11 Best Baby Rattles to Buy in 2020

Rattles are a classic tool for keeping babies soothed and entertained, but their definition has expanded well beyond the plastic orbs of our childhoods. They’re now available in many shapes and sizes, sometimes even including teething components and fun electronic audio features that are extra engaging to baby — the variety is great, but may leave you wondering about which picks are best.

If you’re getting ready to shake, rattle, and roll your way to the shop, take a look at our guide to the best baby rattles for an in-depth review of our favorites.

Editor's Choice

Manhattan Toy Lion Rattle & Sensory Teether

Combining a rattle and a teether, no pick on our list does it better than the Winkel lion rattle from Manhattan Toy

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Parents Guide-to buying baby rattles-

Are baby rattles actually helpful?

While most parents can agree that rattles are effective at keeping babies entertained, you may find yourself wondering if your baby actually reaps any benefits from playing with their rattle. Rest assured, the answer is yes, even when the toy is fairly basic. Wondering how rattles help your baby developmentally?

  • For very young babies, watching their rattle move back and forth in their hand or someone else’s helps them coordinate the use of their eyes for tracking a moving object, which is an important part of vision development
  • Grasping, holding, and shaking are all ways that babies use and develop their fine motor skills, and the way they play with the toy naturally progresses with their developmental stage
  • A baby-safe rattle is often made of textured plastic, wood, or cloth and is large enough for baby to put in their mouth without choking, which means it often doubles as a teether whether it’s intended to or not.

What qualities should I look for when shopping for a rattle for my baby?

There’s a proliferation of adorable rattles out there to choose from, which might leave you wondering which features are essentials and which are optional. We believe in focusing on the big three:

  • Age-appropriate: It’s always, always essential to make sure toys for babies and children under age 3 are age-appropriate, but it’s especially important for babies under a year old who tend to explore new objects orally. An age-appropriate rattle will have no choking hazards, including dangling decorations that can be detached, and be too large to fit entirely into your child’s open mouth.
  • Material: Choosing a rattle made out of suitable material is helpful in a number of ways. It keeps your baby safe from harmful, toxic plastics and treated wood toys that aren’t good for them, and, depending on what you choose, it may also make the rattle a bit easier for you to clean. Cloth, natural organic wood, and BPA-free plastic rattles are ideal.
  • Safety: In order to be fully safe, your baby’s rattle should be age appropriate, made of a baby-friendly material like wood, cloth, or non-toxic plastic, and should be durably constructed so that any internal parts that could act as potential choking hazards can not easily be exposed during normal play.

How do I know what kind of rattle my baby will like?

Much like their favorite song or favorite food, it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly which rattle your little one will love most. Some are crinkly, others are jingly; some are quiet, and others are loud. In fact, they may find one rattle to be a satisfying source of sensory engagement one day, only to reach for another the next! Providing a variety of rattles with different sound styles is ideal for keeping baby interested and happy.

What’s the best way to clean and sanitize my baby’s rattles?

Much like your baby’s other toys, rattles wind up spending a fair amount of time in places like baby’s mouth, the floor, the car, and in-between the couch cushions. It’s not surprising, then, that you’d like to keep things sanitary with a regular cleaning! A wipe is usually sufficient for small messes on plastic rattles, but mild dish soap and water will offer a thorough wash — just be sure to let the toy dry thoroughly. Wood rattles can be treated similarly, while cloth picks can be laundered safely by tucking them inside a pillowcase or lingerie bag before washing.

Remember, if the rattle has an electronic/audio component, NEVER submerge it in water! This can result in permanent damage and disabling of the rattle’s electronic components.

Our Top Picks

#1 Manhattan Winkel Rattle & Teether

Editors Choice

Your baby will roar for this one, and we’re not lion! Okay, but really, it’s hard not to love the simple stimulation, bright colors, and easy grasp of this jungle cat-themed Manhattan Winkel Rattle & Teether (check price on Amazon). The cheerful lion face in the center of the toy makes soothing sounds when shaken, encouraging cause and effect play. Multiple soft BPA-free plastic loops make up the lion’s mane, making the rattle easy for baby to hold onto and shake and doubling as safe, effective teething rings. The toy can even be chilled during peak teething periods, allowing this double-duty rattle to give them a bit of extra relief.

