It’s never too early to introduce your baby to the world of music. We've rounded up the best musical toys for babies under 6 months and up to 1 year old! Discover how to choose the best musical toy for your infant to use at home from electronic light up music toys, to wooden musical instruments for baby, and even soothing musical toys to lull your baby to sleep!
Along with creating a soothing environment, music helps to engage their developing brains and with the right musical toys, also aids in improving motor skills.
You'll be able to find age-appropriate musical toys that are easy for little hands to grasp while bolstering the motor and cognitive development. If you need some inspiration to get you started with your search for the perfect baby musical toys, keep reading our guide or just grab one of our top picks below!
- Best Musical Toys For Babies (Newborn to 1 Year Old)
- Best Wooden Musical Toys For Babies: KAQINU
- Best Soft Musical Toy for Babies: Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Plush Toy
- Best Soft Classical Music Plush Toys: Vosego Bears
- Best Hanging Musical Toys For Newborns and under 6 months: Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Plush Musical Take-Along Toy
- Best Hanging Musical Toys For 6 months to 1 year old: Infantino Hug and Tug Musical Bug
- Best Musical Pull String Toy: B. toys – Magical Mellow-Zzzs Sleep Musical Pullstring Baby Mobile with Soft Light
- Best Musical Pull Toy For Babies: VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
- Best Wind Up Musical Toy For Babies: Mary Meyer Plush Soft Elephant
- Best Musical Sleep Toys For Babies: Fisher-Price Twinkle & Cuddle Cloud Soother, Plush Crib-Attach Baby Soother
- Best Soothing Musical Toys That Responds To Baby Cries: Gemma Joy Bunny Sleep Soother
- Best Drums For Babies (TIED): Montessori Spinning Drum and Montessori Rolling Drum
- Best Piano For Babies: Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano
- Best Xylophone Musical Instrument for Babies: Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone
- Best Guitar Toy For Babies: Baby Einstein Magic Touch Ukulele Wooden Musical Toy
- Best Toy For Babies Who Love Music On The Go: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
- Best Baby Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker Toddler Musical Toy: VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker
- Best Musical And Light Toys For Babies: Munchkin Mozart Classical Music Cube
- How To Choose A Musical Toy Instrument For Newborns + Babies:
- FAQS About Music Toys For Babies:
- Final Thoughts:
Best Wooden Musical Toys For Babies: KAQINU
The Kaqinu musical wooden instrument pack comes with 16 instruments and is a great starter kit for babies that will also grow with them through the toddler and preschooler years! It comes with a couple of great options, like the rattle and worm, that we've used as musical toys for babies under 6 months; even though this is intended for kids 3 and up.
As your child grows, you can introduce the shakers and maracas, drums, tambourines, and other wooden percussion instruments. This musical set of wooden toys also comes with a carrying bag for easy storage and clean up or travel!
- Comes with storage bag
- Grows with your child from baby to toddler years
- Natural, non-toxic finish
- Intended for children 3 years and up
- A few reviewers had some quality control issues (though I've had this set for about 2 years now without issues)
Best Soft Musical Toy for Babies: Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Plush Toy
For very young babies, you might be leery of introducing hard-sided toys. This Baby Einstein Octoplush Musical Plush Toy is a great option for little ones that are just starting to get their bearings. This toy is rated for babies ages three months and older.
Along with playing music, this cute sailor octopus also teaches babies colors and plays classical melodies. Bilingual homes can appreciate this plush toy toggles between English, Spanish, and French when baby presses the arms. Parents will also like the volume control option.
- Multilingual functionality that teaches colors
- Soft-sided vibrantly colored toy that’s safe for younger babies
- Engaging toy can still be fun for toddlers
- Volume control
- No way to separate the color naming feature from the melody; meaning you press the arm, it says the color, then melody plays
Best Soft Classical Music Plush Toys: Vosego Bears
If you’re a die hard believer in introducing classical music to your baby as early as possible, you’ll love these composer-inspired friendly musical bears. Choose between Ludwig Van Beethoven, Amadeus Mozart, and Vosego Chopin.
