My 8 favorite neutral toys for babies

If you’ve read my blog for a while (or followed me on Instagram), it’s likely you’re already familiar with my distaste for most children’s toys.

I’m not a monster, I swear. I just have a hard time bringing anything into my home that isn’t a) absolutely essential or b) beautiful to look at. And the fact is, the majority of children’s toys go unplayed with and are typically technicolor eyesores.

My name is Justine, and my favorite color is a light shade of gray. #sorrynotsorry

Fortunately, it seems I am no longer alone in my affinity for neutrals. The current generation of parents has spoken, at it seems they prefer toys sans primary shades and (most excitingly) not in plastic.

When I started looking around for toys for Juliette, I was especially picky. I only registered for or purchased items that I wouldn’t mind seeing sprawled all over the living room, both in an attempt to fill our home with more natural materials but also to lessen my workload every day. (Do you have any idea how much time I spend cleaning up toys? So. Much. Time. I would much rather spend that time actually playing with my girls.)

As a result, I’ve ended up with a handful of quality toys that are just as beautiful to look at as they are fun to play with. Here are my favorite neutral toys for babies:

1. Poppyseed Play Wood Play Gym

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If you are at all handy with woodworking, you could probably create your own neutral, wooden baby gym. If you’re me, you rely on the pros at Poppyseed Play. I love the optional toys she also sells, but I ended up just purchasing the bare gym and hanging my own toys with ribbon.

2. Manhattan Toy Skwish Natural Rattle

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I love this rattle, and not because it’s lauded by babies and Montessori experts alike. Jules loves tracking the moving beads with her eyes, and Vivian loves shaking it for her to hear the rattling.

3. Sweet Pea Teethers

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Juliette hasn’t been nearly as much of a pacifier baby as Vivian was, but I know I’ll be glad to have this teether when she gets older to use as a leash for toys in the stroller. Plus, I love how she can gum on the silicone beads along the way.

4. Petit Collage Wooden Puzzle

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Even Vivi loves to play with this adorable puzzle/block combo. The pieces interlock as puzzle pieces later on, but they also make fun figurines for imaginative play. And for now, I also love them as decor in the nursery.

5. Loulou Lollipop Bubble Teether

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Another favorite teether I throw in my diaper bag? This Bubble Teether. It has a mix of silicone and natural wood beads to give those sore gums multiple textures to gnaw, and it’s also a favorite to hang on Juliette’s Poppyseed Play gym.

6. Little Nomad Playmat

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Whenever I post a picture with this playmat on Instagram, I always get direct messages asking me if it’s a real rug. It’s THAT beautiful—and it looks just as good in person. Since our “playroom” is really just a corner of our living room, I love that this gives the space a defined-yet-decorated look that blends with my decor style perfectly. Plus, it’s so easy to clean!

7. Baby Sew Lovable Block

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Vivi loved soft blocks like this with multiple textures, rattles, and things to chew on, so I was thrilled when I found a neutral version. The multiple loops and hooks are easy for even the tiniest baby hands to grip, and I don’t mind when it gets left out of the toy box because it’s so pretty to look at.

8. Beluga Baby Wrap

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While technically not a toy, I love babywearing as a way of “playing” with baby and helping her take part in whatever adventure we have planned for the day. (And you know Beluga Baby is my OG favorite wrap.) Plus, this limited edition pattern is named after me! So naturally, it’s a favorite in our house 🙂

What are your favorite neutral toys for little ones?

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