There are so many toys for babies, but perhaps the most fun are toys that make noise.
As with all things for our babies, we need to make sure we do our very best and get toys that are fun, age-appropriate, and also beneficial for our little ones. Let’s look at toys that make noise for babies and see what all the fuss is about.
Most babies enjoy listening to different sounds from birth. Parents can use noisemakers to practice skills like eye-tracking, sound identification, and more. The best toys that make noise for babies can be used in different ways and will last a long time.
If you are looking for noise-making toys for your baby or a baby in your life, you have come to the right place. With so many toy options available and so many ways to use toys that make toys, you could be left feeling more than a little overwhelmed. Let’s look at what toys are available, which are the best, the opinions of different schools of thought, the appropriate ages to introduce and use noisy toys, and ways to use them to help stimulate your baby’s development.
What Noise-Making Toys are Available?
Toys that make noise for babies encompass all things noisy, from basic infant rattles to musical instruments and electronic light-up toys. If you are in search of a fun gift for a little one, we have created a list of twenty well-known toys that fall into the noisy category to give you a bird’s eye view of your options.
- Squeaky toys
- Texture and sound mats
- Electronic light-up toys
- Toy phones
- Toy electric drums, guitars, and horns
- Toy microphones
- Toy guns that make sounds
- Toy robots
- Musical instruments
- Musical teddies and nightlights
- Talking dolls and teddies
- Balls and blocks with bells
- Piano mats
- Playmats with hanging toys
- Musical or squeaky hammers
- Activity table centers
- Mini rainmakers
While the options seem endless, choosing a toy that makes noise for a baby will come down to a few considerations. Personal taste, the budget with which you are working, and if you feel the toy is appropriate for the specific child who will receive it are things to keep in mind.
What are the Best Noise-Making Toys for Babies?
From birth, babies that can hear enjoy interacting with sounds. Depending on the baby’s age, you can structure playtime with toys that make noise to add enjoyment and help your baby develop through being appropriately stimulated. Let’s look into the best noise-making activities for babies as they grow and how to use them to encourage their development.
Birth to Two Months
The infant phase of a baby’s life is possibly the one with the most growth. Dubbed the fourth trimester, this is a time for the infant to develop and gain the strength to carry them into childhood. From birth to about two months, you should keep sounds soft.
Everything is new for babies at this stage, so sounds that are too loud could startle them and result in crying rather than enjoyment and learning.
Toys that make noise to consider at this age include:
1. Baby Rattles
The best rattles to use for this age are those designed for infants. These could be plastic, plush, or wooden and contain beads, balls, bells, and other noise-making inserts that are not too loud.
If you would like your little one to use the rattle beyond this age, consider getting one with added features like teething rings.
Rattles made for infants often have contrasting colors. This is because babies at this age see contrasting colors with dark and light.
Side note: Did you know that baby rattles were used as early as 2500 years ago? Back then, parents would give their babies clay rattles with tiny balls inside, and they were often shaped like a pig. Later on, rattles became more ornate.
They would be made with silver or gold and had bells and a teething ring made from coral.
How to Use Rattles with Babies Aged Birth to Two Months
Babies benefit from having a rattle held a short distance from their face at this age. Shake the rattle to get your baby’s attention, and ensure they focus on it with their eyes. Slowly move the rattle further away and note how far it gets before the baby loses focus.
Once your baby has the hang of this activity, try moving the rattle from side to side in an arc shape. This movement will help your baby track objects while keeping focus.
By two months, your baby’s eyes will be more coordinated and able to focus and track more easily.
Look out for this development and enjoy making a game out of increasingly tricky activities with the rattle.
2. Playmats and Mobiles
Your baby will get most of the stimulation they need from your face as you spend time together, smiling, talking, and cuddling at this age. For those moments when the baby is lying alone, you could also consider a playmat or mobile to keep them interested and content. Consider mats and mobiles with contrasting colors and soft sounds for this age.
Playmats typically have different textures that include crinkling sounds and squeaky toys, and mobiles are often made with various gentle tunes that play as the mobile rotates.
How to Use Playmats and Mobiles with Babies Aged Birth to Two Months
Your baby will most likely enjoy being held most of the time at this age; however, the sights and sounds of a playmat with dangling toys or a beautiful mobile could keep them entertained for a few minutes. Demonstrate interest and excitement as you introduce your baby to the mobile or playmat and show them how you can make sounds by grabbing the areas that make sounds on the mat.
Step back and watch your baby enjoy their toys.
As with all toys, if they are not happy, be sure to pick them up and provide snuggles and closeness until you can find an activity they will enjoy.
Three To Six Months
At around three months, your baby will seem to explode with new skills, greater coordination, and a more intense interest in the world. Babies can use their hands more at this age, which means they will enjoy activities with cause and effect. This stage is a fun time to use toys that make noise to help stimulate development and have a load of fun.
Toys that make noise to consider at this age include:
1. Baby Rattles
That’s right. Your baby will still enjoy using rattles at this age. Louder sounds will be more enjoyable now, and your baby will start to shake the rattle themself.
How to Use Rattles with Babies Aged Three to Six Months
Place your baby’s hand around the rattle’s handle and show them how to use it. After a few attempts, you will be amazed at how your baby is shaking the rattle without assistance.
The same playmats that provided a source of comfort and joy for your infant will provide times of loud fun for your baby at three to six months.
