1 - Black and white books
Even very young babies enjoy looking at books. Black and white books might not look as pretty as some of the colourful baby books available, but young babies can only distinguish high contrast images, and they will often stare for quite some time (in baby terms at least!) at a black and white geometric pattern or picture. Some of these books are also cloth books which are suitable for the cot and suitable for baby to chew on.
2 - Teether or rattle toy
I don't think that you can ever have too many teether toys or rattles on hand, to keep in the change bag, the car, handbag and so on. Rattles are brilliant to pull out to entertain a grumpy baby for a few precious minutes. Look for a teether toy with bright colours, different textures and shapes, and perhaps a clip to attach to pushchair or playmat.
3 - Stacking cups and dried pasta
I've written before on my other blog about how stacking cups are the absolute best present for a baby or toddler. They are so versatile, take up very little space, portable, can be used in the bath or outside and come in all different colours and shapes. Team with a pack of value dried pasta or rice from the supermarket and they will keep a baby or toddler entertained for ages.
4 - Ornament or keepsake
This is probably a gift more likely to come from parents or close relatives to commemmorate baby's first Christmas. It's a nice idea to buy a similar item each year which can build up into a collection which perhaps the son or daughter can take when they leave home, for example ornaments which they can use to decorate their own tree.
5 - Long sleeved bibs
Babies usually end up with lots of bibs, but they tend to be ones that are suitable for bottle feeding and not so useful when baby first starts feeding themselves. Many parents don't realise how useful a long-sleeved bib can be, and so may not have any. You need lots too, one for each meal, at least in the early days of weaning! As baby grows up they can then be used for painting and messy play.
6 - Bath toys
When buying new toys for babies, people often overlook bath toys. But they are likely to be enjoyed and played with everyday, and they can also be used outside, in water tables and sandpits. A net bag which attaches to the bath is also really useful for storing bath toys so that they don't take over the bathroom.
7 - Lift flap books and books with textures
Even if baby is still very young, it won't be long before they are reaching out for things, and books with interactive elements such as flaps and different textures are perfect. There are lots out there, so here are some of my favourites.
8 - Hand and footprint kit
Christmas is a perfect time to look back and remember, and one way to capture your baby as they are now is with a hand or footprint kit. Of course you can take prints yourself with paint, but there are some lovely kits available to make a wonderful keepsake from baby's first Christmas.
9 - Shape sorter or postbox
Shape sorters come in all different colours, shapes and sizes and even young babies enjoy posting things. A good quality shape sorter will last for years (and through several babies) and it is a classic toy that will never go out of fashion.
10 - A sentimental scrapbook, journal or album
I think that it's a lovely tradition to purchase a nice journal or notebook and use it to record family Christmas memories. You can store it with the Christmas decorations, and then every year when you take it out you can look through and remember previous years. When a baby is born it's a perfect time to start. You can record details about height, favourite toys and activities, and then add in Christmas activities undertaken and presents received, along with some favourite photographs. It doesn't need to be a Christmas themed book, you can buy a plain notebook and then decorate with wrapping paper or Christmas cards. Spiral bound ones are best as you can remove pages if it becomes too bulky.
Can you suggest any more things which make great presents for a very young baby?
Are you looking for gifts for a different age group? Try these:
Gift ideas for young toddlers
Gift ideas for older toddlers
Gift ideas for pre-schoolers
Clutter free Christmas gifts