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Best Baseballs for Toddlers

For children between the ages 1 through 3, there are no baseballs designed expressly for toddlers. Given their small hand size at this age, it’s advisable to opt for multiple small, soft balls instead.

Small and soft balls assist toddlers in teaching essential throwing and catching techniques without instilling fear. The apprehension of catching typically stems from negative experiences, so employing a soft ball encourages experimenting with various catching methods without the concern of injury.

By the age of 3, consider purchasing a set of a knobby balls, or IncrediBall soft stitch “baseballs.” The crucial point to remember is to avoid any situation where your child might get injured and consequently lose interest in the sport. Therefore, focus on ensuring the experience is enjoyable and pressure-free.

One thing you need to be aware of is that many knobby or squishy balls are not BPA-free, and toddlers at this stage tend to put everything in their mouths!

Whichever product you purchase, make sure to first clean the play balls with gentle dish soap, then thoroughly wash and rinse with clean water. Give them a sniff test to ensure all the soap has been removed.

Knobby Balls (~5″ diameter)

These bouncy, textured balls are not only perfect for developing hand-eye coordination beneficial for sports like baseball, but they’re also incredibly safe—even when the play gets wild. The package comes with 12 deflated balls that you must inflate with the pump/needle.


Their soft, squishy nature means that getting bonked in the head is more likely to bring giggles than tears, making them a worry-free choice for energetic play and skill-building for young athletes in the making. Of the two sets I purchased (one as a gift), one set did not come with the needle so I had to get a replacement from Amazon. Also, not a big deal but expect size variances.

Before Moving up to T-Ball

Before moving up to T-ball, you may also want to consier practicing throwing and catching with an IncrediBall (cloth covered, simulated baseball) or Franklin Soft Strike.

If you’re looking for the perfect transition balls before your little slugger steps up to tee balls, you may want to consider Incredi-Ball (cloth cover; simulated baseball) or Frank Soft Strike baseballs. They’re tough enough to take a hit and soft enough for the youngest players to handle with confidence. Trust me, they’re game-changers for those early baseball adventures.

Easton IncrediBall SoftStitch Baseballs

While Easton’s SoftStitch IncrediBall isn’t technically a tee baseball, it’s an excellent choice for kids who are still mastering the art of catching fly balls. The IncrediBall comes in two varieties: one with a fabric cover and another with a synthetic cover.

The fabric-covered IncrediBall SoftStitch Model A122006BS (Amazon) features a durable polyester fabric similar to cordura, paired with a polyurethane safety core. This combination offers a more realistic and lively bounce compared to a RagBall, and it lands with a gentle thud, reducing the sting of a missed catch, unlike balls with synthetic covers.

There’s also the synthetic-covered version (IncrediBall SoftStitch Model BBTS9W) but I recommend you skip this version for toddlers as these balls are firmer than the cloth version. The cloth version also has higher seams which makes it easier to grip and throw. I would also skip the softball version of Incredi-Balls (they come in 11″ and 12″ sizes). Although these softballs have the same core, they are much larger and thus weigh more.

A dozen of fabric covered SoftStitch baseballs can go for around $50-80, but if you are concerned about your child’s inability to catch routine balls, buying these baseballs will provide you with some added peace of mind.

Franklin Soft Strike Tee balls

Franklin Sports, a family-operated business since 1946, sets itself apart with its unique approach to baseball design. Their balls feature a hollow rubber core, which ensures a softer impact upon catch, making them safer and more user-friendly for younger players.

Technically designed for T-ball aged children, The Soft Strike baseballs can be used for youngers kids due to its hollow foam core. The exterior is crafted from Syntex synthetic material, reinforced with double-stitched seams for added longevity. However, it’s worth noting that this hollow core design results in a lighter ball, with each weighing just 4 ounces, which may affect play for some.


When it comes to toddlers and sports, especially baseball or softball, it’s crucial to remember one thing: ease up on the pressure.

I’ve seen too many parents eager to mold their little ones into future all-stars before they can even tie their shoes properly. But here’s the thing: at this age, it’s not about pushing them to excel in sports. It’s about letting them explore, have fun, and be curious about the world around them.

Trust me, I know how fast time flies. So instead of stressing about perfecting their swing or throwing mechanics, focus on making memories together. Smile, laugh, and cherish these precious moments with your kids. That’s what truly matters in the end.

Please don’t forget to visit Buying Baseballs – Reference Articles page to read other fascinating information about baseballs!