Another day, another gift guide! Today, I'm sharing some gift ideas for newborns and infants. Below are a few tried and true items we used heavily when Noam was an infant along with a few new, fun items I just discovered.
1. Play mat. For the first seven and a half months of Noam's life (before he started to crawl), he loved hanging out on his play mat. They're great for giving babies sensory stimulation and a safe place to lay or do tummy time, and I'd always recommend having one. We tried a few (because I couldn't help myself) and ended up really loving this Skip Hop Explore & More Amazing Arch play gym (I especially loved the mirror and the ability to position the arch in different ways). But since last year, I've seen a few really cute new play gyms and mats that look awesome. I really love this adorable Mamas & Papas octopus and this beautiful new Silver Lining activity mat from Skip Hop.
2. Sleep sack or sleeping bag. These are great for babies and toddlers who don't use blankets at night yet but need to stay warm and cozy over the winter months. I love how simple this one from Kid Wild Collective is and can recommend ErgoPouch's winter swaddle and sack for infants on the coldest winter nights.
3. Organic basics. Mabo makes the most amazing, high-quality organic basics for babies and kids. What I love most about these is that they're gender-neutral and wear really well, so they can be passed down from baby to baby, and their neutral colors and stripes make it really easy to get dressed in the mornings (no searching for matching outfits)! I especially love their leggings and long-sleeved tees.
4. Blanket. The need for a good stroller, car or nap blanket cannot be overstated. We've tried a lot over the past year, and I've fallen for Pehr Designs' Stork blanket. Runners up go to Pottery Barn Kids, Bugaboo's wool blanket, Target's Circo knit blanket, and RH's sherpa blanket.
5. Rattles and a toy box. All babies love to make noise. It's just an innate desire, I think. So rattles and shakers will never go unappreciated. My favorites are by Little Sapling Toys (the cylinder rattle, baby rattle with rings, and walnut rattle toy are some of our most well-loved). And, when giving toys, I like the idea of giving a nice way to organize those toys, too. This toy crate is amazing - it's beautiful, well-made and perfect for storing all of baby's wooden blocks, rattles and toys.
6. Warm booties. A warm pair of baby shoes will always be used well during the winter months. Last year, when Noam wasn't walking yet, we used these soft-soled booties by Robeez and absolutely loved them - they stayed on and kept his feet nice and toasty.
7. Building blocks. Right around 5 or 6 months, once Noam started sitting, he really started getting into playing with blocks. First it was reaching for them and holding them, then it was putting them in and out of different containers, then it was stacking them. And now, at almost 17 months, he's still playing with blocks every day (and, I think, will be for a long time to come). The point is: building blocks are one of the most open-ended, long-lasting toys you can buy for a baby or toddler. Plain wooden blocks and shapes are great, and these nursery rhyme blocks from Uncle Goose are really fun. Uncle Goose also makes blocks in other languages and with other themes (like chemistry, biology and math).
8. Play mirror. The play mirror was one of the best additions to tummy time and car rides - it intrigued and distracted and occupied Noam and still often does today. I love this adorable Skip Hop activity mirror that coordinates with the rest of the Silver Lining toys.
9. Winter zip-up suit. A warm suit for winter is a daily necessity for babies. It works for the car, carrier or stroller, keeps the baby super warm and is pretty much the most hassle-free way to bundle up the baby in the winter. I love this Furry snugglesuit from Giggle, but Old Navy also has some great less expensive options that we used a lot last year!