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Best toy cars for babies reviewed: sucking and crawling

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Toys cars become really fun with young toddlers, but babies can do quite a bit with them too. There are definitely some other things to watch out for to make it as fun as possible.

Take for example these soft pull-back cars from Melissa & Doug. Great for your baby as they can suckle on it while they are still in that stage and explore driving and the cause and effect of the pull-back system along the way.

Those are the things to look out for to keep it as safe and interesting as possible for babies. In this guide I look at the best toy cars for this age and what you should pay attention to when buying.

Best toy cars for babies

Let's take a quick look at the top options. Then I'll go into more detail about each of these choices.

Overall best toy cars for babies

Melissa & DougSoft Pull-Back Cars

These are already fun for the smallest children from 9 months. Perfect size for your baby and nice and soft.

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Best wooden toy cars for babies

B ToysFree Wheee-Read

These cars are already suitable from 1 year. Due to the rounded shapes there is nothing to hurt yourself and they are easy to grip.

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Best toy car for toddler

LEGO10948 DUPLO Town Parking Garage and Car Wash

The car wash doesn't really work, but the fabric cleaning curtain is very nice, and what toddler can resist a movable barrier?

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Best toy car wash with light and sound

VtechToot-Toot Car Garage

Pushing elevations onto the road some pins under the car so that he has a sentence that belongs to that spot on the garagesuch as the car wash.

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Dear growers

B ToysMini Pull Back Cars

Very nice design and bright colors, that's what the school bus, racing and police car from B. Toys look like.

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Best cheap magnetic cars

smart maxMy First Vehicles

They are car fronts and backs with a magnetic bar in the middle. This allows you to mix and match all colors.

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Toy cars for babies buying guide

What should you pay attention to when buying toy cars for babies?

Sustainability

There are quite a few differences in quality between toy car brands. You want them to last, resist sucking and be fun to explore too.

In any case, almost nothing can go wrong with a completely wooden car. That is what I paid extra attention to when assessing the durability of the cars.

Quality of driving

The quality of driving is somewhat less important with cars for babies. They probably just go back and forth with it anyway.

But this is also the mistake that many cheap brands make. It still has to roll pretty well, otherwise they get bored of it quickly.

Then you might as well grab a wooden block in your hands again.

Replayability

Much of the car's replayability is in how well it drives, but there are other factors that determine how often they return to it.

Age also plays a part. Is it a car that stays on the left after babyhood or can it last longer because it is also suitable for older children?

The number of extra functions is also very important, such as the blocks from Duplo or the pull-back action from Melissa & Doug and B. Toys.

I rated each of the cars on this list on these parts on a 5-point scale.

Best toy cars for babies reviewed

Overall best toy cars for babies

Melissa & Doug Soft Pull-Back Cars

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8.5
Toy score
To drive
3.9
Replayable
4.4
Sustainability
4.5
Best for
  • Nice and soft and suitable for babies
  • Fabric is removable for washing
Less good
  • Good value for money but set of 4 makes it pricey

These are already fun for the smallest children from 9 months. Perfect size for your baby and nice and soft.

They are 4 safe, soft vehicles, including a school bus, family car, fire truck and police car with cheerful colors.

It is a nice introduction for your child to friction cars. They can pull them back and they ride nicely on the floor. Real cause and effect toys.

They are also safe to put in the mouth for exploring. And Melissa & Doug has anticipated this by being able to detach the fabric cars from the undercarriage.

They are attached with Velcro and so you can just put them in the wash.

They are good for the price, but they are equal to 4 cars, which makes the set a bit more expensive, and you don't actually need 4.

But very fun to play and they last a long time.

There are 6 wooden cars with a few different shapes. The kind of handle in the passenger cars is also funny. So they can grab it easily.

Actually, these are the cheapest cars on the list and not Melissa & Doug's.

But they are not really toy cars for your toddler. Then you better buy another one. They don't roll very well and the design is therefore a bit crazy.

But a very nice first set for your baby. The overall score of 6.7 is a bit low because I rated it on the same points as "real" gaming cars.

Best wooden toy cars for babies

B Toys Free Wheee-Read

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6.7
Toy score
To drive
2.5
Replayable
3.9
Sustainability
3.6
Best for
  • Well rounded and easy to grab
  • Cheerful colors and fun design
Less good
  • Don't drive very well
  • Not sturdy enough for rough toddler play

These cars are made for the smallest children and are suitable from 1 year old. The rounded shapes mean there is nothing for them to hurt themselves on and they are easy to grip.

