If You Love Your Baby, Do Not Buy These 5 “Toys”

5 worst baby toys from a development perspective


Yes, that sounds a bit harsh.

But don’t worry, careful thought and consideration has gone into choosing the worst baby (and toddler) toys.

You will find many articles about the worst baby/kids toys that are meant to make you laugh and wonder “what were they thinking?”

This list is a bit different.

These toys will not help with your baby’s learning and development as they are marketed.

I will also explain why I feel these toys have made this list.  The final decision to purchase them is up to you.   So, let’s get started!

The 5 Worst Baby Toys Ever Made

Fisher-Price Ipad Apptivity Seat, Newborn-to-Toddler

Just to be clear, this seat is marketed to parents of typically developing babies and toddlers (not to parents of children with special needs).

If your child has special needs and requires the use of an Ipad (for communication) and a seat, then this is probably a great option for you.

fisher price ipad apptivity seat newborn toddler

Fisher Price iPad Apptivity Seat Newborn Toddler

That being said, I have no idea why you would want to prop your newborn or toddler (who does not have special needs) in front of a screen.

More and more studies are showing the negative effects that screens have on a child’s developing brain.

This is the time to interact with your little one by singing songs, reading books, cuddling and playing with toys such as rattles, balls, stuffed animals, ball drops and nesting cups.

It looks like the part of the seat that is meant to hold an iPad is also a mirror.

If you use this seat without an iPad then there are absolutely no issues with it.  

Activity seats are a safe place for your baby when you cannot be with him.

I don’t like this toy because of how it is marketed.  Just take a look at the description found on Amazon.

They make it sound like it’s great for your baby’s development.  The description starts out like this:

It’s a grow-with-me seat for baby that’s soothing, entertaining, and has a touch of technology, too.

I’m not sure why a little baby needs a touch of technology.

The more we learn about infant development the more we know that babies learn best by interacting with other humans.

I can see why some parents would be lured into thinking that this seat (and the Fisher Price “educational” apps) would be great for their baby’s development.  They make it sound so good.

However, I can assure you that a baby does not learn from a screen.

Babies need human interaction in order to thrive.  And they love looking at themselves in the mirror!  That can be more entertaining than what they see on the screen.

Perhaps you could use the iPad holder to hold a book with high contrast patterns and black and white images (see description above).

Now there’s a thought!

When it comes to young children it’s always best to stick with low tech open ended toys! 

This means batteries are not required for optimal functioning.

CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad (aka “The iPotty”)

I don’t even know where to start with this one.

Yes, I know many men (and some women) enjoy taking a device into the bathroom with them while they do their business, but starting this habit with a toddler? Really?

Doesn’t everyone know that sitting on a toilet for too long can cause hemorrhoids?

I honestly don’t know if this is meant to be a joke.   Why don’t you read some of the questions and answers.   They are good for a few laughs!

On a serious note, potty training can be very challenging and parents will do whatever they can to get their little one using the toilet.

I won’t say that I didn’t hand my son the iPad when I really, really wanted him to go.

But, that was after he had been sitting for a few minutes and was ready to give up.  In my opinion, this is taking things a bit too far.

You can decide for yourself if the iPad potty seat would be a good fit for your home.

CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad
Fisher-Price Deluxe Apptivity Gym

What is wrong with an old fashioned activity gym?

One where the  baby can kick and grab at the toys hanging down while looking at herself in the mirror.

The answer: nothing.

In fact the more traditional style activity gym is great for learning!

Fine and gross motor development, hand eye coordination and tracking are all skills that can be practiced with an activity gym.

However, when you place a mobile phone (it looks like only iPhones will fit in – maybe Fisher-Price and Apple are working together) into where the mirror goes, what do you think your baby will do?

Interact with the activity gym or stare at the screen?

Again, the choice to purchase this product is yours to make.
worst baby toys - Fisher Price Deluxe Apptivity Gym

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Puppy

To the toy creators at Fisher-Price, what is going on?

I used to love these products but I am not so sure anymore.

The people at FP really seem to be pushing screen time onto babies.

I am trying so hard to help parents find quality toys that will actually help with their child’s language development and learning, but then these big companies come out with products like these which is not helping my cause.

Again, why can’t a baby have a simple stuffed animal puppy that he can learn to pretend with and take on many fun adventures?

This one even comes complete with a pouch in in its stomach to hold (and protect) mom or dad’s iPhone/iPod and it’s hands and feet can be pressed to interact with the apps.