What We Love:

  • It’s colorful and entertaining, but isn’t overstimulating, making it an ideal pick for younger babies
  • The soft BPA-free rings are easy to grasp, safe and comfortable for teething, and can offer extra relief when the toy is refrigerated

Watch Out For: It isn’t dishwasher safe like some similar plastic rattles, so make sure to only wash it by hand

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#2 Things Remembered Personalized Silver Plated Rattle

Upgrade Choice

Silver mementos like spoons, cups, and rattles are classic gifts for baby that can be treasured by parents and children throughout a lifetime. This timeless Personalized Silver-plated Stainless Iron Rattle (check price on Amazon) from Things Remembered can be engraved at both ends, making it a wonderful choice for commemorating baby’s birth or baptism date. The rattle has a classic barbell design with two flat ends featuring an etched beaded border. While this rattle can safely be used by your baby with supervision, it isn’t ideal for teething and can make a rather mean projectile — its lovely design, sentimental value, customization, and price tag may mean deciding that it’s better off as a display item than an actual toy.

What We Love: It’s a beautiful memento that can be customized with your child’s name as well as the date of their birth or baptism

Watch Out For: Though it can be used by baby, it’s a sentimental piece that’s better displayed

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#3 Skip Hop Explore & Musical Egg Shaker Trio

Best Budget Buy

Although the sweet three-pack of woodland creature-themed Skip Hop Explore & Musical Egg Shaker Trio (check price on Amazon) may seem basic compared to flashier picks like the Vtech rattles on our list, they’re actually ideal for younger babies who are vulnerable to overstimulation. The simple hedgehog, owl, and fox trio have textured bodies that are easy for little hands to hang on to. Each shaker makes a unique sound and features a unique combination of colors and textures, giving baby plenty of opportunity to explore this budget-friendly set. The cute animal theme means they may also find a role in pretend play as baby gets older.

What We Love:

  • They’re simple at first glance, but each shaker has a unique sound, color and texture combo
  • The sweet animal theme and flat bottom makes them great toys for future pretend play

Watch Out For: The rattling sounds the shakers emit is somewhat quiet

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#4 Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball

A combination of bright, high-contrast colors, varied patterns, and touchable textures makes the squishy Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball (check price on Amazon) both appealing and beneficial to babies. Your baby will be able to grasp and hold the rattle easily thanks to its knobby surface, which is ideal for accommodating their developing small motor skills. Large and small beads create two kinds of soothing rattle sounds, which can help to generate neural connections in baby’s brain.

Finally, those bright colors and patterns aren’t just pretty to look at, they encourage your child’s eyes to focus, which strengthens their vision abilities. It’s also a good pick for their gross motor skills, as the textured surface makes it easy to transfer from hand to hand and hold onto during full body motion.

What We Love:

  • The bright colors and patterns, which help to strengthen baby’s vision while also holding their interest
  • The knobby, easy to hold surface which makes it easier for baby to hold and more helpful in their motor skill development

Watch Out For: The size, which may be a little bit large for smaller, younger babies

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#5 Playgro Clip Clop Activity Rattle

The Playgro Clip Clop Activity Rattle (check price on Amazon) isn’t just a friendly pony pal — he’s also an activity-packed rattle that offers sensory stimulation and motor skill development opportunities for baby. He’s easy to grasp and hold thanks to a rounded handle shape which fits naturally into baby’s hand. Each of his four hooves has unique features and textures for your baby to interact with, and his crinkling body and clicking, rattling beads encourage playful shaking and motion. The toy inspires thought and movement, inspires early basic understanding of cause and effect, and is ideal for inspiring use of their developing motor skills.

What We Love:

  • Each of Clip Clop’s feet has its own texture and sound, so there’s multiple ways to engage with the rattle
  • The rounded handle makes the toy easy for baby to grasp

Watch Out For: The legs may be somewhat heavy to some younger babies

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#6 Daisy Baby Animal Infant Wrist Rattles and Socks

The Perfect Combo

One of the reasons rattles are a classic toy for babies is their encouragement of motor skill development. That makes the Daisy Baby Animal Infant Wrist Rattles and Socks (check price on Amazon) is an ideal combination — sweet animal-themed socks keep their feet warm, while both the socks and their matching wrist rattles encourage both gross and small motor skill building. As they kick, shake, wriggle, and rattle, they’ll be working on both their cause and effect skills and the muscles they’ll need when they start crawling and walking. These soft monkey and elephant rattles are also adorned with a variety of colors and patterns, encouraging baby to strengthen their vision through focus.

What We Love: Because they can attach to baby’s wrists and feet, these rattles encourage both gross and fine motor skill development

Watch Out For: While these can be tumble dried, they need to be washed by hand to preserve the colors and patterns of the fabric and the durability of the toys

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#7 The First Years First Rattle

Best classic baby rattle

When it comes to choosing your baby’s first rattle, something simple is best. This First Years’ First Rattle (check price on Amazon) features a classic ring-based design that’s comfortable for the newborn grasp, with soft cloth construction that’s safe for teething and offers a soothing sensory experience. The cheerful bug-themed rattle has four feet attached to the ring, which encourages baby to explore the varied textures of the toy and can make it a bit easier to hang onto during play. It’s a simple, safe rattle that’s specifically intended to be used by newborns, so it’s a toy you can feel good about choosing for your new baby.

