Aunts, uncles, cousins — everyone wants to buy something for your baby with the holidays coming up, but there are a lot of options out there and it’s a little (okay, a lot) intimidating especially for those who haven’t been baby-toy-shopping in awhile. Even the most veteran parent can end up lost in the aisles of Toys ‘R’ Us, subsisting only on purse-Cheerios. Herewith, then, is a brief gift guide for those shopping for members of the under-12-months-set. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
Gymboree's Baby Play is really more a gift for parents. Especially during that "why won't she just do something??" 0-4 months stage, this book is an invaluable source of fun games for all baby ages. Bonus: one of the games for 6 month olds is to wrap all of baby's toys in wrapping paper and let him open them. All done shopping!
In My Pond and the other Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich books are fun felt finger-puppet tales of adorable animals traveling through beautifully-drawn habitats. I won't give it away, but they all end in about the same way.
This snail is a ton of fun for small babies who like to mirror gaze and bigger babies who are ready to chase. Works best on short carpet or hardwood floors. Make sure to turn the sound off when you aren't playing, or be prepared to hear "Whee!" from somewhere in your house in the middle of the night when you are home alone.
Puzzles + hugging = win! with this cute Alex Jr. stuffed toy.
These stacking cups are BPA and phthatlate (I think that was my little guy’s first word!) free, and are fun in the bath or for mama-builds-Babyzilla-destroys playtime.
You’ll notice that none of the suggestions involve sticking an i-device into a drool-proof case. In my opinion, they’ll have enough screen exposure soon enough. And also, if the little guy is playing with my iPhone, how am I supposed to keep my high score in Bejeweled??