This is a guest blog post written by Sara Hernandez, lifestyle blogger at happilyeverhernandez.com. You can download her free printableto learn her top five travel tips so you can save on your next vacation.
In this gift guide, I will walk you step by step through the best toys for the first twelve months. Then, I will discuss the top toddler gift ideas. Many of these baby and toddler gift ideas will be cherished past the toddler years. This is great news that your investment will be well appreciated. The toys I recommend we have personally purchased and tested so you will know they are baby and toddler approved. I have included affiliate links that you can click on to check each item I recommend out for yourself.
When you are looking for a gift to give a child it can be difficult to know what is appropriate. The non-toxic toys I share in this baby and toddler gift guide are sure to be a hit in the years to come. Each child is different, but as a mom of a young toddler, I try to pick open-ended toys. This way the toy will last longer as it can be used in many different ways as the child ages and his/her imagination grows with it.
This post may contain affiliate links which provide a small compensation if a purchase is made through them.
Newborn Gift Ideas
Nursing pillow: These are great for babies to get tummy time and for when they start to sit up for back support.
Activity Center: My baby had a tummy time mat that he loved to kick the toys that dangled down on. It had a little firefly that he loved how it lit up when he touched it. This activity center is the best. It has different textures and animals that make music.
Music toy: This baby einstein phone has the sticker rubbed off of it from how much my baby loves it. He likes to hear the music and press the button. It is a great toy to keep your little one distracted on car rides.
Swaddle: Our baby hated swaddles, and we weren’t very good at swaddling. We went out to our local Burlington coat factory and found this on sale. I would recommend it for all families with newborns. It was so easy to get him wrapped up and velcro him inside. Although, he still did not enjoy being swaddled.
Car Seat Cover: I got a car seat cover as the first purchase when I found out I was pregnant. The cover was free, we just paid for shipping. We used the cover on the car seat when we were out and didn’t want the noise or light to wake our baby. We also liked the cover to protect our baby from if it was cold out. Take caution if you use the cover closed because studies have shown it increases the temperature inside the car seat.
The cover I linked isn’t the one I had, but it is personally tested by the makers with their own children. It is even better than the cover I had because it has five different uses. It can be used to cover a high chair or shopping cart so your baby doesn’t put their mouth on it. It is also a nursing cover, infinity scarf, and car seat cover.
Paci: Not all babies will accept a paci, and sometimes there is nipple confusion. If you are able to give your baby one, they can be really helpful in soothing them if you can’t. My baby only took one for a couple weeks, but it really helped when we were in the car. Here is a link to where Kaylee talks about a pacifier that worked for her family.
Mittens: These are a must have for newborns. Since they don’t control their hands well you want to protect them from scratching their faces. Keep multiple of these in stock, because newborns tend to go through multiple outfit changes a day.
Soft crunchy book: There is something babies love about the crumbly sound of this book. It also doubles as a great teether with the rubber corner. It is easy to clip on to the stroller or diaper bag to bring along with you.
One Month Old Gift Ideas
Black and White Book: Black and white toys are great for contrast which helps babies focus and develops their sight and motor skills. Even at 16 months old, my baby still loves this book and picks it out to read. We have read this book to him so many times in the car to keep him entertained.
Black and White Fabric Toy: This toy is great for hanging on the crib. It is also good for laying down while your baby practices tummy time. Babies don’t always like tummy time, so giving them something fun to see during that time is helpful. I love how the back of the toy has different colors and textures for the baby to explore along with a teether, mirror, squeaker, and familiar objects on the other side for you to discuss and the baby to discover.
Two Month Old Gift Ideas
Black and White Toy: I love how there is a velcro loop so that you can hang this toy for the baby to look at while laying down. Babies love to bat at things that are hanging which is great for their gross motor development.
Black and White Tummy Time Cards: I got these so my baby would have something interesting to see when he was on his tummy. He loved to sort through the cards and look at the art. It is so cool how there is a mirror too. Babies love to see their reflections and smile.
Crunchy Socks and Wrist Rattles: My mom got these for my baby, and they were an instant hit! He recognized that he could kick his legs and move his arms to get them to make noise. They are colorful and cute!
Jingly Eric Carle Toys: My mother also purchased these awesome musical toys. They are familiar characters from eric carle’s books. One makes a bell sound, and another makes a crunchy sound. My son is still such a fan of shaking things and making music and sounds.
Three Month Old Gift Ideas
Fruit Teethers: All babies enjoy having something to chew on when their teeth start pushing through. It is a great form of relief. If your baby is anything like mine, then you can never have enough teethers. Babies love to throw toys and things get dirty and lost.Infantino Cow: For a while, this was the only way to keep our baby entertained and distracted in the car so he wouldn’t scream. He loved when we would pull the string and the cow vibrated and made a rattling sound.
Silicon Teether: My baby is getting his molars in, and we still use this to try to give him relief. You can put frozen fruits, breastmilk, and even ice inside this. It is great to have on the go or when you are traveling.
