Ten Minutes to Yourself: Essential Toys for Babes 0-6 months


Guy Smiley Ten minutes is a precious commodity in the life of a new
parent.  Think of all the things you can
do in that very short period of time: shower (!), check your email, pay
your bills,
empty the dishwasher, call your best friend, clear the drain of all that hair you're shedding, paint your toenails,
savor a cup of coffee or tea . . .  But where on EARTH will you find ten minutes
for all of these gloriously luxuriant activities I speak of, you ask?  Where indeed. 
You need the right toys for your kiddo, ones that will enable her to
play independently for short (~10 minute) periods of time.  Toys that will engage and stimulate him and make
your life about a thousand times easier, both in the short term and in the long
run.  In time your peanut’s attention span will grow and he’ll be able to play independently
for longer periods of time—an important life skill he’ll need.     

Aren’t you the chick who spent $125.99 on a ridonculous
play mat
when you already had a $40.00 version you really liked? You might
ask.  I could say I bought that play gym
as research for this blog, but in the interest of full disclosure, the truth is
I still have plenty of room for mistakes in the area of baby accoutrement.  BUT, I’m telling you that, beyond a shadow of
a doubt, and after watching my boys play with the same stuff over the last two
years, I have 100% mastered toys for the 0-6 month set. 

I’ve whittled the seemingly endless list of useless baby gadgetry
I’ve purchased down to the essential toys that actually get played with, and
I’m confident these items are close to, if not all, the toys you’ll need for
your kiddo, up to about 5 or 6 months. 

Baby Blanket Teether Bear – $13.00
Amazing Baby Blanket Teether Bear
This sweet little bear is a great at-home and car toy.  It crinkles, squeaks, has multiple textures,
rings for easy grasping and teether paws.

Baby Buzzr Baby Buzz’r
– $13.95

This toy is a tender, low-key version of baby shock-and-awe.  It doesn’t have independent play staying
power, but watch as your fussy little or gal becomes mesmerized and contentedly
quiet, buying you the few moments you need to check out at the grocery store or
finish a phone call before an all-out meltdown.

Sweet Dreams Crib Mirror – $8.99
Baby Sweet Dreams Crib Mirror
I’m a huge fan of mirrors for babies.  I have lightweight shatterproof mirrors above
both my sweet-peas’ dressers and a mirror in my 5-month-old’s crib.  Mirrors are fascinating to the little ones
and help with language and social skill development.

Babyville Activity Toy Babyville
Activity Toy – $15.95

The only thing babies love more than their own reflection is
another baby.  The Babyville Activity toy
has several pictures of diverse cuties, funky and interesting octopus arms with
different textures and ribbon and teether tabs.

Mobile – $19.99
Manhattan Toy Infant-Stim Mobile
The high-contrast and interchangeable images on the Infant-Stim
mobile are a big with hit the 0-6 month set. 
I can’t count the times I’ve entered the room of both my eldest and
infant son to catch them looking up and laughing or smiling at this mobile,
something I’ve never seen happen with designer mobiles that are appealing to
older folks.  I change one of the images
at least once a week and watch as my little guy looks at his mobile with new
eyes, a terrific exercise in observation and memory for his developing brain.  When we traveled with my eldest, I’d pop a
few of the cards in my carry-on for a compact, durable on-the-go toy.

Infantino Peek Rattle and Teether Peek
Rattle & Teether – $9.99

A small set of soft blocks are a must.  Little people need interesting objects that
are light enough for them to handle but cool enough to hold their
attention.  I like this set because they
are made of high-contrast color fabrics and have little windows with other
interesting objects, like a rattle ball, rings and bell, inside.

Big Oball – $16.99
Really Big Oball
I love the Really Big Oball for tiny babies and older kids
alike.  Our tiniest man just hangs out and manipulates
it, looking pretty impressed with himself. 
I think he gets a kick out of handling something so big, but it’s light
and grasp-able enough for his Lilliputian guns. 
By the same merit, when his big bro’ punts it across the room, it
doesn’t hurt too much when it connects.

Manhattan Toy Squish Classic Squish
Classic – $12.04

If you only buy one toy for your 0-6 month old, this should be
it.  To observe first my oldest and now
my youngest little man playing with this delightful toy is to witness sheer awe
and absorption.  Luv luv luv that it squishes
flat, making it a stellar travel toy, too. 

and Fold Activity Gym – $43.59
Twist and Fold Activity Gym
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best and cheapest activity gym
out there, and I
have owned three
.  Moms of little
chicks: do not, not for even for a second, consider purchasing the “girl” pink
vomit version of this gym.  The “boy” version
is totally unisex enough.

Congratulations on your new bundle, and enjoy your 10-minute break,
dear mamas!

– M




  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I’ve got the clothes and safety stuff figured out pretty well, but toys have totally stumped me, never having a baby before (this is my first). Awesome!

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