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When it comes to purchasing gifts, especially around the holidays, it helps to know what the person’s interests and likes are. What happens when you are trying to purchase a gift for a baby? They cannot yet express themselves, and sometimes finding that perfect gift may seem a little difficult. However, this is actually what makes babies quite easy to please in the gift department!
They are easily amused and fascinated by so many things. Everything in the world appears new and entertaining to them. Most toys in department stores and, even online, have a suggested age range level. Knowing the age of the baby you are trying to purchase is a good place to start. Here are a few age-appropriate suggestions for the wee littles on your Christmas shopping list!
Christmas Shopping for Infants Ages 0 to 3 Months
When shopping for babies, one thing to keep in mind is the parents! When the baby is very young, (think newborn up to about 3 months), sometimes the best gifts are things such as clothes, soft rattles that attach to the wrist or ankle, or something snuggly! If you are shopping for clothes it is a good idea to ask mom or dad what size the little one is currently wearing and what they may need.
For something a little more entertaining to a baby, many options are age-appropriate. Some mobiles attach to crib sides that play music and have rotating pictures that are very popular. Some of them even come with a white noise setting which helps some babies fall to sleep.
Another option would be books. Yes, even babies as young as 3 months enjoy hearing mom and dad read to them! This not only encourages an early vocabulary and development of speech but has been shown to help children in school later on! Many books are short and made in toddler form so as the baby grows older, he or she will enjoy turning the pages themselves!
Another popular gift for babies during this age is a “tummy time” mat. There are many varieties of these for the different stages, and having something the baby can lay on with themed elements that dangle or light up to encourage them to look around and reach out with their hands is great! Some tummy time mats are made with a mobile activity center that allows the baby to lay on their back and reach towards textured objects that jingle or squeak while others have things around the edges of the mat to encourage the baby to reach out towards these colorful objects while on their tummy. This is a gift that mom and dad will appreciate as it can entertain the baby for quite a while!
Fun Holiday Gift Ideas for Infants Ages 3 to 6 Months
Once an infant reaches 3 to 6 months of age, they are usually doing things like rolling over on their own, sitting up, playing games such as peek-a-boo, and much more! Some perfect gifts for infants during this stage are things that encourage the use of their motor skills. If you choose to give them books, they will enjoy reading books that have liftable flaps or sensory-stimulating books such as touch-and-feel stories.
When it comes to toys, kids this age LOVE things that make noise! Some of their favorites are usually toys that play music or are brightly colored. Because many babies start crawling during this stage, something like an activity bouncy seat might be appreciated!
These would make a very thoughtful gift for Christmas as they not only help the baby sit upright with multiple toys to keep them occupied, but they also encourage the baby to strengthen his or her legs by jumping up and down! They are extremely handy when the family is trying to get ready to go somewhere, or prepping to cook a meal, and they need their little one entertained while being safely contained!
Buying a Gift for Babies Ages 6 months to 12 months
When the little bundle of energy reaches the next stage of between 6 months and a year, the developments will come rapidly so it is always wise to take into consideration how the little one has grown so far. This is an important time to talk to mom and dad and find out what would be most beneficial for the baby to have.
It is during these months that their little boy or sweet baby girl will become an explorer! Crawling, learning to stand by pulling themselves up on furniture, and even assisted walking will all happen during these 6 months.
Due to this, the variety of suitable gifts grows substantially! Everything from “baby’s first” instruments to first-time art supplies (definitely ask mom and dad before getting the latter though). This is the time when babies are beginning to experience the freedom their movement brings and their curiosity knows no bounds!
Even classic toys such as a jack-in-the-box are adored at this age! Stacking cups, shape sorters, and building blocks are great educational toys at this age as they all help babies develop their understanding of spatial reasoning, grow their hand-eye coordination, as well as learn about balance. Books with the ABCs, counting, colors, and shapes are all great as well.
Sometimes parents will request something specific at Christmas time, making the gift purchase easy. However, if this is not the case, keep in mind that there may be something they are trying to save up for that is specifically baby-related that would benefit the whole family such as a jogging stroller or a more advanced baby monitor system.
If you are truly at a loss as to what to purchase, or if you just want to make sure you are not purchasing something the baby already has, feel free to reach out to the parents and talk to them about it. Parents greatly appreciate it when this question is asked. It is not uncommon at this age for their child to receive something they already have or multiples of the same gift!
By checking in with mom and dad, you can help save them from a trip to the store to make any returns! Regardless of what you choose, just knowing that their little one was thought of during the holiday season will bring them a smile!