Comotomo Teether: This was my baby’s favorite and one of his first teethers. It took him a while to figure out how to grip it and which part to put in his mouth. But, it’s a great way to develop fine motor skills, and once your baby learns how to it has the perfect nubs to chew on.
Four Month Old Gift Ideas
Crinkle Book: We got this animal crinkle book. It is so cool because it has different textures for the animal tails. The tails stick out of the edges of the pages. This is great to help your baby practice flipping the pages and learn the directionality of reading a book even before they develop the pincer grasp.
Wooden Teether: It doesn’t sound like the best thing to chew on, but paired with the silicon “beads” this was a favorite teether. It is long and easy for your baby to grip. Some other perks are that it’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean.
Banana Teether: This teether is perfect for practicing good oral hygiene with your baby. The earlier you start and get them used to it the better. You can brush their gums and any teeth they may have. Your baby will also probably love to chew on this banana.
Boon Bath Boats: Again, this toy can be used for years to come in the bath. This was one of the first bath toys we gave my baby.
Scarves and Silicon O Ball: Warning: When your baby is mobile be cautious that they don’t step and slip on the scarves on the floor. You need to monitor your baby with this activity. The balls can be played with without the scarves. I like to play peekaboo with my baby and discuss the colors of the scarves.
Wooden Rattle/Maraca: I love to play music and sing songs with instruments to introduce rhythm to my baby. He loves to shake the rattle. It is a great multi-sensory experience. My parents got my baby ours from Puerto Rico, so I can’t link it here.
Manhattan Toy Skwish: I love that this toy is wooden and open-ended. It can be used as a teether or anything your baby can imagine. The best toys are the ones that nurture your child’s creativity.
Green Toys Submarine: This is such a fun bath toy! This toy doesn’t just have to be used in the bath. My baby loves to fill it up with water and pour it out. As your child gets older they can learn about floating and sinking. Long lasting toys that can be educational are the best!
Five Month Old Gift Ideas
Sensory Bag: I found this one on Amazon. One notice I have to share with you is that it can get messy. My baby loves to throw things around that have lots of parts. I like how it comes with two of each texture, and they come in different colors with a cool bag to store them in when they aren’t being played with.
Green Toy Stacking Cups, Keys, Car: I think we got this set on a deal last black Friday. We ended up forgetting the keys at a restaurant, but my baby really enjoyed them while it lasted. The cups are great to help your baby learn spatial recognition, plus they are labeled with numbers.
First Tool Box: These are super for young babies because opposed to other toolsets you will find for children they are soft. Each tool makes a different noise. It comes with a convenient adorable little toolbox to keep them organized and transport them in.
Swaddle Me Slumber Buddies Soother: This elephant was well worth our money. It is multipurpose. We love to use this at bedtime to shine the different lights and listen to the lullabies and white noise.
Sensory Balls: My sister got these for my baby last Christmas. Almost a year later he is still obsessed with balls and loves to play with them. This is a great set for helping your baby discover different colors and textures.
Six Month Old Gift Ideas
Green Tones Drum: Another surprise gift from Grams- which I was planning on purchasing. Just be careful, because if your baby is too rough the drum and wood may separate. I love how this drum doesn’t require a mallet, your baby can just bang on the drum with his/her hands. At this young of an age babies don’t have the skills to hold and use a stick to hit a drum.
Zany Zoo: We got this toy to encourage my baby to practice pulling up to stand. He loves to look at the animals and spin around the beads. The doors are also fun to open and close. The section with the alphabet is perfect for introducing letters and the objects that correlate with them.
O Ball Grip and Play: I got this to put on my baby’s high chair when he first started sitting up. It was my hope that he would play with it for a while so that I could try to get some cooking or cleaning done around the house or even eat. If your little one is as clever as mine, he/she will soon figure out how to loosen the suction. This was still a fun addition to his toys.
Seven Month Old Gift Ideas
Montessori Object Permanence Box: This kept my baby entertained for so long. He always loves a challenge and was encompassed by trying to fit the ball in the hole. I would suggest you order more balls along with this. When we lost the ball my baby was so sad.
Foam Block: These are great for a starter infant block set because they are soft. I am still waiting a bit to order wooden blocks because I don’t want them to fall on my baby and hurt him. I love how colorful they are and all of the different shapes they have. It comes in a zipper bag for storage, but we found it easier to keep them in a basket and on a shelf where they are more easily accessible for play and clean up.
Wooden Rainbow Stacker: Not all babies will be able to stack the rings on at this age, but they may enjoy taking the rings off. I love the center of all of the rings in this set is the same size so you can stack them out of order and they still fit. As your child gets older his/her hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness will improve. I wasn’t able to find the one we purchased, so I linked something similar.
Eight Month Old Gift Ideas
Sensory bottles: I got these bottles off amazon and filled them with water, pasta, glitter, sequins, and more. If you’re into DIYs and want something special and handmade this is the gift for you! My baby loved to shake and look at the sensory bottles. You may want to glue the lids closed so that they don’t spill.
