"Teeny-tiny, just-been-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 love looking at things with bright or high-contrast colours and listening to things that rattle or tinkle or shake," explains MFM's Helen Brown, head of content delivery and author of Parenting for Dummies.


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

Best toys for newborns at a glance

  • Great for surprise smiles: PeekaPets Bunny, £14.99
  • Great for a toy selection: Taf Toys Newborn Kit, £32.99
  • Great budget buy: Playgro Clip Clop Activity Rattle, £6.99
  • Great for comfort: Lamaze My Friend Jasmine, £15.99
  • Great for sore gums – with a squeak: Sophie La Girafe Teether, £15.99
  • Great for soothing baby to sleep: VTech 3-in-1 Starry Skies Sheep Soother, £34.99
  • Great toy for introducing tummy time play: Taf Toys Savannah Tummy Time Book, £16.99
  • Great for sore gums – without a squeak: Mini Mizzie, £9.95
  • Great toy for tactile stimulation: Lamaze Freddie the Firefly, £14.99
  • Great for dangling entertainment: Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit, £9.99
  • Great for sensory and developmental play: VTech 4-in-1 Tummy Time Fawn, £34.99

To save money take a look at our toy deals page.

How to choose and use newborn toys safely

It's particularly important with newborns to consider safety when choosing toys. Here's what to look out for.
  • Look for the CE mark, which is the sign from the manufacturer that the toy meets regulatory requirements
  • Look for the voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association's Lion Mark (a red lion inside a yellow triangle)
  • Buy from retailers that you know and trust
  • Ensure the toy is appropriate for your child's age. Small pieces (including things like plastic eyes on teddy bears that are 'fastened on' rather than super-securely attached) are choking hazards for newborns.
  • Beware of any items that detach or have sharp edges
  • Check toys regularly for things like loose threads or escaped filling
  • Supervise your newborn at all times when they're playing with toys
  • Never leave toys in your baby's cot while they sleep, even if they are said to be safe from birth

Here is our pick of the best toys for 0 to 6-month-olds, as tested by babies and their parents:

Additional reporting and product selection by Gill Crawshaw

1. PeekaPets Bunny, £14.99

– Great for surprise smiles

PeekaPets Bunny with child tester Elodie

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: From birth | Size: L12cm x W15cm x H30cm | Batteries: None

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This big, super-soft rabbit has the most enormous floppy ears that pop up when you press his tummy to reveal his big eyes and touch-feely fabric inner ears. Your baby won't yet be old enough to understand the concept of cause and effect but they'll love the movement and the sudden, surprise appearance of a friendly rabbit face.

Our baby tester Elodie, 11 weeks (picture above), was definitely smitten. Her mum Sarah, who also made a point of commenting on how beautifully made this toy is, said, "I love how this keeps Elodie’s attention. It’s hard to find things to engage babies younger than 3 months old but she gives this lots of smiles when the ears pop up and it’s definitely a big hit. It was also really easy for her siblings to play with, and it encouraged them to bond with her, without being too rough."

Comes in Pink or White.

Available at: Argos

2. Taf Toys Newborn Kit, £32.99

– Great for a toy selection

Taf Toys Newborn Kit with child tester Lucy

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 2 months+ | Size: Various | Batteries: None

Wrapped in tissue inside a presentation box, this little collection of baby development toys includes a tummy time pillow with 2 detachable toys (a rattle ring and a crinkly lion cub), a baby-safe mirror, a spotty comforter with a lion teether and ribbons, and a set of 5 double-sided flashcards (high contrast black-and-white on 1 side to help your newborn focus, and colour on the other for when your baby is older). There are also some plastic stands for you to prop the flashcards or mirror up.

We're impressed with the quality and variety of toys (the illustrations on the flashcards are particularly lovely) – and by the well-thought-through developmental-play booklet that comes with them. The tummy-time pillow is small, so doesn't have great longevity but that does mean it's nice and portable.

"The comforter is really soft and I really like the chewy lion teether," said Claire, mum to our baby tester, Lucy, 3 months (pictured above). "And I love the guide that tells you what to do with each item and at what age it is best for, as sometimes new mums like me can be unsure how best to stimulate our baby. It's not cheap but I think it would make a great gift for a new parent."

Available at: Halilit and Amazon

3. Playgro Clip Clop Activity Rattle, £6.99

– Great budget buy

Playgro Clip Clop Activity Rattle with child tester Parker

Age suitability: 3 months+ | Best for age: From birth | Size: L7cm x W18cm x H18cm | Batteries: None

This great-value activity toy has a good variety of smooth, soft, silky and bumpy textures, crinkly and rattly sounds and features including a baby-safe mirror, moving teether beads on an easy-to-grasp ring and peekaboo lift-up saddle. It's the kind of toy that your tiny baby will enjoy staring at and listening to as you rattle it and then, as they grow, will love to hold and feel and learn to shake independently.

