10 Best Toys for 9-Month Olds Reviewed in 2019

Woo-hoo, your baby has officially hit the nine-month mark! Your child is more than halfway to one year at this point and certainly has plenty to show for it. Babies at this age are firmly comfortable with their motor skills and are inching ever closer to walking, perhaps your baby is even taking his or her first steps already. This is a truly exciting and pivotal moment in a baby’s life and as such, they should have the correct toys to reflect it. During this time, anything that encourages motion is a wonderful idea. Their toybox should be expanding and while they’re leaving behind stacking rings and rattles, they’re moving onto bigger and better things that will hold their attention and encourage all the growth stages they’re entering into. Your baby is only months away from the big “one” and that means they need access to products that are going to ensure their skills are completely on-point by the time they get there. That also happens to be what we’re here for!

At Born Cute, we pride ourselves on being the best in products for babies, kids, and families, and one major factor of that is knowing what a child needs, each step of the way. We always put commendable research efforts into knowing what’s good for your child and when it came time to find toys, this was no different. In fact, it was fun for us! We’ll get into more of that later on but for now, we just want to introduce you to what we believe to be the best list of products for a 9-month-old baby. These toys are all equally matched to the milestones that your baby will be surpassed soon enough, complete with high ratings and highly-regarded reviews. They’ll be intrigued by toys that promote logic and critical thinking and will have a firm enough grasp on their motor functions in order to figure this out. It’s a very exciting time in your baby’s life and you’re just going to love watching them explore any number of these toys.

10 Best Toys for 9-Month-Olds Reviewed

1. Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest

1. Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest
You're never too young to have a book read to you -- That's what we believe, anyway! This soft book doubles as a fun toy for your baby and it's completely baby-safe for them, too.
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The saying goes that "readers are born on the laps of their parents". If you read to your baby often enough, eventually, they'll become strong readers themselves. Books are a gateway to an imaginative world that exists beyond the realm of everyday life and they're a wonderful thing to share with your child. Just because your baby isn't old enough to read yet doesn't mean that they won't get joy out of books, and the Lamaze Peak-A-Boo Forest is a great choice for story time. this book is made completely of soft fabric so it's texturally interesting as well as safe for babies, as they'll likely want to squeeze it and chew on it if they're teething. This book is full of cute illustrations and fun forest creatures that your baby will love looking at as you read to them. Hearing your voice will help to encourage their own speech and eventually, they'll be the ones reading each page back to you.

Benefits
This book is just as visually stimulating as it is interesting to read. It will hold your child's attention and encourage their ability to focus, which is helpful much further down the line.

What We Like About It
Soft books are a great way to bond with your child. It strengthens your trust and will make many memories for them to look back on fondly when they're older. With books such as these, it's not so much the story you're reading -- It's the moments spent reading them.
Pros

Soft and baby-friendly

Entertaining story

Full of vibrant pictures

Strengthens bonds with your baby

Helps them to hear words and sounds

Cons

It can get wrinkly if exposed to water

2. VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

2. VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
This traditional activity cube has plenty to offer in the way of cognitive learning. Your baby will be exposed to all types of activities and they'll love every minute of their learning.
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With five sides of fun, this activity cube was tailor-made for an active nine-month-old. Your child will find all kinds of surprises on this cube including flipping paddles, buttons, slide bars, and they'll be even more surprised when they realize this toy talks! It'll tell them all about various shapes and animals and have them riveted throughout playtime. The cube is fairly large so it's more of a stationary toy rather than one they can carry around them, but it will encourage them to sit up and maintain their posture while using it. A simple switch on the top controls the volume in the event that you don't want this toy to be loud all the time. Additionally, this cube lights up when certain buttons are pressed to add to the fun.

Benefits
At nine months old, your baby will get plenty of interaction out of this toy as they become motivated to explore every inch of it. When they're a little older, they'll slowly begin learning about all the things this VTech Activity Cube can tell them about.

