The 16 Best Toys for 3-Month-Olds, According to Experts

Engage baby’s developing mind and motor skill sets with these top toys for 3-month-olds.
save article
profile picture of Emma O'Regan-Reidy
By Emma O'Regan-Reidy, E-Commerce Editor
Updated June 16, 2023
Best Toys For 3 Month Old-hero
Image: Target
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

When baby reaches the three-month mark, they’ll begin taking in more of their surroundings, imitating those around them and becoming more social (get ready for a lot of smiles!). To promote healthy development socially, emotionally and physically, you’ll want to ensure that their playtime is full of age-appropriate fun. That’s where these standout toys for 3-month-olds come in handy. Read on to learn more about upcoming milestones to expect and how their blossoming skills will translate to play. Then, browse our favorite 3-month-old toys to encourage enriching playtime.

What Are The Best Toys For a 3-Month-Old?

Toy shopping for baby can be all fun and games, but there are several factors to consider when picking up the perfect gift for the 3-month-old in your life. First of all, you’ll want to choose toys that align with their abilities. “Young infants have different needs from toys than older babies, as observation is a key method of learning at this stage,” explains Jana Sarno, BCBA, a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers. According to Sarno, a few milestones typically reached by infants at this age include:

  • Looking at their parents’ faces
  • Vocalizing sounds other than crying
  • Lifting their head when on their tummy
  • Holding a toy when placed in their hand
  • Smiling or showing excitement when starting to drink milk or when parent talks to them
  • Tracking a moving object or person

To build on these developments, Danielle MacCourtney, MS, OTR/L, ATP, a pediatric occupational therapist and owner of Tiny Transformations Therapy Services recommends that parents engage baby in a variety of play positions and novel sensory experiences. This could mean introducing your little one to simple tactile play with light textures and rattles, or providing toys that encourage holding with two hands to work on midline orientation. Similarly, Sarno suggests that parents should choose toys for 3-month-olds that can be explored via multiple senses. Mirrors, for example, inspire some of the earliest forms of communication—while also supporting physical skills such as upper body strength—as they can hold infants’ interest during tummy time. Toys for 3-month-olds with musical elements or simple visual contrasts are also great choices, as your newborn continues to learn about the world around them, adds MacCourtney.

What To Look For in Toys For 3-Month-Olds

As baby’s skill sets progress, it’s important to provide them with age-appropriate toys to help them grow socially, emotionally and physically. According to developmental experts, caregivers should keep the following features top of mind when looking for the best gifts for 3-month-olds:

  • Small, lightweight designs: Parents should look for toys that are easy for teeny fingers to hold on to, Sarno says; infants are still working on the strength and function of their hands at this age. Finding 3-month-old toys that prompt baby to reach up while on their back will help them gain foundational grasping skills and promote in-hand manipulation, adds MacCourtney.
  • Sensory stimulation: Sarno notes that light and sound can be motivating for babies, when used appropriately. Toys with these features can encourage 3-month-olds to practice eye gaze on a play mat or work on neck strength during tummy time.
  • Black-and-white color palettes: Since baby’s eyesight isn’t fully developed at this age, Sarno and MacCourtney both recommend black-and-white toys to engage your infant without overwhelming them.
  • Play variety: When adding to baby’s toy box, consider getting a diverse range of playthings to incorporate different senses and motor skills into playtime. Changing up play—and getting baby used to tummy time—“are the most beneficial ways of increasing strength, endurance and co-activation of musculature required for the next developmental milestones,” explains MacCourtney.

Best Toys For a 3-Month-Old

Ready to pick out a standout gift for your little love? From tummy-time options and teething toys to super-soft loveys and play gyms, browse our favorite toys for 3-month-olds below.

Play kit for 3-month-olds

Lovevery The Charmer Play Kit
Image: Lovevery
Buying Options
Lovevery|$80 per kit

We’re big fans of Lovevery’s play kits for all ages, so it’s no surprise that this pick is at the top of our list. The Best of Baby award-winning subscription service offers stimulating, age-appropriate play sets for infants and toddlers. Designed specifically for 3-month-olds, The Charmer Play Kit will encourage baby to make new discoveries using their mouth, eyes and hands. Inside, you’ll find a wooden rattle, a soft book and teethers that foster social awareness and motor skills. Each kit comes with a play guide full of expert tips to help parents understand the “how” and “why” behind each included item.

Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A | Material: Wood, silicone, cotton and rubber | Age rating: 3 to 4 months old | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Tummy time water mat

Splashin'kids Inflatable Tummy Time Premium Water Mat
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Your little one isn’t swimming yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy this sea-themed tummy time toy. The play mat is made from high-quality PVC, making it durable for even the most wiggly infants. Just fill it up with water and place it on the floor for endless fun! Baby will love reaching for the brightly colored toys floating in front of them and build head, neck and shoulder muscle strength as they do so.

