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Toddler and Baby Toys & Gifts Guide

by Tabitha Akery
August 2008

Searching for the right baby gift or toddler gift is a daunting task. So many different toys to choose from make this decision even harder. This buying guide assists in offering ideas for birthdays, Christmas, general gift ideas for babies or toddlers.

Knowing the baby or toddler's age is important in looking for the right toy. Most toys have a specified age range: Newborn to 6 months, 6 months to 1 year, 1 - 2 years, and 2 - 3 years.

* Newborn to 6 months
Many new mothers will appreciate shower gifts geared toward the care of a new baby. Baby clothes, diapers, diaper bags, and baby blankets are ideal gifts, since new babies grow quickly and do not play much.

*6 months - 1 year
Around six months, babies become much more interactive of their surroundings. Teething rings, huge plastic keys, big plastic building blocks, and stack-able rings help develop motor skills and make ideal presents for a growing baby. Stay away from any gifts that contain small items that are easily swallowed. Babies this age are notorious for putting things in their mouths.

*1 year - 2 years
The first beginning steps mark the transition of a baby to a toddler. Toddlers love to push, pull or manipulate objects at this age. Radio flyer wagons, rocking horses, baby dolls, strollers, and rolling trucks are ideal toddler gifts. Christmas gifts and presents should be kept simple as most toddlers are more interested in the brightly colored paper then the actual present.

*2 years - 3 years
At this age, a toddler's imagination and imitation of adult actions becomes an important part of playtime. Certain cartoon characters preferences make choosing a toddler gift easier. Many theme toys are geared especially for this market. Disney music boxes, dress-up clothes, doll houses, and playhouses will appeal more towards girls. While boys may find more interest in working dump trucks, racing cars, or plastic swords.

Lastly, keep in mind the parents of the baby or toddler when buying gifts. Toddler toys should be easy to clean. Toys that make noise with a push of a button get annoying fast. The toddler will push the same button over and over again. Toddler toys that take up a lot of space in a small apartment is not a good idea. Toys that have multiple pieces are hard to keep track of and are easily lost.

Keep the baby or toddler's age group in mind to assist in choosing the right gift or present. Assist parents by thinking about them as well. Seeing their eyes lit up at seeing the perfect gift or present is a reward in itself.


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