Hi friends! Until I had a baby of my own I had NO IDEA what to get little ones for the holidays or their birthday (other than a cute stuffed animal). After some research, I found out that there are so many options out there that are not only super fun for babies, but also promote development.
I’m breaking down our little lady’s favorites from her first year in this ultimate infant gift guide to provide some inspiration for others during the holidays.
This post probably contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure if you want more info.
Some of the toys on this list she loved well into toddlerhood, through 18 months, and others she lost interest in as she got older. However, if you have an older toddler, we’ve got you covered. Check out these posts:
We also have awesome ideas for Mom and Dad.
Ok, now let’s get right into it — the best gifts you can get for a baby!
The top 10 gifts for babies this Holiday season
The best sensory gifts for babies
This rattle provides extra sensory stimulation! It changes colors when shaken and there is even a mirror on the bottom for baby to find herself! We had two rattles and this was by far the favorite.
Our second daughter loves it just as much as her sister did. The first battery we had lasted almost four years, so it holds up pretty well too.
The Kick N Play Piano Gym is a great gift for a very young baby as it can provide stimulation and fulfillment even when they are just starting to kick. We loved watching little lady learn to hit the keys, and then eventually reach up for the hanging toys. After baby learns to move, the toys can come off and go places for extra use.
Eventually, littles will be allowed to sleep with a small lovey (we started with one at 13 months) and it’s a good idea to get them used to the object so they associate it with comfort before then. I slept with C’s two loveys for a few nights before giving them to her and now she LOVES having her friends in bed. The Gund brand is superb quality and will provide her with comfort for years to come.
The Best Books for Babies under 1
These small board books are perfect for little hands. They foster an early love of books and reading and are virtually indestructible. The best news is that they come in a pack of 12 so it’s easy to throw a couple in the car, your diaper bag, or toy bin so you have a book to entertain no matter where you are!
Until I had a baby, I had NO IDEA how much they loved texture and sound. Soft books were a huge hit once my little found out they made noise — and had other textures she could play with (~6-12 months). It’s another good way to get reading early without worrying about destroying a book!
Awesome teethers to help soothe your fussy teething baby
Little lady LOVES her rings. These double as bracelets and jewelry for mom, but my little loved her jewelry so much they were always in her mouth. Good luck letting me wear anything!
General Fun for babies 6 months +
I can’t say enough about how much fun we had with these links. We played with them as chains, hooked them on the stroller or other toys, and even now at 18 months she likes to wear “bracelets.” This is a multipurpose toy that is a huge hit, without breaking the bank.
I won’t lie, the first year these weren’t really used for stacking. C mainly chewed on them or banged these cups together. However, she loved rolling them around, and now at 18 months is learning to stack them in order. Another affordable gift that will be a hit for more than just a month!
These aren’t your average soft blocks. The interesting rattles and shapes inside the blocks provide additional fun and learning as your little one figures out how to separate the pieces. They’re then rewarded with fun sounds. Blocks are obviously great for stacking and catch as well!
We got this table when C was 8 months old as a gift. I would probably have never been excited to buy it because it made so many noises, but I would have been wrong. It may be her favorite toy. She learned colors, animals, and songs and still plays with it at 18 months.
Our second daughter is using it now with the legs removed as a seated toy, and also loves all the lights and colors. We can’t wait to stand it up again and see how much she likes it when she can walk around. The version linked below is from Leap Frog, because it seems like Fisher-Price isn’t selling them on Amazon this year.
Definitely a good investment!
My ultimate infant gift guide recommends toys my little lady loved herself, with many for less than $20. I focused on items that weren’t heavy on the “singing plastic” — and that have been interesting for more than a month.
All the items above are kid-tested and mom-approved. I hope this takes some of the stress out of your Holiday season. Happy shopping.
If you have any other awesome gift ideas for babies, be sure to drop them in the comments for the next time I update this guide 🙂
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