Posts Tagged ‘infants’

Yes Virginia, There Is A Sale At Toys R Us

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

A high school friend I haven’t talked to in almost 10 years emailed me this week to ask for baby gift suggestions for her 6 month old niece. She’s still in the childless stage of life where the thought of buying a fun and age appropriate gift for someone else’s baby causes you to break out in a cold sweat, and as someone with a similarly aged child she thought I could provide some guidance. I was happy to make some suggestions, since I know I spent many a Christmas shopping trip staring blankly at the toy aisle debating whether I’d be better off just sending a card stuffed with cash (babies like cash, right? It’s crinkly.) Is a baby doll too boring? Is a baby doll that cries and poops too creepy? Are stacking blocks too simple? Is a tiny laptop too complicated? So as a public service announcement for anyone in a similar situation, here’s my list of suggested gifts for babies.

zzz Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

For ages 6 months+
This is Baby Evan’s current favorite toy in the wholebigwideword, unless you count the empty diaper box. Which I don’t, because every time I’m reminded he’d rather go naked, nurse directly from the breast, sleep in our bed, and play with empty boxes I die a little inside thinking of all the money we’ve wasted. But I digress. This table can also be used without the legs for babies who aren’t quite standing yet. It plays lots of different songs, which is very important so you don’t stab your eardrums out after hearing “One two three four five six seven eight! Then! There’s NINE! Counting’s really great!” for the eight hundredth time that day. Plus it’s educational and stuff, teaching colors, shapes and Spanish.  ($42.99)

SOPHIE Sophie the Giraffe

Ages 0-12 months
If you love your niece/nephew/cousin/boss’s kid but you don’t really love them $45 worth, get them a Sophie. The number of kids chewing on these at any park or playgroup speaks for itself. Sophie is BPA free and non-toxic too, so even your fancy friends will approve. ($20)


Tubby Tug Boat

Ages 6 months+
This is what E bought Baby Evan for Christmas, since he is in charge of bath time and related activities. The bebeh loves the water and now that he’s got the sitting up situation under control we’re going to abandon the baby tub (although we have LOVED the one my sister bought me until now and I highly recommend it as a shower gift) and let him splash in our extra large sized tub. Since we’re currently using a disposable plastic cup meant for olive oil or salsa to wash Baby Evan’s hair, this toy will be practical for Daddy as well as baby. ($18.99)


The MULA Collection from Ikea

Recommended for ages 12 months+ (but Baby Evan loves them now)
Oh Ikea, is there nothing you can’t do? Affordable modern furniture? Check. Irresistible duvet covers? Check. Classic wooden toys at unbeatable prices? Check. My mom and grandmother bought Baby Evan the stacking lighthouse, the hammer bench and the stacking cups during an Ikea run and he loooooves them. (Although the hammer became the first baby toy confused for dog chew toy casualty.)  ($5.99+)

robeez Robeez

Ages 0-4 years
These are the leather gold standard for baby shoes, but at $30 a pop no one can afford to buy more than one or two pairs for their own kid. SOMETIMES they go on sale, SOMETIMES you can find them at outlets, and SOMETIMES BabySteals has them as their daily steal (for about 2 seconds before they sell out).  We have one real pair I got at 70% off and one fake pair from TJMaxx, but if someone sent me the whole winter collection I’d be thrilled. Baby Evan enjoys chewing on them just as much as he enjoys wearing them. The sizes are really non-specific, but since the shoes are soft being a little small or a little large doesn’t prevent them from still being awesome. ($22+)

A few more suggestions:

Bright Starts Teether Pals – Baby Evan has a blue elephant version from Target, his friend has the yellow lion, and these are two other options. The combination of plastic, soft and crinkly really keeps him happy when he’s fussing. ($5.99)
Baby’s First Photo Album – I can’t find the exact one online but I PROMISE they sell them in the infant section at Walmart. It’s a soft book with plastic pockets for photos. Bonus points if you pre-fill it with recent photographs of  long-distance family members so baby can learn what Aunt Edna and Uncle Bert look like. ($12.99)
Earth Mama Angel Baby/California Baby Products – I love both these brands but they’re on the expensive side for everyday use. Buy your mama friend some baby wash, diaper cream, shampoo or baby oil, plus a little extra something for herself. ($12+)
BOOKS – Since most parents already have Goodnight Moon and Green Eggs & Ham, you’ll have to be a little more creative to find really good children’s books not on their shelf. I recommend searching Amazon for “reading rainbow books” to find amazing titles that have been forgotten or overlooked for the newest generation but may make Mom and Dad nostalgic for the days when you didn’t have to take my word for it! ($4.99+)

(Disclaimer: The links above that connect to Amazon have my Amazon Associates seller code embedded in them, which means if you click through and make a purchase I get a share of the sale. Which works out to approximately four cents. I actually recommend checking your local big box retailer – or special local baby store! – for baby toys first, since the sales this year are amazing.)