At 9 months, babies are no longer newborns, but they’re not quite toddlers either. This sweet age range is a great time for toys that help build motor and cognitive skills and are just plain fun.
The best gift for a nine-month-old is something that encourages sensory exploration, says child development expert and mom Christine Luff. She likes toys that let kids explore with their sense of touch, smell and taste, as well as sight and sound. These toys can also be used to build early literacy and problem-solving skills.
Toys that use bright colors or lights are another way to engage 9-month-olds, says Luff. The sound and rhythm of music can stimulate the brain as well. Sensory toys that allow babies to make their own tunes or use their hands to create sounds can also be a great choice for this age group.
Baby’s fine motor skills are also exploding at this age, and she can use her fingers to open doors, spin wheels or push buttons. This toy, shaped as an adorable octopus, has two musical settings and plays phrases and songs to encourage listening and learning. Babies can press the hands, ears and feet to play different songs or listen as the toy teaches them letters, animal names, shapes, colors and more.
This padded toy can keep babies busy for hours. They can lift the crinkly flaps, match the shapes and drop the textured blocks through the sorter to improve their fine motor skills. This toy is perfect for travel and can even double as a bath toy thanks to its easy-to-grasp handle.
Babies love to play with their parents, and lifting and turning the pages of a book can help develop fine motor skills. This colorful lift-the-flap board book has a cute animal theme, and the simple illustrations are suitable for baby’s developing language and cognition. The book is BPA- and PVC-free and has no magnets or batteries, making it a safe option for babies.
Babies are notorious for putting things in their mouths, so it’s important to avoid toys that can be a choking hazard at this age. Toys with small pieces should be avoided, and any toy that can be chewed on by babies should have a hard surface or plastic teething strap.
This subscription box from Lovevery includes toys that will grow with your baby through their different milestones. It comes with a variety of Montessori-inspired toys, including stacking rings, cause-and-effect toys and more. The company has a variety of subscription options, including one for infants and toddlers.