Do Newborns Need Toys for Development?

Muhammad Sohaib

Do Newborns Need Toys

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Muhammad Sohaib

The early stages of a child’s life are a crucial time for development. Newborns enter the world with a blank slate, and it’s during these first few months that they begin to explore their surroundings and develop their senses. 

As a parent or caregiver, you might be wondering if newborns need toys. In this article, we will explore the significance of toys in a newborn’s life and how they can impact their development.

Understanding the Newborn Stage

Toys are important for newborns because they play a significant role in their early development. Newborns use toys to start exploring and understanding the world around them. Toys also help improve their ability to focus and be responsive. It’s important for parents to select appropriate toys that can aid in a child’s development, and there are tips and recommendations available to help with this choice.

Benefits of Toys for Newborns

Toys for Newborns

1. Sensory Development

Newborns rely heavily on their senses. Toys with contrasting colors, different textures, and soothing sounds can stimulate their developing senses. 

These toys help babies engage with the world around them, improving their visual and auditory senses.

2. Cognitive Development

Toys can also play a significant role in a newborn’s cognitive development. Simple toys that encourage exploration and problem-solving, such as soft building blocks or toys with hidden surprises, can help babies develop essential cognitive skills.

3. Social Development

Even though newborns are not yet able to engage in cooperative play, interactive toys can help foster social development. 

Toys that encourage eye contact and bonding, like soft dolls or peek-a-boo games, can help the baby form connections with their caregivers.

Types of Toys Suitable for Newborns

1. Soft Toys

Soft and cuddly toys are perfect for newborns. They offer comfort and security and can become a source of attachment for the baby.

2. High-Contrast Toys

Newborns are drawn to high-contrast patterns and black-and-white images. Toys with these features can captivate a baby’s attention and support visual development.

3. Musical Toys

Soft, soothing music can be calming for newborns. Musical toys with gentle lullabies or white noise can help babies relax.

4. Textured Toys

Toys with various textures can stimulate a baby’s sense of touch. These toys can help with sensory development and provide a tactile experience.

5. Teething Toys

If age-appropriate, teething toys can be beneficial when your baby starts teething.

6. Tummy Time Toys 

Tummy time involves placing a baby on their stomach to strengthen neck and back muscles, aiding head control and preventing flat head syndrome. 

Tummy time toys are designed to make this practice engaging, with features like colorful patterns and textures to stimulate the baby’s development.

7. Sensory Toys

Sensory toys are designed to engage a child’s senses, including touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell. These toys often feature various textures, vibrant colors, different materials, and sometimes make sounds. 

They aim to stimulate sensory exploration, enhance fine and gross motor skills, and encourage overall sensory development in children.

8. Developmental Toys

Seek toys that support early motor skills, such as toys with simple grasping features.

DIY Toys for Newborns

If you prefer a hands-on approach, there are plenty of DIY toy ideas for newborns. Simple homemade toys made from safe materials can be a great way to engage your baby in playtime.

When to Introduce Toys to Newborns

When to Introduce Toys to Newborns

While newborns won’t actively play with toys, you can introduce them to simple toys early on. Gently engaging your baby with soft toys or high-contrast images during tummy time or when they are awake can be beneficial.

Parents’ Role in Playtime

Bonding with the Baby

Playtime is an excellent opportunity for parents to bond with their newborns. Talk to your baby, make eye contact, and enjoy these precious moments together.

Choosing the Right Toys

Selecting age-appropriate toys that stimulate your baby’s senses and curiosity is essential.

Supervising Playtime

Always supervise playtime to ensure the baby’s safety and to prevent any accidents.

Common Misconceptions 

Misconceptions # 1: The Need for Expensive Toys

  • Newborns don’t require expensive toys. They are more drawn to sensory experiences, like soft textures, contrasting colors, and gentle sounds.
  • Simple, age-appropriate toys, such as soft rattles and plush objects, can stimulate their developing senses and offer more engagement than costly toys.

Misconceptions # 2: Screen Time Is Beneficial for Newborns

  • For newborns, limiting screen time is crucial. Real-world interactions with caregivers and playtime with toys have more positive impacts on their development.
  • Babies learn through face-to-face interactions, touch, and exploration, which foster emotional connections and motor skill development.
  • Excessive screen time can potentially hinder their ability to engage with the physical world and delay important developmental milestones.

Safety Considerations

It’s essential to consider safety when selecting toys for newborns.

Age-Appropriate Toys

Choose toys that are suitable for a newborn’s age. Avoid toys with small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Non-Toxic Materials

Make sure the toys are made from safe, non-toxic materials. Babies tend to explore objects with their mouths, so it’s crucial that the toys are free from harmful chemicals.

Size and Choking Hazards

Ensure that the toys do not have small components that the baby could swallow or choke on.


What are the best toys for newborns?

The best toys for newborns are soft, high-contrast toys, and ones that make soothing sounds.

How can I ensure the safety of my baby during playtime?

Always supervise playtime and choose age-appropriate, non-toxic toys.

When should I start introducing toys to my newborn?

You can introduce simple toys early on during tummy time or when the baby is awake.

Are expensive toys better for newborns?

Expensive toys are not necessary; simple toys that stimulate the senses are often more effective.

Can I use DIY toys for my baby?

Yes, homemade toys made from safe materials can be a great choice for engaging your newborn in playtime.


In conclusion, newborns do benefit from having toys. Toys play a vital role in stimulating a baby’s senses, aiding in their cognitive and emotional development. 

However, it’s essential to choose age-appropriate, safe, and engaging toys while being mindful not to overstimulate your baby. 

With the right balance, toys can enhance your baby’s early experiences and create cherished moments of bonding and growth.

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