I’ve got a few requests to share Nell’s favorite toys so I thought I’d quickly jot down what she loves and plays with regularly. Just like I shared in my “baby essentials” post, the reality with toys is that every baby is different. People don’t say this enough when it comes to baby gear and toys - what one baby loves another may totally turn their nose up at! The below is mostly things we’ve bought several months after Nell is born, either to meet a need we had observed (she loves things that make sound, for example) or to build upon a play pattern we know she loves (stacking cups!).
What you see in this photo is her entire toy collection… and it truly is more than enough. The novelty of tipping her toy bin over provides more entertainment than most items on this list! We also learned the hard way from all of our baby gear that their preferences change so quickly. Nell is 7.5 months old and every single gift from our baby shower except for the Jumperoo has already been used, re-packed, and re-stored downstairs. Seriously - the Baby Bjorn, the Rock ‘n Play, the 4Moms (borrowed), the swing (also borrowed), the Halo Bassinest. She’s done with them all already. Wow. Therefore we really limit with what we will buy until her needs have more longevity.
Anyway, below are our tried-and-true for at least the last two months. Enjoy!
Bright Start Lots of Links: Buy them nothing but these freaking rings and a pair of cheap sunglasses to chew on. Wish I was kidding! My friend Cara told me to put these on my registry and I was so confused. Then she hit about 3 months and hasn’t loved anything more in her entire life minus said sunglasses (and me + C. I’d like to hope.). Buy a million and sprinkle them everywhere. Link them together and hang her paci off her stroller. Or her carseat. The options!!
Little Nomad Play Mat: These beautiful play mats look more like rugs than foam mats - such a relief to those of us that refuse to let baby gear take over their home! They are also the brainchild of fellow West Hartford mama… love supporting women-owned small businesses!
Manhattan Toy Atom Rattle + Teether: This thing was $8.99 and she’s loved it since at least 4 months. She can hold it easily, chew on it, make noise with it… one of her all-time favorites.
Fisher Price Jumperoo: This thing is ENORMOUS!!! We assembled it in our living room and now it’s stuck there because it doesn’t fit through any doorways. Oops. She’s loved this things since she was about 5 months old. She goes NUTS in it and bounces so hard we worry she’ll go flying out of it but it’s earned us many a load of laundry/dinner prep! She has the same one at school so she doesn’t seem to see the novelty
Baby Einstein Glow + Discover Piano: Good friends of ours had their daughter Grace two months before Nell and they’ve been a godsend in recommending things a bit of ahead for us! Grace loved this little light-up piano and so does Nell. Her favorite toy at school is also a light-up piano so we love having this simple, easily stored version at home.
Manhattan Toy Squish Grasper Toy: She’s had this since she was a newborn and seems to phase in an out of it. I’m nuts about “one in, one out” even with toys, so the fact that this one is still in rotation gives it a well-earned spot on the list.
Stacking Cups: You could essentially give Nell a water bottle or a plastic cup and she’d be happier than she is with ANY of these toys, but I love that these are BPA-free, sturdy, and have a tiny hole in the bottom of each (for water in the tub, OR, if you’re Nell, to avoid mold from drool :-D). These are inexpensive and will be relevant to her development for months to come.
Indestructibles Books: These books are AMAZING. Nell loves to chew on anything paper and these have even her fooled! Another reco from baby Grace, these book are truly indestructible… you can’t rip them, tear them, destroy them… and we throw them in the washing machine to clean them! Idk what the heck they are made of but we own three and have them on a constant rotation - especially when she’s reaching for restaurant menus!
Wooden Camera: I have no idea if she likes this. I just thought it was so cute and she will probably only think iPhones are cameras so I bought it. HA. It’s also $5… worth it!
Wooden Building Blocks: These are simple wood blocks with non-toxic white ink. For now, she loves chewing on them, knocking them against each other to make noise, and watching her Dada build towers, but I know they will last her for a while when she starts to stack them on her own. I also love that they are neutral and don’t look cheap!
Nautical Building Blocks: These have more texture than the previous ones and I LOVE the little sailboat print! I don’t care what the haters say, toys should and can be beautiful! They become part of your home and I think these blocks are just beautiful. Nell LOVES them and I know they will last for many years. This same brand makes gorgeous Liberty print blocks, etc. and they are non-toxic and made in the USA. Check, check + check!
Wood & Acrylic Montessori Rattle: This is another beautiful toy that Nell loves! She loves anything that makes noise AND that she can chew on. I love that this is sealed in coconut oil and the acrylic handle makes such a pretty sound for her against the wood. It’s great for teething and will work for her well into toddlerhood.
I also wanted to note a few of the other random things I’ve posted in stories lately that I haven’t had a chance to link to:
Miracle 360 straw and lid: This works with any size 360 cup + looks like a baby Yeti, kills me!
2” Baby Bows with Alligator Clips: These are $11 for 40 bows and they stay in her hair. Done.
Dr. Brown’s Baby’s First Straw Cup (we went right from the bottle to a straw cup + highly recommend it - save yourself all of the transitions!! ha) The # of conflicting reviews on Amazon on every baby cup will drive you mad. I finally just went with these and she likes them so I didn’t try any others.
Long-sleeve Fall Romper (in the above photo)
Sleeveless Fall Romper (from her recent photos - in light green)
Autumn Pattern Sleeveless Romper (also from her photos - not the best quality but it’s $6.99)
Long-Sleeve Pattern Romper (FYI this is super cheap quality but it looks cute!)