Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Best Toys for Baby: Ages 4-6 Months

All of the toys that were good for baby in the first three months are great possibilities for good toys for this age range as well (see Best Toys for Baby: Ages 0-3 Months ). Keep in mind, however, that there will be some of those toys that baby loved as a two month old but will really dislike as, say, a five month old. For example, one of Brayden's favorite toys as a two month old was his gym. By four months, however, he was pretty bored with it. For Kaitlyn, the toy that really lost her interest was the bouncy seat. Be aware of your child's growing mind and need to leave those "baby" toys behind. Now, let's add to the list from 0-3 months.


  • Wrist Rattles: This might be something your baby enjoys before this age, but by the time baby is grabbing at things and noticing her hands, the wrist rattle can be a fun toy. It can keep her interest and she won't drop it on her face. Wrist Rattles
  • Jumper: Brayden started in the jumper between 3-4 months old. This was one of his favorite toys for many, many months. Kaitlyn started more between 4-5 months old. We have a Fisher Price Jumperoo, but there are many different kinds out there. The stationary jumper (like the Fisher Price one) requires a lot of space and pretty much remains set up the whole time baby is interested in it. There are also things like the Johnny Jump up that attach to the header above a door and can be taken up and down and stored with more ease. Jumpers
  • Exersaucer: Some babies really like this and some hate them. Brayden would have absolutely hated this. He was a mover. Kaitlyn really liked it for a couple of weeks then lost interest. We borrowed one from my sister-in-law when Kaitlyn was 6 months old. I think she would have enjoyed it more at a younger age. Exersaucers
  • Walker: Not all people love these. Brayden loved it. Kaitlyn really enjoyed it also, but she used it more like an exersaucer than a walker. I would put toys on the tray for her to play with, so the toys rotated. Brayden started walking in the walker at 4.5 months. Walkers
  • Toys Baby Can Hold: By four months most babies can or are starting to hold objects in their hands. This is a good time to have some sort of rattle for baby to play with. As in all things associated with baby, there are so many options out there. Walk down any baby aisle in any store and you will see various options for rattle-type toys for baby. One thing I would be sure to have is a light, soft rattle. When baby is first learning to hold things, she drops them on herself. A light and soft rattle will not hurt coming down. Rattles
  • Toys that Hook On: By five months, most babies can or are starting to reach for objects. Baby likes to reach for those toys. I like to hook toys on to something so baby can reach and grab without losing the toy because baby just isn't that good at holding on yet. We have these links by Baby Einstein: Baby Einstein Links You can use them to hook rattles or keys or whatever baby likes to another object so the toy can't make it far. The links by themselves were also favorites for both of my kids. Also, toys designed for the carseat might be fun: Carseat Toys
  • Bumbo: At some point in this age range, your child might enjoy a bumbo. You want to be mindful with all of these items you put baby in that you don't overuse it and cause baby to not get the practice needed moving on her own. This is true of swings, jumpers, walkers, exersaucers, etc. But the bumbo can be a fun place for baby to sit before baby is capable of sitting on her own. Bumbo Seat
  • Bucket of Toys: Close to six months, most babies can sit on their own. If not, they can sit while leaning against something. Around this age both of my children became fascinated with emptying out buckets of toys. I store the toys they like to play with in a small tote that I can easily transport around the house. At this age, I give sit them down and give them their tote. They love to empty it.
  • Blocks: Close to six months might be a good age to introduce blocks if baby is interested. There are of course many types of blocks out there. Wood, plastic, cloth, large, small, etc. We have Baby Einstein Discover and Play Color Block and Fisher Price Peek-A-Blocks: Shape Sorter. The Fisher Price Shape sorter is for 9 months and up, but before baby is able to actually put the shapes through the holes, she can empty that shape sorter out over and over again.
  • Soft dolls and animals: Be sure they are baby safe (there are no parts that can come off into baby's mouth). These can build dexterity.
  • Peek-a-boo: This isn't a toy, but a game to play with baby starting close to six months if he is interested. You can use your hands over your face, over baby's face, or a blanket over a toy that you reveal over and over.
  • Highchair: Your baby might enjoy sitting in the highchair with some toys for periods of time. See this post for more on highchairs: Highchair Features: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/highchair-features.html
  • Books: In addition to the books mentioned in the 0-3 month age post (see Best Toys for Baby: Ages 0-3 Months ), there are new features to be mindful of for this age group. One is touch and feel books. This is a good time to start to introduce textures. Since baby is started to grab at things during this age group, it is a good time to introduce the touch and feel book. Some babies will like them more than others; some are more tactile than others. Brayden was never particularly thrilled with touch and feel, while they have always been a favorite of Kaitlyn's. I like the DK Touch and Feel Books as well as Baby Einstein Touch and Feel books. She also loves this one: Tails. Another feature to be mindful of is your child's interest. As your baby gets closer to six months he is also likely showing some preferred interest in certain types of things. Look for books about topics he is interested in. If you aren't sure about a particular interest, wait for a bit. He will let you know soon enough.
  • Teething Toys: Your child may or may not be in need of these at this age. Even if your child isn't teething, though, she will most likely love to put things in her mouth. At this age, Kaitlyn loved a simple plastic teething ring. See this post for more on teething toys: Tips and Tricks: Teething: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/tips-and-tricks-teething.html
Related Posts:
Please feel free to add toys your baby did/does love to play with at this age!
Reader Advice/Thanks:
  • Ruth said...
    My daughter is about 5 1/2 months old, and she still loves her gym and bouncer. Unlike when she was younger, she now bats at and holds the toys that are hanging down. She also will sit in her highchair while I'm cooking or doing laundry in the kitchen. She hasn't figured out how to jump in her Johnny Jump Up, but I often place it in the doorway of the bathroom when I'm blowdrying my hair, etc and she enjoys being in a vertical position for a few minutes while I'm busy. When she is upset, the best things to calm her down are to either have her on my lap while I play the piano, take her to the bathroom so she can look in the mirror, or sit down with a Take Along Songs book and play the accompanying CD. These large board books have beautiful large illustrations so she can listen to as many as 20 songs in a row (and many songs have multiple verses). Even at 4 months old she had a long attention span for these songs (10 per CD/book) and would study the pages of the book intently. As you can tell, she likes music. :-)
    December 3, 2008 9:07 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Ruth, thanks for those ideas. It is great to get tips while you are in that age group rather than looking back on it and trying to remember what it was like.
    December 5, 2008 11:56 AM
  • Sarah's Mommy said...
    Hi Valerie,Great list! It is perfect timing for I have been getting requests for things to get my baby for Christmas :)Anyway, just wanted to inform all of your Canadian blog followers that baby walkers are actually prohibited in our country due to risks of injury. Here is the link for more info: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/child-enfant/equip/walk-marche-eng.php PS. Congratulations on your news of a baby girl!
    December 3, 2008 11:24 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Sarah's Mommy. I thought I had heard that somewhere before, but I wasn't sure.
    December 5, 2008 12:05 PM

2 comments:

Beth said...

My son is 4.5 months and pretty much his favourite toy is called "Baby Buddy: Baby's 1st Toothbrush". It sounds kind of weird, since he doesn't have teeth, but i happened to read some reviews of people saying how their babies loved to chew on these, and boy were they right! it has a soft flexible handle with a little loop he can stick his thumb through, which makes it a bit easier for him not to drop it. He loves to chew on it and practice getting it into his mouth over and over.

Plowmanators said...

That sounds neat! Thanks for sharing!

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