I think as parents we often over-think everything. What our babies eat, what they wear, wood vs. plastic, how often they sleep and how long and even what toys they play with. Babies need very little to be honest, but there's a HUGE market out there for all things babies, which include the latest and greatest items to keep your baby happy and in many cases organic (LOL). I'm generally a one-woman-show when it comes to taking care of Huxley. Not to discredit Bryon because he is an outstanding and super involved father...but he's also a surgical resident so his hours are INTENSE. Our families don't live super close to us either so I don't have a lot of help. Independent play and entertainment is really important for my lifestyle as a mom because I can't be with Huxley all the time. Laundry needs to get done, meals need to be made, the condo needs to be cleaned etc. Toys and activities are key - but I also didn't want a ton of them lying around because we don't have the space. So I found a few that would grow with Huxley to keep him entertained in different ways depending on his age and assist him with development. I wanted to share these toys with my readers in case any moms, to-be mom's or anyone is needs to buy a gift for a baby need a resource for toys that are actually helpful. Of course all babies are different, and these are what worked for Huxley. These aren't the only toys he owns, but these ones are definitely the most useful!
Side note: many of these toys are either bought used or are hand-me-downs. I've linked the toys for you to get more info on them and for easy shopping, but after getting info on the item, I recommend checking places like Facebook Marketplace and Varage Sale first to see if you can find the item from someone else who is no longer using it. It's important that we try to be sustainable!
I get asked about Huxley's playpen at least twice a week on social media. It is a large playpen so it doesn't limit mobility! It does take up a substantial amount of space, but I deal with it because he is so entertained in there. It's easy to fold away to store after Huxley goes to bed as well!
Huxley LOVES playing with these at Gymboree. They were probably introduced to him when he was 7 months old, and he loves putting his fingers in the holes and carrying them around. He was always so sad when they took them away from him and I thought about buying them for him at Gymboree but they were grossly over-priced. We found a pack of 6 on Amazon. Although they are smaller than the balls at Gymboree, they are perfect for him.
Huxley has been playing with his classic stacking cups (which were a hand-me-down from his cousins) since he was probably 5 months old. Right now, he just enjoys unstacking them and stacking them (not according to the correct number lol) and throwing them out of his playpen. But they are also numbered and different colours, which is helpful for teaching numbers and colours! I expect him to play with them for quite a while longer!
Huxley's Uncle David got this set for him before he was born. These three toys have proven to entertain him from a small baby to a 10 month old and very likely beyond. He LOVED the bucket for the shape sorter as a small baby. Just the bucket lol. He enjoyed dumping the shape pieces out. Now, at 10 months, he still loves the bucket, but he also loves the shapes and putting them inside things, he LOVES the rings and recently he's started to understand the xylophone. He's been enjoying the three toys since he was 4-5 months and still does, just in a different way. So it's really cool to watch him use the toys in different ways as he grows.
I bought one of these for Huxley off Facebook Marketplace for $15. It's an older model, so his is no longer available. There are different versions out there (like this Fisher Price one) - so you just have to shop around and see which one would be best for your child, but guaranteed you can find it used for an extremely reasonable price. I got it for Huxley when he started to pull himself up to stand. I thought it might motivate him more - and it did. For the first few weeks I would need to be near him when he played with it but eventually he could use it on his own without uncontrolled falling. It's been probably 4 months and he still plays with it. It has a lot of different learning options, which means he can use it for at least another year or two.
A lot of parents don't think of these now because they're so 'old school' and not 'new'. But Huxley LOVES playing with them. His paediatrician has huge ones in his waiting room and Huxley loves to play with them. I decided to ask for one for him from my parents for Christmas. It's a bit small, but he still likes it. I think it's great for motor skills and a simple way to keep a baby entertained and start thinking about simple problem solving.
If you don't know about these, let me introduce you: if you're baby can stand comfortablably, this will help promote walking. I don't recommend it as a toy to promote standing because it rolls and your baby will fall lol. This is what got Huxley going when it came to walking and learning to use his legs. The face also detaches and can be used as an (annoying) interactive toy - which Huxley really enjoys. There are also several versions of this toy. I purchased this one used on Facebook Marketplace for $10 - I recommend buying it used because there are so many of them out there! Why pay full price???
This is such a cute toy - and for such a small and simple toy...it offers a lot. Right now, all Huxley likes doing with it is picking up the pieces and putting them in his mouth lol. But as he gets older, it will help him learn colours, he can stack it and make different designs with the pieces. It's a great toy that will grow with him.
I was apprehensive about sharing this on here because it's actually for children aged 3+. I included it because we took out all the pieces except for the fruits and vegetables (we'll include the other pieces when he's older). This is by far his favourite toy. He loves standing by it and pulling the wooden fruits and vegetables out of the dividers. He carries them in his hand and just enjoys everything about it. If you decide to purchase this before your child is 3, note that you will need to constantly supervise them. I only let Huxley play with this when I can be near him the whole time and watch him constantly.