Birth to Three Months:
Newborns have limited vision and are not able to grasp or sit up. For this reason, toys that make sound, move slowly and are brightly colored are going to attract baby's attention the most. Don't worry that the little one isn't able to do much because she's already learned to appreciate sound, and even though her eyesight is fuzzy at first, she can see to a distance of about 14 inches from her face. At about one month, she will begin to recognize faces. Babies love to look at faces and respond well to pictures of faces. With these ideas in mind, try to find a gift that falls into one or more of these categories. For example, a CD player with lullaby CDs is a great gift for helping baby relax and fall asleep. A slow moving mobile with brightly colored, high contrast characters over her bed gives her something to focus on and enjoy. Give an unbreakable mirror to hang in the crib so she can see herself. She will love looking at her own face!
Three to Six Months:
At this stage, baby is learning all about her hands. She's begun to grasp things placed in her hands and is able to eventually pass the object from hand to hand and place it in her mouth. By six months, she is probably sitting up. Safety is the number one thing to consider when buying gifts for this age group. Because everything tends to go in her mouth, baby's toys should not have any small parts that could come off, such as eyes or noses on a teddy bear. And because she is sitting up, nothing to should be attached to the crib with string or elastic because she could become entangled. Some great gifts for babies this age are rattles, soft stuffed animals with no small parts that could come off and activity bars. Activity bars are designed so that the little one can lay underneath and play with all the toys that hang down.
Six to Nine Months:
What a fun age! Baby is beginning to crawl and scoot around. By 8 months, she may even be pulling herself up on furniture. The world is there for her to explore. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for this age group to help her learn more about her growing environment.
Wooden blocks give baby something to stack and bang together. Stuffed animals and dolls are still a good idea, but as stated before, watch out for those small parts. Soft balls make a great gift because she will learn quickly that she can throw it and have a great time doing so. At this stage, children begin to interact with the world around them. Books are a great way for them to do that. Shop for durable books that will take a beating as baby looks at them and carries them around.
Nine to Twelve Months:
Baby is mobile in one way or another. She is now reaching for, grasping and moving things that she could not get to before. She is beginning to use objects as tools now and can understand words. Interactive toys are the best bet at this age to keep her entertained. Toys that she has to push or pull or put things into are excellent. A toy telephone that she can babble into just like mommy does will keep her happy for a long time. Again, books that she can turn the pages on herself are always a good idea. An outdoor toy such as a bucket and shovel will keep her busy for a long time because children this age love to fill and dump, fill and dump their toys.
Besides these ideas and tips for buying gifts for baby, you could always choose to get something that will commemorate the occasion. Personalized baby gifts are always a big hit, especially with Mom. Almost anything can be personalized, from teddy bears to t-shirts. It's a great way to make baby gifts unique that will be very much appreciated.