Wondering what to buy for your (or a friend's) precious little bump?
Here are ten ideas for toys that any baby will LOVE. These are all classic toys that babies love to play with and that help their development too.
Babies like to look at other babies and hey! the one in the picture moves. Later they will love to look at themselves with other people, and when they realise that the baby in the picture is themselves they will be fascinated to watch what they are doing.
We love this cute Sassy Floor Mirror, especially as baby can turn the bee and the ladybird's tummy!
When a baby is young they will enjoy throwing soft blocks safely at people and things. As they grow older they can begin to practise putting one thing on top of another.
(Note. This is really important. I know of a baby girl who was not bought building blocks at all, and so when she was asked to put one on top of another at her 2 year check she had no idea what to do.) And of course your baby won't hurt themselves when their tower of soft blocks falls over.
The Melissa & Doug Match and Build Soft Blocks Set will grow with your child as they also teach numbers and matching skills too.
A soft ball has all the safety advantages as soft blocks, and you can roll it back and forward to your baby for hours (they will love this - you will tire of it LONG before they do!)
The Color Fun Stuffed Rattle Ball is perfect for this, and you can also use it to teach your kid about colours too.
For a baby approaching 1 year old this is a present that they will enjoy for years. If their older siblings/cousin/friends stop playing with them that is!
The Wooden ABC 123 Blocks Set is an absolute classic design - I had a similar set when I was a kid! They will last for years because as baby grows they can be used to learn letters and numbers, and later to spell out simple words.
Babies love these because they have different textures and pages that make a noise. Baby can chew it, bang it on its head and you can still read it afterwards. Giraffe and Friends is a lovely book with crinkly pages and a built in rattle.
No not a phone! One to hang in their room. They will stare at it for hours and if you blow on it they will soon start to copy.
You can choose any type from an old-fashioned wooden one to a high tech programmable mobile which plays dozens of tunes. This Fisher-Price Woodland Friends 3-in-1 Musical Mobile is similar to the one my kids had, and they loved it..
Again babies love the 'cause and effect' of this type of toy. The classic wooden Melissa & Doug Stacking Cars would be a real hit with any little car fanatic!
Water play is so important for kids, as it teaches them all about the way that the world works, and they get clean at the same time.
Stacking cups are brilliant bath-time fun - we had a similar set to these Set of 8 Stacking Cups
Babies love to learn that their actions have some effect, and rattles teach them that when they move their arm, the rattle makes a noise.
Electronic toys that play a tune when you press a button are popular for a similar reason, but much more annoying for mum and dad. The best rattles, like this affordable Bright Starts Rattle and Teethe can also be used as a teether and can be filled with cool water to soothe baby's gums..
I would recommend that you don't go overboard on soft toys. Grown-ups love buying cute soft toys but babies like don't always appreciate them. They also harbour lots of dust which is bad if the child suffers from allergies such as asthma and eczema. Save them for when the baby is a year or so old.
If you do want to give a soft toy to a baby, the best ones, like this classic My First Teddy Bear Baby should be machine washable, made of soft materials and have all sewn on details.
Now that you have the toys sorted out, see your ultimate new baby shopping list - plus 5 things your should NEVER buy for a baby.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!