When it comes to getting Christmas gifts for a baby’s first Christmas, it can be a little bit tricky! Unlike older children who can express what they want and have different, specific interests, babies are a little more complicated. You have to take into account their specific age and what they will be capable of doing and playing with. Because of this, we’ve set you up with the ultimate Christmas gift guide for babies under one!
I’m going to separate my gift suggestions by different developmental stages as well as discussing non-toy gifts and tips for getting gifts for babies in general.
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From 0-3 months, a baby is considered to be in his/her fourth trimester. This is a time of development where babies are still adjusting to life outside the womb. During this time, the baby’s vision will be limited, only being able to focus on objects a few inches away and preferring objects to be black and white. Babies are also easily overstimulated and sensitive to loud noises, so it’s best to avoid overly colorful toys that make too much noise.
One of the best toys for learning are books! Research continues to show that even though babies may not understand yet, books are a way to bond, expose babies to vocabulary, and provide them with great stimulation through looking at the pictures. The number of benefits books can have on a baby is astounding!
No matter the age of the child, from newborn to one and beyond, books are always a great gift idea that will benefit the baby’s development and connection with whoever he/she reads with!
Playmats like this one with the blacks and whites, things to grab, and so on, are a perfect Christmas gift for the fourth trimester because it can be utilized for several months to come! At the beginning, the baby can simply lie there and look at the black and white images or work on tummy time. But, as the baby grows older, he/she can grab at the toys, and eventually sit up and play with them!
3. Sensory Gift Box
This newborn sensory play kit has all of the high contrast sensory items the baby in your life will need! It’s an adorable, age appropriate, and perfect gift that the baby can use for months to come!
4. Inflatable Water Tummy Time Mat
My daughter ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS tummy time mat and still plays with it (and she’s one!!). Tummy time is so important for a baby’s development! They need strong neck and back muscles so that they can eventually learn to hold up their head and learn to crawl! Towards the end of the fourth trimester, babies will be spending more and more time on their tummies and this inflatable water mat is perfect to keep them engaged while working on their strength!
Babies that are between 4-6 months of age are making amazing developmental leaps everyday! Their fine motor skills are continuously improving, making them able to grasp things much better and play more freely. Their gross motor skills are also improving with many during this period learning to roll over! Lastly, babies from 4-6 months can see more clearly, respond better to soft, primary colors, and start responding positively to noises and music! Here are some age-appropriate gift suggestions for this age of development…
5. Crochet Baby Rattle
As babies reach the 4-6 month range, they typically become obsessed with grabbing things! These handmade, adorable animal baby rattles are perfect for this age because babies can easily grab them, they make noise, and they are simply the cutest!
6. Penguin Music Waddler
Because babies love music and are drawn to objects that make sounds, this penguin music waddler is perfect! Just picture the baby in your life attempting to knock down this penguin over and over while giggling each time it makes a fun noise!
7. Custom Wooden Teether
Most babies begin teething around six months of age while some will start teething as early as 3-4 months. With this in mind, you could also get some adorable teethers as a gift for a baby under one. These teethers are environmentally friendly and custom made, so you can even get the baby’s name on it! This is a unique take on such an important gift that the baby will not only love playing with but also appreciate as they use it to ease their discomfort!
If you’d like to learn more about teething or some more adorable teether ideas, be sure to check out our 15 Natural Teething Remedies post!
If you’re shopping for Christmas gifts for a baby between the ages of 7 and 9 months, this is such a fun age with so many fun gift ideas! At this point in a baby’s development, they are learning to sit up independently, play independently as their ability to grab and manipulate objects is greatly improved, and their vision is thriving. Some babies will even learn to crawl during this time! Babies in this age group love anything they can practice their hand-eye coordination with! Here are a few ideas…
8. Soft Building Blocks
As stated above, babies are developing rapidly at the 7-9 month mark! By getting them these soft building blocks, it allows them to work on their fine and gross motor skills while also giving them something they can chew on! These blocks are adorable, purposeful, and won’t hurt if your baby accidentally drops them!
9. Pop Up Animal Activity Toy
This gift is a MUST! If the baby in your life doesn’t already have a form of this gift, you should definitely get it! This pop up animal activity toy allows babies to have a blast while working on their fine motor skills by opening up the different animals. Not to mention, this also helps babies with their object permanence by learning that just because they can’t see the animals, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there!
10. Stacking Ring
Stacking rings are another go-to and must have for babies under one! Again, babies between 7-9 months really start learning and growing a great deal and this toy allows them to do so by practicing stacking! Not to mention, we especially love this set because they are soft and also make a crinkly noise! What baby doesn’t love a fun crinkly noise?!
11. “Busy Board”
These wooden “Busy Boards” are very popular in the Montessori community. It’s perfect for the baby in your life who loves to practice opening and fidgeting with real-life objects in a safer way! Just know, the baby you get this gift for will spend hours playing with this amazing gift!
If the baby you’re shopping for is around 10-12 months by Christmas time, they are much more inclined to be developing preferences for the types of toys and games that they’re interested in. As emerging toddlers, many will learn to stand and walk during this time!
They are also developing a skill called “object permanence”, in which they begin to understand that if something has left the room, it doesn’t mean they are gone forever. Because of this, many babies this age love any kind of hide and seek or flap picture book that reveals objects from out of sight! They also love anything that’s a challenge that will get them thinking and working on their fine motor skills!
