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Buying gifts for babies and toddlers is often a mixed bag. You're often tempted to just get them what you think is cute versus what they'd actually like—which is often plastic with blaring lights and endless music.
For the really young babies, I always like to mix it up with things that can either be kept forever or stimulate their young, growing minds. Things like a plush animal rocker—which can also be monogrammed with their name—can function as both a toy and adorable room decor. (And maybe even be passed down for generations to come.) I love gifting the classic wooden Uncle Goose blocks because they come in a variety of languages. So whether the family is going to teach the baby Spanish, French or Mandarin, there's a set of blocks for them.
As a mom to a baby and a toddler, I also always enjoyed receiving adorable clothing and accessories that I may secretly covet but could never bring myself to buy—unless it was for a special occasion like the holidays. From whimsical moccasins to sweet hand-knit cold weather accessories or a T-shirt that expresses exactly every toddler ever, these are the gifts that keep on giving. Then there's the practical items like a night light for all those "scared of the dark" moments that may just be starting (or so you don't step on errant toys on the floor). I especially love this one, as the light changes colors in a soothing rhythm and the creature's adorable face is one I can stand staring at every night.
As babies grow into toddlers (sniff, sniff), turn to more engaging toys like a kid-sized ukulele or a keyboard complete with microphone to really let them express themselves. Sorting and stacking toys are also always a hit, so one that combines the best of both worlds and is easy on the eyes is a win-win for everyone. And then the ultimate toddler gift,a play kitchen. These can range from the more affordable to the completely ridiculous, but no matter which way you go, I guarantee your children will play with this for years to come. And that's priceless.