Dimensions: 26” (L) x 20” (W) x 2.5” (H) | Weight: 12.3 oz. | Material: PVC | Age rating: 3+ months | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Light-up tummy time toy

Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station
Image: Walmart

If your little one isn’t a fan of tummy time, an interactive toy like this one from Baby Einstein is sure to make the experience more enjoyable. This stimulating light bar is easy for small hands to activate and is full of auditory and visual delights. Plus, it’s easy to wipe clean (in case of inevitable messes), and its sounds can be played in English, Spanish or French, depending on your preference.

Dimensions: 12.6” (L) x 5.94” (W) x 8.94” (H) | Weight: 1.15 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age rating: 3+ months | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Engaging play gym

Some of the best toys for 3-month-olds are those that grow with baby’s evolving needs for months to come—and Lovevery’s Play Gym is no exception. Baby will love its five developmental zones, and you’ll love its simple, aesthetically pleasing design. Best of all? It features detachable activity toys and sets of cards that’ll keep up with your child’s expanding mind from the time they’re an infant until they graduate to toddlerhood.

Dimensions: 47” (L) x 50” (W) x 23.9” (H) | Weight: 7.6 lbs. | Material: Wood, polyester, silicone, and organic cotton | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Plush octopus toy for 3-month-olds

Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Plush Toy
Image: Amazon

Baby will have eight times the fun with this next toy for 3-month-olds. The plush octopus is cuddly and soft, and when its head is squeezed, classical melodies will play. It’ll even teach your little learner about colors in English, Spanish and French when they hold on to its velour legs.

Dimensions: 9.7” (L) x 9.7” (W) x 5.5” (H) | Weight: 7.36 oz. | Material: Velour | Age rating: 3 months to 3 years old | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Jellyfish shaker toy for 3-month-olds

Baby Einstein Ocean Glow Sensory Shaker Musical Toy
Image: Amazon

Next up on our list of the best toys for 3-month-olds is this light-up musical toy from Baby Einstein. Sarno is a fan of this shaker for several reasons: For starters, it prompts cause-and-effect play and opens sight, sound and tactile senses. If your little one doesn’t quite have the motor skills to hold it, don’t worry; Sarno suggests shaking it for baby to help them work on their eye gaze or to get their attention during tummy time.

Dimensions: 5.91” (L) x 3.15” (W) x 1.77” (H) | Weight: 3.2 oz. | Material: Plastic| Age rating: 0 months to 3 years old | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Sensory teether toy

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy
Image: Walmart

Even if your little one hasn’t started teething, this colorful sensory toy is sure to be a hit. Since your child is starting to develop their hand strength, they’ll have fun grasping this teether—plus, when they shake it, they’ll be delighted by the gentle rattle in its center. Toys like this can help baby build motor-development skills, like reaching and holding, adds Sarno.

Dimensions: 5” (L) x 4” (W) x 3.5” (H) | Weight: 8.8 oz. | Material: Plastic | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Cuddly animated penguin toy

Another standout pick in our roundup of the best toys for 3-month-olds is this adorable animated penguin. The sweet, singing stuffed animal is a favorite of Sarno’s because of how it supports cognitive development and can be used to teach imitation skills and concepts like object permanence. Our favorite part about this toy? It blows kisses at baby and teaches them to do the same—how cute!

Dimensions: 12” (L) x 5” (W) x 5” (H) | Weight: 1 lb. | Material: N/A | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Machine washable

Buy Now

Musical toy for 3-month-olds

VTech Baby Lil' Critters Moosical Beads
Image: Amazon

At the three-month mark, baby will begin imitating and responding to sounds, which is why you can’t go wrong with a musical toy. This plush cow will keep your little one occupied, thanks to its stimulating combination of textures, sounds and lights that are activated by touch. Better yet, this fun-filled stuffed animal will help baby learn about cause and effect.

Dimensions: 4.72” (L) x 6.69” (W) x 6.5” (H) | Weight: 12 oz. | Material: N/A | Age rating: 0 months to 2 years old | Care instructions: N/A

Buy Now

Safari-themed floor mirror for baby

Bright Starts Sit & See Safari Floor Mirror
Image: Amazon

Mirrors are a fun way for baby to learn more about themselves and the world around them. This safari-themed option was designed to keep little ones entertained during tummy time. The soft, colorful frame features crinkly leaves and colorful characters to capture baby’s attention—and when playtime is over, simply fold it up and store it away.