What We Like About It
Anything interactive is key to encouraging learning at this age. At nine months, your child is very active and probably itching to be on the move, but they're also slowly absorbing the things they see and hear.
Pros

Grows with your child

Lights up and makes noise

It has five sides filled with interactive features

Colorful and bright

Large size makes it easy to play with

Cons

The stickers come off easily

3. Purple VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

3. Purple VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
This vibrant purple activity cube is full of fun features that only a ten-month-old would love. It lights up, sings, and encourages them to explore all five crazy sides.
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Similar to the last activity cube by VTech, this one appears to be identical until you look closely at each side. All five interactive sides feature different activities than the last and this cube's theme is bugs and animals! While the cube does talk and will teach your child about various animals, it also has 14 interactive features and 25 different songs that your child can sing along with. It's great for language development and to encourage your child's motor skills, as each side of this cube encourages them to play with yet another feature. This cube will absolutely grow with your child and will last well into their toddlerhood, as VTech claims their product is great for kids as old as three years.

Benefits
VTech prides themselves on creating toys that are both education as well as skill-building. This activity cube will help your child's motor function as well as their cognitive skills when it comes to figuring out each component.

What We Like About It
This one toy your baby will not get tired of. It incorporates so many dynamic features that it's easy enough for your child to switch from one side to the next whenever playtime starts getting redundant.
Pros

Five sides for exploration

Easy to use

Fun for all ages three and under

Vibrant colors

Improves language skills

Cons

The music is very high-pitched

4. VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck

4. VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck
If you're looking to get your baby crawling around more then look no further than this cute little dump truck. While it doesn't sound like a lot of fun, this little toy will have them crawling around loading and unloading "rocks" for hours!
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At nine months, your baby is getting ready to take his or her first steps. Because of this, it's important to have toys that contribute to their walking progress and will encourage them to keep up the great work. The VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck works in several different ways. It can be pulled around via the string that's attached to the front of the truck, so whether your child is crawling or on their way to walking, they'll always have a way to bring their truck with them. Additionally, this truck can be played with in a stationary position since it does come with three balls that can be loaded up and unloaded with the lift feature. As your child moves their truck around, they'll be delighted to hear that it also plays music. The tunes will keep your little one jamming out as they become more and more motivated to stay active and drive their truck around the house. When they're not pulling it along with them, this truck has three buttons -- found on the side -- that play different sounds, melodies, and will teach them various facts.

Benefits
As with all VTech products, this truck has an educational feature to go along with its other skill-building features. It'll help them improve on language, motor function, and will even teach them valuable facts about shapes, numbers, and colors once they're a bit older.

What We Like About It
This will keep your baby mobile and have them crawling around in no time. Toy cars and trucks are known for motivating kids to be more active because when they're playing with an active toy, they'll enjoy moving around to support their imaginative play.
Pros

Teaches random facts

Keeps kids moving around

Comes with three balls to play with

Has a dump truck lift feature

Plays music

Cons

The rocks can be challenging to push through the top of the truck sometimes

5. Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

5. Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube
Sorting cubes have a reputation for being somewhat boring, but that was before Melissa & Doug got their hands on the idea. This sorting cube is fun, colorful, and built to last.
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Every child should have a sorting cube in their toy box. Sorting cubes help to teach kids how they should separate and organize shapes based on size and will teach them important cognitive skills that they'll need as they get older. These types of cubes push them to use all of their critical thinking abilities in order to place blocks in the holes where they belong and they're rewarded with knowing that they came up with the correct answer. This is a great activity for you to do with your child as well since the look on your face when they match a shape with its corresponding hole will be reward enough for them. This cube by Melissa & Doug meets all of the expectations we've grown to expect with them and is built tough to last for years. The high-quality wood exterior is durable and the paint is colorful while still holding true in traditional, classic colors.

Benefits
Not only will your child become familiar with various 3D shapes, but they'll also learn how to problem-solve. The task at hand is to seek out the correct hole to match the shape they have in their hand and this will soon turn into a fun game they'll love playing.

What We Like About It
We love anything that takes a skill-building exercise and turns it into a fun game. Babies will be mesmerized when they drop a shape into the correctly shaped-hole and their block suddenly disappears. Additionally, they'll be even more surprised when they realize they've actually put it exactly where it needs to go!
Pros

Teaches problem-solving skills

Increases cognitive ability

Fun game to play with your baby

Will still hold its value later on

Durable and long-lasting

Cons

Some babies might get bored with it easily

6. Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle

6. Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle
What better way to learn about farm animals than through a puzzle? Your baby is sure to have their favorites but the good news is that by the end of it, they'll also know where all of their favorites belong.
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Similar to a sorting cube, puzzles also hold the same amount of skill-building benefit in the sense that they challenge the mind. As long as the puzzle is age-appropriate, such as this one, you can provide your baby with a fun brainteaser that will catch their attention and encourage them to figure out the task at hand. This works best if they watch you put this puzzle together first and then encourage them to do the same. Initially, this puzzle will just look like random shapes to them until they start to piece it together. Once they put each place where it needs to be, they'll learn that satisfying feeling you get when a puzzle piece easily fits into its destined spot. This will boost their confidence and serve as confirmation to them that they're doing something right, thus increasing their problem-solving skills and helping them to think and reason out minor problems.

