When it comes to play time for baby, the goal is fun, educational, and safe activities. Below you'll find a handful of products you're definitely going to want!

    Toy: Lamaze Clip & Go Jacque the Peacock

    Just about every infant will go ga-ga for Jacque, with his huge variety of textures, colors, and patterns. As babies develop their senses, they'll discover new and interesting aspects to Jacque nearly every day!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The attached clip allows parents to hang Jacque in the activity gym we recommend later on this page, which will allow children to get a better view and practice reaching out with hands and feet to interact with Jacque!

    Toy: Noggin Stik Baby Toy

    While it may surprise new parents, newborns don't actually "play" in the way older children do. They first need to develop their senses, including sight, hearing, and touch. This toy provides stimulation to encourage interaction using all of these senses. It has a thin, grippy handle sized just right for tiny infant hands to grasp, a light up "noggin" that changes colors with each shake and encourages infants to track with their eyes, along with a rattle sound. And when infants get a bit more advanced, they'll enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror on the base of the toy!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The only issue we had with this toy was that the batteries ran out after about three months of regular use. It requires three 357-type watch batteries, which are a bit unusual, so you might want to pick up an extra set when you purchase the Noggin Stik.

    Teether Toy: Sophie La Girafe Gift Set

    Sophie is another toy that every baby should have by their side. Made of 100% natural rubber and hand painted with food paint, this is a work of art as well as a toy. Yes, it's a bit expensive, but it's also extremely high quality and actually made in France!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We recommend this gift set because it includes a plastic teether, which infants will be able to use once they get a bit older.

    Play Gym: Baby Einstein Play Gym

    Until babies learn to sit up, they are going to spend a whole lot of play time on their backs, and later on their stomachs. There's no better place for them to be than the Baby Einstein Play Gym. Over the months, you'll watch as they learn to interact with the various toys and games in the gym, from the animals and rings to the musical star on top.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is one of the best investments you can make for baby, as it will remain useful throughout infancy.

    Rocker: Graco Little Lounger Rocking Seat

    This is a must-have item for newborns to "play" in before they learn to roll over. It's safe, comfortable, and provides a couple of stars for them to focus their attention on. It can also be used for napping, or to soothe baby via manual rocking.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While this rocker includes a battery-powered vibration feature, we don't think it's a substitute for a powered swing.

    Swing: Fisher Price My Little Snugabear Cradle and Swing

    To keep baby calm and happy, there's nothing better than a motorized swing. Among the most versatile and economical is this model from Fisher Price. It can be set to rock from side to side or back and forth, which is an important feature, given that some infants prefer one motion over the other. It also plays lullabies and features a rotating mobile to keep infants entertained.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Infants absolutely love motion, and while being able to rock them in your arms is a wonderful thing, eventually parents need to use their arms for something else!

    Play Mat: Baby Care Pingko & Friends

    If you'll often be playing with baby in a room with hard floors, this mat is an absolute must-have item. Place it under an activity gym to keep infants comfortable as they learn to kick, roll, scoot, and crawl in a few short months!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Once babies start to move around, they'll learn to make even more use out of this play pad, and parents will be glad to provide the floors a bit of protection from flying toys!