Milestone Boosting Toys
By the time she's a few weeks old, your infant can use her eyes to follow an object as it moves.
A baby may be fascinated by her face in the mirror, even if she doesn't yet know who exactly that cutie is!
Reaching and Rolling
By 3 months, infants love kicking and grabbing at toys overhead. Later, this mat will be a safe place to roll.
Getting a Grip
After about 4 months, your baby can hold what he wants long enough to inspect it.
Lifting Her Head Up
Throughout the first six months, your baby benefits from daily time playing on her tummy, which helps build back and neck muscles.
Once a baby can hold her head steady, she'll love a seat that lets her sit up while playing.
Holding & Releasing
In the second half of his first year, your baby will get more deliberate with his toys: grasping them longer, passing them hand-to-hand, and putting them into containers.
Some babies love to crawl and others need a little more motivation, like a toy that moves just out of reach.
It's surprisingly hard to pile traditional blocks on top of one another; most babies can't do it until they're more than a year old. Blocks with ridges make the balancing act easier. Early Years Stacking Cubes; $23; earlyyears.com
A Stand-Up Routine
Babies find it easier (and more interesting) to get on their own two feet if they have a short, fun toy to lean on. Leapfrog Learn & Groove Musical Table; 45; leapfrog.com
Walking While Supported
Somewhere around her first birthday, your baby may be ready to take a few steps. Holding on to a toy that rolls gives her some much-needed support. Radio Flyer Push, Pull & Ride; $50; radioflyer.com
Walking on His Own
He's off and running! Encourage your baby to get around with a toy that's fun to push or pull along with him. Schylling Color Roller; $25; schilling.com
Originally published in the May 2010 issue of American Baby magazine.