As a new parent (my first born is 14 years old), I was at a loss as to what to get our infant son for his first Christmas. Things have changed a lot since I last had a baby, and we wanted to give him practical and useful presents that wouldn’t be used once and thrown in the back of the closet. Resolved not to fill our baby’s bedroom with useless toys like his older brother, I set out to develop a practical Christmas gift wish list for the new baby. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to deprive him of enriching learning experiences or a fun childhood. He will have toys, likely received as gifts from grandparents and friends. He definitely won’t be missing out.
Hopefully the following list will help current and future parents by providing practical yet trendy necessities.
Top 8 Practical Gifts for a Baby’s First Christmas:
1.Swaddle Transition Wearable Blanket (Before rolling over)
With both of my sons, traditional swaddle blankets were useless past week one. Actually, my second was able to break out of his blanket the first day at home. I tried the SwaddleMe Original, but he broke out of it with ease. Then I tried the SwaddleMe Wrapsack (transition), which allows the baby to be swaddled with both arms in, one arm out, or both arms out. At just 5 weeks old, he was able to wiggle his arms into the gaps in the fabric and pull up on the entire thing, bunching the fabric dangerously close to his face. This clearly wasn’t going to work.
Then I found something that changed our lives and greatly increased his night time stretches, and even day time naps. It’s called Love to Dream 50/50 Swaddle Up. With this product, babies can sleep in a cozy swaddle with their arms up, and still chew on their fists for comfort! It has zip-off wings that are super easy to remove, either one or both at a time. Diaper changes are a breeze with the 2-way zipper. If your baby is a little escape artist like mine, this is a must have. We bought two for him, so that one is hopefully clean when he spits up on the other one!
2. Swaddle Transition Wearable Blanket (After rolling over)
Parents are supposed to stop swaddling as soon as baby is able to roll over. Since our little one is extremely close to this important milestone, I set out to find an alternative. Behold, the Zipadee-Zip, a brand new swaddle transition product that provides a womb-like environment, yet full range of movement to roll over and wiggle freely and safely. We also bought two of these. One critique is that it does not have a 2-way zipper like the Love to Dream product. They have received this feedback from users and are apparently working on a solution.
3. Foam Floor Tile Play Mat
We have hardwood floors, which can be hard on little baby knees! This is where those foam floor tile play mats come in handy. At first, I wrote these off because I had only seen the brightly multicolored tiles, and I wasn’t keen on turning our house into a preschool. Then I found a chic and attractive solution: the Skip Hop Geo Grey-Cream Playspot Foam Floor Tile Playmat in Chevron. This soft light grey and cream colored tile play mat will complement any grown-up decor, yet provide a safe place to play for baby. Score!
4. Super Wide Gate and Play Yard
The Regalo super large gate and play yard perfectly complement the foam floor tile play mat. With eight 24 inch panels totaling 192 inches wide, you can create a roomy yet safe play space (with foam tiles inside) for your little explorer. It is portable, easy to set up, and can be wall mounted (hardware included) or standalone. Next year, we are putting the Christmas tree inside of it!
5. First Year Monthly Photo Baby Keepsake Frame
This Pearhead wooden keepsake picture frame is a perfect solution to display those regular monthly photos of your little one. We use belly stickers to commemorate his monthly milestones! The frame holds 12 small photos and one large photo in the middle. It has an acid-free mat as well.
6. On the Go Feeding Spoon with Travel Case
Parents wanting to feed their little one on the go are often faced with the dilemma of either misplacing the spoon and finding it dirty in the bottom of the bag, or wondering where to put the dirty spoon afterwards. This is where the OXO Tot On-the-Go Feeding Spoon with Travel Case is a great solution. This spoon has a compact case that conveniently stores the feeding spoon and neatly fits into purses or diaper bags.
7. Baby’s First Christmas Ornament
Giving Christmas ornaments to family members is a tradition in our family. My step-mother used to work at Hallmark, as did her father and two of her brothers, so it is no surprise we give each other ornaments every year. Our baby’s first ornament was a cute little picture frame that looks like a wreath cookie with his sweet face inside.
8. Baby Diapers and Wipes
When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with diapers and wipes. These will always be used! We use Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers and Natural Care Baby Wipes, which are alcohol free and unscented, providing a gentle cleanse.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite practical baby gift? Is there anything else you would add to this list?