Now that Baby’s cars, trucks, and choo-choos litter the floor as he toddles into 2 y/o, I can confidently say he didn’t once take so much as a glance at the wooden block house or Duplo police station that we so thoughtfully bought for his birthday. (Don’t even get me started on the LL Bean classic snow sled that we used for 6 minutes until Baby was leaning over into the only thin covering of snow we got all winter.)
That’s why I can also confidently tell you to save your money on toys, at least for that first 6 months. Seriously. Spend it on formula (because if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you, you’ll NEED to save your money for formula…), diapers, and Majamas (read my article on this amazing discovery here: Your Mama’s Majamas.
However, I recommend two items to help your little guy or gal develop those rapidly-firing brain cells.
(1) Stacking rings (Fisher-price Rock-a-stack): Stacking rings help babies around 6 months hone their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also promotes their sense of curiosity (though careful what you wish for :)). It also allows tired mommies time to lie on the couch with their hands over their eyes as they accidentally fall asleep while Baby entertains himself. Though this never happened to me, obviously…
(2) Soft ball (Gund Color Fun Educational Stuffed Rattle Ball): The first game Baby learned how to play with us when he started sitting up was rolling the ball back and forth. And back and forth. And back. and Forth. So. Much. Rolling.
But it worked, because it entertained him and taught him about social interaction (“playing”) and strengthened his hand-eye coordination. I also highly recommend a soft ball like this one for the day Baby learns to throw rather than roll. That hurt.
And if you just want to purchase every toy you can and be done with it for the next year, buy this trio from Fisher Price and call it a day: Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks with Stack And Roll Cups & Brilliant Basics Rock a Stack.