Dimensions: 8.3” (L) x 10.8” (W) x 6.9” (H) | Weight: 4.96 oz. | Material: Polyester | Age rating: 0 months to 3 years old | Care instructions: Spot clean

Buy Now

Wobbly toy for 3-month-olds

Your little mover and shaker won’t want to put down this gift for 3-month-olds. The unique sensory toy will encourage tactile exploration, thanks to its fun bumpy textures—plus, baby is sure to love how it wobbles and wiggles when placed on the floor. Made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone, it even doubles as a teething toy for 3-month-olds; just wipe it with a damp cloth to keep it clean.

Dimensions: 2.5” (L) x 2.5” (H) | Weight: 4.8 oz. | Material: Silicone | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Wipe clean

Buy Now

Soft tag stuffed animal

Lots of infants find comfort in holding and rubbing tags, which is where this next pick comes in. This 3-month-old toy prompts tactile exploration in the form of a cuddly lamb lovey blanket. The sweet character is adorned with nine soft tags for baby to discover as they play and cuddle. It’s also available in the form of a soft, crinkly book for even more fun beyond playtime.

Dimensions: 12” (L) x 8” (W) x 0.5” (H) | Weight: 5.3 oz. | Material: Satin, silicone and polyester | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Machine wash, air dry

Buy Now

Vibrant fish baby toy

Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy
Image: Melissa & Doug

Peek-a-boo! Baby is sure to smile as they find hidden pictures under the crinkly scales of this colorful toy for 3-month-olds. The plush fish has a squeaker tail to help your little one’s grasp strength grow as they play. Plus, one of the scales features a shatterproof mirror to engage baby’s budding social skills.

Dimensions: 13.5” (L) x 9.75” (W) x 3.75” (H) | Weight: 13 oz. | Material: N/A | Age rating: 1+ months | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, line dry

Buy Now

Plush toy stacker for babies

Safari Lion Plush Stacker
Image: Maisonette

At this age, baby is becoming more confident in grasping everything in their little orbit. This plush stacking toy for 3-month-olds will grab their attention as they learn how to assemble and disassemble the soft rings. Putting together this too-cute lion will also help promote hand-eye coordination and motor-skill development.

Dimensions: 7” (L) x 8” (W) x 10” (H) | Weight: 6.4 oz. | Material: Polyester | Age rating: 0 months to 3 years old | Care instructions: Surface clean only

Buy Now

Tummy time play mat

Farmstand Tummy Time Playmat
Image: Skip Hop

Cute and comfy, this farmer’s market-themed play mat will make a sweet addition to any toy collection. The colorful mat features 10 developmental activities, four garden-inspired toys and a blueberry-shaped squeaker to keep baby engaged during tummy time. What’s more, this 3-month-old toy easily rolls up, so you can take it with you to the park, a relative’s house or anywhere in between.

Dimensions: 15” (L) x 21.5” (W) x 3” (H) | Weight: N/A | Material: Polyester | Age rating: 0+ months | Care instructions: Machine wash, spot clean, tumble dry

Buy Now

Infant activity chair

Deep Space Baby Activity Chair
Image: Crate & Kids
Buying Options
Crate & Kids|$149

Inspire baby to reach for the stars with this toy for 3-month-olds. Your child’s imagination will soar to new heights as they explore this multisensory chair complete with a mirror, a rattle and squeakers. What’s more, the cotton chair and its waist harness will support baby as they learn to sit up.

Dimensions: 22” (L) x 22” (W) x 13” (H) | Weight: N/A | Material: Cotton, foam and polyester | Age rating: 3 to 9 months old | Care instructions: Spot clean only

Buy Now

How We Chose the Best Toys for 3-Month-Olds

Picking out baby toys isn’t always a breeze. To help narrow down your search, we looked at a variety of playthings from leading baby brands and trusted online retailers. When sourcing toys for 3-month-olds for our roundup, we considered several aspects, such as age rating, sensory features, color palettes, product weight, easy-to-hold designs and elements that nurture baby’s physical development. We also read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products have worked for real caregivers and infants, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. Finally, to make sure we’re highlighting products that are safe and effective, we chatted with a childhood behavior analyst and a pediatric occupational therapist to understand essential features and safety considerations to keep top of mind as you shop and your little one plays.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Expert sources:

Danielle MacCourtney, MS, OTR/L, ATP, is a pediatric occupational therapist who holds a masters degree from Scranton University. She has pediatric experience in a variety of settings. Since 2014, she has been the owner of Tiny Transformations Therapy Services and the director of the company’s New York City and Long Island branches.

Jana Sarno, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers. She has worked as the vice president of applied behavior analysis at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and as an infant development program administrator at Coyne & Associates Education Corp.

save article

Next on Your Reading List

Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List