Babies and music are like mac n cheese. They just fit really well together. We have yet to meet a baby who doesn’t love music. Yup, your baby even appreciates your awful out of tune singing. We know because we have heard some truly terrible tuneless rapping from dads and their kids still look mesmerized. Mesmerized.

In fact, not only do babies love music but according to a study, they also love to dance! Yeah, that foot stomping you saw your baby do for 2 seconds was real. They were really tapping to the beat, not just randomly shaking their foot.

This is all good news for us parents as some experts suggest that music also promotes their health, brain and verbal development and puts them in a good mood. Even if none of the other benefits existed, the last one is reason enough to introduce your baby to music!

Below are some of the best musical toys for babies that have stood the test of time. Note that there are some baby walkers that also play fantastic music but as we explained in our post on Best Push Walkers (also known as jumpers or exersaucers), we don’t recommend baby walkers because of the risks to your baby’s physical development. When making our decisions on which were best for a baby, we took the following factors into account:

  1. Number of melodies- songs, sounds, phrases (the more the better)
  2. Engagement (how much baby is encouraged to engage with the toy. Eg. press a button to play music)
  3. Parent/baby-tested (how many parents have said that their little one loved them?)
  4. Portability (so that you can take it with you on car trips, to the grocery store, on walks etc.)
  5. Durability (can your baby throw it around without it breaking immediately?)
  6. Value for money (is it good value? Cheap?)

There is one other test that we know is very important but it can be so subjective that it becomes very hard to analyze- how annoying the music is. Unfortunately, what one parent finds annoying, may be awesome to another parent or, simply music to baby’s ears. So we haven’t provided an opinion on the likeability of the melodies. Sorry, you have got to form your opinion on this one.

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center

This LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center not only plays music and sounds but also has a bilingual option (English and Spanish) to help your child pick up some words in a second language. It also has a turning page, piano keys and other features that encourage your baby’s tactile development.

Don’t be fooled by the height of this activity center and think that your baby won’t be able to play with it. Firstly, the legs can be removed so that the activity center is flat on the ground and your baby can play with it while on tummy time. Once your baby is starting to pull himself or herself up, you can put the legs back on and encourage your baby to practice standing for longer periods of time.

  1. Number of melodies: 70 songs/sounds. 10/10
  2. Engagement: Piano keys, book page, buttons, moving features. 8/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 9/10
  4. Portability: Relatively portable- light but bulky. 3/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 8/10
  6. Value for money: Not cheap but it’s got a longer play lifetime.             9/10

Total Score:      47/60.

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is one of the best and most popular walkers on the market. In our opinion, it is hands down one of the best walkers for value for money. Not only is it engaging and colorful, but it plays some truly likable melodies that you will find yourself randomly singing along to without meaning to! It comes with piano keys, gears, light up buttons and even a telephone! The play panel is removable so that you can use it for your baby’s tummy time until he or she is ready to learn to walk.

  1. Number of melodies: 70+ songs/sounds. 10/10
  2. Engagement: Piano keys, gears, window shutter, buttons, telephone.             10/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 10/10
  4. Portability: Relatively portable- light but bulky. 7/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 9/10
  6. Value for money: Not cheap but it’s got a longer play lifetime. 8/10

Total Score:      54/60.

VTech Sort & Discover Activity Cube

Don’t underestimate the size of this VTech Sort & Discover Activity Cube. It’s got some serious play power in it. Not only is it a musical maestro playing 75+ music/sounds, but it also has cleverly designed engaging features such as book pages to turn, piano keys to press and gears to spin.

  1. Number of melodies: 75+ songs/sounds.                                                 10/10
  2. Engagement: Piano keys, gears, book pages, spinner, shape sorter, beads. 9/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 8/10
  4. Portability: Relatively portable- light but bulky. 7/10
  5. Durability: Don’t throw around too much. 6/10
  6. Value for money: Reasonable price.                         7/10

Total Score:      47/60.

Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano Gym

How can you not say, “Awwww” when you see this baby piano that doubles up as a play gym? Your baby can play the keys with both feet or hands. Just adjust the piano keys to face up rather than sideways when your baby is ready to sit up and play with his or her hands. Super cute!

  1. Number of melodies: 4 songs and piano key sounds. 4/10
  2. Engagement: Piano keys, play mat, hanging toys.                                     8/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 8/10
  4. Portability: Portable- light but bulky. 8/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 9/10
  6. Value for money: Not cheap but you are also buying a play gym. 9/10

Total Score:      46/60.

VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball

If your baby is learning to crawl, you will love this VTech Move and Crawl Baby Ball that not only rolls around but also plays a myriad of melodies and sounds. We also love that it has satin ribbons sticking out to promote tactile engagement. Hey, it may even become your baby’s favorite toy if he or she loves tags!

  1. Number of melodies: 40+ songs/sounds. 7/10
  2. Engagement: Ribbons, buttons, spinning ladybug. 5/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 9/10
  4. Portability: Very portable. 10/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 8/10
  6. Value for money: Reasonable price.             8/10

Total Score:      47/60.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

This is an extremely popular musical toy for babies. It’s light, portable and probably one of the cheaper musical toys on the market. It looks like an iPod but we think that the real reason that this toy is so popular is because it plays classical music. According to a 1993 study (which has since been highly criticized), it was suggested that classical music could increase a baby’s IQ.

Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t hurt to play it right?

  1. Number of melodies: 7 classical songs. 4/10
  2. Engagement: Buttons, handle with beads. 3/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 8/10
  4. Portability: Very portable. 10/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 8/10
  6. Value for money: Probably one of the cheapest musical toys around. 10/10

Total Score:      43/60.

VTech Click and Count Remote

We had to feature the VTech Click and Count Remote because, for some of you, this toy will be a savior for your TV remote (and sanity). Instead of constantly having to wrestle your remote control from your baby, give Junior this VTech Click and Count Remote! It looks like a TV remote but instead of changing your channels, it plays music when the buttons are pushed. Now, everyone is happy (at least until Junior figures out that this remote doesn’t actually control the TV).

  1. Number of melodies: 45 songs/sounds. 7/10
  2. Engagement: Lots of buttons! 4/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Popular. 7/10
  4. Portability: Very portable. 10/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 9/10
  6. Value for money: Probably one of the cheaper musical toys around. 10/10

Total Score:      47/60.

VTech Rhyme and Discover Book

Finally, guess what is THE ABSOLUTE BEST musical toy for baby? You! Okay, fine you are not a toy but your baby will always choose to play with you first and foremost before any other toy. Because of this, we recommend that you sing, rap, clap your hands and dance with your baby as much as possible. Don’t worry, your baby thinks that you are awesome, even if you sing out of tune or rap out of beat. But in case you don’t know any child-appropriate songs or are shy, we recommend that you use this VTech Rhyme and Discover Book to help you find your groove. Just open the pages, and sing along!

  1. Number of melodies: 20+ songs/sounds. 6/10
  2. Engagement: Pages, buttons, 4 movable pieces. 5/10
  3. Parent/baby-tested: Very popular. 9/10
  4. Portability: Very portable. 10/10
  5. Durability: Can take some serious hits. 8/10
  6. Value for money: Okay but can you put a price on an aide to help you sing? 8/10

Total Score:      46/60

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