You are in the right place if you are looking for the perfect gift for a baby one and under. What better way to support all their new skills than with some different toys and activities that will engage all of their senses? These thoughtful gifts are high quality and will give you tons of options when you are thinking about what to get new babies, as well as gift ideas into those toddler months. Here is a wonderful guide for your Christmas gifts for babies for the upcoming holiday season!
While newborn babies don’t need much but their mama and fresh diapers and clothes, there are some things that will help them as they transition into this world!
Newborn babies don’t need many toys, their main goal is to remain close to their mama and be fed and held. A mother’s scent is extremely comforting to a baby. During the holiday season, especially, new babies tend to get passed around a lot for everyone to meet. This can be overwhelming for a baby. There are many new scents and sounds. You can use a Toppincino, which is a soft mat that can provide a baby with comfort and consistency during the first months of their life. This is a great way for the baby to keep comfortable with the scent of their mother while also giving others a chance to meet the new baby. A Toppincino is a Montessori-inspired baby item, if you are interested in what Montessori is and how it supports the development of children, check out this blog post!
You can sleep with the Toppincino before your baby arrives, I just put it under my pillow or sheets for a few weeks so that it would get my scent on it.
High Contrast Fold-Out Book
Babies enjoy looking at high-contrast images because they can distinguish the colors when they are so clearly contrasting. This beautiful fold-out book has both realistic images as well as is high contrast. We loved using a book similar to this for tummy time in the early weeks and months!
Deliver a Meal
The best thing for new parents is bringing them a home-cooked meal. New moms often don’t have the time or energy to make dinner, so bringing them a meal that nourishes the mother is in turn a gift to the baby!
If you are feeling crafty and looking for an incredibly intentional gift, consider making the Montessori Munari mobile.
1 to 3 Months
A special gift would be a set of Montessori Baby Mobiles, and a similar gift would be the Lovevery play gym, which includes some detachable activity toys and some high-contrast cards that are great for a young baby.
Giving a baby time for tummy time is important. A mirror like this can support and encourage tummy time. Our twins loved using this mirror for tummy time. I created this whole movement area which included a mirror, a mat or blanket, and Montessori baby mobiles. Read more about it here. This mirror also stays with the child for years to come. Even at 9 months, my twins still enjoy using this mirror. It is a perfect size and grows with the child, as it can be positioned vertically for a future dressing mirror. Guaranteed to last a long time and be perfect for kids of all ages in the years to come!
4 to 6 Months
Teething toys are great between 4 to 6 months as babies put everything into their mouths to explore. Offering toys that are easy for their little hands to grasp is important. Here are some of the best toys for around this age.
This teething toy was one of the best gifts for our boys. It is easy to grasp and made from natural rubber. The twins loved chewing on this one, it must have felt so good on those teething gums!
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This is a great toy because it has so many different colors and a unique shape to it. This is a great teether or could be hung on a string to be a tactile mobile. At this stage, your baby is likely reaching and grasping for objects, this Winkel teething toy will likely become a favorite gift! All those rings coming off of the toy would make it so fun to grasp for!
A crocheted rattle is a great grasping toy for a young baby. I like it because it offers a different material and makes a gentle sound, which gives feedback to the baby.
The spinning drum is one of my favorite gifts that we gave our boys. It is a very engaging toy that provides the baby with feedback about their movements. This toy creates a nice sound when the baby spins the drum, as there is a bell inside that jingles. It is easily spun while laying on their tummy, as well as sitting up. It has beautiful colors and is made of natural materials. This would be one of the best baby Christmas gifts you could give this year!
Balls promote movement, as a baby moves the ball, it may roll away, and they will want to work towards the ball, promoting greater movement. This set of sensory balls is a great interactive toy for a baby. Their little hands love to grab onto the small knobs on one of the balls.
This toy has been one of my favorites! Some of the wooden beads move and have a very natural rattle sound to them. You can purchase it in a few different colors and it is a timeless toy that all babies will love!
Wobble toys are great for tummy time. They can be an encourager to movement. They don’t move quickly by any means, which makes them a perfect toy for when a baby is just moving a little bit. Here are some wobble toy options
- Wooden Sensory Tumbling Toy (my favorite!)
- Fat Brains Tobble Tones
- Shumee Wobble Penguin
- Dimpl Wobbl
7 to 9 Months
Older babies love bath time, so getting some bath toys would be a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer. Around 7 months, our boys were able to be out of their baby bath and start taking baths in the tub with shallow water. They enjoyed playing with some bath toys.
Baby books are a great gift all the time, but especially around 7 to 9 months old. At this age, they will likely be able to hold onto a book and begin flipping through the pages. Board books offer many opportunities for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. A great idea would be to find some of your favorite board books, write a little message on the inside of the front cover of the book, and then give it as a gift. These books will likely bring back sweet memories for you too!
The Montessori object permanence box is an engaging toy. The baby can place the ball in the hole at the top and it disappears for a moment but then reappears by rolling out of the small little door. This toy and games like “Peek-a-boo” are fun because a child is starting to understand with greater complexity this idea of object permanence. Model to your baby how this toy works, and then they will also explore with the ball. I found that after many times playing with this toy, my son independently put the ball into the hole. I would model and show him every time he was playing with it.
The object permanence box is a sensory toy that focuses on this idea of object permanence. An object exists even when not seen (or not seen fully). For example, if a toy is stuck under the couch and one part of it is showing or peeking out, your baby will likely grab and pull the whole object out, knowing that the rest of it exists even though it is not seen.
Stacking toys are engaging for a young child. They likely won’t be able to stack it on their own but you or an older sibling may stack it up and the baby will enjoy knocking it over. These stacking cups are easy to stack and also easy for a baby to pick up and grab onto.
10 to 12 Months
Musical instruments can be so much fun for a baby. What I love about musical instruments is they provide the baby with feedback on their movements. They may sound different when the baby uses different levels of force to shake or tap one of them. This is an important idea that we don’t often consider when we are doing our Christmas shopping. We also want to consider how heavy these musical instruments are. This set from Melissa and Doug is a nice beginning set of musical instruments and is the perfect size for little hands!
You may begin to see the baby’s love of reading come out. Board books are still a good idea at this age, paper books still may get torn or wrinkled at this stage. Find some of your favorite books when you were a child and give those as a gift.
This sensory toy has different shapes and allows the child the opportunity to put the shapes into this cube. Both the shapes themselves and putting the shapes into this larger cube will be points of interest for the baby.
Cuddly toys such as soft stuffed animals or other soft toys are wonderful baby gift ideas. Giving soft toys offers different textures and may become a comfort point for the baby.
One Year and Beyond!
A picker triangle is a wonderful gross motor development toy. It supports all those large motor skills and comes with attachments like a slide or a climbing ramp. A pickler triangle can be used for a long time. We began using ours around 9 months and it will be a wonderful gross motor toy for years to come!