The list author says: "It is such a pain to figure out which toys are worth the money, especially for first time parents. This is a list of toys that we really love, that are durable, entertaining, affordable, great for both boys and girls, and most importantly, seem to appeal to a decently wide age range so it's not something that will get played with twice and then thrown in the back of the closet. Also, most of them make great and affordable gifts. Remember, always do your research and price comparisons! We bought a lot of this stuff at second-hand children's stores, on craigslist, and only a few here on amazon (where we always checked the used options and kept an eye on the price for at least a week before purchasing, as prices can fluctuate significantly)."
"This thing saved our lives, having sat through the first 3 months of car rides with our son screaming the whole way. This calmed him, and at three months he quickly learned how to spin the rattles and push the frog's eyes to activate the music."
"Our other take-along toy that was a huge hit from day one. The feet crinkle and jingle, the tummy squeaks, an it's a great teether. All of the Lamaze toys in this line seem to be great, and a good baby shower gift."
"Search your local Walmart for a Bright Starts play mat. We didn't have this specific one, but they're all very similary, and our son much preferred this brand to the more expensive Baby Einstein mat, and in the stores these are only around $30. You don't really need them for too terribly long, so it's not worth it to spend a ton."
"Teething rings never really worked for my son, he preferred to chew on fabric. Bright Starts also makes one we found in the stores that was only around $5. If the cold rings don't work, try one of these."
"This is a great ball for all ages. It's easy to grasp for smaller infants (they also make a rattle version). For older babies and toddlers, it's easy to throw, easy to clean as it is dishwasher safe, and if it hits anyone or anything there's no damage done!"
"These cars are great for little hands. They're cute and soft, and my son got these at about 9 months old (I believe the recommended age is 1). He loves them and still plays with them every day at 16 months old."