Each of these bears can play 40 minutes of classical music — focusing entirely on the corresponding composers most well-recognized songs. We like that this soft-sided toy is dressed in a smart outfit matching the fashion of the composer’s time. You also get volume control and track control.
- Soft-sided toy is safe even for younger babies
- Great introduction to classical music
- Comes with volume and track control
Best Hanging Musical Toys For Newborns and under 6 months: Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Plush Musical Take-Along Toy
Keeping little ones engaged, even when you’re on the go, is so important. You’ll like the Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Plush Musical Take-Along toy as it’s designed to easily velcro onto the handle of a baby carrier or stroller.
Your baby will love the bright colors and the light-up smiling face on this star. The star plays six classical melodies and is safe even for very young babies to handle. While the star’s face is made from plastic, the arms are soft fabric, which is perfect for teething babies.
- Travel-friendly design that’s easy to install on carriers or strollers
- Combination hard and soft-sided design
- Can be used as young as newborn stage
- Risk of paint peeling off star face if babies put that part in their mouth
Best Hanging Musical Toys For 6 months to 1 year old: Infantino Hug and Tug Musical Bug
For parents that want a musical baby toy that’s more interactive, the Infantino Hug and Tug Musical Bug is a good choice. Your baby can reach for the head and relish in how the bug pulls down and plays 90 seconds of music as it retracts to the original position.
This toy can really grow with your child as they learn to grasp intentionally and coordinate pulling down or pulling themselves up.
Another nice feature is that this toy comes with two clacker rings, a peek n’ see mirror and knotty legs to encourage sensory play. This toy is also BPA-free.
- Interactive toy that engages motor skills
- Different textures and sounds aid in sensory development
- Can also be attached to strollers or car seats
- Some parents didn't like the music it plays
Best Musical Pull String Toy: B. toys – Magical Mellow-Zzzs Sleep Musical Pullstring Baby Mobile with Soft Light
Getting your baby off to dreamland can be hard but the B. toys Magical Mellow-Zzzs Sleep Mobile is a great way to incorporate soothing music into a nighttime routine. This toy is designed to hang from your baby’s nursery mobile but can also go with you when you need it in the car, stroller, or while traveling.
To activate the toy, simply pull the string and soft music will begin to play while soft lights also activate. The pull string is a great motor skill for your baby to work on as they get older too! We like that this is a great gender neutral toy that will work in a variety of themed nurseries. We also like the different textures and grasping ring towards the bottom of the toy if you take it down or lower it for your baby to reach for and mouth.
- Great for establishing nighttime routines
- Gender neutral design
- Encourages fine and gross motor skills
- Song and lights only play for about a minute and then you need to pull the cord again
Best Musical Pull Toy For Babies: VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
We love the VTech Pull and Sing Puppy toy for babies as it grows with them into the toddler years. Babies will enjoy the puppy sounds and music as well as exploring the numbers and keys. As your baby moves towards the toddler years and become mobile, they'll love using the pull string to walk the puppy around the house!
It's made from non-toxic BPA-free plastic and features a light up nose and three numbered buttons. It’s rated as a musical toy for babies 6 months to 3 years.
- Interactive design with sounds and lights
- Language development support
- String may be too short for taller babies
Best Wind Up Musical Toy For Babies: Mary Meyer Plush Soft Elephant
The Mary Meyer Afrique Soft Plush Elephant is an adorable plush toy with that plays the classical Mineut No. 1 by Bach when wound up. Your baby will love the ultrasoft texture and parents can appreciate the gender neutral coloring. The small 15-inch toy is perfect for little hands to grasp and cuddle.
We personally love how big the wind up feature is on this musical toy. Easy for parents to find in the middle of the night and easy for toddler fingers to begin working fine motor skills as your baby gets older.