Best toy car for toddler

LEGO 10948 DUPLO Town Parking Garage and Car Wash

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9.1
Toy score
Wash
4.1
Replayable
4.6
Sustainability
4.9
Best for
  • Construction set and car wash in one
  • Car wash has a cleaning cloth and barrier
  • Lots of accessories and cars
Less good
  • Not so much fun after toddler
  • No working car wash

Duplo is always super fun to play with for toddlers and they can even build something with it. So is this Town Car Wash.

There are 4 DUPLO figures that can perform the work or drive through the car wash in the car.

The car wash doesn't really work, but I really liked the fabric cleaning curtain, and what toddler can resist a movable barrier?

It is quite a complete set because there are 3 cars, one of which is even a Push&Go car.

There are 112 pieces in total and it says suitable from 2 years old, but my son could already play with it at 1 year old. Then you might hold back the very smallest parts for a while.

Best toy car wash with light and sound

VTech Toot-Toot Car Garage

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7.9
Toy score
Wash
3.2
Replayable
4.5
Sustainability
4.1
Best for
  • The car makes noise at different points on the track
  • The garage also makes noise itself
  • Nice car wash
Less good
  • More fun when you have more Toet Toet Cars track pieces and cars

Age: 12 months +

The Vtech Toet Toet car garage is what we chose for our son. We already had a separate Toet Toet car, I think at his birth or when he turned 1 maybe.

And he already played quite well with the car. If you press on the front, it makes a noise and of course he could drive around with it.

But what makes the cars really nice is that they have pins on the bottom that make it possible to say different sentences.

That is why it was time to give the garage a try, because it also has elevations and when the car drives over it, the pins on the bottom are pressed in a certain way.

Because some pins are pressed and others are not, the car says a certain sentence that belongs to that place on the garage:

  • like parking,
  • going to wash in the car wash
  • ride the elevator to go up and down
  • Stand on the repair platform ready for maintenance

Those kind of things.

The garage itself can also make noise by pushing the buttons and there is one tow truck that triggers songs, phrases and fun sound effects when it crosses one of the garage's 9 SmartPoints.

The only sad thing about it was that the car that comes with it is one of the least suitable for the garage because it is a bit high and does not slide off the garage slide so well, while the car we already had is much better off to drive.

Anyway, this is only a minor detail and immediately fixed if you buy several cars for it.

Why I like him: a well-priced, easy-to-assemble garage that is solidly set up for children under 3 and offers a lot for the money.

The buttons to press are nice and sturdy, and the sound effects are great, entertaining and educational, but not too overwhelming and fortunately it also has two volume levels.

Dear growers

B Toys Mini Wheee-is

Product image
8.5
Toy score
To drive
4.1
Replayable
4.4
Sustainability
4.2
Best for
  • Soft plastic is suitable for small children
  • Pull back system works well
Less good
  • Are a bit small to keep baby's attention

Very nice design and bright colors, that's what the school bus, racing and police car from B. Toys look like.

These also have a nice pull-back system so that they can drive themselves.

While Melissa & Doug really focuses on babies with the soft cars, these are suitable for slightly older children from 1 year.

They become really fun to play with for the older toddlers and toddlers. The plastic is flexible and very soft so that even small children can play with it.

The set is slightly cheaper than Melissa & Doug's but you get 3 cars instead of 4. Ultimately, the price per car is comparable.

Lees meer: Is your child ready for toddler toy cars? These are the cutest!

Best cheap magnetic cars

smart max My First Vehicles

Product image
7.5
Toy score
Magnet
4.1
Replayable
3.4
Sustainability
3.8
Best for
  • Good strong magnets
  • Fits on other Smartmax sets
Less good
  • Very cheap wheels

This play set is for the youngest children. It says 1 to 5 on the box, but it's best for kids a little under 1 to about 2 years old, maybe up to 3 years old.

If you already have a toddler, you better choose the Blockaroo Roadster.

They are car fronts and backs with a magnetic bar in the middle. This allows you to mix and match all colors.

There are not really many combinations possible, but for really young children, for example, it is fun to find the right colors together again and again.

The rods are the same as other Smartmax products so you can also use them with the rods and balls. This way you already have a basis for later magnet toys.

The cars are ok, but the wheels are kind of cheap plastic. They don't really drive great.

As a result, children of 3 to 4 years old will not play with it much anymore, I think. But then it is nice to combine them with other sets.

Conclusion

Babies can enjoy discovering the world. And whether it's sitting with a car in their hand or crawling behind a pull-back car, there is something for everyone with these sets.

Also read: these are the best toy cars for all ages

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.