocking with grandma.

Why I Recommend It

These stuffies are ridiculously soft and hand-me-down level sturdy. Plus, they look great wherever they land.

Where to Buy

Amazon, The Natural Baby Company, Nordstrom

The toys on this list will hold up from baby to baby.

The toys on this list will hold up from baby to baby.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Kierstin Gunsberg

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