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Baby and Toddler Gift Guide

There is an overwhelming amount of gift options for babies and toddlers. Between toys, clothing, and other accessories, it can leave you wondering where to even begin. Whether a family member recently welcomed a new baby or you're affectionately referred to as "aunt" or "uncle" by your best friend's toddler, you want to give the little boy or girl a special gift this holiday.

To help you with your shopping endeavor, we've compiled a list of the 5 best gifts for babies and toddlers that are highly rated and kid-approved.

Gifts for Babies

Do yourself and the baby's parents a favor and don't go crazy on buying a lot of toys. When it comes to buying a gift for a baby, it's best to keep it simple. Here are some useful baby gifts that will make everyone in the house happy.

1. Ice Gel Teethers

Available at buybuyBaby.

Even the happiest baby can turn grouchy when their teeth start to come in. To combat that uncomfortable feeling and give the baby something to keep them occupied, check out these Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys. These brightly colored keys keep the baby's interest while he or she can enjoy the cool surface areas that help to stimulate and soothe gum and teeth pain.

2. Play Mat

Available at Target.

There is plenty of fun to be had with a good play mat. Playmats are a multi-sensory toy that encourages babies to grab for objects, aids in visual development, and works like a charm for tummy time exercises. This tropical themed 4-in-1 activity mat is portable, plays music, and includes a mirror and prop pillow.

3. A Learning Walker

Available at Walmart.

This toy is great because it grows along with the baby. With a learning walker, he or she can enjoy music, shapes, gears, and more. The front panel can be removed so the baby can play with it while sitting and then, it can be attached to the walker component to encourage standing up and placing one foot in front of the other when the time is right.

4. First 100 Words Book

Available at Barnes & Noble.

It's never too early to start reading to a child. One good book to add to the collection is Roger Priddy's First 100 Words. Babies' and toddlers' brains develop at an astonishing speed, and it likely won’t be long before he or she will be able to point out what’s in this book. The association of words with images will help develop language skills and the bright colors will keep baby engaged.

5. Stacking Ring

Available on Amazon.

It's incredible how the most uncomplicated toy makes the biggest impact. The stacking ring toy was first introduced in the 1960s and they have been a hit ever since. Today's ring toys offer brighter colors along with different textures and sounds. This toy aids in developing baby's hand-eye coordination and to recognize shapes.

Gifts for Toddlers

If you've ever hung out with a toddler, you know they're full of energy and plenty inquisitive. Here are some gift suggestions to help them learn, develop, and be entertained.

1. Activity Desk

Available at buybuyBaby.

Parents can't stop raving about the Vtech Explore & Write Activity Desk and kids can't stop playing with it! For under $60, this desk has it all - letters, number, shapes, a chalkboard/easel combo, and little areas to hold crayons and pieces of chalk.

2. Sit 'n Spin

Available at Walmart.

This classic toy is still a hit with toddlers. As they sit and spin, they get to control how fast they go and teach them balance and coordination. Watch pure joy appear on the toddler's face after they test it out a few times. It will be all you need to know you made the right gift choice.

3. Pretend Play Sets

Available at Target.

One of the best things about being a kid is playing pretend. There is a large variety of themed playsets out there. Toddlers can pretend to perform household activities or have fun figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. A popular playset among kids is a veterinary one. They can make sure their stuffed animals are happy and healthy.

4. Play-doh

Available at Michaels.

Toddlers love arts and crafts as it gives them a chance to create, explore colors and textures, and get messy. What's nice about good old fashioned Play-doh is that toddlers can create any number of things. While they sell Play-doh activity sets, you're better off letting their imagination run wild with a simple Play-doh 4-pack.

5. Sand and Water Table

Available at Kohls.

This gift is guaranteed for years of use and hours of fun. With a combination sand and water table, toddlers can enjoy multiple sensory experiences and interactive play with included tools and accessories. Not to mention, it's big enough to have more than one kid play at a time so it's perfect for a playdate.

In short, there's no need to stress about what you're going to get the baby or toddler in your life. Instead, grab any one of these gifts and get a kick out of watching them open up it and play with it.

Have you given any of these items out as gifts? If so, what was the child's (and parents) reaction? Let us know in the comments below.

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