"This is a good price," said Meegan, mum to our baby tester, Parker, 6 months (pictured above). "Most similar toys to this cost at least twice as much! There's lots here to keep a baby interested as they develop and grow, Parker was initially drawn to the bright colours and the reflective mirror on the bottom of one of the hooves and, now he's a bit older, he enjoys holding the handle and shaking it – it makes him laugh!

Available at: Amazon, The Entertainer and Smyths Toys

4. Lamaze My Friend Jasmine, £15.99

– Great for comfort

Lamaze My Friend Jasmine being tested

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: From birth | Size: L17.78cm x W8.57cm x H 34.29cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver – Best Doll, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Looking for a cosy companion for a baby? Lamaze My Friend Jasmine is a brightly coloured, soft plush doll designed with different sensory learning elements.

Dressed in a pink romper, this friendly-faced doll has crinkly legs and a variety of fabric textures on the body including ribbons and frills, for a tactile experience. Jasmine has a hard plastic rattle flower babies can shake, which is safely tethered to her hand. There’s a large clip attached to Jasmine allowing her to be easily attached to a pram, car seat, nappy bag, and so on. This makes her a portable and convenient toy.

Our child tester Annelise, 9 months, was attracted to the bright colours of the Jasmine Doll. Her mum Samantha added that the sensory elements were also a hit “She was completely focussed on the different textures to feel and the different sounds the toy made. It's been lovely watching her as she engages her fine motor skills which are great for development.”

Available at: Amazon, John Lewis and JoJo Maman Bebe

5. Sophie La Girafe, £15.99

– Great for sore gums – with a squeak

sofie la girafe teether with any tester Sophie aged 4 months

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 3 months+ | Size: L9cm x W3cm x H17cm | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold – Best teething toy, MadeForMums Awards 2023

A firm favourite with new parents for over 60 years – and a frequent winner in the teething category of our MadeForMums Toy Awards – Sophie la girafe is something of a cult classic, and it’s easy to see why.

Made from natural rubber and painted with non-toxic, food-grade paints, this firm but squashy teething toy has striking spots, a sweet face and a gentle gnaw-friendly feel and squeak. It's a really good size for little hands, with the long neck and legs providing plenty to grab and explore.

"It immediately caught my baby's attention and the squeak sound made her smile," said Lily, mum of our aptly-named baby tester Sophie, 4 months (pictured above). "She easily held it in her hand. We’ve played with it lots and it is already a favourite toy."

Lily was also impressed how well it works a teether. "Sophie doesn’t yet have teeth but she really enjoyed chewing it as it was soft but firm on her gums," she said. This was echoed by Emma, mum of our older baby tester David, 7 months: "When it comes to teething, I would pay a lot of money for a product that works. And this product works! David is able to hold it and chew on it and it seems to give him relief."

Available at: Amazon

6. VTech 3-in-1 Starry Skies Sheep Soother, £34.99

– Great for soothing baby to sleep

vtech starry skies sheep soother

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 3 months+ | Size: L30cm x W17.5cm x H15cm | Batteries: 2 x AA (included) | Awards: G0ld – Best Baby Sleep Aid Toy, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Considering its competitive price, the Starry Skies Sheep Soother from VTech includes a lot of functionality. The soother includes various lighting effects and sounds including songs, nature sounds and gentle white noise. On top of its functionality, the toy itself is appealing and soft and includes great volume controls to help tailor the sound levels to your child.

Overall, the quality is good for the price with the light projections and stories both working well and the 15-45 minute timers giving you that extra bit of control over bedtimes. Across our testing, we were constantly surprised by the play potential that makes the Starry Skies Sheep Soother stand out in a crowded market.

As parent tester Eden, who tested the toy with their 5 month old, noted, “Although there are similar items on the market, the Starry-Skies Sleep Soother feels original, especially with its range of modifications, combination of both light and sound effects and particularly because you can separate the teddy from the machine and have two separate parts which work really well and means that the soother can be adapted as the child grows.

Available at: Smyths Toys and Argos

7. Taf Toys Savannah Tummy Time Book, £17

– Great for tummy time play

Taf Toys Savannah Tummy Time Book with child tester

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 2 months+ | Size: L4cm x W19cm x H15cm | Batteries: None

This soft, colourful, textured double-sided book can stand up on its own, making it perfect for tummy time. One side features high contrast black and white pictures for newborns to gaze at, and the other side features more colourful pictures for older babies in different prints, textures and fabrics, along with flaps, a mirror, a lion teether and ribbons. The design of this book is very well thought out and we like how if folds down neatly so you can stow it easily in your pram or bag.

Many tummy time toys have loads of interactive features to push and pull and press and, while that's exactly the kind of stuff that older babies love, smaller babies can find them all a bit overwhelming. For them, a spot of gazing at high-contrast pictures is just the right amount of stimulation while they get used to being on their tummy.

