12 of the best toys for newborns

Our pick of the top fun-filled toys for babies from birth to 6 months, as tested by babies (and rated by their parents)

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Teeny-tiny, just-born babies don’t need toys: they can’t hold anything and they can’t see much. But, roll forward even a few weeks, and your baby will like love looking at things with bright or high-contrast colours and listening to things that rattle or tinkle or shake.

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And, by 3 or 4 months, when your baby is able to grab (sometimes more by accident than design) and grasp, toys with different touchy-feely fabrics, or knobbly textures to mouth and chew, are great buys for keeping your baby’s attention and stimulating his or her development.

Here is our pick of the best toys for newborns, as tested by babies…

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1. Lamaze Flapping Fiona, £10.95

GOLD winner, Best Baby Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A multi-sensory soft 12cm x 9cm x 25cm flamingo with a velvety neck, extendable legs, silky beak, crinkly tail, and wings that whirr and flap when you pull down on the clip. Attaches easily to buggies, prams and nappy bags.

Why we love it: Yes, flamingoes are very on-trend but what sold us on this bird are those flapping wings – what brilliant baby magnets! Fiona is also wonderful to touch, with all sorts of different textures to explore.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘My son is captivated by Fiona flapping her wings. He’s particularly drawn towards the colours and textures of Fiona’s beak, legs and feet. And her shape means there’s lots of bits that are easy for him to grab hold of.’ Jo, mum to Joshua, 4 months
  • ‘Safiyyah really enjoys playing with this. It keeps her entertained and she kicks with excitement. She really loves this toy.’ Nicole, mum to Safiyyah, 2 months

Available at: Amazon and JoJoMaman Bebe

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2. Petit Collage Organic Bunny Activity Toy, £19.95

SILVER winner, Best Baby Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A handmade, 100% organic soft cotton 26cm bunny faturing a beechwood teething ring, a crinkly apple that jiggles when pulled, super-soft ears and colourful ribbon tabs.

Why we love it: This would made the cutest first gift for a baby. As well as its eco credentials, we particularly like Bunny’s high-contrast colours, special carrot pouch and cute ribbon whiskers, which are super tactile and the perfect texture for tiny fingers and cheeks.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘Great toy!Chloe loves it – especially chewing on the teething ring and feeling the ribbon whiskers. Everything you need.’ Michelle, mum to Chloe, 5 months
  • ‘Eli loves this toy and we take it everywhere with him.’ Rebecca, mum to Eli, 4 months

Available at: Fly Jesse

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3. Edvin Stella the Hedgehog Musical Box, £27.95

BRONZE winner, Best Baby Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A 13cm x 13cm x 14cm. musical mobile in the shape of a shaggy hedgehog. Designed to hang above a cot or from a buggy or carseat, the hedgehog plays a sweet tune when you (or, eventually, your baby) grip and pull the cord.

Why we love it: The music is sweet and Stella’s multi-loop texture makes her irresistible to reach for. Her ‘prickles’ are a super-soft, tactile experience. She looks pretty stylish, too.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘Stella is very cute and feels lovely to hold. When we’re playing with Stella, Lincoln’s never short on smiles, which is lovely to see.’ Vicki, mum to Lincoln, 5 months

Available at: Alex and Alexa and Acorn and Pip

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4. Twiddle Ons Foot Discovery Rattle Toys, £9.99

BRONZE winner, Best Baby Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: Bright, fabric foot-finder rattles (28cm x 16cm x 4cm), developed by the makers of Sock Ons (that you put over your baby’s socks to stop them falling off).

Why we love it: We like the bold, eye-catching graphics on these cute, crinkly fish rattles: excellent developmental stimulation for tiny ones who are just about working out where their feet are.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘Sinéad loves reaching for these! Prior to using these, she really only reached for her foot on her left side but these encouraged her to reach for both.’ Claire, mum to Sinead, 5 months

Available at: Sock Ons and Amazon

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5. Jellycat Bredita Bunny Soother, £12

Age: From birth

What it is: A 23cm soft blankie with a rabbit’s head and ears. Made from 100% polyester.

Why we love it: It’s beautifully soft and has a lovely, friendly face and fluffy ears. We also love the knotted corners because they’re just right for chewing on. Our tester Isaac’s mum says, ‘It’s very well made and seems like it would definitely withstand being chewed and sucked on by a teething baby. No bad points from me at all!’

See baby Isaac, 3 months, review the Bredita Bunny Soother on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: Kidly and John Lewis.

