Babies have big jobs as they constantly explore, play, learn and develop. After all, what's a more remarkable feat than going from being unable to hold your head up to running around and saying sentences within just a couple short years? You want to give them all the support and encouragement you can, but—good news—that doesn't have to mean filling your closets with toys. A few well-selected items to stimulate their imaginations and move their bodies will serve you both well.

Here are our science-backed must-have toys.

1. A high-contrast rattle

At birth, babies can only see within one foot. But that all quickly develops within the first months of life—and high-contrast toys and items are favorites as they begin to focus. We love the smart design of this rattle, which can (and will) serve double duty as a teething toy.

Baby Einstein Bright Bold Rattle & Teether High Contrast Toy, $3.74

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