- Gender neutral colors
- Plays classical music
- Easy grip wind up
- Not machine washable
Best Musical Sleep Toys For Babies: Fisher-Price Twinkle & Cuddle Cloud Soother, Plush Crib-Attach Baby Soother
If you’re focused on encouraging self-soothing, then the Fisher-Price Twinkle & Cuddle Cloud Soother is a great option that easily and safely attaches to your baby’s crib. While this isn’t quite as interactive a toy as other options in our guide, it does feature some nice textured “rain” ribbons and we do like that it’s designed to make bedtime easier.
You’ll get a multi-color light up soft-sided cloud. It features a sleep expert approved playlist of music and sounds to help your baby settle and fall asleep. IF you baby ends up not being into music, it also features five white noise nature sounds. The audio runs for about 20 minutes.
Best of all, this toy is machine washable and has controls so you can toggle between sounds and colors to find the right combination for your baby.
- Includes red light which won’t interrupt circadian rhythm when it develops
- A variety of songs and white noise nature sounds
- Machine washable
- Music box is inside the cloud, so you need to open velcro to turn it on.
- No infinity loop of music and sounds option
Best Soothing Musical Toys That Responds To Baby Cries: Gemma Joy Bunny Sleep Soother
Encouraging babies to self-soothe can be hard — and not just on the parent. But the Gemma Joy Bedtime Bunny is a great way to help nudge your little one a tiny step in the right direction for sleep independence.
The cry activated sensor activates for 30 minutes then returns to standby. It plays has 2 lullaby musical options, 2 white noise sounds, and has a shusher or mother's heartbeat sound option.
It also features a super soft cuddly bunny that has a red light in the chest for added comfort. As your baby develops their circadian rhythm, this is a nice feature since red light doesn't disrupt the body's production of melatonin.
For newborn and babies under a year, the bunny can attach to the crib ledge to follow safe sleep protocols, as your baby grows older and can sleep with things (consult your pediatrician), they'll enjoy cuddling this bedtime music toys for toddlers. You can also attach it to the stroller on walks or travel with it!
- Adjustable volume
- Velcro strap to keep it out of baby's crib
- Cry activated music and light for 30 minutes
- Easy access buttons for sound and light
- To fully turn on and off the switch is inside the bunny covered by velcro
Best Drums For Babies (TIED): Montessori Spinning Drum and Montessori Rolling Drum
The Montessori Spinning drum is a classic toy for montessori at home families and is great to introduce between 6 and 12 months. In this one there's a bell inside so when the child rolls the roller, they hear the bell jingle. It's designed to enhance hand-eye coordination and wrist control while being visually stimulate with rich colors as well as one panel being a mirror for baby to see themselves. It's made from plywood and sprayed with safe water-based paint.
Though it is noteworthy: Adena montessori historically is known for high quality wooden toys, however recent reviews in 2021 have shared that the toy is breaking or arriving in poor condition. For this reason, we suggest looking into either Lovevery or MontiKids which are Montessori inspired at home toy subscription boxes for babies. The founder of Lovevery does a great job explaining how the spinning drum works here.
They each have a play kit with expertly curated toys that include the Montessori spinning drum. Montikids also includes our tied pick: the montessori rolling drum; and while it is pricier, it does come with short weekly educational videos for parents new to montessori and looking to learn how/when to introduce toys and things to do with their baby to foster their development.
The Montessori Rolling drum:
Features a neutral wooden exterior with colorful wooden balls inside that provide a rhythmic sound when rolled. The drum encourages gross motor skills, specifically crawling, in babies! It encourages independent exploration and discovery with it's easy to grab exterior, and the soft jingling sounds when rolling.
Both drums make great options for babies and encourage different motor skills. We love that both options can grow with them beyond the first year. If budget allows, we do highly recommend the MontiKids level 3 box, as it features both drums, plus an object permanence box (one of my daughters FAVORITE toys from 6 months until 3 years old), plus a ring stocker, textured balls, and a few other toys. You can get $50 off Montikids when you click here.
