The dos and don'ts of holiday presents for new babies
?Lately, the weather is a little chillier, the autumn leaves are falling, and the holiday lights are starting to come out.
And I, for one, am absolutely thrilled about it. Having a new baby at Christmas is so wonderful; it gives new life to all the wonderful holiday traditions and makes this time of year extra special. But there can be a lot of pressure to pick the perfect holiday present, and as you're navigating the options for new babies and young kids, I have a few tips from a new mom's perspective to make your gifts extra appreciated this holiday season.
Do: Pick gifts that can be stored easily
Let's face it: Kids have a lot of stuff these days. And that stuff can easily overwhelm a house or apartment if it can't be packed away in, oh, say, 30 seconds flat when mom and dad absolutely need to. Sure, maybe your new mom pal is hankering for a giant dollhouse, but, please, check with her before buying anything that can't fit into a storage container. Great toys come in all shapes and sizes, so before showing up with the biggest box you can find, double check. But if she's mentioned it to you, or if it's on a wish list, feel free!
Don't: Buy something without checking the age
When he was 2 months old, my son received a beautiful wooden puzzle that I was super excited about... until I saw that it was a choking hazard for kids under 5. So that lovely puzzle will go into the closet for approximately four years and 10 months (sigh). Make sure to read the label before you buy a present for a kid; small pieces can be dangerous if they're given to babies or young toddlers, so it's extra important to be careful!
Do: Pick toys that are interactive and educational
The right toy at the right developmental stage can unlock a world of fun for babies and toddlers, and help them develop exciting new skills. At 6 months to a year, our son loves toys that will make music or flash lights when he touches them, and it's been a joy to watch him learn to use his hands (and feet) in new ways. Interactive toys can stimulate a baby's imagination, teach motor skills and help them discover new ways to engage with the world.
And when you have a great toy that your baby loves, an equally important must-have is long-lasting batteries like Energizer Max! I stock up in every size (because, trust me, baby toys require every possible battery size) so we never run out.
Do: Pick toys that will give mom a break
Sometimes the best toy isn't for the baby... it's for mom. At my baby shower, a friend of mine gave me this tiny little rattle that played music and flashed lights and made sounds, and she told me, "sometimes it buys you an extra few minutes." At the time, I had no idea what she meant, but now it's the toy that I give my son when I need him to sit still for an extra 30 seconds to get out of a store, to change his diaper, or to just give me a moment to breathe. Sure, he loves it, but it's also a gift for me: the gift of a few minutes of sanity in those moments I need it most. So when you're holiday shopping, think about mom too.
With these tips in mind, you'll have a blast navigating the amazing array of options for babies, young kids and new moms.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Energizer MAX Batteries and SheKnows.