What We Love:

  • The ring shape of the rattle fits naturally into baby’s grasp, and the “feet” on the ring make it easy for baby to hang onto
  • The simple, soft design is ideal for newborns, so it’s a great first rattle

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#8 The VTech Baby Babble and Rattle Microphone

Best rattle microphone

Many simple rattles become less interesting to babies once they’re over a year old, but this unique Singing Puppy Rattle (check price on Amazon) from Vtech defies the odds. It’s safe for baby starting at three months, and has visual and tactile features including bright colored and patterns, rotating rings, and rattling beads that stimulate focus and and motor skill development. What makes this pick unique is an electronic component – when baby activates the music button, their rattle plays one of over 20 songs, sounds, or phrases. The puppy’s rosy cheeks also light up when the button is activated, offering experience with cause and effect. There’s an on and off switch for parents reluctant to offer electronic toys to younger babies or in search of quiet playtime.

What We Love:

  • Not many toys make the cut in the transition from baby to toddler, but the audio features on this toy keep it interesting to older babies
  • There’s an off switch for parents who’d rather save electronics for when they’re older, plus batteries can be removed if desired

Watch Out For:

  • Since there’s an electronic component, it’s a bit bulkier and heavier than the average rattle


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#9 The Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas

Most appealing rattle

Maracas, one of the world’s most popular rhythm instruments, have a lot in common with your baby’s rattle. They’re both colorful and fun to shake, and Fisher-Price has channeled that inspiration into this set of Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas (check price on Amazon) that are both adorable and functional. They’re perfectly sized for small hands, and feature bright patterns and visible rattling beads as well as three unique touchable textures. This builds focusing ability, offers sensory engagement, and encourages gross motor development as baby shakes along to all their favorite tunes.

What We Love:They’re just the right size for three-month-old hands with a fun style that will keep baby entertaineD

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#10 The Manhattan Skwish Natural Rattle and Teether

Best organic wooden rattle

You’ll be amazed at how easily the Skwish rattle, constructed from non-dyed, sustainable organic wood and elastic ties, can earn its name — it can be flattened, squeezed, and “squished” into a variety of positions, always returning to its initial polyhedron shape. The Manhattan Skwish Natural Rattle and Teether (check price on Amazon) is made up of non-toxic wood is ideal for teething babies to gnaw on, and the rattle’s moving wooden beads provide fine motor skill development opportunities in addition to the gross motor skill boosts rattles are known for. The flexible ties and open shape of the Skwish also make it easy for baby to hold, grab, and move from hand to hand.

  • What We Love:The unique construction of this rattle allows it to flatten and be reshaped, and it includes moving wooden beads which encourage fine motor skill development
  • The non-toxic natural wood surfaces are ideal for teething babies

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#11 The Vtech Baby Rattle and Sing Puppy

Many simple rattles become less interesting to babies once they’re over a year old, but this unique Singing Puppy Rattle (check price on Amazon) from Vtech defies the odds. It’s safe for baby starting at three months, and has visual and tactile features including bright colored and patterns, rotating rings, and rattling beads that stimulate focus and and motor skill development. What makes this pick unique is an electronic component – when baby activates the music button, their rattle plays one of over 20 songs, sounds, or phrases. The puppy’s rosy cheeks also light up when the button is activated, offering experience with cause and effect. There’s an on and off switch for parents reluctant to offer electronic toys to younger babies or in search of quiet playtime.


What We Love:

  • Not many toys make the cut in the transition from baby to toddler, but the audio features on this toy keep it interesting to older babies
  • There’s an off switch for parents who’d rather save electronics for when they’re older, plus batteries can be removed if desired

Watch Out For:

  • Since there’s an electronic component, it’s a bit bulkier and heavier than the average rattle

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Related reading
The 10 Best Baby Activity Tables to Buy in 2020

And Our Winner is…

Let’s face it: parenthood comes with enough gear, and anything that cuts down on the inventory is a plus. When it comes to combining a rattle and a teether, no pick on our list does it better than the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Teether (check price on Amazon). The soft loops of the rattle are perfect for soothing sore gums, and it’s especially comforting after a few hours in the fridge or freezer. It’s also great as a traditional rattle, because there’s plenty of colors to focus on and the loops make hanging on a breeze.

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