Best Piano For Babies: Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano
It’s never too early to introduce musical instruments to babies. And this cute Hape Magic Touch Piano from Baby Einstein gets little ones accustomed to the idea of a piano and how to use it. You’ll like that it relies on “magic touch” technology so that your baby can operate the keyboard without the need for keys or buttons which also makes it easy to wipe down and clean.
This wooden keyboard is made from durable materials and is rated for children from ages six to 36 months. You also get three sets of sheet music that help to playback six different songs. But you can also make your own songs. And parents will like the volume control buttons and multiple playback modes.
- Early introduction to musical instruments
- High quality wooden material
- Volume control
- Encourages color coordination with sheet music and color coded “keys”
- Music sheet colors not a perfect match for colored keys
- Top heavy design may be safety concern if baby tries to pull themselves up on the piano and it topples onto them (always supervise!)
Best Xylophone Musical Instrument for Babies: Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone
Xylophones are such a classic choice for introducing instruments to babies and for good reason. They’re relatively easy to use and you don’t have to learn about more complex concepts like proper hand placement, while still refining hand eye coordination. The Fisher-Price Classic Xylophone is a great nostalgic pick for parents who want to get little ones excited about music.
The colorful eight-key instrument comes with an attached mallet so you don't need to worry about losing it. It's also set on wheels so little ones can use it as a musical pull toy and take their music with them wherever they want to go!
- Doubles a musical pull toy encouraging gross motor skills
- Improves hand-eye coordination
- One piece design with attached mallet
- Some parents felt the string was too short and their child got frustrated when playing the music; though as a positive the shorter string poses less of a strangulation concern
Best Guitar Toy For Babies: Baby Einstein Magic Touch Ukulele Wooden Musical Toy
It features two music modes: free style and play along. The combination plastic and wooden musical toy guitar also features real chord sounds and little strings for your baby to practice hand eye coordination and fine motor skills that will grow with your infant.
Parent can appreciate the easy volume control if the parents start getting a headache.
- Two modes of play
- Real chord sounds
- Easy volume control
- Strings play the same sounds
- Can only strum in one direction
Best Toy For Babies Who Love Music On The Go: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
iPods may no longer be the hot new item, but the iPod-inspired Take Along Tunes Musical Toy from Baby Einstein is perfect for giving your little one a bit of music while they’re on the go. This simple toy is designed to be used by babies as young as three months old.
Your baby can play DJ and toggle between 10 melodies. Parents will can appreciate the volume controls. This toy is rated for tots between three months to 36 months of age. Best of all, this light-up toy can be easily wiped down between uses.
- Interactive toy that lets babies switch melodies
- Volume control option
- Light up design
- Easy grasp handle
- Paint may come off with cleaning or drool
Best Baby Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker Toddler Musical Toy: VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker
If you’re focused on longevity, the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is designed to go the distance from infancy through toddlerhood. For very young babies who aren’t ready to go exploring, you can remove the interactive front panel and let them play while seated.
This is an important safety feature as walker's like this are not intended to teach babies how to go from sit to stand and new walkers should only use them with an adult, as they could topple over. Once baby gets older and is walking for a little, they can improve their gross motor skills by push this walker around the house for added fun!
Babies will love that the front panel comes with a mini keyboard featuring five keys. These keys play music and sounds. But you also get interactive light-up buttons, a pretend play telephone, and volume control for parents. This toy comes with more than 70 sing-along songs, phrases, music, and sound effects. It also comes in four colors: blue, purple, orange, and pink.
- Designed to grow with your baby from nine months through toddlerhood
- Improves gross motor skills
- Front panel is detachable for younger babies
- Adult supervision required as young babies or new walkers may try to pull themselves from sit to stand or topple over using the walker feature (applies to ALL baby walkers, not just this one though).
Best Musical And Light Toys For Babies: Munchkin Mozart Classical Music Cube
The Munchkin Mozart Classical Music Cube is by far one of the most popular baby musical toys and for good reason. The minimalist design features six sides with different light up colors and instrument sounds: flute, harp, french horn, violin, and piano.
