When our children are infants we, as their parents, want to do everything we can to encourage them to grow and develop. We often hear concerns about allowing babies to have toys or blankets inside their cribs due to the risk of SIDS. Crib toys, however, when properly used and supervised can encourage your little one to build the all-important cognitive connections that occur during the first few months of life.
Toys that can be considered “crib or crib-side toys” come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed to attach the crib itself, providing a wall of interactivity that can entertain and soothe your little one. Others are handheld products meant to be carried by your baby with them into their crib or stroller or even car seat. These toys are also varied and perform many tasks such as providing teething relief and other sensory stimulation. Whichever form they take, all of these toys have been specifically designed to help stimulate your child’s mind.
Crib toys can enhance a number of different cognitive and physical traits and can even expand your baby’s overall capacity to learn. Toys that feature spinning or moving parts are fantastic at encouraging the grasping and reaching motions that are precursors for gross- and fine-motor control. Bright lights and colors are perfect for enhancing your infant’s visual acuity and motion tracking skills which will improve their eyesight. Music-playing toys are also ideal to help improve your little one’s hearing.
Despite being designed to stimulate your child, crib toys can also improve their quality of sleep. Many of these toys include parts or pieces designed to provide soothing light or sound combinations that can help your baby fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer. This is especially beneficial during the first year of life in order to establish proper sleeping patterns. Crib toys are also a good way to help your little one feel more comfortable in their crib. Providing your child with a safe crib toy that can draw their attention and entertain them during those 4 a.m. wakeups can not only improve mom’s and dad’s sleep but also lays the groundwork for future self-soothing techniques.
We have gathered a number of different crib toys from across the internet. Some are designed to attach to the crib itself to provide an interactive experience that is always available. Others are made for your little one to hold and typically incorporate some form of teething relief. All of these products have been created and researched to make sure that they are safe for your child. Whether you are looking for something to entertain them during the wee hours of the morning or simply want to encourage their mental development, we hope that one of our 10 Best Crib Toys for Babies will bring a little joy into your little one’s life.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Tiny Love Take Along
- Pleasant Music
- VTech Baby Soothing Ocean
- Ocean-Themed Graphics
- Baby Einstein Sea Dreams
- Underwater Light Effect
Our Picks Of The Top Crib Toys For Your Infant:
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Crib Toys that Will Keep Your Baby Happy
You want what’s best for your baby and with all the options available in the world it can be challenging to find the right fit for your baby. You need to have peace of mind knowing your baby is being exposed only to the highest-quality materials and that the activities you provide your baby will offer them the most beneficial tools for their development and growth. The list we’ve compiled are some of the best quality and most highly rated toys for your baby’s crib. Whether you are looking for something good for travel or something to keep your baby company while you are doing household chores, you are sure to find the perfect addition to your baby’s little comfort zone. Your baby spends a lot of time in their crib and it is important they are provided with ample opportunity to stay stimulated and made to feel as though they have a constant companion.
These adorable options are sure to provide your baby with an aesthetically pleasing and relaxing effect to help them drift off peacefully to sleep or keep them interactive. While on the go, it can be hard to provide your baby with the stimulation they need in order to ensure your day out together goes as smoothly as possible. There is a range of options on this list that is highly recommended for travel as they can be attached to many baby furniture pieces and travel products.
These items make a great gift idea or a perfect buddy for your baby. These will provide your baby with ample stimulation and a series of benefits helpful to your baby’s growth a development. These crib toys provide visual and auditory stimulation. The images portrayed by these toys offer your baby the ability to relax and easily drift off to sleep. With many of these objects being made of soft materials, they will provide your baby with a comforting friend to help them wind down for bed. These items are versatile in that they not only provide support for your baby’s sleeping habits but also in providing your baby with fun and exciting melodies providing them the building blocks for music exploration and enjoyment.
All of the options on this list are gender-neutral, perfect for baby girls or baby boys. The age range for many of these products is newborn and infant. There are, however, a few options that can be considered suitable for your toddler.
Your baby also spends a good portion of their time lying on their backs or tummies. These crib toys will promote and inspire your baby to be interactive and involved in their play. Helping to speed up not only brain development but also muscle development as they will be required to be in motion in order to keep some of these mobiles moving. When your baby has reached a certain level of muscle development, these toys will provide them with a support system (so to speak) to keep using and developing the muscle functions of your baby’s little body.
The skills learned from these various toys are crucial for your baby’s early development. These will provide your baby with fundamental building blocks to help support a solid foundation for healthy and happy functioning brain and muscle development. This leads to the support of a happy and healthy life built with a future meant for success.
How We Chose the Most Popular Infant Products
We understand the predicament of parents as well as other individuals who are searching for gifts or presents to give babies of their relatives and friends. That is why we have decided to do the tedious task for you. We have a team of dedicated researchers who studied each of the different crib toys available in the market today to determine their value in the baby’s optimum development.