Benefits
Puzzles are great for you at any age, from nine months all the way into adulthood. They provide proper brain-bending that will increase your capacity for problem-solving and maybe even test your patience a little.

What We Like About It
We love that this puzzle will teach kids about farm animals, therefore going far beyond just being a simple puzzle. It's a useful tool in education as well as brainpower.
Pros

It's easy to put together

Designed with bright colors and fun illustrations

Each piece is thick and fits properly

Teaches kids about farms

Fun family activity

Cons

It's not hand-painted

7. Melissa & Doug Shapes Wooden Chunky Puzzle

7. Melissa & Doug Shapes Wooden Chunky Puzzle
You're never too young for a puzzle and this one is the perfect shape and size for a ten-month-old. It's easy to piece together but not too easy and becomes a fun activity for you and your baby to complete together.
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This puzzle is similar to the last but it's actually a bit simpler. It's not as overwhelming and doesn't have so much going on, but what it does have is a helpful guide to learning about shapes. On this puzzle, you'll find a circle, square, diamond, rectangle, triangle, heart, star, and an oval -- all the basic shapes that your baby will eventually be learning about in school. these pieces are thick, easy to grab with small hands and fit perfectly in their correct places. In order to avoid making things too easy, each shape is painted in a different color than its home on the board, providing an adequate challenge for kids. This is a great activity for you to do with your baby as you can teach them about each shape long before their school teacher ever does. Additionally, they'll gain cognitive skills as well as problem-solving skills just by putting this puzzle together.

Benefits
It's never too early to teach your baby how to improve their cognitive skills. Their perception of these puzzle pieces and how they fit together will only help them as they grow and develop and learn to solve even bigger problems.

What We Like About It
This puzzle is simple yet still fun to play with. It's easy enough for your baby to complete on their own once you've shown them how it's done, yet still provides an adequate challenge for a nine-month-old.
Pros

Improve cognition

Increases capacity for problem-solving

Challenging without being too hard

Teaches kids about shapes

Will hold its value

Cons

The paint can chip over time

8. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy

8. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy
Every baby needs a tunnel of their own to crawl through and this one is cute and colorful. It'll promote healthy crawling habits and help babies build muscle at the same time.
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You've seen these tunnels before but you might not realize how beneficial they actually are to your child. Mostly found at after-school clubs and in activity centers, these tunnels are a blast for kids to crawl through and hide in. For a baby, these tunnels are just as beneficial as they are fun. In order to understand why we must first address the development that's happening at nine months of age. At this point, your baby is likely crawling around on their own and gearing up to start walking. You can begin to see this when they start pulling themselves up on the furniture around them or hanging onto your hands in an effort to pull themselves up. Tunnels such as these are enticing due to their bright colors and are intriguing from a child's point of view on the ground. Crawling through these will drastically increase your baby's motor function and physical strength. Tunnel-crawling will quickly turn into an activity that they'll love doing daily and each time they complete a crawl, they'll be increasing their strength, coordination, and balance.

Benefits
Tunnels such as these are a blast to kids of all ages, however, to a baby, they hold their own benefits. For a nine-month-old, a tunnel such as this is a gateway to developing even more muscles and functions as the precursor to taking those first steps.

