Knowing what to buy your baby or toddler for Christmas, or what to put on their list, can be tricky when you don't know what they will want to play with, in a few months' time.
We asked our Mums what their baby's favourite toy is at each stage, so you know what to put on that list! Other than your Lullaloop clothing rental gift too, obviously!
It was amazing that the Mums with babies the same age, all had very similar answers (despite the gender too, unsurprisingly).
A soft activity cube, book or animal.
These are great for this age as they start to explore different materials and sounds. Ones with a mirror and squeaky and crinkly toys are always a big hit.
The different fabrics are great for sensory play and also help the development of your baby’s hand-eye coordination.
Our Mums said these were their baby's favourites.
Lamaze Jacques The Peacock Activity Toy £13.00
A rattle or anything that makes a noise.
Rattles are not just fun for babies, you can also hold the rattle up to encourage the baby to track with their eyes, and alert them to noise. Once they can grasp the rattle it helps with their fine motor skills and often doubles up as a teething toy too, as they explore the rattle with their mouth!
Our Mums favourites
Babies love mirrors because they love to see faces and interact with 'another baby' a.k.a themselves. It's great for curiosity and once they start to sit they can start to hold them and lift them up.
Our Mum's favourites:
Sophie the giraffe and teething rings. At the age where their teeth are really starting to come in, it's soothing and can distract them from the pain.
Our Mum's favourites:Sophie la Girafe £14.95
Matchstick Monkey £9.99
This one can be put in the dishwasher and the steriliser!
Specifically one with lights and buttons. Now look, this isn't going to please your aesthetics but I personally had a lovely wooden one and a very colourful plastic one for both of my girls...you can imagine which was used more!
Our Mums said this is a perfect age where they really start to interact with the buttons and the sounds. It's best to get one that has removable legs so that it can be sat on the floor and also stand up so they can rest on it as they learn to stand.
This was the firm favourite (I also had this one...).
I would really recommend buying this second-hand! Once they have a nice wipe down there are so many out there to buy!
V Tech Activity Table on Vinted £10 rather than £45!
This made me laugh when it came up because both of my children were obsessed with these eggs, probably from about 7 months and for such a long time. As they get older they can also match the colours and they love the noise, putting them away and getting them back out again. For this price too, can't argue with it!
All things stacking!
This was very unanimous.
Stacking rings and cups came up time and time again.
Stacking is great for fine motor skills, cognitive development and problem-solving skills. There is also so much joy to be had by slowly watching your child go from eating them, to learning to stack!
Mushie Stacking Cups Toy £13.95
Little Dutch Stacking Rings £17.95
As they start to learn to walk, it is great for them to practice with a (heavy) trolly to push around and practice pulling themselves up.
These can be a little expensive, I have linked a new one but also this is a great one to search marketplaces for second-hand ones. They probably will only be used for 6 months or so.
Little Dutch Baby Walker £59.95
p.s. watch out for dents in your walls and cabinets!
Most of the Mums said that at this age they started to like shape sorting and easy floor puzzles. Again, great for fine motor skills, cognitive development and problem-solving.
These were the favourites.
Another big hit and it is educational and also buys lots of time. Quick tip, make sure you turn it off when you put the toys away... I've had many dinners where I can hear this thing going off and I am not sure where it is!
Little Dutch Wooden Sound Puzzle £18
Farm and little animals, tractors.
This answer came back from everyone with an 18 month-year-old, boys or girls! A tractor, animal and farm obsession.
Mums said anything that could be pulled along and animals could be put in and out of. Some favourites below:
The farms especially can be a bit expensive, the one below is reasonable but again it is worth browsing the marketplaces!
Wooden Tractor with Trailer £12.95
Pram and kitchen
Now they are on their feet and moving around, these were both a big hit! I was really glad to hear this was true for both boys and girls!
These items last a really long time too, my girls (2 and 4) still play with both of these things, daily. The little vegetables you can get as well that can be cut up with a knife, ice creams etc. provide a lot of fun and really enhance their imagination!
The kitchens are a little pricey but again, can be bought secondhand or sold - you do really get your money's worth with these ones!
Little Dutch Kitchen - £109
Kids Wooden Play Kitchen - £65
For All Ages
Another great idea is gifting or asking for a toy rental subscription. Meaning that you can swap toys in and out as you move through the phases, it will also save you a load of space too!
Our favourites are:
Whirli From £14 a month
Toy Box Club £35 a month
Borrow and Nest £18 a month