The quest to find toys to hold your child’s attention is never ending, and of course, you’d love your baby to learn, too! By 9 months, our little boy loved to play with toys, especially the exersaucer and anything that made noise. All of these toys make excellent first birthday gifts, too!
Baby Playtime: Best Toys for 9-18 months
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Leapfrog Learn & Groove
This little table is small enough for baby to keep standing on his own while in the “pull up” stage and will continue to play with it after he’s toddling around the house. It makes music and noise, with plenty of things to spin and push, making this a delightful activity for babies discovering their actions (pushing a button) can make things happen (make a noise!) Available on Amazon.
The bright colors and the stretchy-squishy elastic make this a fun and entertaining toy for baby, and is a great car seat or stroller activity. Available on Amazon.
If you’d like to take a shower, eat breakfast, or have at least one minute hands-free, I suggest investing in an exersaucer. This jungle themed exersaucer grows with your baby, too: it lays flat until baby can sit up on his own, then it’s the exersaucer, and then it converts to a play table for your toddler. Available on Amazon.
If you have a boy, chances are, he will love balls. Bouncing, rolling, and tossing are all really fun activities and it starts when they are babies. These are a soft rubber with a bumpy texture which baby will love to grasp (and of course, lick.) Available on Amazon.
Baby Einstein Alpha Books
This collection of picture books has one book dedicated per letter of the alphabet, and is colorful and fun for babies to flip through. Available on Amazon.
Melissa & Doug Safari Puzzle
There are a lot of block puzzles available, and Melissa & Doug makes such great toys, but this safari was our favorite. The colorful zoo animals and the big blocks were fun to stack, too. Available on Amazon.
B. Whacky Ball
This is a must-get toy for boys. Whacking the ball with the hammer or hands and watching the ball roll through the maze provided hours of entertainment for our child, and probably his favorite toy for a solid two years. Available on Amazon.
Money Saving Tips for Purchasing Baby Toys
1. Toys do NOT need to be brand-new. A little bit of spray cleaner and a few wipes, and the toy is just as exciting with a few dents to a baby as it is if you paid full price. Consider borrowing or visiting a second-hand store like Once Upon a Child. We purchased the Leapfrog Learn & Groove from the Once Upon a Child in Myrtle Beach for about $4. Deal.
2. Borrow or purchase from a friend. No mom wants to pay full-price for everything. Well, let me restate that: unless you’re a mom with an unlimited budget who can frivolously spend money on toys that will be used less than a year, you probably would prefer to save money. Perhaps strike a deal with a mom with a child that is a little bit older than yours (6 months to a year) to get hand-me-downs. I have given friends Amazon gift cards when they have given us a significant amount of clothes or toys as a thank you: but if you come up with something more formal, you could get a lot of great toys and clothes for a very fair and affordable price. Giving that mom a gift card to purchase more items for her child will mean you’ll get them in the future!!
3. Resell your used items. There are many consignment stores that will give you cash or store credit for your used items. A great way to recycle old toys and clothes to purchase new ones!
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