What We Like About It
This tunnel will hold onto its value long after your baby has started taking their first steps. It'll eventually turn into a fun activity for them alone or when they have friends over and it's something that will always be interesting and get them moving.
Pros

Encourages movement

Increases muscle strength

Improves coordination and balance

Colorful and inviting

Will continue to be fun for years

Cons

The tunnel might shuffle around when more than one child crawls through

9. Fisher-Price Zoom 'n Crawl Monster

9. Fisher-Price Zoom 'n Crawl Monster
This little monster will have your baby crawling around in no time at all. Fisher-Price has turned crawling into a fun game with this toy and it's one that's sure to delight your whole family.
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This little monster is the ultimate in crawling needs. Your baby will be totally excited when they realize that not only will they have a pal to crawl along with them, but it's also a fun toy as well! The Fisher-Price Zoon 'n Crawl Monster is a handy little tool to improve your baby's muscle function while they crawl around in an attempt to catch up with this funny guy. In his mouth, he holds several balls that will randomly spit out as he rolls and spins around the floor. It then becomes your baby's job to go after all of these balls and put them back in his mouth -- Just for him to do it all over again! It's a fun way to get your child up and moving around and they'll be growing their tiny muscles and improving their coordination without even realizing it. This monster doesn't move too fast or too slow and rolls at just the perfect pace to give your baby a doable challenge.

Benefits
If you were looking for something that will get your baby moving, this monster is it! Although he's called a "monster", he's not very scary -- In fact, he's quite friendly and will motivate them to move around and follow him as he leaves "snacks" all over the floor.

What We Like About It
This fun little game is the perfect trick to getting your baby to work on their motor skills. It'll be a blast for them and can really be a fun family activity as well since everyone can help to collect these balls and restart the game.
Pros

Fun and exciting for a baby

Improves motor function

Increases muscle strength

Improves coordination

Can be played within a group

Cons

It doesn't always change directions when it meets an object

10. Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Singing Plush

10. Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Singing Plush
"Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo..." We know that you know exactly what song we're talking about and we also know how much your baby loves it. Now, they can play it anytime they want.
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You know you've heard it and dreaded those first few notes... It's the Baby Shark song! This song has practically taken the world by storm and has grown wildly in popularity among kids as well as adults. Many forget that it did start as a catchy little rhyme for kids, though, and this stuffed plush is just the stuffed animal your baby needs. It's cute, funny, and will have your baby singing along with it in no time. Around nine months, your child is likely just discovering his or her voice and having something to sing along with will only help their language skills. Your baby will be stuck on this catchy toon and can replay it as many times as they want with the simple press of a button. It's great on car rides and at home when your baby is restless, although we have to warn you -- Don't be surprised if you catch yourself singing this song throughout the day.

Benefits
Music can do a lot more than just being a fun way to pass the time. It's soothing to the senses and having a melody that your baby is familiar with can really help to calm them down.

What We Like About It
The popular song has been turned into a loveable little plushy shark and we love how cute it is. Your baby will love it, too, and it'll quickly become their favorite comfort toy.
Pros

Sings a popular song

The tune is catchy and upbeat

Serves as a comforting toy

Can be traveled with easily

Brightly-colored

Cons

It doesn't do anything other than sing

Criteria Used in the Evaluation of the Best Toys for 9-Month-Olds

By now, your baby is probably crawling up a storm. It might even be tough to keep up with them! That’s something we love to hear about as it means that your baby is developing right on schedule. Every baby will move and grow at different rates, however, so don’t be too nervous if your baby is still learning how to handle their own weight, balance, etc. Your baby will probably also be talking like crazy which is another great sign. This also means that they’re becoming very vocal, are really feeling their vocal cords, and will be looking for toys that give them a run for their money. Anything with music or sound will be a huge hit and will likely have them going on for hours. They might move from toy to toy during this stage, which is totally fine — They’ll always come back to their favorite. Before we get into why these types are toys are important and the development of your baby at this stage, let’s first go over what brought us to this final list.

As with any other baby products, safety was our first concern. While babies aren’t so obsessed with putting things in their mouths at this point (again, every child is different), it is still a risk. Due to that, we continued to stay away from toys with small pieces, accessories, etc. There’s really no need for any of that at this stage anyway since your baby will be more enamored by the sounds and visual aspects of a toy rather than the accessories that come with it. Since the imaginative play isn’t yet part of their playtime routine, we stuck to toys that still played on the senses and had some level of interaction. Anything that sings, plays music, flashes brightly, or encourages physical interaction was ranked fairly high on our list. While this might begin to wear at adults, it’s important for babies to have access to toys that will encourage their newfound skills — During the nine-month point, this just happens to be their voice.