12. Sensory Cube
Similar to the “Busy Board”, the sensory cube is a step up with some more advanced and fun objects that the baby in your life will love! It will allow them to really work on their fine motor skills with the zipper, buttons, and velcro while also having a blast!
13. Peek A-Who (Interactive Books)
As we said previously, books are the best gifts! There are books for any and every occasion and topic that you can think of! If the baby you’re buying a Christmas gift for is reaching that one year mark, they will especially love a book, like Peek A-Who, that has flaps to lift and things to uncover!
10-12 month olds are generally working very hard at developing their skills of standing and walking! So, what better gift than a walker? We especially love this walker because it is made out of wood and has so many fun activities!
15. Shapes Sorter
As your baby approaches one and his/her fine motor skills are really developing, having games such as this shapes sorter will ignite their creativity while also simply being fun! This is a great game to keep coming back to and can be used for months and months once the baby has mastered sorting the shapes!
16. Wooden Name Puzzle
As the baby in your life heads into toddlerhood, puzzles are a must! This custom, wooden puzzle with the baby’s name on it is just the icing on the cake! Not only can they learn their own name and the letters that are used, they can also simply learn how to do a puzzle!
Top Gifts for Babies that Aren’t Toys
Especially with babies under the age of one, many parents do not want an inordinate amount of gifts that will only be used and loved for such a short time. If you’re thinking about doing something for the baby instead of toys for Christmas, you may want to check out some of the following:
Providing experience in lieu of gifts if greatly growing in popularity! There are so many options with this gift that will allow the baby to keep loving this gift in the year to come. Some examples of experiences that you can gift include:
- Zoo Passes/Memberships
- Science Museum Passes/Memberships
- Aquarium Passes/Memberships
- National Park Passes/Memberships
Of course the list can go on! Basically, providing the baby with an opportunity to experience something incredibly fun insteading giving a traditional gift has so many wonderful benefits, especially if you get to experience it with the child!
2. Magazine Subscriptions
As we shared earlier, reading is so important! If you’re looking for something different than just a toy, you could always do a monthly subscription with a magazine made specifically for children and babies, like National Geographic and others.
Also, it doesn’t have to be a magazine! Make a quick Google search and you can find all kinds of monthly book boxes and all sorts of other fun subscriptions!
If there’s one thing we know about babies, it’s that they grow fast! If you want to get something on the more practical side, buy the baby in your life some clothes! Clothes are a great Christmas gift for babies under one because, quite simply, babies can always use more clothes! From spit up to diaper blowouts to constantly growing out of things, you can never go wrong!
This Christmas gift is the ultimate gift of practicality. Now, it doesn’t have to be the baby’s whole gift. You may want to throw in a little rattle or something like that, but if it’s the baby in your life’s first Christmas, they (and the parents) will always appreciate an extra pack of diapers or wipes!
Tips for Buying Gifts for Babies
Like we said earlier, since babies under one can’t speak well and don’t fully have their personality and preference, it can oftentimes be incredibly difficult knowing what to get them! At the end of the day, consider these tips for buying babies Christmas gifts…
There are a great deal of safety guidelines to consider for babies under the age of one. First and foremost, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a big threat for babies under the age of one as well as other safety threats such as choking.
The best thing to do when deciding whether or not a Christmas gift for the baby in your life is perfect for him/her is to consider safety by asking yourself the following…
Are there any parts that may be a choking hazard?
What are the age recommendations on the packaging?
If I order this custom, is there any increased risk of SIDS if the baby sleeps with this?
By putting the baby’s safety first, you are ensuring that you present will be a well-thought out success!
Consult Parents and Other Family
Once you’ve determined whether or not the gift is safe and age-appropriate for the baby, you may want to consult the parents and other family members. You will want to do this for two reasons.1. If you are not the parent, the parent of the baby is the best resource to get an idea of what the baby needs and what the baby may like. 2. By consulting with the parents and other family members, you can cross-reference and make sure that no one else is getting something similar. The last thing a baby needs is a bunch of the same gift that the parents then have to deal with!
Think Longer Term
We’ve said this several times because we cannot stress it enough…Babies grow SO fast! Because babies grow and change so quickly, the best gifts are ones that will be useful and fun for longer. For example, if the baby has already started walking a little by Christmastime, it may not be the best idea to get them a walker since they won’t be using it for long.
The best gifts for a baby’s first Christmas are the ones that can either have multiple uses along the way or are some timeless that the baby will enjoy them for many months to come.
Once you’ve determined the gift safe, consulted with family to make sure it’s original, the final step is to really think about its usefulness. This step is more for the parents than for the child, but it’s important to think about the practicality of the gift. Are there too many pieces that may cause a big mess? Is it too big to easily store in the baby’s room? Will it be used regularly?These are all questions to consider if you truly want to get the best and most useful gift for a baby under the age of one!
A baby’s first Christmas is just something special. It takes an already magical time of year and makes it even more magical! Having a part in a baby’s first Christmas is such a joy and even more so when you are able to give them the perfect gift!
We hope you found this list of the best Christmas gifts for babies under one to be inspiring and fill you with all of the Christmas spirit as we head into the most wonderful time of the year!