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6. Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit, £9.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A 7-legged 13cm x 8cm x 25cm beanbag friend with a squeaky red nose and a big smiley face.

Why we love it: It’s small enough to tuck into your changing bag but the Whoozit’s BIG on baby entertainment – with loads of differently patterned and textured fabrics to see, touch and feel, and a little mirror hidden behind his nose. Our tester Marley’s mum loved the dangling legs and the little Velcro strap that lets you attach the toy to your baby’s car seat or pushchair.

See baby Oliver, 5 months, review the Baby Whoozit on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: Amazon

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7. Galt Giant Soft Book, £12.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A softly padded 25cm fabric book with a animal picture on each of its 8 pages, and a mirror on the back.

Why we love it: There’s something different to crinkle, move, touch, watch, rustle and squeak on each page – and it’s machine-washable (hurrah!). Our tester’s mum was impressed by the toy’s bright colours and the sounds it makes. ‘Hugo loves the mirror and squeaker best,’ she says. ‘And, as you can see in his video, he is also rather interested in eating it!’

See baby Hugo-Blaze, 5 months, review the Giant Soft Book on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: Galt

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8. Miffy Activity Cube, £19.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A big, soft jingly toy for newborns, with pictures and textured embroidery on each face of the 14cm cube (also available in denim).

Why we love it: It’s very easy for even small babies to grab and is lovely and soft to hold. ‘Sophia could give it a good squeeze and hold on to it well,’ says our baby tester’s mum. ‘She loves the mirror side and prefers holding it where she can see that. As she gets older, it will be an ideal toy to do throwing and catching with as it’s soft but big enough for her to grab on to. I think she will enjoy it for a while to come!’

See baby Sophia, 4 months, review the Miffy Activity Cube on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: Argos

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9. Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly, £10.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A friendly 25cm x 6cm x 30cm soft-toy bug with crinkly wings, squeaker, teether, and peekaboo mirrors.

Why we love it: Freddie’s bright colours and different sounds and textures mean he’s a bit of a baby magnet: so much to see, feel, hear and chew! Our tester’s mum was really taken with the toy’s quality and how much it stimulated and held her baby Andy’s attention. A couple of months later, she’s still impressed with it.  ‘It’s a lovely toy,’ she says, ‘and it washes great – it’s been washed a billion times!’

See baby Andy, 6 months, review Freddie the Firefly on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: Smyths Toys and Precious Little One

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10. Sophie la Girafe, £11.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A soft, lightweight natural-rubber 17cm giraffe you can grab, wave, squeak and chew.

Why we love it: Sophie’s design has remained unchanged since 1961 and that’s simply because you don’t mess with a toy that’s entranced babies for generations – and soothed their sore gums (it’s won Gold in our Best Teething Toy category this year). Our tester’s mum says that, even though her baby Elliott is ever so young at 3 months, he found Sophie quite easy to hold. ‘Sophie’s good points are her squeak,’ she says, ‘and the contrasting colour of her spots that makes her fascinating to look at.’

See baby Elliott, 3 months, review Sophie la Girafe on our MadeForMums Toy YouTube Channel

Available at: John Lewis and Smyths Toys

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11. Manhattan Toy Winkel, £11.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A light, vibrantly coloured, 9cm x 10cm x 13cm bendy, loopy toy with a rattle cube in its centre.

Why we love it: The colours on this toy are brilliant and the bendy loops are flexible (and strong) enough to bend without snapping (or hurting) when your baby bashes them. You can also put it in the fridge to make it extra-cool for your teething baby to chew on.

Available at: John Lewis

12. Ewan The Dream Sheep Baa Baa Blankie, £13.99

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Age: From birth

What it is: A soft, machine-washable 21cm x 5cm x 38cm blanket, with silk edges, from the people who make the award-winning Ewan The Sheep light-up sleep aid.

Why we love it: It’s a really lovely soft comforter – one of the snuggleist we’ve tested – with a great character-filled face. And it’s a nice, generous size too. Do remember, though, that very young babies shouldn’t sleep with anything like this in their cot.

Available from: Sweet Dreamers

We’ve got more award-winning toys here…

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This article contains affiliate links, which means MadeForMums may earn a small amount of money if you click through and buy. All our toy content is written independently (we’ll include the best toys whether we can include an affiliate link or not) and pretty much all of the toys are tested and rated by our child toy testers, as well as our editorial team. 

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