The holiday season is upon us so it’s time to get that early gift shopping started. If you have a new baby in the family and you are eager to spoil them for their first Christmas, you’ve come to the right place!
Baby’s first Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate all those first milestones with your little one. While the festive wrapping paper may go unnoticed by your infant, they will certainly appreciate all the new and exciting toys.
As babies age, they become more and more curious about the world around them. Their exploration reaches an all-time high as they begin to understand and make sense of so many new concepts. They’re figuring out how to play and creating new opportunities to explore each and every day.
As parents, we want to promote our children’s development the best we can. Although our babies are learning everyday through play and experience, there are still many things we can do to help them along the way.
The Best Toys for Baby’s First Christmas
It’s important to look at certain features of toys to ensure that they are developmentally appropriate. Your baby’s skills will be emerging and strengthening quickly, and you want to maximize their stimulation through play.
There are a variety of toys and activities that babies can use to stimulate all their sensory systems. Most of these toys will target their visual, auditory, and tactile (touch) senses.
Just as babies grow out of their clothing quickly, they may outgrow toys quickly as well, especially during the first few months of life. Therefore, keep in mind that it’s best to buy toys that your child can grow into and use for some time.
Here are some toys that offer exposure to practicing new motor skills and learning:
Birth to 6 Months
For young babies, toys that offer fine motor and sensory activities to explore and discover will help to start their journey toward developing many new skills. Most of these toys will stimulate all their sensory systems as they develop.
VTech® Tummy Time Discovery Pillow™ - (birth+)
This soft pillow features a friendly giraffe and provides comfortable support for your baby with three ways to play. The crescent-shaped pillow provides support during tummy time play as your child begins strengthening their neck muscles. It also supports them while they are learning to sit on their own.
The pillow has multiple textures, patterns, and colors for visual and tactile stimulation.
Featuring light-up piano keys on the removable piano, it also introduces numbers, colors, shapes, and animals. Plus, the removable baby-safe mirror and rattle are perfect for on the go play.
This cute polar bear projects a soothing starry night sky onto the ceiling while providing peaceful sounds and tunes for your baby. This toy is perfect for helping your little one visually track objects within the first 3-4 months, as well as self-soothe when he or she needs comfort.
Having objects or toys around that your baby can look at or hear are great for sensory stimulation as well. Objects with contrasting colors and different textures are perfect for young babies as their vision and tactile senses are developing.
VTech® Soothing Ocean Slumbers Mobile™ - (birth+)
A mobile is great for when your baby starts to visually track and follow objects with their eyes and reach for things. The movement will grab their attention and they can watch as it spins in a circle.
The Soothing Ocean Slumbers Mobile™ is a 2-in-1 that can be transformed into a crib toy as your baby grows. It features brightly colored ocean animal characters, projects images onto the ceiling, and plays soft music to help lull your baby to sleep.
6 Months to 1+ Year
As your baby grows, he or she will take in so much more from his or her environment. The following toys help develop their fine, gross, and visual motor skills as they begin to move and communicate.
VTech® Touch & Explore Activity Table™ - (ages 6 - 36 months)
The Touch & Explore Activity Table™ has six different sensory areas for your child to play with. From sitting, to standing, to cruising, it grows with your little one.
Activities on the interactive tabletop introduce kids to animals, colors and numbers with 90+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases. As early as 6 months old, your child can touch, press, and spin to practice fine motor skills, make music, and learn animal facts.
VTech® Drop & Go Dump Truck™ - (ages 6 - 36 months)
As your baby starts to get an understanding of cause-and-effect around 8 months and up, this is the perfect toy to improve their overall cognitive and problem-solving skills!
Your baby will drop a colorful rock into the top of the toy dump truck and watch it tumble around into the bucket. The truck is also interactive as it counts each rock and plays fun tunes.
VTech® Stroll & Discover Activity Walker™ - (ages 9 – 36 months)
This age is the start of your baby’s constant movement and exploration. Give them the means to start getting around on their own with this sit-to-stand walker.
They will love playing with all the push-button features that play music and light up, while also being able to push it around the house. It will help to develop their leg and trunk muscles in preparation for walking.
VTech® Count & Win Sports Center™ - (ages 12 – 36 months)
Help your little ones get moving with their first sports games. They can kick the ball into the soccer net or gently toss a small ball into the basketball hoop.
This sports center helps your child practice counting and build fine-motor skills with buttons to press and gears to turn while exercising their large muscles.
VTech® 4-in-1 Learning Letters Train™ - (ages 12 – 36 months)
This 4-in-1 interactive train features 16 activities that will encourage motor skills while teaching about letters, numbers, and places. It’s truly an all-in-one toy, taking your child from floor play to walker push toy to ride-on to pull cart.
From building towers, playing pretend, and learning concepts, your child will learn so much with this toy!
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I hope you enjoyed this holiday gift guide for your little ones and find something new that excites their senses. Enjoy your baby’s first Christmas!
Marissa LaBuz is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist turned stay-at-home mom and full-time blogger who loves sharing her advice and experience with the world. She runs two blogs, Just Simply Mom and Teaching Littles, and an Etsy Shop, all while starting tickle wars and dance parties with three little ones. When she doesn't have her hands full of children, she enjoys a glass (or 3) of wine, reality tv, and country music.