We do really like the big mirror, too, and it was a huge hit with all our baby testers. "The mirror seems to surprise and entrance him each time we turn the page!" said Zoe, mum of Stig, 5 months (pictured above – not on his tummy for once!).

Available at: Mamas & Papas, Amazon and Good Little Egg

8. Mini Mizzie, £9.95

– Great for sore gums – without a squeak

mini Lizzie testing toy with baby tester Bran

Age suitability: 3 months+ | Best for age: 3 months + | Size: L1cm x W5cm x H14cm | Batteries: None

This cute kangaroo teether, with the most expressive eyelashes, is made from 100% natural rubber, and coloured with water-based, non-toxic dyes. It's firm but slightly squashy and it doesn't have a squeak – which some parents may consider a godsend.

The hole in its middle makes it easy to grasp and also easy to hang, with a clip, from a pushchair, where, according to his mum Christy, our baby tester Bran, 3 months, (pictured above), spent ages staring at it. "It looks so lovely with nice, bright colours," she said. "The pointed angles of the nose and ears fit nicely in a little b.aby's mouth, too. It's soft and bouncy to touch, too"

Available at: Mini Mizzie UK

9. Lamaze Freddie the Firefly, £14.99

– Great for tactile stimulation

lamaze Freddie the firefly with baby tester Andy

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: From birth | Size: L6cm x W25cm x H30cm | Batteries: None

Freddie's been a bestselling activity toy for many years now (he even has a whole baby activity gym themed around him) and he continues to be a serious baby magnet, thanks to the sheer number of tactile features he packs into his little bug body.

Each segment of his body is made from a different fabric, he has little knotted legs and each of his crinkly wings has different things to explore, from a squeaker and peekaboo mirror to a bright yellow teether tucked into a little pocket (and secured with a ribbon string). He has clacking rings attached to his tail and a clip on his head for attaching him to a pushchair or car seat.

Our tester mum Mirela was really taken with this toy's quality and how much it stimulated and held her 3-month-old baby Andy's attention. "So much to see, feel hear and chew!" she said. 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 machine-washed a billion times!"

Available at: Boots, JoJo Maman Bebe and Amazon

10. Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit, £9.99

– Great for dangling entertainment


Age suitability: From birth |Best for age: 3 months+ | Size: L8cm x W13cm x H25cm | Batteries: None

Small enough to tuck into your changing bag but BIG on baby entertainment, the Whoozit is a 7-legged beanbag friend with a squeaky red nose and a big smiley face. There's loads of differently patterned and textured fabrics to see, touch and feel, and a little mirror hidden behind his nose.

Our 5-month-old baby tester Oliver loved the dangling legs with different shapes on the end, and his mum Sarah was particularly taken with the Velcro strap that lets you attach the toy to a pushchair or car seat: she found it easier than trying to use a plastic clip.

Available at: Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe

11. VTech 4-in-1 Tummy Time Fawn, £34.99

– Great for sensory and developmental play

VTech tummy time fawn being tested by a baby

Age suitability: 3 months + | Best for age: 3 months + | Size: L47cm x W11.2cm x H41.5cm | Batteries: 1 x AAA (included) | Awards: G0ld – Best Baby Activity Mat/Gym, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Practise tummy time, play with musical toys or explore different patterns and textures and more, with the VTech 4-in-1 Tummy Time Fawn. This is a versatile baby activity mat that grows with your child and offers value for money for parents with 4-in-1 features.

This soft pillow in the shape of a baby deer that supports various stages of development as your child grows. It provides tummy time support, which can help strengthen neck and upper body muscles. The pillow can also be used for sitting and encouraging independent play as your baby gets older. Included with the pillow are a detachable hippo rattle, fox mirror and electronic piano. Light up piano keys along the pillow introduce different animal noises and play piano notes, sounds, and there are 15 melodies and four songs. The fawn features textures, patterns, and colours for visual and tactile stimulation.

The compact design is ideal for houses where there’s not enough space for a full-size baby gym and its portable design allows for take-along and on-the-go play. It’s a clever product that offers play potential, value for money, and multiple functions in one package.

Rebecca, mum of child tester Albie, 4 months, was a big fan of how many functions it offers, stating “The thing that makes this toy special is the versatility of play. My son practises tummy time daily, so has been using the fawn cushion as a support during time. He loves all these toys, and they keep him happily entertained during tummy time. Rebecca added “It has been so useful is the ability to detach the toys and use them on the go.”

Available at: Amazon and Argos


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Gabrielle NathanContributor

Gabrielle Nathan has been a journalist for 20 years, writing lifestyle features for publications including Red, Women’s Health, Wildflower and Condé Nast Traveller. She has been writing about parenting since 2012, the year she became a mum.