Babies and Toddler Toys Gift Guide 2014


Gifts for Newborns and Toddlers

(Peace and Quiet Not Included)

Infants like new objects. And once they become familiar with them, they lose all interest. I’ve found that when it comes to toys for babies younger than 9 months, parents typically buy toys because they feel like they should rather than because children are playing with them.

As a parent, the best way to keep infants entertained is by handing them random household objects throughout the day: a brush, a wooden spoon, a wet washcloth. Yeah, these things may not be specially designed for baby and tested for safety, but when you’re trying to finish writing that report or getting dinner on the table, you get creative.

It’s gift giving time though, whether for your own tots or for baby family members, and wrapping up your old toothbrush and putting it under the tree may not send the right message to newly be’mommed sister-in-law. I’ve put together this guide to some of my favorite toys for the wee ones, including some of the favorites that have stood the test of time in our household of four children.



Dimple Dolls with fleece blanket

Age range: Newborn to 4 years.

These super soft, sweet little dolls make a great snuggle buddy for even the littlest of receivers. (And they’re securely stitched to prevent errant threads.) My little boys love to tuck these babies in, too! [Check price on Amazon]

 lookwhossmilingLook Who’s Smiling Photo Book

Age range: 3 months to 3 years.

We got one of this for my oldest when she was a baby. She looked through it regularly through preschool. And even now, at age 12, it’s tucked away with her other keepsakes. [Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]

takealongtunesBaby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Age range: 3 months to 2 years

A pretty simple infant toy, but babies really do love them. I know some families that purchase 2-3 to make sure they can always find one. [Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]

tobblesTobbles Neo Stacking Toy

Age range: 6 months to 3 years

Tobbles put a fun twist on the standard stacking toy, making it a little bit like baby Jenga instead of simply putting loops on a peg. [Check price on Amazon]

Counting BlocksHandmade Counting Blocks by Little Sapling Toys

Age range: 9 months to 3 years

Beautiful, hand-made blocks are a nice keepsake. They are fun the play with and to teach numbers, but they also look pretty on a shelf. I bought these for my 6-month-old to play with, but it took close to 9-12 months before his hand was big enough to hold them. [Check price on Etsy; Many designs available]

B. Woofer Guitar by Battat

Age range: 12 months to 4 years

We’ve had this toy in our house for two years, and it’s still a hit. Except when you step on it in the night and all the babies wake up ready to play. [Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]

fisherprice_recordplayerFisher-Price Classic Music Box Record Player

Age range: 12 months to 6 years

We’ve all seen these before, and the kids really do love them. Toddlers will work and work at getting the disc played correctly (without parents worrying about scratches), and they get a musical payoff for their success. [Check price at]


Posture Friendly Hanging Crow’s Nest Seat and Pod Hammock by La Siesta

Age range: 3 years to…130 lbs

This is a cute bedroom accessory that can be used for a wide age range. It’s machine washable, which is great cause you know that sucker is going to get slimy. And it’s designed by German posture scientists, the world’s leading posture researchers (probably). [Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]

hammer_xyloPound & Tap Melody Bench

Age range: 12 months to 3 years

Three balls, a hammer, and a xylophone combined make for toddler—if not your sanity’s—perfection. Wooden construction with child-safe paint. [Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]

kids_broomDust, Sweep, & Mop by Melissa & Doug

Age range: 18 months to 5 years

Miniature versions of adult tools are always fun. This one is nice because it has a mop and a broom, so if you have two littles you’re less likely to have bickering. They may even slightly help clean up!

Also used as weapons. (Friendly warning!) [[Check price on Amazon (Prime Eligible)]


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