Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Since most babies are perfectly satisfied to bang on old pots and pans (but some of us don't particularly enjoy the sound of our sanity shattering into a thousand pieces), it can be really hard to know what to buy them as a gift. And let's be honest, they won't notice if you don't get them anything. Still, most of us feel weird leaving them out.
Whether you're a new parent and unsure what's worth your money, you're a veteran but you want something fresh, or it's not even your kid you're buying for, but you don't want to be the jerk who ignores the baby (and pisses off the parents of that baby), here's a quick guide to make sure you're not wasting your money, and that the baby enjoys the actual present more than the whole unwrapping process. (I mean, she's definitely going to try to eat the paper, but...)
All of the items on this list are things I personally have in my home and my baby loves, or they're items I'm planning to buy him during the holiday season.
#1 Inflatable Unicorn Bath Tub
Personally, I think that anything a baby can unwrap that also proves useful for the parents is the perfect gift (most of us don't need something else to add to the overflowing toy box). This
is super fun and unique. It makes me feel like Bastian is safer than just putting him in the main tub, and since it's inflatable, it's easy for us to travel with it. Bath time is his favorite, so it really is a gift for him, and not just me - even though, I have to tell you, once he outgrows it, I have every intention of re-purposing this as a cooler for drinks next summer (that'll be fun for the beach or floating in the pool!)
Just fyi, when he was a smaller baby, we bathed him in the kitchen sink and used this:
Also, there are a few other inflatable options if you want duckies or frogs instead of a unicorn!
#2 Light Up Musical Dancing Duck
If it's important to you to get an actual toy, here's one that I highly recommend.
This is one of the only things that can calm my son down when he's in the middle of a meltdown. He genuinely lights up and starts babbling when he see this
We first got it for him when he was about 4 months old, but now that he's almost 8 months and crawling, he REALLY loves it because he can chase it. Babies outgrow things so quickly, so it's great that this is something he's been able to enjoy for several months now.
#3 Large Play Mat - Memory Foam Rug
This is something we're planning to get Bastian for Christmas. Most of the floors in our house are hardwood, and I want to get something softer for him to crawl and play on. Right now, we've just been throwing a large blanket on the floor for him, but I like the idea of having something more long-term and cushion-y, and since this is memory foam, it seems perfect. Plus, I'm hoping the design will appeal to my older boys (ages 10 and 6) and encourage them to play with each other and the baby with their toy cars.
In addition to the
I'm considering buying this, because it doubles as a storage container, which I think is
Oh! Also, not too long ago, I bought these
We've got hard tile in our kitchen, and I wanted to temporarily soften the floor while Bastian is crawling and learning to walk, but I didn't particularly want a kiddie car design or a colorful ABC mat, so I was excited to find these foam tiles in a chic design. There are a lot of brands and color options, which I thought was nice. It's also a good option if you are renting a home and want to spruce things up but can't make permanent changes.
This is my all-time fave baby toy - and not just because it tires out my kid, haha. I just think it's the cutest thing in the world to watch babies go to town in these things. Every single one of my boys loved using one! We got this particular one for Bastian from Facebook Marketplace, and you should be able to find plenty of local ones in used-but-good-condition yourself. If you want a brand new one, though, or you want it shipped to you instead of having to schedule a pickup time and all that, you can find a lot of options on Amazon by clicking this link:
#5 Bath Toys
All of my kids have always loved playing in water (must be the mermaid genes) so I'm always buying bath toys. I'm a big fan of these
because they don't get all icky and gross the way some bath toys (like rubber duckies etc) end up filled with old dirty water and mildew. Plus, they're the perfect size for a stocking stuffer!
#6 Sippy Cups
This is another one of those gifts where the parents of the baby will appreciate it. We are always losing sippy cups (or at least the lids) so you really can't have too many. (And if we're not "losing" them per se, we're possibly throwing them out because it's easier than cleaning the 3-day-old milk that's been spoiling inside them. Oops.)
If you're smart, choose ones with cute character designs like this, so the kid will appreciate your gift a lot more:
#7 Funny Onesies
Now, I'm biased on these, because I designed them myself, but come on - who doesn't appreciate a funny t-shirt? Clicking on the pictures should take you to my Etsy store. I'm really excited to be offering FREE SHIPPING now for most purchases.
#8 Baby Einstein Octopus Orchestra
I could blather on and on about how much my son loves this toy, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
#9 Toy Remote Control
Don't ask me why, but babies and toddlers are obsessed with these things. The more you can get it to look like the real thing, the better.
Here's a picture of my niece at her first birthday party. We were trying to get her to open all of her new presents, but she just kept picking up the remote controller and wanting to play with it the whole time lol
#10 Toy Smartphone
This goes hand in hand with the toy remote controller. Pretty much any form of baby-friendly technology is a good choice - toy laptops, tablets, whatever- they love that stuff as much as the rest of us. We're planning to buy this cool little set for Bastian at Christmas, and it's probably the thing I'm most excited about:
#11 Building Blocks
I thought I'd end this list with one of the classics. There are so many kinds of building blocks - wooden ones with ABCs printed on the side, the LEGO style, foam blocks, even magnetic ones. Whatever you decide to go with, it's sure to be educational but fun, and they'll last a long time. That's why they're a classic :)
Here's a link to see some that Amazon has to offer:
What about you? Can you vouch for any of the suggestions I made in this post? Are there other items your baby has loved or you found particularly useful? Comment below!