When I was a new mom, I struggled with what to get my first! I spent entirely too much time researching top toys online and trying to guess what Layla might actually like. But now that I’m a mom of two, I have a good handle of what toys were worth it and what ones only held my kids’ attention momentarily! So if you’re looking for some ideas of what to get your babies between newborn and twelve months old, I’m including all our family favorites in the ultimate gift guide for baby!
The Ultimate Gift Guide for Baby
From our favorite toys to take on the go to educational toys, I’ve included them all in my ultimate gift guide for baby! And these are all items that have withstood the test of time. Almost every one was a favorite of both Layla and Eliana.
Music Toy | Keys | Activity Mat | Music Book | Activity Cube | How Does Baby Feel? | Where is Baby’s Belly Button? | Stackable Rings | Dimpl | Rattle Ball | Picnic Basket | Flashlight | Activity Table | School Bus | Stroller | Smart Stages Puppy | Jumperoo
Our Family Favorite Toys for Newborn to 12 Months Old!
Music Toy – This toy is incredibly simple but both of my girls love music! Just press the button to play a variety of songs. It also lights up and has beads that double as a teething toy for my girls!
Keys – I’m sure most parents realize super-quickly that babies love touching things that you do! These keys are frill-free but still a favorite! My littles loved chewing on them and shaking them! I even put a key ring on them for Ellie that looks like mine. It made all the difference! 😂
Activity Play Mat – I’ve talked about this mat a few times, but it is truly our fav for the youngest of babies. The high contrast black and white design is so fascinating to little ones! Plus, we have gotten so much use out of all of the accessories that come with it! In fact the raccoon with crinkly tail was a constant travel toys for months! The hedgehog plays music and is another favorite!
Music Book – Y’all, trust me and get one of these books! It has two modes. One plays music and reads nursery rhymes! We now have two of these and they are a favorite of both of my girls!
Activity Cube – This was one of Ellie’s first Christmas gifts and was a huge hit! Once she was able to sit, it entertained her for the longest time! I would just switch the sides every few minutes, so she could play with everything! Now that she’s standing, she plays with the beads on top!
Karen Katz books – If you’re looking for education books that are also fun and entertaining, I love Karen Katz! How Does Baby Feel and Where is Baby’s Belly Button are two of our household favorites! They each are lift-the-flap style! I’ve taken these on plane trips but they are also everyday favs at home!
Stackable Rings – You can’t go wrong with a classic toy like these rings! Ellie mostly loves taking them off the ring and throwing them, but as she gets older, she’ll be able to stack them back! 😂
Dimpl – This is a newer find, but y’all, trust me, it’s good! It is so simple, but Ellie loves it and actually it even entertains Layla at five years old! The bubbles simply pop back and forward. That’s it. But the genius is in the simplicity! I love how easy it is to throw in my purse and diaper bag too!
Rattle Ball – What’s wonderful about this ball is that it is one that will be a go-to for over a year! The wide circular openings are perfect for infants learning to grasp! And the inner part is a rattle! As babies get older, they’ll enjoy playing with it more as a ball! Ellie loves throwing it and chasing it all over the house!
Picnic Basket – This was a toy I bought for Layla’s first birthday and I remember her taking all of the play foods in and out of the basket over and over again! As she got older, she started actually playing with it as a picnic set! And now Ellie loves playing with it too! It also plays music, which both my girls love.
Flashlight – This is a toy we more recently purchased after a friend of mine came to town and had it with her for her daughter! Ellie was instantly fascinated with it, the music, and the light! It’s another great small toy option that I throw in my diaper bag for on-the-go!
Activity Table – For older babies who are pulling up or standing on their own, this one is a must! Each side has a different toy (mini piano, phone, buttons and switches!), and there are also several different modes! I love putting mine on the Spanish mode for my girls!
School Bus – Does anyone else have little ones obsessed with Wheels on the Bus? Both my girls love the song and also this toy! It rolls, lights up, and plays music! It also holds Little People toys!
Stroller – Of all of her toys, this one is Eliana’s current favorite! It was another one we received for Layla’s first birthday, and is perfect for little ones learning to walk! Ellie loves to stuff the seat with her other favorite toys and stroll them around the house! I love that it helps unsteady walkers as well!
Smart Stages Puppy – This may look like just another stuffed animal but it is so much more than that! It plays music, talks, and has several different modes for growing children! As they get older you can switch the mode and it becomes more educational! Ellie calls it her “puppy” and loves pressing the light up heart to hear all of the songs it plays!
Jumperoo – At fifteen months, we finally just put this toy away. Ellie used it from about five months on and just loved it. Layla loved it too as a baby! I also appreciated having a safe space to put my girls when I was cooking or trying to do a couple things around the house. This one has a farm theme and is just adorable!
If you’re looking for more baby gift ideas, be sure to check out Walmart’s baby section! They have the biggest selection of baby gear, but they also separate toys by age range, making it so much easier to shop! Almost everything is available for free 2-day shipping too, which of course I love!
And if you need more baby gear, be sure to check out my most-used baby items post here!
*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post!*