Even before they're born, babies are constantly showered with gifts. If you're anything like me, you can't walk into a store with a baby section without loading up your cart with all things colorful, shiny, and adorable. And when the holidays arrive, it's even harder to fight the urge. The options can be overwhelming, but a a handy guide to gifts for babies can help narrow it down.
A fun new toy to captivate a baby's attention (and score a few moments of peace for mom or dad) is always a great choice, but there's much more to consider. You can pick up some books to build their library or adorable clothes to keep them looking Instagram ready. You can even snag a special keepsake they can treasure for years to come.
Whether you're looking for the perfect present for a newborn who isn't doing much besides eating, sleeping, and pooping, or an older baby who's already on the move, here are some great options here for every age and stage.
(And remember, don't stress too much about buying the perfect gift for the baby in your life. In my experience, babies generally aren't super picky, and at the very least, they're sure to love the box it comes in.)
1For The Brand New Baby
Newborns may not be able to do much physically, but the Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson 3-in-1 play and pat activity mat ($15) is just the kind of gift they can still get great use out of. The black and white patterns help them learn to focus their eyes, and the soft fabric can make tummy time more enjoyable.
2For The Future Bookworm
Reading to babies is a great way to expose them to new words and get a jump start on building their vocabulary. This Baby Einstein 12 board book block set ($10) can help babies learn everything from colors, shapes, and numbers to fruits and vegetables. Even if your baby doesn't want to sit still and read, these little books can double as blocks — and like everything else a baby comes into contact with, will also probably end up a chew toy.
3For The Little Snuggler
Who could resist a cute little teddy bear? This Gund My First Teddy Bear ($10) is super soft and the just the right size for cuddling (and being dragged all over the house clutched in a little fist).
4For The Baby Who's Been Eyeing Your iPhone
You've probably get a few years before they're begging you for the real thing. But in the meantime, you can keep baby from stealing your smart phone with version of their very own. The VTech Touch and Swipe baby phone ($13) has a touch screen and lets your little one scroll between two different screens.
5For The Future Rockstar
For many babies, having a great time is synonymous with making a racket. The Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box musical instrument set ($20) lets them shake, rattle, and bang to their heart's content. Warning: it does not come with earplugs for parents.
6For The Teething Baby
There are few things more miserable than a teething baby. Give the little one some relief with these cute BEBE cookie teethers and gum massagers ($17) and you may never have to share your Oreos again.
7For The Baby Who Thinks They're All Grown Up
Babies will love digging through this Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Sis' Smart Stages purse ($12) and fishing for surprises. From a set of keys to a cute compact, they'll feel just like an adult.
8For The Foodie In The Making
Babies love to do everything grown ups do, and they'll have a blast whipping up dinners in this super cute Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Kitchen ($40). I promise it'll be the most delicious pretend meal you've ever eaten.
9For The Baby Who Loves To Make A Splash
Keep your little one entertained in the tub The First Years Disney Baby bath squirt toys ($8). They're also a great way to distract your baby while your trying to shampoo their dinner out of their hair.
10For The Baby Learning To Crawl
Crawling babies will love chasing after the VTech Explore and Crawl Learning Cub ($25). It's also a great way to encourage pre-crawlers to get moving.
11For The Almost Walking Baby
For the baby who needs a little help getting steady on their feet, the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker will give them a great boost. ($25). As an added bonus, they'll look a little bit like tiny old people tooling around with this, which is adorable.
12For The Baby Who's Always Instagram Ready
For The Baby Who Has Everything
If you can't stuff one more toy into the nursery, you can give a baby something else to remember the holidays. This cute personalized ornament ($12) will look fabulous on a Christmas tree, or can make a cute wall hanging for those that don't celebrate.