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The Only Toys You Need For Baby (0-12 months)

As a parent you want to give your child the best possible things. Often times the best is also expensive. I realized as a new mom that the quantity of toys should not take precedence over the quality. This is especially true for the baby’s first year.

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A baby doesn’t understand the concept of play and toys like other objects are tools for interaction. What he/she craves is deep interaction with parents and loved ones more than toys. So you need not go overboard buying every new toy you see in the market.

Only toys you need for baby (0-12 month)

I have narrowed down the list to a few essential toys that your baby can use. Believe me they love household objects more than toys at this stage! So let’s begin.


Rattles are baby’s first toy. It’s an obvious buy. Rattles are useful to catch baby’s attention. They help improve hand-eye coordination. Some also double up as teethers.

Since this will be one of the first toys your baby will hold you can consider buying a wooden rattle that is made with safe paints.

A rattle can be used from birth until the end of first year.

Shumee Wooden Rattle
Chicco Easy Grasp Rattle

Teething Rings

Once your baby starts teething they constantly want to mouth objects. Get a silicone teether that is filled with water which can be slightly refrigerated on days your baby is teething and help soothe his/her swollen gums. Teethers can be used from three months onwards.

Chicco Teething Ring
Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether

Play gym

These are great to catch babies attention and improve hand-eye coordination. The overhead toys encourage your baby to grasp and pull.

A play gym can be used in multiple ways from birth to about 7 months; use it lying down, during tummy time, during sitting stages of baby’s development. A definite must-have baby toy!

Chicco Duo Gym
Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano Gym

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

I don’t buy battery operated toys for my little one. I was gifted this by my sister-in-law and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. This toy has helped calm down my boy so many times that I lost count. You want to carry this for long car rides to distract your baby when he/she gets fussy in the car seat.

I had to include the Baby Einstein in the list, it’s a definite must buy. It’s easy for babies to grasp, plays baby-friendly versions of Mozart, Chopin, Vivaldi and Rossini and has a chunky volume button. It can be used birth onwards; we still use it at 15 months.

Buy here


Touch-and-feel books, crinkle material soft books, board books are all great additions to baby’s first year library. Reading to your baby is a great bonding exercise, it helps babies interact with adults, build their memory, vocabulary and grasp concepts like numbers, alphabets, shapes, animals etc.

Baby touch: Peekaboo by Ladybird
Baby Touch: Snuggle Cloth Book by Ladybird
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board book by Eric Carle
Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book
Busy Zoo-Campbell


Blocks are classic toys that promote open-ended play. They help build motor skills and promote imagination.
A good time to buy your baby his/her first set of blocks is once they learn to sit up. This is the time during infant development they start becoming more interested in learning to play and experiment with different textures of things around them. Even though stacking as a skill develops after the first year it is good to introduce blocks early to stimulate creativity and sharpen hand-eye coordination skills.

Shumee Alphabet Blocks
K’s Kids Block and Learn

Pull along toys

Pull along toys motivate your baby to crawl. They are good for motor skill development and imaginative play. These toys can be used from 7 months upwards.

Maya Organic wooden pull toy with rotating ball
Maya Organic Handcrafted Wooden Toy – Engine

Shape sorters

These are a great buy to introduce shapes through touch. They promote manipulation through hand-eye coordination. Shape sorters can be used from 10-11 months onwards.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
Hape-Wooden 1-2-3 Shape Sorter

Stacking Rings

Get good quality wooden stacking rings, these toys go a long way through your baby’s first years. You can introduce them around 10-11 months even though your baby doesn’t necessarily stack rings then. It’s an introduction to the concept of stacking. Also, the colors are attractive to them and they love to grasp onto the ring structures.

Wonderworld New Stacking Rings
Shumee Rainbow Stacking Rings


Somewhere around the 9-10 month mark my son started to grasp the concept of cars going “vroom vroom” and the movement that went along with it. This became a good starting point for us to introduce him to different vehicles like cars, trucks, trains etc.

Hamleys Wooden Car Transporter
Shumee Ambulance, Police Car and Fire Engine Wooden Cars

To read more such lists, check this post on – The only toys you need for your toddler (1 – 2 years) 

Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments below what toys your kids played with in the first year.

This blogpost contains affiliate links. These links provide me with a small percentage commission but don’t cost you anything extra.

22 thoughts on “The Only Toys You Need For Baby (0-12 months)”

  1. I had a handfull of these toys for my son! His favorite toys although were the pull alongs and from there he walked!

  2. I just did a baby group with public health and the nurses said that the best toy your baby can have is you! I think its true, my first loved to play with me or his daddy and our newest little seems to only have eyes for me. I agree with your list though, lots of great ideas for fun toys to entertain little humans

  3. I completely second your opinion.. as new parents we tend to buy impulsively and get worked up if baby is not interested in it anymore :P

    • Yes, it takes them a long time before they start actually enjoying toys! My son learnt to play at 14 months. Until then it was more us playing with him :)

  4. Hi,
    Where to buy Chicco Products in India?
    Do chicco have any official website in India?
    Please give me information about it

    • Hi Kuldeep,I have added relevant links for all products. Chicco is available on Amazon, Also some of their toys are available at Hamleys stores in India.

  5. Your list is going to help me a lot this upcoming year. I’m expecting and am already 7 and a half months along. There’s so many baby toy options, but obviously they aren’t all necessary. As a first time mom it’s a little overwhelming trying to figure out what will be the best options, so thank you for your post.

    • Thankyou Madison, I wrote this post keeping in mind the confusion many first time moms go through when it comes to selecting toys and books for their little ones. Glad you found this post useful.


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