12 Best Rattles For Babies

For Fun, Entertainment and Teething Relief

As I started writing this article on the best rattles for babies, I began to wonder how rattles first came to be invented. I surmised that they probably never were “invented”, as it were.

I’m guessing that many eons ago a cave mom or dad, pondering how to keep their baby amused, picked up a nut or seed pod that rattled when shaken, gave it to their little one who loved their new toy, and the rest is history, as they say.

Rattles for babiesA rattle and teether combination is a great choice

As with anything we humans discover, we have an innate desire to want to improve it. Loving parents began designing their own rattles, trying out different materials and rattly objects to create the perfect toy. So the evolution of rattles progressed until we ended up with the huge variety available today.

That’s my story anyway…

The outcome, however it came about, is that there are so many different types of rattles for babies to choose from that you’ll have no problem finding the perfect one for your little one.

To help you do so, I’ve reviewed a great many which I’ve narrowed down to the very best. I’ve also put together a few tips to help you make the best selection for your baby with their individual interests and needs.

6 Benefits of Rattles for Babies

If you’ve read any of my other articles on Play Learn Toyz, you’ll know that I go into some detail explaining the benefits of a particular toy for your little one.

I consider this important (it’s the teacher in me) because by understanding how toys help our babies learn and develop, we are going to be able to choose the very best toys for them.

Believe it or not, even the simple baby rattle offers developmental benefits, so I’m going to quickly run through them for you.

If you’d rather get struck straight into my review of the 12 Best Rattles For Babies, click the link to hop down.

1. Sensory Stimulation

Rattles engage multiple senses, including sight, sound, and touch. The sounds produced by rattles capture your baby's attention and encourage them to explore their environment. Different textures and materials on the rattle provide tactile stimulation, promoting sensory exploration.

As your little one explores the world around them, their brain processes and organizes this sensory input, helping them understand their surroundings more comprehensively.

2. Auditory Development

The gentle jingles, tinkling sounds, or rattling noises produced by rattles help your baby to develop their auditory discrimination skills. These early auditory experiences lay the foundation for language development and sound recognition.

3. Motor Skills

Rattles are excellent tools for enhancing both gross and fine motor skills. As your little one grasps, shakes, and manipulates their rattle, this interaction contributes to the development of the muscles required for crawling, reaching, and eventually walking. When reaching out to grab a rattle, they improve their hand-eye coordination which is fundamental to motor skill development.

4. Cause and Effect

Rattles introduce your baby to the concept of cause and effect. When they shake the rattle, it produces a sound. This connection teaches babies that their actions can lead to specific outcomes, promoting cognitive development and problem-solving skills.

5. Visual Tracking

The movements of a rattling toy captivate a baby's attention and encourage them to visually track the object. This tracking helps improve their visual coordination and tracking abilities, which are essential skills for reading and other visual tasks later in life.

6. Entertainment and Relaxation

Rattles can be soothing for babies, providing a source of comfort and entertainment. The gentle sounds and movements can help calm a fussy baby, making rattles a valuable tool for parents during moments when their baby needs soothing. A rattle can also be a distraction for a teething baby and I’ve included some great examples of rattles created for just this purpose in my list of the best rattle for babies below.

Before we dive into it, I have a few considerations for you to bear in mind when making your choices.

best baby rattlesRattles come in many shapes and sizes

Selecting the Perfect Rattle – Things to Consider

Choosing the right rattle is important for ensuring your baby's safety, developmental needs, and enjoyment. Keep these points in mind when choosing:

  • Opt for rattles that are free from small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
  • Look for non-toxic materials that are easy to clean.
  • Consider the size and shape of the rattle. It should be easy for your baby to hold and manipulate.
  • Babies are attracted to vibrant colors and high-contrast patterns. Choose a rattle with visually appealing elements that will capture their attention.
  • Newborns will enjoy soft, plush rattles that they can hold and squeeze.
  • Older babies might be fascinated by rattles with lights, sounds, and interactive features.
  • Babies love to explore different textures. Choose rattles that offer a mix of textures – smooth, bumpy, ribbed, and soft.
  • Keep in mind that babies explore the world with their mouths, so teething-friendly rattles are a fantastic option.

12 Best Rattles For Babies

1. Bright Starts Oball Shaker Rattle

This little rattle has some great design features that easily win it a place in my list of the best rattles for babies. The large holes in the two fret-structure ends are easy for the tiniest of hands to grasp, and the bendy, pliable silicone-type material they’re made of makes them comfortable to hold. The rattle part itself, filled with colorful beads, has a knobbly texture to give your little one a different sensory experience. It’s also super lightweight.

2. The First Years First Baby Rattle 

What baby isn’t going to adore this cute, smiley rattle? The soft fabric turns it into a soft toy that your baby will want to reach for and cuddle, as well as shake for the rattling sound it makes. It’s multi-textured for sensory exploration with high contrast patterns to encourage visual tracking. The plush arms and legs are easy to grasp and also provide soft teething surfaces.

