Gifts for little guys

The holiday season is a magical time of the year for all age groups, but seems to be especially enjoyed by children. Even though infants and toddlers may not fully appreciate gifts under the tree or holiday lighting displays, that’s no reason not to make tots’ first foray into holiday giving any less special.

Shopping for babies can be challenging because gift-givers may not want to overwhelm new parents with much more stuff – considering their homes may already be inundated with baby gear. However, it’s difficult to resist the temptation to purchase adorable infant and toddler toys and trinkets, particularly when celebrating a child’s first holiday season. The following are some practical and thoughtful gift suggestions for shoppers who want to make children’s first holiday seasons as special as possible.

Activity chairs and mats
Young children who are not yet mobile require entertainment be brought to them. This can be achieved through the various activity chairs and mats designed to stimulate young brains. Children who are practicing tummy time skills can benefit from flat mats. Once baby is holding himself up a bit, he can sit in an activity chair that has teethers, noisemakers and other colourful toys built right into the seat.

Age-specific toys
It is important for shoppers to check product age recommendations prior to purchasing. Examples of gifts that can be appropriate for newborns include soothing rockers and swings, nightlights and cuddly stuffed animal/pacifier hybrids. Teether rings or musical gifts may suit slightly older infants. Older tots may enjoy bouncing swings or tactile reasoning toys, such as those that require matching shapes with openings in a toy.

Clothing
Within the first year of life, babies go through several growth spurts and will quickly outgrow their clothing. Parents will need to continually meet new wardrobe demands. Think ahead and buy clothing that will be needed in the near future, and consider the seasons in which they’ll be used. Tack three months onto the baby’s age and that is likely the size he or she will need next.

Classic gifts
Rockers have long been popular gifts for young children. While a little one may not be able to ride a rocker just yet, this can be a great addition to a nursery until it proves functional.

Personalized keepsakes
Placing the date and baby’s name on gifts instantly transforms them into collector’s items that can be cherished through the years. In addition to ornaments, think about engraving photo frames or make a photo book with all of the baby memories thus far. (MCC)