Best baby toys (3 to 6 months)

I have always wanted “our house” to stay ours and not become “the baby’s house.” I still agree with this sentiment, but am slowly beginning to realize that as our four month old begins to develop his senses and his motor skills, he needs fun things to play with.  During our days together, my son goes around the house with me to different “stations” we have set up.  The living room, his room, his gym, the pack ‘n play, our bed, guest room bed, etc.  In every space, I keep rotating the toys and books to he doesn’t get bored (and so I don’t get bored….)

I thought we were covered in the toy department.  We have bought several nice teethers and rattles (Sophie the Giraffe, Green Sprouts teethers, Lifefactory, and the Haba Kringelring), some sweet animal blankets and crinkle books, and my mother-in-law bought us a play gym. However, these last few weeks have made me realize that he needs more toys around the house to keep him (and me) occupied. We don’t want to go overboard, but I now recognize that he needs many fun, and age-appropriate, things to play with! I love wooden toys, and have bought him a few items, but realize now that it isn’t logical to give him hard toys (Melissa & Doug, Plan Toys, Haba) when he can’t even sit up yet (= borderline dangerous). So here I am, on the Christmas lookout, asking friends and searching websites, for what are the best and most useful toys for my less than six months-er. Since he is so young, he needs plush toys, which I obviously can’t buy used, but pretty soon, I will be looking at garage sales and mom-to-mom sales in my area for more toys! (Organization comes later, right?)

I decided on the following toys for Christmas presents (from his mom and dad, not Santa Claus, who we have decided won’t be a part of our Christmas celebrations):

The first gift I bought was a set of soft baby blocks. I think these are so cute — they have beautiful colors and are farm-themed — which is nice because we live right next to a farm. by Skip Hop

And the matching activity mirror. Our little one loves to look at himself in the mirror, so I knew this would be great to promote tummy time (should have bought this months ago). by Skip Hop

The best ranked baby toy on Amazon and elsewhere: the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. It is like a little Baby Ipod. I am skeptical about electronic baby toys, but apparently this one is amazing.

Ezra needs some bright-colored soft plush toys — for at home and on the go. Lamaze offers many creatures that are fun and have many sounds and textures. We decided on Freddie the Firefly which, according to Amazon, offers “hours of fun” for babies:
* Stimulates baby’s vision and auditory skills
* Soft velour body and multiple textures on the wings keep baby engaged
* Tethered ladybug teether and knotted antennae perfect for chewing
These descriptions always crack me up, but now that I have my own child, I buy into all of this. I really do think that babies need the auditory and visual stimulations! And I think he just looks like a lot of fun.

And some stacking cups for bath time and play time. by Green Sprouts

We also purchased a couple more baby board books (to add to our ever growing collection), as well as a beautiful wooden, hand-crafted tractor. We are so excited to watch our little one open his gifts (or is it that I’m excited to open his gifts?). And I know there will be more surprises in store from grandparents and family (I gave some suggestions of other toys I’d love him to have as well). I think that I have his age group mostly covered (4-6 months), but what toys are MUST-HAVES for 6-9 months? 9-12 months? I’d love to hear your opinions.

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