Playskool My First Elmo ($10)
"If I make Elmo squeak, she kicks her feet! And she's drawn to the color."
Jill Rusnack, Stockbridge, Michigan, mom of Maren, 4 months
Chicco Fun Travel Activity Nest ($60)
"Emma is amazed when she pulls the top and lights go on."
Nikki Storms, Kansas City, Missouri, mom of Emma, 4 months
Lamaze Northern Lights Soother ($40)
"She's transfixed! I watch her babble at the animals."
Linda Barth, Brooklyn, NY, mom of Alice, 4 months
BABY'S MAIN SQUEEZE
Skip Hop Hug & Hide Activity Puppy ($18)
"Once she got her hands on this pair she didn't want to ever give them up."
Eman Daraghmeh, Maywood, New Jersey, mom of Khadeja, 5 months
TWIST & CHEW
Alex Jr. Loopy Loo ($13)
"Easier to grasp than most. He puts it straight in his mouth!"
Mindy Bero, Essex, Vermont, mom of Parker, 3 months
Haba Mobile for Infant Seat ($17)
"Max's eyes are always drawn to the little conductor swinging to and fro!"
Daniela Pomerantz, Teaneck, New Jersey, mom of Max, 2 months
Melissa & Doug Bug Jug Fill & Spill ($25)
"He adores these soft toys that crinkly and rattle."
Anne Roemer, Spring Lake, New Jersey, mom of James, 6 months
Sassy Wonder Wheel ($9)
"It's a good high chair toy! She loves the colors and how it moves."
Michael Kress, Bronx, New York, dad of Yael, 5 months
Fisher-Price Twirlin' Tumblin' Fun Park ($44)
"He follows the balls as they slide, then nabs them."
Alice Bauer, Fort Worth, Texas, mom of John, 6 months
Bright Starts Giggabble ($5 each)
"It rolls around and makes cute sounds, so my son stays engaged."
Kimberly Ardise, Hoboken, New Jersey, mom of AJ, 9 months
B. Toys Elemenosqueeze Blocks ($16)
"Many shapes and all 26 letters! We like to take them in the tub."
Rose Cahill, New York, New York, mom of Declan, 6 months
PUT 'ER THERE
Parents Sort-a-Shape Fun Cube ($25)
"Each side is different, so there are a lot of textures for my curious guy to explore."
Victoria Pericon, New York, New York, mom of Fox, 8 months
Baby Neptune Ocean Orchestra ($20)
"She easily makes the buttons play music and gets so excited."
Monica Vandenberg, Ankeny, Iowa, mom of Amelia, 8 months
Originally published in the November 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.
This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, patterns, and availabilities are subject to change.