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Five Toys for Babies and Toddlers That We Would Be Lost Without

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In our house, we try to purchase toys that are wooden, sustainable, and eco-friendly whenever possible. As a personal choice, we limit electronic toys to stimulate imagination, promote interaction with others, and control sensory input. If there are things that aren’t a good fit, for whatever reason, we don’t hesitate to donate them to a good home. We take our toys very seriously here because they are in our son's world the most.

These are some toys that have withstood the test of time as far as durability and maintaining interest, and have also been a great fit for our family.

1. Stacking Toy by PlanToys

There are so many reasons that I love this, aside from the developmental benefits. It’s made from sustainable rubber wood, the colors are created from vegetable dye, and the finish is non-toxic, so it’s perfect for little mouths.

2. Buggly Wuggly by B. toys

This adorable little bug has been a great, fun way for Flynn to work on his core strength. The seat lifts up for storage, which is useful for combined play. He also used it as a walker by turning it around and holding the antennae when he struggled to take steps on his own. Buggly is also very lightweight and has proven to be very portable.

3. Sort & Swipe Cash Register by Melissa & Doug

I love a toy that is usually electronic that I find in wood because all the fun is there, but the frills are not which gives playing many more benefits. Making our beeping noises is great for speech development, different colors and pictures without electronics allow for self-identification, and having few buttons gives a bit to explore without being too much. Plus, no batteries? I call that a win-win.

4. Parum Pum Pum Instrument Set by B. Toys

I love sets like this because you can either give your child the collection to play with or introduce one by one. I, personally, even always keep one in my car. Also, did I mention that the drum is the storage for the other instruments? *Praise*

5. Wee Baby Fella by Manhattan Toy

Flynn loves his “baby” and sleeps with him every night. We mainly purchased a Wee Baby Fella for two reasons:
1. You can order a custom doll and choose skin tone, hair color, and clothing.
2. We wanted a way to help Flynn learn how to dress and undress but didn’t want a doll that was too big or made of plastic because obviously, this new toy would be thrown about and I’ll do anything to protect heads and eyes of those around us.
It was a bonus that Flynn loves his new friends so much. Plus, how cute is the name, right?

Tip: Every so often, we rotate toys – change placement, put some away, take some out that have been hidden – and everything that is out is on shelves within reach. This has many benefits for children, which I will discuss in a future post, but also helps you, as a parent, keep track of exactly how much you have. 


Underestimated Strength is a collection of posts all about our journey through life as we navigate preemie parenting after the NICU. You can read my posts here every Tuesday! Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram, where I speak freely about our story and advocacy.

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