The NightLight Holiday Gift Guide for Newborns, Toddlers, and Slightly Less Toddly Kids

It’s toy-pocolypse. It’s play-mageddon. It’s..the holidays. Here’s our team’s carefully vetted list of the best toys for newborns, ages 1-2 and 3+.

While these items aren’t vetted to the same degree as our selections in our buyer’s guides, we’ve spent hands-on time with these products, read the reviews of other parents and compiled this list with care. We hope your favorite kiddos enjoy playing with these all year long.


Green Sprouts Ring Rattle

This rattle is made from sustainable wood and lacks any paints, or dyes. A simple rattle and movable rings make this a great toy both at home or on-the-go.1121_giraffe_blankie__01019-1384215275-1280-1280

Angel Dear Blankie, Brown Giraffe

A security blanket is an essential piece of gear for new babies. The parent gets their scent on the blanket, and it’s then given to the baby to calm their nerves. The stuffed head of this blanket makes it easier for babies to hold onto it. And the best part? When this blanket is dirty, you can put it in the washing machine, and it comes out looking brand new.



Pearhead Babyprints Keepsake Ornament

Those first months go by so quickly that you’ll never remember when your baby had such tiny hands and feet. Whether it’s going on your tree, or hanging in the nursery, this mess-free clay set is easy to use and clean up.

green-sprouts-toys-organic-crocheted-chime-rattle-228963-front_6Green Sprouts Organic Cotton Chime Rattle

Made from organic cotton with low-impact azo-free dyes, this rattle is easy to grasp while helping to develop motor skills. The crocheted texture makes it soft, flexible and easy to chew on. The subtle chime noise will be enough to entertain your baby, while being quiet to everyone else.



Artifact Uprising Instagram Friendly Photo Books

Create and organize your photo album via your Instagram feed. Available in multiple sizes, with a capacity of up to 380 pages, craft your memories into your own story using Artifact Uprising’s intuitive interface. Your baby won’t enjoy it for a couple of decades, but your friends and family with young ones will get a kick out of it now.



Kickee Pants Essentials Print Fitted Coverall

Made of 95% bamboo, these pajamas have a cult-like following. Not only are they comfy, the bamboo helps to keep your child cool when it’s hot outside, and warm when it’s cold. One side snaps down for easy changing, with a butt flap to check on everything from the rear.



Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions of Taylor Swift

Rockabye Baby puts some fun back into lullabies with their own renditions of popular songs by artists ranging from Metallica to Bob Marley. This edition features Taylor Swift’s most popular tunes, slowed down and without words. Each track features soothing xylophones and chimes, which work wonders on grumpy, smooth-jazz infants.

skiphop-alphabet-zoo-unfolding-baby-book2Skip Hop Unfolding Book, Alphabet Zoo

Filled with different animals, textures and colors, this book opens up to connected pages of animal discovery.


Ages 1-2

pt20-web-03Uncle Goose Elemental Blocks

Do you want your 2-year-old to be the only child in their daycare that doesn’t know the atomic number for Iridium? Avoid that fate by buying these periodic table blocks by Uncle Goose. Each block features six element images, with their associated symbol, name and atomic number. Made of sustainable Michigan basswood and manufactured in the US, these blocks make for a great piece of decoration and could significantly improve your child’s chances at graduating high school early.


Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

The Wheely Bug has multi directional casters which let your child move about their play area in every single direction. You’ll like that the base is made of wood, and that there’s a sturdy handle for your child to hold onto as they push themselves along the floor. Whether your child is already running around, or just learning how to walk, the Wheely Bug will be a great companion. (Plus we love any toys that teach kids that bugs are cool, not gross.)

51n8szt3kpl-_sx342_Kickee Pants Print Fitted Ruffle Coverall

Made of 95% bamboo, these pajamas have a cult-like following. Not only are they comfy, the bamboo helps to keep your child cool when it’s hot outside, and warm when it’s cold. The snap button front makes for easy dressing, with a back flap for easy diaper access. Available in several patterns and in sizes ranging from newborn to 4T.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar Instrument Gift Set

For those about to rock…in marching band…this gift set comes with a tambourine, recorder, maracas and castanets. Emblazoned with the famous Very Hungry Caterpillar, not only are these fun, they’re easy to find in a messy room.


Quercetti Quack n’ Flap

A classic push toy with quacking and flapping action. As your child pushes the duck across the floor, the duck’s wings and feet flap, while making a cute quacking noise. Probably won’t drive you insane, but we make no guarantees.



Fisher Price See ‘n Say

You probably had one of these when you were a kid. A toy that harkens back to a simpler time, before nature revolted against human dominion and enslaved us all, with 12 classic animal sounds.



Gund Chub Penguin Stuffed Animal

Soft, huggable and easy to travel with—just like a live penguin, minus the smell.



My First Purse

This pretend play set includes a phone, debit card, keys and makeup, all in a conveniently sized purse. After your kid loses their first set of keys, you can teach them their first swears.


Ages 3+




Welcome to the future. Cozmo is a robot with a big personality. The more you play with it, the more it learns, keeping you (or your kid) entertained.  The reviewers at Cnet referred to this toy as, “A Disney character turned into a toy.” Another review from the website The Verge wrote, “In my time with Cozmo over the last week, it’s been an endearing experience to discover all of the robot’s many subtle quirks, and to revisit what it’s like to play with something that feels mysteriously organic.” We think that it will charm everyone in the house, pets included!


Tegu Blocks

These magnetic blocks are made in Honduras. The name “tegu” refers to the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. The magnetic set comes with 14 pieces in vibrant colors. Plus, the company boasts solid CSR programs such as reforestation and social outreach initiatives at home. Attractive enough for any age, up to and including fancy, Dwell-magazine-reading retirees.



Spot It

Spot it is a fast-paced memory game that is great for the entire family. Kids and parents alike match the symbols on any two cards. It’s easy to learn, has quick gameplay and it’s fun for siblings too.


Toymail Talkie

This stuffed animal doubles as a walkie talkie with wireless connectivity. A companion app is available so that parents and friends can send messages to your child via their “trusted circle”. Simple, safe 2-way chat lets you connect with your tot, whether you’re upstairs or away on travel. The company has a decent privacy policy, which we think is critical in connected devices—especially toys.


Melissa and Doug Kitchen

Today’s toddlers require modern amenities, even in their play kitchens. Complete with a faux-herringbone backsplash and stainless-steel-look appliances, this is the play kitchen that every kid wants. Real, working dials and an ice-maker are just a few of the perks here. Add a giant stencil that reads “HOME COOKING” and you may be raising the next fixer-upper.



Osmo Pizza

Featured on Amazon Launchpad, the Osmo Pizza kit is a great way for kids to learn, while interacting with a digital cast of customers. The Osmo Pizza kit uses your existing iPad for gameplay, and your kid plays along with the pizza and cash. The customer gets what the customer wants, and your kid is responsible for making it right.



Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar

The Code-A-Pillar has 9 different re-arrangeable segments that when configured properly help it move. This open-ended play helps your child learn how sequencing and patterns correspond with real-life problems. The motorized head has lights and sounds to pique their curiosity.

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