Plus it plays 8 Mozart pieces and the “orchestra” button plays all six instruments at once.
While this is a hard toy, you’ll like that it features rounded sides which is safer for babies. And parents will appreciate the volume control.
- Interactive design
- Introduces baby to actual instrument sounds
- Volume control
- Some parents felt the sound box could be better for the price
How To Choose A Musical Toy Instrument For Newborns + Babies:
Babies can be rough on toys — even if they’re not intentionally trying to destroy them! You’ll want to look for toys that can handle being thrown on the floor, tossed off the side of a couch, or repeatedly drooled on.
With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure that hard toys are safe and don’t pose choking or health threats. This includes choking hazards like loose dangling parts or small parts that could come loose (intended or unintended) and get lodged in a baby’s mouth or throat.
Also ensure that plastic toys are BPA- and phthalate-free. Wooden toys should be made from quality wood that won’t splinter. Likewise, look for rounded corners to prevent the risk of injury. And if any wooden toys are painted, ensure that the paint is lead-free and non-toxic.
But if you’re concerned that your baby might injure themselves with hard-sided toys, you can always opt for plush musical toys. Though you'll want to be mindful of sterilizing them to ensure no mold or bacterial growths.
With that said, all toys come with some amount of risk or downside when it comes to quality and durability, the best thing you can do is check your toys regularly for wear and tear that could cause harm and supervise your child with them.
When it comes to choose musical toys you have a few options for sound: electronic, wind up, or manual.
Electronic sound toys are typically battery operated.
These toys typically come with a pre-programmed music playlist or sound board. The nice thing about this, is that you can expose your child to classical music or learning songs.
However there are a few downsides to electronic musical toys. First, these typically are push button toys which aren't considered montessori and don't really teach the child very much in terms of manipulating objects and refining motor skills. Secondly, if the electronic toy does not come with a volume control, it could drive the parents insane after a while. Third, these are typically plastic. And while most plastic today is BPA free, oftentimes manufacturers have switched to BPS which is still not an ingredient you'd want sitting in the sun or in your child's mouth.
With that said, research suggests that electronic music toys extend and supplement children's everyday domestic music experiences and still encourage vocalizations and concentration in infants.
Wind up musical toys are typically wooden music boxes or plush comfort toys.
These typically place a classic music box tune and can be quite nostalgic for parents and comforting for kids. The nice thing up about wind up toys, is that babies cannot wind them up themselves, so it provides more opportunity for parents to engage and bond with the child.
Manual musical toys are toys that the child needs to manually manipulate in order to create the sound.
Think a xylophone! The nice thing about manual musical toys for babies is that it teaches child a slew of things from cause and effect, order, motor skills, and more while still developing the sound sensory input. Another bonus for manual musical toys is that the music won't play incessantly even when your baby has switched to something else. Meaning it's a lot quieter and less overwhelming for both the child and parent. Lastly, research suggests that interactive musical experiences are even better for babies than just listening to music.
Engagement vs. Entertainment vs. Soothing:
When it comes to selecting a musical toy for a baby think about the intended use. Are you looking for something to soothe the baby? Are you looking for something to encourage their cognitive and physical development? Or are you looking for something to entertain the child?
Typically, it's not recommended to select toys for entertainment purposes. Most parents ultimately want kids to play independently, and the foundation for teaching children how to play independently begins during the first year by selecting toys that foster concentration and engagement; not entertainment.
While light up push button toys may be fun for a few minutes, ultimately they do not provide the same level of skill development and refinement that, not only will help the baby reach milestones, but also sets them up for a ton of success in the long run (think self esteem).
With that said, there is a time and place for everything. A soothing toy that helps your little one fall asleep or the plastic push button Mozart cube that grandma and grandpa have all serve a purpose of connection for your child. It's really about choosing whatever makes the most sense for you and your budget.
