15 Rattles We Love for Infant Development

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The best rattles for your new baby

Ever wonder why baby rattles are a mainstay of the baby registry? Why exactly every baby in the world seems to just love shaking one and delighting at the sound they have made?

Once babies reach around 3 months of age and grow out of the “pretty much sleeping and eating only” phase, toys like rattles become vitally important for working fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Although everyday items like wooden spoons and plastic food containers can often be the most captivating to an infant, by selecting a strong, safe rattle, you can be sure that your baby can chew on it (as they always do) without swallowing and choking on any pieces.

Best newborn rattles

Rattles are a great way to keep your baby entertained while you help them with developmental needs.

Rattles are a seemingly simple toy that actually encourage a variety of developmental skills. Infant occupational therapists (yes, that’s a thing) agree that rattles play a role in developing gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, and sensory skills – as well as early recognition of cause and effect. Because the sound that a rattle makes is a direct result of the baby’s action, it helps them learn that they are in control of their own actions, and that they can effect the environment around them. This is an important milestone, and a critical building block for developing almost every other skill.

 

Characteristics of a good rattle

all rattles should be:

-easy for little hands to hold
-utilize bright colors and interesting sounds
-safe to chew on: babies typically explore the world by placing novel items directly into their mouths, meaning all rattles should be adequately safety tested by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) to be in accordance with The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and pass an infant choke tube test.
-soft, and no sharp edges, so they are safe for their gums
-not too annoying for the parents – (second time parents, you know what we are talking about.)
-tactile surfaces and engaging textures are a plus!

You will know you’ve found a good rattle when you get an instant smile from your baby. When they become aware that they are creating the noise, they are absolutely delighted. And you, as a parent can delight in the fact that you’re helping them to absorb new information and learn about their own bodies, as well as the world around them.

Our favorite bestselling baby rattles for infant development

Best hand rattles for babies

A colorful spinning rattle made of 3 textured, sliding links and an enclosed rattle that is perfect for developing hand/eye coordination. Soft, teethable textures also provide teething relief. The rattle is lightweight enough for even a very young baby to grasp in one hand and shake, and later, pass from one hand to the other.

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

best toys for newborns - soft baby rattle

The soft plush of this multi textured rattle also features soft teething surfaces and high contrast patterns, which engage your baby and encourage visual tracking. This is ideal as a newborn rattle, as the easy grip encourage early grasping skills.

Machine washable

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

top rated baby rattles

The four unique textures make it a great first rattle for a baby to explore new sensations. The high contrast, black & white pattern holds visual attention, and the BPA and paint free surface is 100% safe for mouthing.

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

baby rattles easy to grasp and hold

The 30 finger holes activate the autonomous grasp reflex, making this absolutely one of the easiest rattles for a young baby to grasp and hold for extended periods. The rainstick rattle makes soothing sounds that are much less harsh than other rattles on the market (read: quiet enough to not annoy everyone around!)

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

natural wooden baby rattle toys

Parents looking for an organic, all-natural teether will love that this key-themed infant rattle is created from sustainable rubber tree wood and coated with a non-toxic finish (the colors are actually made using vegetable dyes!) Our favorite environmentally friendly baby rattle.

Recommended for: Ages 4 month and up

Best light up rattle for infant development

This light-up rattle encourages visual tracking, and also includes textures for feeling and traditional rattle sounds. The thin handle is the perfect size for developing grasping & holding skills, while the large ends make it safe for mouthing. Because the lights are activated by baby’s batting hand, this rattle is extra beneficial for cause-and-effect learning, encouraging early milestones for infants. Great battery life and durable enough to handle use and abuse.

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

best toys for newborn to 6 months

An adorable rattle based on the World of Eric Carle that you can tie into the stories you are reading to your child. 100% Polyester is perfect for any teething baby, while stimulating textures and sounds are engaging to the infant.

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

baby ring toy

There’s a lot going on with this extra-engaging rattle: movable hands, feet, 4 click-clack rings, and bouncing rattle beads are easy to grasp and fun to shake. The slightly larger size is optimal for a slightly older infant who is getting better at grasping skills.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

barbell baby rattle maraccas rattle

The musical-themed rattles are just the right size for little hands and have soft pom-pom bottoms for an even easier grip.

Machine washable

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

baby's favorite organic rattle for baby shower

This ultra lightweight, ultra-safe teether set actually has 3-D movement to further delight your child. The distinct texture will stimulate visual and tactile senses, and (like all Green Toys) is made of 100% food-safe recycled plastic milk containers. That means no BPA, PVC, phthalates, or external coatings, making it one of the guaranteed safest teethers around.

Dishwasher safe

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

best calming rattle for babies

The colorful beads are visually stimulating and create a pleasing sound that is not overwhelming or annoying. In addition to the dancing beads, babies can press a button on the handle with their palm to produce calming simulated womb sounds. 2 required batteries are included.

Recommended for: Newborn (Ages 0+)

Extra Big Rattles

As kids get older, they may outgrow their first, small rattles and begin to prefer oversized rattles that they can hold in both hands. This actually benefits their bilateral coordination (the use of both sides of the body simultaneously to perform a single task), and is an even more challenging task that will push their development further along. Our favorite giant baby rattles:

two handled rattle owl

Handles on the side make the owl easy to grab, while rubberized details are enticing for teething.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

Squisy wooden baby rattle with strings

A classic, all-time parent favorite rattle that is also multi-sensory clutching device that encourages grasping, reaching, and other critical gross motor skills.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

Baby rattle toy with loops

Colorful, BPA-free loops are perfect for teething babies while also encouraging gross motor skills. The enclosed center rattle is hidden from view, providing a fun and unsuspecting sound which leads to further exploration of cause and effect.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

Soft plush baby rattle

Each clip clop hooves contains a unique activity for baby to enjoy, which all promote sensory and tactile development and hand eye coordination.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

Musical rattle toys for babies

This toy has it all: rattles, easy-grasp handles, fabric textures for tactile development, singing light-up buttons (with 30+ playful songs, melodies and sounds), and spinning sections for fine motor skills development.

Recommended for: Ages 3 month and up

Did you know?

History of baby rattles

Archaeologists in Siberia have unearthed 4,000-year-old toy that turned out to be a child’s rattle at the site of a Bronze Age settlement. The clay rattle was shaped like the head of an infant bear, and made noise with tiny stones fastened together. Other rattles of the same period made have been made using cloth, plastic, or wood. The Siberian Times reports that archaeologist Vyacheslav Molodin (Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology) believes that toys that Siberian children played with were often similar to the toys that kids enjoy today.

Thanks for reading about the best baby rattles!

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Please always verify manufacturers recommended age, care instructions, and all other instructions and warnings on baby rattles. No aggregators or algorithms on our “best rattles for newborns” list- all of these top teethers are hand picked! Please make sure to confirm manufacturer recommended age, safety details, materials, instructions, and other warnings. We may receive commission from certain affiliate links including the Amazon Affiliates Program, which allows you to support our site’s mission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here. We strive to bring you the safest rattles around.