What’s are the Best Baby Rattles? – Shake it!

Breanna | |

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Rattles are probably the first baby toys that most parents pick up when expecting. They’re simply classic. And while most of us aren’t going to Tiffany’s and splurging on a silver baby rattle, we are looking for toys that encourage early learning and development. 

Parents want to feel good about what toys they introduce to their children in 2020. That means they’re looking at visual, auditory, tactile, and motor development and want it all from a tiny baby toy. Whew, that’s a lot. Luckily, toy developers are on it and have figured out how to pack all of that into a small, but equally cute, package. And lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet to offer a product roundup of some of the best on the market! Have a look at some of our top picks below. 

The Best Baby Rattles – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

When should I give my baby a rattle?

Rattles are fairly safe toys. Sure, your infant may accidentally bump their heads with the rattle if it’s a hard toy, but aside from that, they pose virtually no risk (as long as they’re made securely and won’t come apart to make choking hazards).

So, the right time to give your baby a rattle largely depends on their ability to grasp the toy. Somewhere between 3 and 6 months is typically a good time to introduce toys such as rattles. 

Babies at that age enjoy the sensory stimulation that rattles can provide. Aside from that, rattles are great for furthering both gross and fine motor skills. 

How to make a baby rattle

If you’re a DIY junkie, you might even be interested in learning some easy ways to make your own rattles for your baby. That way you can pick and choose what materials you use and your baby will have a sweet keepsake to grow up with that you made with your own hands! 

Here’s a DIY tutorial for making your own baby rattle using natural wooden materials from Chezlin.

Why wood? Wooden toys are great for encouraging open-ended play. They’re also free of nasty chemicals and babies’ sensory systems are stimulated by the texture as they play. Even if you don’t use wood for the entire project, wooden rings or safely secured beads are good additions to include in your rattle. 

If you’re experienced with crochet, maybe a cute crocheted animal rattle is up your alley. Check out this in-depth tutorial from Teenie Crochets.

These are a soft, cuddly option. While they take a bit longer than other projects, crocheted items hold up to the test of time when done correctly. Plus, there’s no risk of your little one accidentally bumping their head with the rattle while playing. 

Finally, for a rattle that doubles nicely as a teether, consider this silicone teething ring rattle tutorial from My Pretty Posh Princess LLC.

What makes a good baby rattle?

Easy to grip

While your infant may have mastered gripping objects (including those baby hairs at the base of your neck, ouch!), they aren’t necessarily gripping a baseball for a killer curveball. Finding toys that are easy to grip will save both of you some tears. 

Look for rattles that are small enough to fit in baby hands. Some are also made from soft cloth or rubber that won’t easily slip from their clutches. Additionally, an ergonomic shape will help with establishing a sturdy grip. 

Engaging

If the toy is just a boring piece of plastic with dull colors and no noise, they’ll probably toss it to the wayside fairly quickly. For babies, the term “engaging” can be pretty simple. Bright contrasting colors, interesting textures, and attention-grabbing noises are excellent at keeping infants entertained while honing important developmental skills. 

Noisy, but not too noisy

Veteran parents will tell you, just because your baby LOVES the noisiest rattle in the store, doesn’t mean that’s the one you should go home with. 

It’s an honest parenting truth. If the toy is too noisy, you will quickly tire of the relentless rattling, singing, beeping, dinging, siren, what have you. So look for a rattle that rattles, obviously, but can easily be tuned out if constant noise grinds your gears. A regular rattle that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles shouldn’t pose a noise pollution risk, but be mindful of the sounds when you start looking at toys with batteries and bells! 

Doubles as a teether

Freud tells us infants enter into the world in the “oral stage” meaning, they learn and gather information by exploring with their mouths. He may have had some questionable theories on other behaviors, but he wasn’t wrong about that. 

Babies gather so much of what they know about the world from their mouths. Meaning, everything they touch for several months goes straight into their mouths! Now, that can be a safe rattle teether combo or a ladybug they found on the floor. If you provide them with the former, they’re more likely to choose the safe option!

Good toys like these cell phone toys we rounded up, always have a chewy, baby safe bit for teething.

What makes something a good teether? 

Look for materials that are soft, such as food-grade rubber. Different textures are great too. Babies enjoy chewing and handling toys/teethers with bumps or ripples as well. Be conscious of any parts that would come apart easily or pose as a choking hazard. If your infant can bite a piece off, it’s not ideal for a teether. 

