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Buying gifts for people is just as much fun, if not more, than receiving them. Throw in the fact that you're shopping for a tiny human and it makes it double the fun. But in my personal opinion, babies really don't need that much. If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know I don't like a lot of toys, as in, I don't like to have a lot of "toys" in my home. It sounds a little harsh, but trust me, my kids still have fun and they do have toys, just maybe not as many as the marketers make us out to believe they need. I'm not a toy pro by any means, but if you're trying to simplify the shopping list or buy toys that are long lasting and educational, then here is a list of 20 of my favorites for the 0-12 month age.
This bundle was used by Kinsley so much her first year and now Audrey loves it, too. The rings are fun to chew on and hold, while the blocks are fun to throw and dump in the bucket until they get a little older and can actually do the shape sorting part.
We love Bannor Toy's teethers! The Classic has been a favorite for both girls, but they have some other great ones, as well as some fun wooden rattles, too.
This is on my youngest's wish list this year. My oldest has a similar version except it's the "hammer them in" kind, but little ones love to roll balls and watching them roll down this is easy and fun to do during that first year.
Simple, but great. What baby doesn't love to hit cups together? Then as they grow, they can stack, sort and learn colors with them, too. My oldest still likes to play with these at age 3. Perfect for the 0-12 months.
My youngest is only 6 months, but she already loves the activity cube. Another great toy to grow with them. If you don't mind used toys and want a good deal, I suggest looking around. I snagged our wooden activity cube from Goodwill for $7!
A great starter toy for babies, and even at 6 months, still a favorite. Plus they're perfect to take in the car.
7. Bumpy Ball
Shake it, roll it, chew on it, listen to it, perfect for all the senses.
I haven't met a baby yet that doesn't love the sensory balls. Different colors and textures, and another toy that can help teach counting and colors.
If I'm being honest, I personally love crinkle books - as in, I like to sit there and crinkle them myself! Both my girls have loved them as well though. They're another easy to grab toy to go in the car or when you need a distraction while visiting friends or out to eat. And we can't forget o-balls; not sure if that is the right term or not, but that's what we call them over here. Easy to grasp and throw, while being a great chew toy, too.
10. Dimple Digits
This is one we don't have, but I've got it on my youngest's wish list for this year. Colors, texture and counting, see a pattern yet?
11. Rain Maker
We had a different version of a rain maker with my first and she loved it, super calming, while not overstimulating in noise (your welcome, mamas). Our original one broke, but I found this cute, customizable one and have it on the wish list for this year.
If you're not sure where to start with toys, a company favorite of ours is Melissa and Doug. From baby to big kid, they have so many good things. This wooden shape sorter still gets played with by my 3 year old, but the 6 month old already enjoys playing with the shapes and banging them around.
This is the walker we got with our first, and while I do enjoy the aspect that the front board pops off so that the baby's can play with it, I'm not a huge fan of battery operated toys, because I'm not a huge fan of the music/noises they make that I have to listen to over and over as my baby clicks them repeatedly (it's fun, I know). However, it's gotten the job done. But if I could go back and get another, I would probably choose one of the wooden sit to stand walkers, such as this one, this one or this one. Still super cute and just as interactive, minus the batteries and annoying music/sounds.
Another gift my first received and though it's a little more advanced, it's great for a mommy (or daddy) and me interactive time. Again, the 3 year old still loves it and my youngest already tries to life the easier flaps, so I like it for the 0-12 month range.
Like the other puzzle, great for interactive time with baby, but also a good "grow with me" one, as they can learn sounds and animals.
16. Water Mat
A super simple, yet great distraction for babies. I used ours often when I needed to get ready for the day. Just lay baby on their belly (or sit them up, if they're past that stage) and let them go to town, feeling and looking. I was a little skeptical to the quality and longevity of a water mat, but ours actually lasted until my oldest was 2... then she jumped on it and popped a hole.
17. Activity Jumper
If you've watched my stories, you all know how much I love the jumper, as have both of my girls. It's quite the entertainment to my husband and I as well.
18. Water Table
If you're little one is closer to the 12 month range, then this is perfect. We got this one for my oldest and it has been used SO much. We still currently have it, but will be shooting for a new one for our youngest's first birthday. Between the weather and our dog chewing a couple of pieces, it has finally hit its last stretch this year. Great for sensory play and if you're like me, I bring it inside in the winter and use it as well.
Okay, I said I'm not a big, battery operated/music playing toy kind of person, BUT, we were gifted this for our first born's first Christmas and it was one of her favorite toys in the car and crib. And she was a terrible car rider so this was a wonderful life saver many trips.
If you like STEM related toys/activities, this is perfect. I've never been a huge fan of subscription boxes, but we subscribed to this when Kinsley turned 2 and it is the best subscription I've ever stumbled upon. If you watch my stories, I've shared on there about them. Each month you get a box, customized based on age. My oldest is 3 so she receives a Koala Crate. They offer boxes for the 0-24 month age though, so this is also on my list for my youngest this year. Each box comes with an interactive, cool science based or art like project, along with all of the materials needed and the instructions. They are super easy to follow and do and the best thing about their projects, is that they're created to be used over and over, so once you finish making the project, your little one can continue to play with what they've created for months to come. Each box also comes with a fun story book related specifically to what they're learning about.
And last but not least, BOOKS! Give me all the books! As a book worm myself, our book collection never stops growing. I'm not a seller, I just truly love their books, but our all time favorites are all from Usborne. (Shameless plug, I'll be having an Usbnore party in November, to purchase christmas gifts, of course. I have one once a year to stock up for the rest of the year. So if you want an invite, shoot me a message and I'll add you in when it comes time).
When in doubt, with babies, you can't go wrong with clothes. And don't feel afraid to ask for diapers or feeding utensils, etc. Your 2 month old or even 7 month old for that matter, isn't going to know the difference. To be honest the best Christmas gift my oldest daughter ever recieved when she was 1, was a cardboard box. You think I'm kidding? Take a deep dive through my IG and you'll find months of pictures of my oldest and that cardboard box.
The best toys I've come to realize are boxes, spatulas and basically anything you can find in the kitchen. So have fun, keep it light and don't put pressure on yourself to buy the "perfect gifts" for your baby, it's not about quantity, but quality. Let's be honest, they probably only want you to hold them anyways, how much easier of a gift can you give them? (;