Picking out a gift for a baby who’s younger than 12 months? This can be more challenging than it might seem. That’s why we’ve rounded up some timeless baby gifts that’ll never go out of style.
Before babies hit the toddler mark, they can be tough to buy for. The really young ones aren’t playing much yet, and those closer to the 1-year mark are neither stationary newborns, nor active toddlers. You want to get them something that’ll hold their interest, but if you haven’t had much experience with babies, this might be difficult to figure out.
The truth is, babies are pretty easy to entertain: most of them love music and bright colors. When in doubt, opt for a developmental toy that’ll teach important skills or just pick something that’s in their age range.
Below are a few items any baby will love! We’ve also included a rough age range with each of them, so if you’re wondering what to get your 9-month-old nephew, it should be easier to find just the right thing on the list.
Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker (9 Months-3 Years)
This VTech Walker is perfect for babies who are just learning how to walk or are about to start. It’s interactive and safer than walkers with a harness and seat (those can be bad for baby’s hips). It’s also easy for them to push, whether they’re walking fast or slow, and offers some extra support.
What we really love is that the play panel is removable, so baby can use it even if he or she isn’t quite at the walking stage yet. There’s also a removable pretend telephone, piano keys that really play music, shape sorters, and buttons that light up, so there’s plenty to keep them entertained!
VTech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker (Frustration Free Packaging), Blue
Perfect for babies learning to walk.
Four-in-One Baby Gym & Ball Pit (Newborn-4 Years)
We personally love toys that grow with the child because babies grow up quickly! As they develop new skills, they get bored with old toys. So, if their toys don’t advance with them, they’ll probably be tossed aside after a few months.
That’s why we love the Infantino Four-in-One Activity Gym & Ball Pit. It’s appropriate for newborns through toddler age (so anywhere between 3 and 4).
It can also be used as an activity mat for lounging, tummy time, or playing. Or, you can turn it into a mini ball pit when baby’s a little older (the balls go in the sloth, which is genius). It features lots of little toys and a mirror to entertain.
Infantino 4-in-1 Jumbo Baby Activity Gym & Ball Pit - Combination Baby Activity Gym and Ball Pit for Sensory Exploration and Motor Skill Development, for Newborns, Babies and Toddlers
Grows with a baby from newborn through toddler years.
Hug and Tug Musical Bug (Newborn)
Sometimes, the simplest toys are the ones they love the most. This Infantino Musical Bug is just a colorful caterpillar that baby pulls down, and then it plays music as it slowly moves back up. It also has a mirror attachment so baby can see himself and a hook so it can be attached to a stroller or playmat.
It’s small and inexpensive, but we can tell you from experience that little ones love it. They’ll be entertained no matter where they are if this little guy is along!
Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy (Newborn+)
Newborns don’t really need toys—they’re just not interested yet. If you’re buying for a baby who’s only a few months old, a teething toy is a fantastic idea. Babies can start teething as early as 2 or 3 months old, so from that moment on, they’ll want something in their mouth.
The Manhattan Teething Toy is one of the most popular because it’s so versatile. The maze of soft, BPA-free teething tubes are fun for babies to put in their mouth and navigate with their tiny hands. It’s also a developmental toy with lots of colors and a lightweight feel that makes it easy for babies to play with. The middle even features a quiet rattle that’ll keep them mesmerized.
Lovevery Subscription (Newborn+)
If you have no idea what to buy and don’t mind spending a little extra, a Lovevery subscription is a great option. Baby will get a Play Kit every few months, each of which is tailored to age-appropriate developmental milestones.
The Play Kits are put together with input from doctors and child experts, and feature several wooden toys that encourage developmental skills, learning, and play. You won’t find any bright, flashy, electronic toys in here! These are more like Montessori toys, in that they encourage creative play.
They’re great quality and truly entertaining. Your recipient will be obsessed with every toy she gets from Lovevery.
Soft Rattles (Newborn)
What do you give a baby who’s so little, she can’t lift or hold things yet? How about these Blige Soft Wrist Rattles? This four-piece set includes two wrist rattles and a pair of socks that have little rattle toys attached to them. Whenever baby wears them, the toys move whenever she does.
The colors and sounds will attract her attention, aiding in sensory development. These are the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer option.
Blige SMTF Cute Animal Soft Baby Socks Toys Wrist Rattles and Foot Finders for Fun Butterflies and Lady bugs Set 4 pcs
Aid in sensory development.
Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Baby’s First Blocks (6 Months-4 Years)
This bundle from Fisher-Price is a fave for a reason: little ones love it! Both of these provide hours of entertainment for little ones in a wide age range. They’re also both easy to store and won’t take up a lot of room.
The block set helps baby learn how to sort. They’ll even love playing with either the blocks or the bucket on their own, while the colorful ring and bat teaches them how to stack. Both aid in developing hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Plus, sorting can help them develop problem-solving skills. And it’s just fun!
Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack & Baby's First Blocks Bundle
Helps develop hand-eye coordination, while providing hours of fun.
Take Along Tunes Musical Toy (3-36 Months)
Don’t believe the nearly 25,000 positive reviews for the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Toy? You should! It entertains babies for much longer than you’d think.
It’s small and simple, though, so it’s probably better for younger babies rather than toddlers. It plays 10 different songs, lights up, and is easy for baby to control. Its small size also makes it easy to toss in a diaper bag or stroller to take it with you on the go.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy, Ages 3 months Plus
Plays 10 different songs.
Kick & Play Piano (Newborn+)
The Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano is another excellent toy that grows with a baby and can be used in several ways. It can be a mat for a newborn to lay on or for tummy time. It also makes a perfect sit-and-play mat as baby grows. Or, it can be taken apart to use as a take-along toy.
It features five light-up piano keys that baby can either kick or push with his hands, as well as a repositionable toy arch. There are four different musical settings, so they can change things up. The Smart Stage technology also allows parents to change the learning content based on their child’s age. The real piano notes also allow babies to create their own music.
Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick 'n Play Piano Gym, Green, Gender Neutral (Frustration Free Packaging)
Grows with baby.
Musical Farmyard Cube (6 Months-2 Years)
Melissa & Doug make fun, adorable toys that are beneficial for a baby’s development, and this Musical Farmyard Cube is no exception. It’s soft, easy for baby to grab and hold onto, and very cute.
The four sides feature four different animals and their songs and sounds. Baby will love pressing the buttons to hear all the different noises for each one. It also features a teether, knotted tags, crinkly flower petals and tabs, and a plastic mirror for tons of exploring.
It’s educational, fun, and they won’t outgrow it too quickly.
Fish Toy (1 Month-3 Years)
The Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Toy is a versatile option that can easily be toted everywhere, whether that’s in the stroller or the car. With various textures and sounds, it squeaks, crinkles, and features bright colors and hidden pictures. Baby will love staring at it and trying to figure it out.
As a bonus, it’s also made of washable fabrics, so it’s really easy to clean (you know some spit-up will end up on there). It helps baby learn skills like grasping and finger strength, and it’s just fun for them to play with.
Ice Gel Teether Keys (3 Months+)
There are tons of teethers out there, but one of our personal favorites is this set by Nuby. Shaped like a little set of keys, this multi-surface teether feels great on baby’s aching gums. It’s also easy for her to grip and hold onto. Since it’s also clunkier than a one-piece teether, it’s harder to lose.
You can also put it in the fridge to provide a pleasant cooling sensation for baby. Even when she’s not teething, she’ll love playing with these and carrying them around.