Non toxic safe materials

This goes for basically anything you offer your baby! But safe materials for rattles and other toys are especially important because of the tiniest infants’ tendency to put things in their mouths. 

Making sure to avoid lead, PVC, formaldehyde, BPA, BPS, and flame retardant chemicals will help ensure that your little one isn’t being exposed to dangerous materials while they toddle around and play. 

Food-grade rubber, safety-tested plastics, natural/uncharted wood, wool, and cotton are all safe materials for your infant. Also, check the recycling codes on toys and avoid codes #3, #6, and #7. 

Not easily lost

You may think you don’t need the gadget that links the toy to the high chair or stroller. They’re cute, but are they necessary? Talk to a parent that’s spent the last hour picking up the rattle that’s been repeatedly thrown into the floor causing hysterical cries in a restaurant, or how about the mom that just scoured the mall for the toy her baby just tossed in one of the six stores she just shopped in?

Look for rattles that aren’t easily tossed or lost. Maybe that means it has the handy attachment that links it to the stroller. That could also mean it’s made in an extremely bright color that stands out in the house when you’re searching for the one toy that soothes your baby’s woes. Rattles that attach to hands and feet could also be a good option!

Baby Rattle Reviews – Our Picks in Detail

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas

Fisher-Price Rattle 'n Rock Maracas, Blue/Orange [Amazon Exclusive]
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

These rattles come in a classic baby rattle shape that’s easy for little hands to grip. They’re recommended for 3+ months which coincides with your baby’s development. The maracas also happen to come in two color options. 
While one end rattles with colorful beads, the other end has soft, colorful, and patterned plush poms. Patterns are excellent developmental tools for stimulating your infant’s visual acuity. So you’re working on motor and visual skills while playing with these maracas. Parents will appreciate that these make a softer rattling sound that won’t grow tiresome within a few minutes of taking them out of the package.

What we liked:

  • Bright colors
  • Poms for squeezing
  • Easy to grip
  • Soft rattle sound

What we didn’t:

  • May be a bit large for tiny infants to hold

Here’s a review and demo from TTPM Toy Reviews

Check the price on Amazon »

iPlay 10 piece rattle set

iPlay, iLearn 10pcs Baby Rattles Teether, Shaker, Grab and Spin Rattle, Musical Toy Set, Early Educational Toys for 3, 6, 9, 12 Month Baby Infant, Newborn
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Need some variety in the toy box? This set comes with a whopping ten rattles to choose from! These are especially good for babies that are always tossing their toys and the parents that are always stuck searching every corner of the house for them. 

Each rattle does something a little different. Whether it’s the shape, grip, sound, or actual rattle mechanism, they provide varying modes of stimulation. Even better, they’re designed to cater to your infant’s developmental stages, including tactile, hearing, and visual development. So, as your baby grows you can pick out a new rattle to keep them entertained.

What we liked:

  • Ten toys to choose from 
  • Different sounds
  • Different grips and rattle mechanisms
  • All toys are geared to your baby’s developmental stages

What we didn’t:

  • None really, but be mindful of your smaller infants bumping their heads during play
Here’s a breakdown of what comes in the set from Plan Smart Life

Check the price on Amazon »

BABYCHINO Foot Finders & Wrist Rattles

Baby Foot Finders & Wrist Rattles for Infants Developmental Texture Toys for Babies & Infant Toy Socks & Baby Wrist Rattle – Newborn Toys for Baby Girls & Boys. Baby Boy Girl Toys 0-3 3-6 Months
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

If you’re looking for a stimulating rattle for babies that aren’t the best at holding or gripping toys yet, these could be the answer. The foot and wrist rattles are convenient for wearing and they’re soft against your baby’s delicate skin.

They’re great for early tactile and visual stimulation as your baby looks for his/her feet and watches the bright patterns on the toys as they kick and reach. The black and white patterns are bold enough for even the youngest babies to see and the cute bugs are fun to look at. Also, if you’re in the market for a baby shower gift, these could be ideal because infants are able to use these during the newborn stage. 