What happened to mom and dad interacting with their baby, pointing out and labeling the puppy’s tail, paws, eyes, nose, mouth, ears?

How about pretending to feed the puppy or giving the puppy a drink?  These are examples of how babies and toddlers really learn!
worst baby toys - Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Puppy

VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Spin and Discover Ferris Wheel

On the surface there isn’t much wrong with this toy.

It looks nice, its colorful and it’s meant for babies.

But, I don’t like the message it is sending parents.  Take a look at the product description:

worst baby toys

The part that I don’t like is this “cute animal buttons on the suction toy teach numbers, colors and animals; light-up stars flash along with voice and music”.  

To me this is sensory overload for your little one.

But more importantly, why does your baby need to learn numbers, colors and animals from a talking toy?

Those can all be taught through play using traditional toys!

Babies (and many children and adults) are visual, hands on learners.

Hearing a toy repeat something over and over again (with music and lights flashing, possibly at the same time) is not how a baby learns, it’s how they end up with sensory overload.
worst baby toys - VTech Baby Lil' Critters Spin and Discover Ferris Wheel

Bottom Line

If a toy is made specifically to hold an adult’s electronic device, stay away from it.

Or if the toy claims to teach your little baby counting, numbers, colors, animals or perhaps even geophysics (all while lights are flashing and music is playing), think twice about purchasing it.

Let your baby learn through play and by interacting with others!

If you really want some great learning toys for your baby please read: Best Learning Toys For Babies To Encourage Language Development

What are your thoughts on these 5 worst baby toys?

Do you agree that they won’t really help with your baby’s development?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

These are the 5 worst baby (and toddler) toys. They won't do a thing for your child's development. Here is why!

8 Comments

  1. Enhail

    I think some people get so caught up in being a “perfect” parent that they try to achieve validation by holding their children back from certain things (currently screens). I think its ridiculous that anyone would prop their baby up infront of a tablet, i dont know where you found these toys i have never seen anything like them online or in a store other then the last one that i think is completley fine, pretty sure you just needed a 5th toy because “do not buy your baby these 4 toys” doesnt sound as official. I have a 2 kids one is eleven years old and the other 9 months and they both were introduced to tablets as soon as they could crawl and they have excellent motor and cognitive skills my baby is brilliant. The stigma behind “scren time” is slowly dyeing and the studies that backed it are being proven wrong this is all propaganda!

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Enhail,

      Thank you for sharing your opinion on the matter to toys that don’t actual help with a baby’s development. These toys can all be found on Amazon. The list could have actually been longer but I figured readers probably could gather where I was going with this article without listing every toy out there.

      A baby learns best from interacting with others, not by looking at flashcards or screens.

      In fact, initial studies have found that an early introduction to screens does affect brain development and as a result more and more studies are being done to see exactly what is going on.

      Please take a look at my article discussing electronic toys for toddlers. I have linked to some research that has found that screen time can in fact delay speech and language development milestones.

      You might also want to take a look at this Ted Talk by Dr. Dimitri Christakis (pediatrician, parent, and researcher) where he goes into details about screens and brain development.

      We are all entitled to our own opinions.

      As long as you have done your research and feel good about your decision then that should be all that matters!

      All the best.

      Reply
  2. Laura

    Sadly, almost all the toys manufactured these days are sensory overload.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re right Laura! Kids (especially babies and toddlers) do much better, from a development standpoint, with traditional toys such as blocks, dolls, cars/trucks/trains, etc.

      Reply
  3. Rakib taluk

    Hi Tanya,
    Thanks for the very interesting article. It’s very important to choose the right gift for new born baby. Your information will help me in future. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Rakib. I’m happy to hear that you have found this information helpful!

      Reply
  4. Holly

    Thank you for this article. My cousin has just had a baby and I wasn’t sure what to buy for her christening – I mean what does a baby actually play with? Very hard gift to buy I think and then of course there are all these health and safety issues to consider!

    This review on various products has helped steer me clear of making any big gift idea mistakes! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Holly,

      You are right, it is tough buying a baby gift. Hopefully you had a chance to look at Best Learning Toys For Babies To Encourage Language Development for some ideas. Other than that clothes are always a good option.

      I am happy that I have encourage you to steer clear certain toys though – like the ones mentioned in this article. They are the worst toys for babies!

      Reply

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