I am fortunate enough to know lots and lots of adorable babies. From my edible godson Alex to my amazing future nephew Ethan, to my future sons-in-law Major and Thor. I also know some pretty little girls: Amelia, Lucy, Betsy. Sigh. And there are lots more on the way! With so much amazing, yummy, cheeky babyness going around, I’m going to need to find some great gifts for them all, from the sweetest newborns to the most rambunctious 1 year olds! Here are some of my faves!
Rubbabu Animals on Wheels, $4.95: These adorable, affordable little friends consist of velvety, squeezable, brightly colored animals on soft, rubber wheels. The difference? They can really move! So cute and so safe! I also love the little toy cars from this company.
Classic Rocking Horses, $64.99 and up: I think a rocking horse just says “baby” in a way that no other gift can, and fortunately, there are so many beautiful options to choose from that finding one to suit the style of the parents should be a breeze! The Grow-With-Me rocking horse from Magic Cabin is a classically styled wooden horse with added safety features, and it’s a relative steal at $79.98. The company also offers a basic, space-saving version that folds for storage, at $69.99. A rustic option is available from Orvis, complete with a wool mane and tail. Modern parents will love the sleek Danish design of this deconstructable version, $149.99, the streamlined shape of this sage-accented version from Restoration Hardware, a steal at $64.99, and this cool, colorful option as well, $79 (pictured). If you’re looking for plush rockers, this darling rocking cow from Pottery Barn is so cute at $129, as are the adorable assorted plush animal rockers from Restoration Hardware baby, $149. I like the bunny one best!
Sophie the Giraffe Teether, $22.95: Yes, this is a pricey little teething toy, but hey, it’s made in France! And it’s made of safe, eco-friendly rubber. And for some reason, babies adore it! The Chan Pie Gnon teethers, $16.95, from the same company, are also adorable. I also love these adorable vanilla-scented animal teething rings, $9.98/2, which are also French-made.
Blocks and More Blocks: I am obsessed with blocks for kids, because I think they are so classic and allow so much room for creativity! Fortunately, there are tons of starter blocks available to appeal to even the youngest babies! The Cubist Movement, from Land of Nod, is a set of 48 simple, shiny, colorful wooden cubes, perfect for early builders. I also like the Nursery Rhyme Blocks from Orvis, which feature a timeless wooden block design featuring illustrations on two sides and text on the other sides, for $48. And Melissa & Doug’s wooden alphabet blocks in a wheeled cart are a playroom staple, and I love the soft, pillow-like appeal of the fabric blocks, like the stylish ones from Land of Nod, $34. But my absolute faves for the littlest builders of all are the colorful, squishable rubber blocks from B. toys, called, ingeniously, Elemenosqueeze, and at $15.99, they are so affordable. (I absolutely adore this entire beautiful, well-designed line of toys, most available at your local Target!)
Stackers and Nesters!: I love Kid-O’s modern, colorful toys, and this plastic stacker, which is designed for use in the tub but can be used anywhere, is a sure hit at $12. And these high quality, fabric stacking cups from Kathe Kruse, shown above, are both colorful and cuddly, $39.98! Little boys will love this set of plush, stacking balls, $39, from Pottery Barn. Land of Nod has another plush version, $36, this time a classic set of stacking rings. And my almost 3-year-old daughter still loves to play with her nesting, stacking cardboard blocks. These have the added appeal of animal designs and texture, $19.98!
Squeaky Cars, $19.98: Cars are fun for both boys and girls, and this colorful threesome of wooden cars, each with its own animal rider, squeaks when a baby pushes down on it.
Haba Clackers, Teethers and Rattles: It’s no secret that I love anything made by this German toy company, and their baby toys are no exception. There are so many to choose from it’s hard to narrow it down, but my girls loved this ball-shaped clacker, the Ballino, $14.49, and the Fiorella clutching toy, $16.49, which is so pretty it could be used to decorate the nursery!
Le Toy Van Ride-On Trike and Trailer, about $99: This pretty wooden ride-on says its for 2 years old and up, but I think it’s ideal for the year between 1-2. It’s a safe, low ride on with a cute trailer in the back to haul all the essentials! It also comes in blue!
1-2-3 Grow With Me Walker, $120: I love wooden toys, and this beautifully made walker is practical and versatile as well. It starts out as a walker with an adorable wagon, converts to a tricycle, and then to a shopping or doll buggy. Ingenious!
Manny & Simon Push Toys, $32 each: I love this company’s lovable menagerie of wooden animal push toys, which serve double-duty as nursery decor. They’re eco-friendly too!
Wooden Push Toys: Forget the plastic popcorn pusher with the sound that can bring tears to your eyes! Plan Toys, Educo and Selecta all offer beautifully designed, kid-pleasing options that won’t drive you crazy. I love Plan Toys’ elephant version, $35 and Educo’s endearing bunny, $19.99. My girls still love their Carousel Push Toy from Selecta, which is sadly no longer available, but their Tamborino toy has the same appeal, $33.24.