The Simple Gift Guide for Babies
When it comes to deciding which toys and gifts I want my son to have, I do a lot of research. We try to be minimalistic (partly due to not having much space). I encourage people to get my son non-toy gifts and practical items instead of every baby toy they see. I prefer toys that do not require batteries, are active, not passive and eco-friendly, if possible. I hope this list inspires you to give your child simple gifts that versatile and encourage creativity.
Clothes: practical and needed for a growing baby. We get most of our clothes at the thrift store.
Rubber duck: fun for bath time. At almost 18 months, my son still loves his “duck duck”. You can get a dozen for $6.50 at Oriental Trading.
Socks and baby leg warmers: baby socks always go missing and with the weather getting colder these are especially necessary. We love baby leggings because they add another layer under his pants and baby socks aren’t usually very long.
Eating utensils and bowl: Hezekiah starting eating solids around this time so we needed these. We started out with Nuby spoons. Since we did baby led weaning, we needed spoons that were easy for him to hold and not flat like the rubber spoons. When he was older we started using these Re-Play kids utensils made from recycled plastic. I’ve seen these at Wal-Mart and they are also sold on Amazon.
Sea Snax: we figured since he loved eating paper, this was a healthy alternative and he liked them at first.
Zoo membership: a great gift that you can use all year. If you do not have a zoo near you, look for a children’s museum or somewhere that classes for babies.
The Runaway Bunny: I chose this book for Hezekiah because I love JJ Heller’s “The Boat Song” which is based on this book. Lori Sutherland who teaches my Mom’s class at church described Runaway Bunny as “a beautiful story of the balance of high love and high control in mothering… And a picture of God’s love for us as expressed in Psalm 139.” I love that perspective of this classic book.
Utensils: my friend bought Hezekiah the Re-Play spoons and forks mentioned above and we love them.
Swim diaper: if your child has a summer birthday. These will make going to the pool easier.
Blocks: I recommend this mini block and roll from Hape toys.
Pottete potty: this travel potty can be used on its own using liners or can be placed on top of a toilet. Ours came with a package of ten liners and a storage bag.
I Would Tuck You In by Sarah Asper-Smith: I first read this book while interning for Alaska airlines magazine several years ago. I fell in love with this cute book. All of the animals featured in the book live in the Pacific Northwest (that includes Alaska). My favorite quote is “If you were a porcupine, I would still hold you close.”
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt: a classic touch and feel book that is interactive. He loved it.
The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle: We both love this book. It is full of animal sounds and rhyming words that flow so easily.
Cars: there are so many options and toddlers (especially boys) love cars. We have these Little People cars and these B. cars.
Puzzles: The Melissa and Doug ones are great. This wire puzzle rack is perfect if you have a lot of puzzles like we do.
Shovel and pail: another good one for summer birthdays. I was thinking we would spend a lot of time at the beach.
Toothbrush: toothbrushes are a great minimalistic gift for children of any age. My son loves brushing his teeth so we can can never have too many toothbrushes.
Bubble bath: Toddlers love bubbles and there are several natural brands that make bubble bath that is safe for babies (Burt’s Bees, Honset Company, Poofy Organics shampoo and body wash, Every day Shea).
Toy vacuum: I want to get my son a toy vacuum hoping it will help him not be afraid of the real one. I also want to give him an early start “helping” me vacuum.
Boots: With the weather getting colder and wetter, boots have become a necessity. We looked at our local Value Village with no luck but ended up having some gifted to us on Buy Nothing.
Balls: My son already has a kiddie pool filled with ball pit balls (we got these balls on Buy Nothing) and a little basketball. I would also like him to have a soccer ball and a football.
Shape sorter: shape sorters are great toys for teaching toddlers shapes, colors and fine motor control.
Baby Doll: both boys and girls can enjoy playing with dolls. Baby dolls help with speech skills because it gives you an opportunity to talk about the parts of the body and different actions.
Underwear: depending on when you are planning to potty train, these are a must have.
Pajamas (2 piece sets): another necessity as the weather gets colder. Two piece sets are easier for potty training.
Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers: a cute book with simple prayers for toddlers.
The Way Mothers Are by Miriam Schlein: This book shows a mother’s unconditional love for her child. “So you don’t think I love you just when you are good, and stop loving you when you are naughty, do you? That’s not the way mothers are. I love you all the time because you are mine.”
Backpack: Some toddlers love to carry their own stuff and we hope to lighten our load whenever possible. My son recently got this Trades of Hope turtle backpack made from fabric scraps by women in Guatemala. It is perfect because one of his new words is “turtle”.
Lawnmower: My husband and I both had a lawnmower like this that we loved as toddlers. This is a great outdoor toy that gives little ones the opportunity to be like daddy or mommy.
Beach ball: Hezekiah had a beach ball that he loved when he was younger but it didn’t survive our move.
Tool set: most toddlers love to imitate their parents. If you or your husband works with tools often, your child will love to “help”. I like this simple tool set from Learning Resources.6
Melissa and Doug magnets: Keep your toddler occupied while you cook or clean in the kitchen. My son has the dinosaur ones and loves them.
Reusable sticker set: Another fun gift from Melissa and Doug. These stickers come with five scenes and matching reusable stickers. My son has the animals and the vehicles.
What gifts would you add to the list?