It may be helpful to look at your child's age and what milestones they are currently working on and selecting toys accordingly.
For instance, babies typically start rolling over between 4 and 6 months. Around 2 or 3 months you may choose to introduce a more entertaining toy like the Mozart cube and place it just outside their reach. The parent can push the button and watch as the child attempts to roll towards the music.
Around 9 or 10 months babies begin working on their pincer grasp, so you may select a xylophone or wooden toys with a mallet or clappers that would refine this motor skill.
While most baby toys come with an age range, this doesn’t mean that once your baby grows beyond that period they can’t use the toy anymore. But, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, look for toys that are still engaging beyond infancy.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby’s toys have to be more developmentally advanced. A xylophone or a piano floor mat can still be exciting to preschoolers because of all the sounds they can create and they respectively offer fine motor and gross motor skill opportunities. Just be sure that if you’re buying toys for the long haul, that you’re picking toys that will work for multiple age ranges.
FAQS About Music Toys For Babies:
Are musical toys good for babies?
Yes, they are. Research has shown that musical toys — especially percussion instruments — can improve overall development. Along with enhancing fine and gross motor skills from handling the toys, babies can also improve sensory development.
When can a baby start playing with musical toys?
As soon as you bring them home your baby can start playing with musical toys with you! Of course, as newborns, babies won't interact and engage with the musical toy. For this reason, during the early days we suggest choosing wind up, push button, or plush musical toys that play classical music to boost brain development!
As they develop more motor skills you can introduce more musical instrument type toys. Music is a critical part of baby development, so as long as you're willing to play with the musical toy while bonding with your baby, you can begin experiences the benefits of musical toys right away!
With that said, some musical toys have a recommended age range on the package, especially ones that require coordination and hand control, so definitely check the manufacturer's recommendation and box.
What's the best music to play for a newborn baby?
Classical music is typically the recommended music to introduce to a newborn baby. However, in general, music playing in the background is better than none according to Dr. Diana Bales, Associate Professor and Extension Human Development Specialist at the University of Georgia. She explains:
“Researchers think the complexity of classical music is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly,” she says. “This doesn't mean that other types of music aren't good. Listening to any kind of music helps build music-related pathways in the brain. And music can have positive effects on our moods that may make learning easier.”
If salsa and reggae are always on repeat in your home, there’s no harm in introducing your baby to those genres. Of course, keep volumes within reasonable limits so you don’t risk hearing damage. After all, they were already listening to it in the womb!
How can music provide structure in a baby's day?
Music can help serve as a time marker in creating routines.
Children thrive on predictability as they make sense of the world. Using music as a queue for your daily routine to prime them for what's to come can help. For instance, maybe you play bright and cheery music during breakfast to start the day and then the same lullaby at nighttime to signal it’s time to go to sleep. You can opt to play the same song every time or switch it up.
Whichever you prefer, remember that babies like predictable routines. The goal should be to play music at the same times throughout the day to signify that specific events are occurring or about to happen.
Are light up musical toys for babies bad?
Researchers have generally found that light up toys that talk or play music tend to have a lower quality and quantity of language compared to those who play with traditional wooden musical toys or manipulatives. This is largely due to the fact that parents are typically less verbal when an electronic toy is around filling the silence compared to when a parent is tapping a xylophone or strumming a toy guitar with their child for instance.
With that said, research and doctors also believe that light up musical toys aren't bad, they just aren't the best and parents should ideally incorporate a variety of toys, not just battery powered ones.
It’s never too soon to introduce music to your baby — even at the newborn stage. There are plenty of options from interactive toys that get baby moving to toys that are designed to be in the background like nursery soothers.
For light up electronic musical toys, you can't go wrong with the Mozart Cube. Our top pick for manual musical toys is this started pack of percussion instruments or the montessori spinning drum since it encourages hand-eye coordination and develops motor skills. And our favorite soothing musical toy is the Fisher-Price Twinkle and Cuddle Cloud Soother.
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