What we liked:

  • Soft material
  • No risk of baby hitting themselves in the face
  • Bold patterns to look at 
  • Tactile stimulation
  • Easy to keep track of because they are worn
  • Suitable for babies that haven’t mastered gripping yet

What we didn’t:

  • Might be snug as babies grow, especially for infants with thick feet

Check the price on Amazon »

Hanging Crib/Stroller Rattle Toy

BeeSpring Kid Baby Crib Cot Pram Hanging Rattles Spiral Stroller Car Seat Toy
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

With this rattle, you don’t have to worry about your little one’s ability to grip. So, it’s a great option to introduce to young, even newborn, infants. 

To use, simply wrap the soft, spiraled toy around the handle that goes over your infant car seat. This toy can also be used with strollers and the railing of cribs. With its bold colors, patterns, and hanging toys, your baby will be entertained and visually stimulated while riding in the car, going for walks in the stroller, or during “quiet time” in their crib or pack & play. 

This toy could be the saving grace for those of us that have been blessed with kids that hate car rides (road trips are mighty long with a screaming baby!). 

Aside from the colorful display, this rattle has three hanging toys that will provide ample entertainment once your infant is big enough to reach them and will foster the growth of motor skills. 

What we liked:

  • Hands free play for infants that can’t hold onto toys yet
  • Soft, plush material 
  • Goes on the car seat, crib, stroller, etc. 
  • Bold colors and patterns for visual stimulation 
  • Builds motor skills

What we didn’t:

  • Has tendency to slip on certain materials and might not stay in place on every car seat

Check the price on Amazon »

Bright Starts Rattle and Shake

Rattle and shake

The Rattle and Shake toy is perhaps one of the easiest toys for babies to grip. With the middle being made from a skinny, twisted, and textured handle, even younger infants can grip the toy comfortably. The varying textures on the toy are great for sensory stimulation and developing motor skills through gripping and shaking. 

The actual rattles are filled with fun colorful beads and have mirrored surfaces for an interesting view. This is a great toy to toss in the car, diaper bag, or even purse as it’s a smaller rattle. This rattle is also free of cloth and padding. So, cleaning and sanitizing is easy which is ideal during cold and flu season.

What we liked:

  • Small and easy to grip
  • Interesting textures
  • Fun colors and mirrored surfaces
  • Easy to clean
  • Small enough to toss in any bag

What we didn’t:

  • Nothing!

Check for prices on Ebay »

Fred BUFF BABY Dumbbell Baby Rattle

Fred BUFF BABY Dumbbell Baby Rattle
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This rattle is simple in that it comes in a classic dumbbell shape that rattles. However, this one looks like an actual dumbbell! What a cute find if you’re a workout junkie. The design and size are perfect for gripping and the materials are BPA and phthalate free. 

With this one being functional, cute, and somewhat of a novelty, it could also be a great gift for baby showers when your best workout buddy is expecting. When the baby is older, he or she can pretend to pump some iron with mom or dad too.

What we liked:

  • Simple, easy-to-grip shape
  • Free of harmful chemicals 
  • Fun, novel design for gym lovers

What we didn’t:

  • While a cute rattle, this one doesn’t have bold colors or patterns if you’re looking for that
Here’s a demo and review of the Buff Baby Dumbbell from The Geekery View

Check the price on Amazon »

Infantino Spin and Teethe

Infantino Spin & Teethe Gummy Flower Rattle
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This rattle doesn’t follow the traditional dumbbell shape that so many baby toys do. It’s a cute little flower on a ring that gives babies ample gripping potential. Additionally, the varying shapes will keep their minds and fingers working during play. 

The ring features beads that your baby can spin and chew on without fear of choking, making it a good choice for those wanting a rattle and teether combo. The flower is also designed with a rollerball center which will offer additional tactile and sensory stimulation. Overall, this could be an excellent choice for introducing sensory learning while catering to teething needs of growing infants.

What we liked:

  • Flower/ring shape is great for gripping 
  • Ample sensory stimulation 
  • Fine motor skill building 
  • Built in teething toy 

What we didn’t:

  • Nothing that we could find

Check the price on Amazon »

Breanna is a former therapist turned writer. She earned a master’s in psychology in 2015 but ultimately decided she would like to be more present for her family. Currently flexing her writing skills as a stay-at-home mother of two toddlers (with another baby on the way), she enjoys writing in the parenting and home/DIY niches. She also writes fiction and has been published in a handful of literary magazines and a fiction anthology. In her spare time, Breanna enjoys blogging, painting, running, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee.

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