HABA Steam Roller: This toy is great for playing in the sand or just in your home. My baby loves to spin the wheel.
Green Toys Shape Sorter: Some babies may not be able to put the shapes into the sorter at this age. I love how the saucer unscrews for you to remove the different pieces. A lot of other shape sorters have lids that I worry will close and smash babies’ fingers.
Frog Instrument: We got this one when we were visiting Maui, but here is something similar. My baby loves to move the stick on the frog’s back to make a croaking sound.
Wooden Egg Shaker: We also got something similar to this on Maui. We didn’t plan on getting it, but when my baby found it he did not want to let go. He hasn’t parted with it ever since. It is the perfect size for little baby hands to grasp and take along. I linked something similar.
Nine Month Old Gift Ideas
B Toys Whacky Pound A Ball: If your baby loves balls, he/she will have a ball with this toy. I would not give the hammer to a baby this young. My baby figured out how to hit the balls and watch them go down the track. He loves to do it over and over again.
Green Toys Twist Teether Toy: This toy is fun to shake and move the pieces around the toy.
Green Toys Tugboat: Another great bath toy! We like to play with this in and out of the water.
Ten Month Old Gift Ideas
Hape Animal Puzzle: Most babies, if not all, love animals. You can discuss their names and the sounds they make while guiding them to find where the pieces fit. As your child grows they will be able to fit the pieces in place independently. The knobs make it easier for your baby to grasp the pieces.
Green Toys Airplane: My baby is obsessed with airplanes. He always points to the sky and makes the noise they make. We have been on quite a few flights with him. He loves to fly this airplane and spin the wheels and propeller.
Board Books: One of the best things you can do for your baby is to talk and read to him/her every day. At this age board books are the best books to read. Babies will usually tear or damage other books since they aren’t developmentally ready to flip thinner pages. My baby loves to flip the pages and point to different things on the pages interacting.
Eleven Month Old Gift Ideas
Green Toys Helicopter: This toy is so fun! It has a cute little figure to put inside. My baby loves to spin the propeller. (In the photo above with the airplane.)
Hape Pound and Tap Bench: I love how you can pull out the xylophone for your baby to play music on. It is also neat how when you hit the balls through they make music while rolling down the xylophone.
Sand Toys: These toys are fun even if you don’t have sand to play with them in. Your baby can play with these indoors or out.
Twelve Month Old Gift Ideas
Sensory Table: I had been wanting to get one of these for my baby, and he loves it! This is great for sensory activities. You can fill it with sand, water, and more. The water table will be enjoyed for years to come.
Balls and Ball Pit, Tent, and Tunnel Set: We play with this every day. Fair warning that the balls may end up all over the room. Babies love to crawl inside and through things. This set is perfect for babies and toddlers!
Toddler Soccer Ball: Balls are great and versatile. They help with coordination and gross motor skills. Babies will love kicking, rolling, and throwing the balls.
Toddler Gift Ideas
American Plastic Toy Sand and Water Wheel: This toy is great for pouring water into. Your baby will enjoy watching the wheels spin as the water runs down. My baby also likes to spin the wheel himself. It is great for learning cause and effect.
Toddler Basketball: Basketballs are so fun to bounce to and from your toddler. You can get mini basketball hoops too. My baby brings his balls everywhere.
Green Toys Dump Truck: Toddlers love cars. It is great to provide them with an opportunity to have something to play with to emulate what they see every day
My First Touch and Feel Picture Cards: These are a holy grail. We purchased them through Amazon before a flight, and they came in handy! Toddlers love to look at the pictures and feel the different textures. This is great entertainment and helps encourage oral language development.
Hape Play Kitchen: We found ours on the Facebook marketplace practically new. This is great to have near your kitchen so your baby can role play while you cook and clean.
If you’re still looking for other great non-toxic gift ideas here are some great resources for you to learn all about brands that you can feel good about purchasing from Mommy To Max Ultimate Guide and Gimme The Good Stuff (who I love to go to for all purchases, not just toys!) Here is another amazing list of toys you can purchase on Amazon. I’m sure there are plenty of other great resources out there, but the last one I love is Natural Baby Mama’s list of toys that aren’t plastic!
Personally, the best gift you can give is time! Another great non-material gift you can give is a membership to a local zoo, play place, or music class. Here is a blog filled with great ideas on how you can give experiences instead of toys. Another good resource for a list of gifts you can give is here.
If you have any other non-toxic baby and toddler gift ideas that you love to share them in the comments below! If you enjoyed this gift guide you may like to check out Kaylee’s other post on Earth Mama products which would be great gifts for the women in your life. Please share with someone who would find this gift guide useful. Make sure to check out my lifestyle blog and subscribe if you want to see more content like this. I post weekly about non-toxic living, minimalism, mom life, DIYs, veganism, travel, and more.