How to Use Playmats with Babies Aged Three to Six Months
Babies will love to discover and make use of cause and effect at this age. Show your baby what happens when they kick the side of the playmat or grab at the toys. They will love to do both and will most likely try to put the toys in their mouth.
3. Books that Make Sounds
At this age, your baby will enjoy exploring books designed for babies. Books with multiple textures are exciting, and if they make noises, all the better. Select books that make sounds when squeezed, grabbed, or shaken.
How to Use Sound Books with Babies Aged Three to Six Months
Show great interest as you demonstrate how the book makes sounds. Use the sounds as you say the words and talk about what you see in the pictures. Make your baby laugh by being silly whenever possible. You can use the book’s sounds to initiate a love for reading within your baby.
Six to Twelve Months
Your baby will become a little more independent at this age. They will also become a lot more mobile as they learn to sit, stand and walk while holding on to furniture or a hand. Many of the toys you have provided until now will still bring a lot of joy.
Your baby will enjoy using them in new ways as they can now pick them up without assistance and view them from different angles.
Toys that make noise to consider at this age include:
1. Activity Tables
Activity tables are great for babies of this age since babies can pull themselves to a stand and hold on to the table while using it. They love to explore the cause-and-effect nature of pushing buttons, turning levers and dials, and making fun things happen to sounds and music.
How to Use Activity Tables with Babies Aged Six to Twelve Months
Your baby will need to be shown how to use the activity table and all the items on it. Take time to introduce the different elements available and allow your baby to explore them with you there.
You may need to offer assistance a few times while your baby learns all the skills required to use an activity table, but this is a fun game to play and will result in hours of laughter and enjoyment.
2. Rattles, Balls, and Blocks with Shakers or Bells
Those good old rattles will still come in handy at this age. Use those and other items like balls or shakers that make noise to help your baby realize and explore object permanence.
How to Use Rattles, Balls, and Blocks with Babies Aged Six to Twelve Months
You can use these old favorites at this age by having fun with object permanence. Shake the item and get your baby excited by making noise and doing something silly with it. While your baby is watching, hide the object under a blanket or another toy. Encourage your baby to find it and bring it out.
As your baby gets better at this game, make it more difficult by hiding it in a more concealed place. You can also progress to making the sound and then hiding it while your baby looks away for them to find.
Your baby will likely be standing and walking while holding on to furniture at this age. If your baby is confident and ready, you may wish to try a walker toy. These have wheels and a sturdy handle for your baby to use as they walk along.
What makes this even more fun is the music and sounds that many of them make.
How to Use Walkers with Babies Aged Six to Twelve Months
Show your baby how to use the walker and watch them zoom off. Be sure to supervise the use of walkers, especially if your baby is not yet entirely confident. They do sometimes topple over, and your baby will need help developing the skill of using it.
4. Wind Chimes and Musical Instruments
Your baby will enjoy using wind chimes and musical instruments to make lovely and sometimes very loud sounds from around four months. Before your baby can sit, they will enjoy kicking wind chimes to make music, and once they can sit, they will most likely enjoy grabbing them and shaking them.
Suitable instruments for babies aged six to twelve months include:
- Sturdy drums
How to Use Wind Chimes and Musical Instruments with Babies Aged Six to Twelve Months
You don’t need to purchase musical instruments to benefit from playing in this way. You can make drums from tins, pots, plastic containers, and more if you like. You can make shakers using old water bottles with rice or beans inside. Add extra flair by placing pieces of sparkly paper inside too.
To make a wind chime band, hang the wind chimes at a level your baby can reach with their feet.
Place your baby on their back and show them how to kick the chimes to make the sounds. If they would prefer to use them sitting up, place them a little higher and let them hit and grab the chimes to make the sounds.
Show your baby how to bang on drums (bought or made) and let them go crazy. Xylophones work the same way, though you may need to remind your baby to hit the keys and not the frame, as this makes an undesirable sound.
Are Light Up, Noisy Toys Bad for Babies?
A school of thought believes light-up, noisy toys are not the best option for babies. What is this about? Basically, the idea behind this notion is that we should allow babies and toddlers to learn and play in many ways.
Where light-up toys that make sounds are great fun and an excellent way to understand cause and effect, they are somewhat limited in what a child can do with them.
If a toy is designed only to do a specific thing when a particular button is pressed, the child will likely only do that one thing. There is something to be said for more traditional toys, like blocks, Magnatiles, and more. They motivate a child to use their imagination, problem-solving skills, and more.
They also gain an understanding of cause and effect from light-up toys.
Children with autism or similar disorders may benefit from using these toys since they gain feedback from the sound and lights that are activated by pressing the buttons. Some believe toys that talk can help babies increase their vocabulary, though this is not reason enough to purchase them. Babies benefit more from watching language happen in context, watching the speaker’s mouth, body language, and facial features too.
In the end, perhaps balance is the key. We haven’t met a child that doesn’t enjoy noisy, light-up toys yet, so why not let them have fun with those as well as toys made to be multi-purpose?
If you are looking for a toy that makes noise for a baby, you will easily find one in most stores. When making your selection, consider the baby’s age, what you would like the baby to achieve through using it, and how long you would like the toy to last.
Many toys designed for infants can last well into the second year, depending on how you use them. When using toys with babies, think of ways to help babies enjoy them while also gaining stimulation and development.
Toys that make sounds can be a massive amount of fun for your baby, especially once they can take ownership of the game. If your budget doesn’t allow for a significant investment in toys that make noise, consider making some. Keep safety in mind as you set your creativity free and watch your baby enjoying noisy fun.