While we did avoid anything that could be a choking hazard, we made sure to include toys on here that did have individual components. Babies will likely have a firm handle on the “pinching” motion with their index finger and thumb and will be using this plenty. In order to encourage that dexterity, we sought toys that had individual components to them and aspects that made playtime fun and interesting. The more parts on a toy that could be moved, played with, picked up, pulled, twisted, etc., the more we wanted to add it to the list.

Your baby will also be increasingly curious during this time. The difference, however, will be in how they execute their next move after the initial curiosity. Your baby will be itching to solve problems and complete puzzles, such as fitting things where they belong and clicking things into place. This type of brain bender activity is something you’ll begin to notice gaining in popularity with your baby from this point on. Their skills will be apt enough that they’ll be seeking out things to solve and complete, all of which we considered when coming up with this list of ten.

Speaking of brains, let’s dive a little deeper into that notion. This is the first point in your baby’s development where they’ll be truly engaged in the full capacity of their brain power. Up to this point, most of their toys have been about pure interaction and exploration; mostly prompting them to be curious and hone in their skills. By nine months, your baby will be ready to put all of those skills to good use via logic and critical thinking. They’ll also be using the reasoning skills they’ve built up in order to solve common problems. Any toy that encourages logic is a good toy. Take for example something where they need to fit the correctly-shaped block with its matching hole. While it seems simple to us due to our advanced brainpower, to a baby, this is a complex problem. They’ll need to really reign in their critical thinking skills in order to go through a trial and error process to match up the two components. It’s toys such as these that will really put them to the test and since they have grown significantly over the last nine months, they’ll also have the patience to figure it out.

If your baby shows signs of being bored or frustrated with a toy such as this, it might be time for you to step in. You should still interact and play with your baby at this point in their development since they’ll be keen on your expressions and take queues from you still. It’s through your excited voice and gentle guidance that they can become engaged in the task at hand. Even if it’s not their favorite toy, this simple method of bonding is something that can be done every few days to sharpen their skills and continue to build them. Babies are capable of much more than many people think at this age and their skills should always be encouraged and supported, especially at this age.

Communication is also an incredibly important tool in your baby’s development. Picture books and over-simplified puzzles are incredibly important when it comes to this age. While your baby might not be able to fully form sentences or certain words at this point, they can definitely listen and start to understand. You’ll find that your baby is starting to have a firm grasp on learning and is initiating the first steps in their education. For instance, let’s say that you have a picture book that depicts sealife. Amongst this picture is a fish, a boat, and an octopus. It’s at this stage that your baby might be starting to learn name association and after listening to you several times, they might be able to point out what certain things are. If you indicate the “fish”, don’t be surprised if that’s exactly what they point to. This method of visual as well as auditory learning is crucial in their development. Educational toys are beginning to take their place in your baby’s life now and will hold their value for months to come. Additionally, your baby will also be able to tell the difference between certain toys and objects simply by hearing you name each one. This is good practice for when they eventually begin speaking, as you’ll be able to ask them to bring you one and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. In a vice versa situation, you’ll be able to pick up one of their toys and ask for the name of it, and they’ll eventually be able to mouth the words for themselves.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which one of these toys will last the longest?

A: We never seek out products that don’t have a long shelf-life therefore, in reality, they’re all bound to last several years at least.

Q: Do they come with batteries?

A: You should always have a spare pack of batteries when purchasing a product that uses them, just in case. While many of these come with demo batteries, there’s no way to know for sure how long they’ll last.

Q: How would you clean the plush since it is battery-operated?

A: We’d recommend spot-cleaning it with mild soap and water when necessary to avoid damaging the actual product.

Q: Can these be used by babies between 9-12 months?

A: Of course! Nine months falls in the latter timeline of the one-year mark, therefore all of these toys could absolutely be helpful for babies who are older than that.

Q: Would any of these be a good gift for a baby shower?

A: Any of the VTech items or even the Baby Shark plush would make excellent gifts for new parents.

Q: Can these be used in the car for long car rides as well?

A: The Baby Shark plushy and the Lamaze Peek-A-Boo book are really the only two things that are very travel-friendly — Everything else needs to be used indoors on the floor or a hard surface.

Sources

  1. WebMD Editorial Staff, Baby Development: 9 Months,
  2. Chaunie Brusie, 9 Month Old Baby,
  3. Bounty, Baby: 0-12 Month Development,