Gift ideas for baby's first holiday season

Abby Stassen


The holidays are always a time for merriment, but there's even more to celebrate when a new baby arrives. A baby's first holiday is an opportunity to shower them with fun toys and other necessities, and the blanket or stuffed animal you choose could wind up being Baby's go-to toy.

The best gifts for babies are mindful of their developmental stage, whether they're a newborn who needs soothing before naptime or a one-year-old who loves crawling into mischief. You should also keep new parents in mind: thoughtful presents like commemorative keepsakes and gifts to help them decompress will be much appreciated.

If you're having trouble narrowing down your gift ideas for a new baby, here's a guide to delightful presents for children from newborns to one-year-olds -- plus a few suggestions to celebrate mothers and fathers.

0-3 Months

If a little one just arrived, they'll need calming presents without tiny parts. A plush security blanket with an animal friend attached can help a new family member settle down and rest in their crib, cozy up during a relaxing movie night, or calm down during post-natal checkups.

Establishing an enjoyable bath time routine early on sets the scene for simpler nightly baths as babies grow older. This Blooming Bath Lotus Baby Bath gently cuddles babies and helps them maintain eye contact, reinforcing the idea that bath time is safe and fun.

Right now, newborns are learning how much fun it is to kick their feet, and animal footie rattlers do double duty by occupying them with fun sounds while keeping their toes toasty.

3-6 Months

A growing baby boy or girl begins to appreciate different types of movement during this developmental period, and a portable baby swing is an ideal pick for moments when Junior needs attention, but Mom or Dad's hands are full with a busy day. This swing has six speeds, jaunty sounds and melodies, and a plush animal mobile for extra comfort.

If the newest addition to a family is having trouble settling down after tuck-in time, a nursery nightlight will create a friendlier environment. This portable LED nightlight has nine color options, a fun animal face for reassurance, and a soft, washable silicone body that's safe enough to place right in the crib.

This particular time in a baby's life coincides with an uncomfortable phase: teething. The best teething ring will be comfortable for babies to grip and will soothe sore gums. Safety 1st's elephant teether checks off all the teething ring boxes with a simple hook for little hands and 100% silicone construction that stands up to intense gumming, dishwashers, and freezers.

6-9 Months

As babies hit six months, they're going to start mimicking the people they encounter every day. The VTech Turn and Learn Driver gives them a turn at the wheel with real traffic sounds, lights, and signal levers, so they can drive around just like Mom or Dad.

Kids become more mobile each day during these months, so they'll love exploring with this Roaming Safari walker. Its three height positions grow with them as they start walking through the jungle of their living room, and the removable toy station has a rainbow of lights, musical hoops, and easy-push buttons for interactive play.

Around seven months, babies gain a new appreciation for sounds and musical toys. The Baby Einstein Take-Along Tunes Toy lets children toggle through classical masterpieces with simple controls, and hues timed to the music captivate babies' developing audio and visual perception.

9-12 Months

As children approach the big one year mark, they're ready for a toy with more bells and whistles. The Kid O Early Learning Light and Sound Activity Board is a "toddler tech" box that stimulates their senses and teaches them cause and effect: turning the knobs changes the box's flowers from blue to green, and a buzzing yellow bee vibrates with the touch of a button.

Kids nine months and older love feeling new textures during playtime, and a Baby Touch and Feel board book introduces them to reading while they "pet" animals like penguins, puppies, and bunnies.

Once a child has reached their first birthday, musical toys like the Hape Pound & Tap Bench play to their love of new sounds and hands-on toys. Instead of pressing a button to hear a song, kids can compose their own tunes with the pull-out xylophone and develop hand-eye coordination with the wooden balls and mallet.

For New Parents

New parents will establish lasting traditions during their baby's first holiday season. A commemorative gift like this ornament will help mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more cherish this special first holiday.

Bringing a baby home from the hospital is just as exciting as it is exhausting. Stressed moms (and dads) might enjoy this mindfulness book, which can help them find a few minutes of zen during their baby's hectic first months.


Abby Stassen is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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