We also had to consider the overall design of the toy including its use of safe materials. Babies of this age have a knack of putting everything in their mouths so safety is a prime concern. Of course, we also have to check what other parents are saying about the crib toys. Lastly, we know you would want to get toys only from reputable companies so we also had to factor that in.
Infants and the Value of Crib Toys
The first six months of life are marked by rapid sensory and psychomotor development. Babies at this stage absorb, learn, and react to the different things around them using their senses. It is during this time that babies’ brains are developing at a very rapid pace, a lot faster than many parents realize. The brains of babies are like super-absorbent sponges that figuratively absorb everything the baby sees, smells, touches, tastes, and hears.
These help the brain establish connections with these experiences to form memories which can help babies feel a lot safer and more secure in their own little worlds. This also paves the way for familiarization with daily routines. They can be easily fixated to bright and moving objects. With growing control of their head movements, babies can stabilize their gaze, following or tracking a certain object of movement. Their fixation on visual stimulus helps them establish focus and concentration. It is, therefore, crucial to provide babies, especially those in the first six months of life, crib toys that move and light up. It may also be helpful to provide toys that provide stimulation of the other senses especially in terms of tactile and auditory stimulation.
Babies also use their senses to recognize who their primary caregivers are so they know who mom and dad are. This is why it is very important to maintain close physical, visual, and auditory contact with your babies as this helps them form attachments, promote their sense of security and safety, and help build their trust and confidence in themselves. Crib toys that allow parents to join in the play can also be beneficial in this sense.
While it is true that the movement during the first month of life is purely reflexive, these are nonetheless crucial in the development of muscles. The very first sign that babies have already learned to develop a certain level of control of their muscles is when they are able to start supporting their own head. This is why mobiles, mirrors, and moving objects, as well as toys that make sounds that attach to the crib, will encourage babies to lift their heads, strengthening their neck muscles. Toys that can be placed on the crib surface also help babies develop their core muscles as most of them will lie on their tummies. Swatting and kicking movements will also strengthen their arm and leg muscles. So, giving them toys they can swat or bang or strike can definitely help in this aspect.
Crib toys that play soft melodies, as well as fun phrases, have been shown to help babies in their language development when they grow up. They may not talk to you now but they sure can communicate through their cries, their smiles, and even their body movements. It is therefore crucial for parents to keep on talking to their babies to help them not only develop an attachment with you but also help facilitate language learning and their listening skills.
The first year of life, particularly in the first six months, are crucial to the optimum psychomotor, cognitive, social, and emotional development of babies. It is therefore very important to give them the correct toys. Our list of the 10 best crib toys can help you determine the most appropriate one for your kid. Be it gifts for babies of new moms or just simple presents for the little ones, we are optimistic our list is useful.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: How is it good for my baby to have toys in his/her crib?
A: You want your baby to feel comfortable in their crib. Crib toys will help your baby unwind and play a little before they fall asleep. Imagine how good it feels when your baby wakes up only to find a little toy to play with.
Q: Will crib toys ruin my baby’s sleep?
A: While crib toys are similar to a playground for small babies, they will also help your baby drift off to sleep after a little play, just as you would drift off to slumberland after watching a little TV or reading a book.
Q: When is it safe for my baby to sleep with a stuffed crib toy?
A: The safest time for your baby to sleep with a stuffed crib toy is after his/her first birthday. At 12 months, your baby can easily roll over and move objects from their face.
Q: What are the age recommendations for these toys?
A: While each toy will vary slightly depending on what stimulation and interactivity options it offers, most of the products on this list are recommended for children aged newborn up to 2 years old. They have been designed with safety features appropriate for infants such as sewn-on eyes, chew-resistant fabrics, and hidden battery compartments.
Q: Are these toys parent-friendly?
A: Many of these products include both on/off switches and volume control for those times that hearing the same word repeated over and over again gets a little…grating. They also typically incorporate an auto-shut off function to conserve power. Since these toys are crafted in a way to be as safe for newborns as possible, removing or replacing the batteries can be a bit more difficult than other toys.
Q: Do these products come with or require batteries?
A: Yes, some require batteries, either AA or AAA.
Q: Are these products made of hazard-free materials?
A: Yes, the plastic in these products is BPA-free.
Q: Are these toys easy to clean?
A: Most contain battery packs so they may not all be washable, however, all can be wiped down with soap, a rag, and warm water.
Q: Will crib toys help my child become smarter?
A: While overall intelligence is a bit subjective, studies have shown that infants who are provided opportunities in engaging in auditory and visual stimulation from a young age tend to reach cognitive developmental milestones more easily. It can also build early fine- and gross-motor skill control as well as provide a foundation for language development.