3. Yiosion Rattle Teethers – 5 Piece

If finding a rattle that doubles as a teething toy is a priority for you, this 5 piece set is way better than most. Each of the five rattles is designed for a different stage of your baby’s development with different grips, shapes, and tasks to improve fine motor skills. Every element is chewable for teething relief. And, let’s not forget the rattle. Each of the little dinosaur characters rattles with a different sound for engagement and to aid the development of auditory discrimination.

4. Sassy Ring Rattle

Packed with great features, this Sassy ring is an ideal first rattle. There are two rattle sounds (rings and beads) for engagement and auditory stimulation, multiple textures to encourage tactile exploration, and high-contrast polka dots and stripes to help develop your baby’s visual skills. The thin, textured ring is perfect for small hands to grip.

5. SSK Soft Wrist and Foot Rattles

Even newborns who have not yet developed the dexterity and strength to hold a toy can create sound with a rattle. How? By wearing one on their wrist or ankle. Every time they move, the rattle makes a sound. This is a wonderful way to introduce your baby to cause and effect and to encourage movement and the development of gross motor skills, as well as giving them lots of enjoyment. The cute animal designs make creating sounds even more fun.

6. FPVERA Soft High Contrast Black and White Rattles – 2 Pack

I’m sure you’ve already heard me harp on about the importance of high contrast black and white toys for stimulating your little one’s retinas and optic nerve to aid visual development. Well, I’m at it again and I’ve found a pair of delightful rattles created for just this purpose. With two areas of sensory development targeted in one quality toy design, this pair of rattles comes highly recommended.

7. Soft Animal Squeaker Stick Rattle

This cheerful lion rattle is likely to become a favorite toy. It’s far more than just a rattle as it has a squeaker at the bottom of its stick handle, tactile tabs, and a crinkle mane. There are multiple hold points so even if your little one’s hands are so small that holding the soft stick handle is a challenge, they can easily grasp an arm, a tab, or the mane to give the toy a good shake.

8. SmartNoggin NogginStik Light-Up Rattle

The NogginStik is a quirky little chap with a light-up head for holding attention, a sensory, textured handle, and a high contrast black and white base with a mirror on the bottom. And, it rattles. The light will change from red to blue, to green when your baby bats it. This encourages interaction and engagement, as well as teaching cause and effect. There’s certainly a lot going on to delight your little one and keep them entertained.

9. LAMAZE Bitty Bite Bug Rattle

You can always count on Lamaze to produce a quality toy and their Bitty Bite Bug teether rattle is no exception. Part brightly colored and part high contrast black and white, it’s been carefully designed for visual impact and development. Easy to hold rubbery handles double as teether rings. Your little one will also enjoy nibbling on the knotted antennas and satin ribbons. Crinkly peekaboo wings give them something else to explore. This is certainly way more than just a rattle.

10. Bright Starts Teether Rattle

Staying with the theme of teethers, the next in my list of recommended rattles for babies is arguably teether first and rattle second. Either way, it’s a great little toy; simple but perfect for the purpose it’s intended. Lightweight and easy to hold, the textured handle is ideal for teething relief while the rattling beads in their spinning capsule will engage your little one and distract them from their discomfort.

11. Fisher-Price Newborn Toys Rattle 'n Rock Maracas – 2 Pack

These soft pom-pom maracas are an excellent choice for young babies. No matter how wild they get with shaking them about, they’re not going to injure themselves with an accidental bash on the head. The rattle sound comes from the colorful beads embedded in the opposite end of each maraca to the pom-pom. Being able to watch the beads swirl as they rattle gives added interest.

12. iPlay, iLearn Rattles – 10 Piece

No matter how hard you try to find the very best rattle for your baby, you can’t guarantee it will meet with their approval. If your little one is a bit picky with their toys, consider a mixed pack of rattles like this one. With 10 different teether rattles to choose from, there will surely several they’ll take to, if not all of them. All have interactive elements such as movable parts and push buttons for developing fine motor skills, sounds in addition to a rattle, a range of textures, and teether parts to chew on. A great set for all babies, picky or not.

Final Words

As I hope I’ve been able to demonstrate, rattles play an important role in promoting sensory exploration, motor skills, and cognitive development. These simple yet engaging toys offer so much, not least of which is the ability to keep your little one busy, that you’ll probably want to build up a collection to provide variety and maximize those benefits.

If you look no further than the recommendations in my review of the best rattles for babies, your little one will be spoilt indeed, but there are plenty more to consider if you have time to search further afield.

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Best Rattles For Babies


About Jacky Spear

Jacky Spear passionately promotes learning toys for child development. With 30+ years of teaching experience, she understands the power of play in engaging and nurturing children, including those with special needs. Drawing from personal experience in both the school and home environment, Jacky helps parents to select the best learning toys to unlock their children's potential and create a lifelong love for learning. Learn more about Jacky >>

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