Getting the perfect gift for a special baby can often be a rather difficult task. You worry if the present will interest the child, benefit his or her development, or be useful to the parents. It is important to consider the following factors when selecting the ideal gift: baby gender, parental needs, age of the child, practicality, and educational influence. Whether you are buying the child clothing, a toy, or creating your own home made gift you want your gift to be exciting, appropriate, and well received.
One of the first factors to consider is baby gender. Many times when people attend baby showers the sex of the baby is not yet known. Neutral colored toys and clothing are always a safe choice. Do not worry about your neutral color tones being boring; yellows and greens can be used for either gender and are fun and lively colors.
The next step gift-givers should consider is the wishes of the parents. When buying toys for babies you want to make sure the parents approve of the toy before you give it to the child to play with. Also, consider what parents might need for their baby – especially when you are purchasing newborn gifts for a baby shower. For example, if an expectant mother has already had children previously she probably does not need all new baby care items. She may already have a crib mobile or a collection of baby bibs. When you ask the parents also do not leave the conversation fully open to them. Many people feel uncomfortable asking another person for a certain gift. A good approach is to offer some gift suggestions and see which ones the parents say they could use.
One of the most important pieces of information to take note of while you are shopping is the age level on the toy you want to purchase. Babies develop at rapid rates both mentally and physically. They quickly grow out of toys and clothing. A good idea is to always buy a toy that’s slightly more advanced so that the baby can grow into it. Also, if you are attending an event where all of the baby gifts will be targeted to a certain age the parents might appreciate a toy that they can use later on for their baby. If you buy a 9 month old a toy that says 3 months+ they can still enjoy it, but will not get as much use out of it. Below are a few suggestions for different baby age groups. Although 6 months may seen like a short amount of time, a baby’s interests and mental abilities will change greatly in that amount of time.
- Baby mats or arches (for the child to play on despite limited mobility)
- Baby gyms (another way to keep a child occupied while stationed in one safe place)
- Mobiles or visual simulators (for over the crib or bassinet The best kind of mobiles are ones that have high contrast colors like black and white. Because babies’ vision is not fully developed their reflexes find high contrast images appealing because they are easier to distinguish.)
- Toys that “go” with your baby (Infants are often restricted to car seats, baby seats, and other carriers due to limited physical mobility. Toys that can be attached to car seats or strollers are great for stimulating the baby’s vision and mental thought as they remain safely seated and secure. These can include: baby-safe mirrors, musical & chime toys, and cloth toys. The award winning Earl E. Bird is a great toy to take along with your baby)
- Baby Music (a great way to sooth babies to sleep)
- Car seats, baby carriages, and baby seats (especially if this baby is the parents’ first child, these basic items will be useful throughout the infant’s childhood)
- Higher activity toys (this can include electronic toys and musical toys)
- Teething rings (Babies will begin to teeth around this age and need toys that are safe to chew on. Newer teething rings are designed to be placed in the refrigerator to create a cooling pain reliever for babies)
- Bathing Toys (Babies begin splashing around the bath tub at this age. Bath time can be a time of bonding and play with the right toys)
- Books (Now that babies are mentally more developed books can be introduced. Many books are designed with noisemakers and soft cloth pieces to spark physical interaction. Books are a great gift because they can be used by the baby throughout their childhood).
- Safety items (Now that babies will begin crawling parents will need help “baby- proofing” their homes. Items such as cabinet locks, outlet covers, corner guards, and safety gates are useful and can even save a baby’s life!)
- Electronics (Basic electronic toys are great for stimulating the learning of cause and effect. Babies love music, lights, and buttons.)
- Movement toys (Any toy that will help babies practice walking are great to have. Walkers are very popular and anything else that involves larger muscle movement.)
Blocks (Building blocks are great for developing fine motor skills. IQ Baby Knock-Knock Blocks are perfect for this age group)