Here are my recommendations for baby items that will get used regularly and can continue to be used beyond the first year. I included gifts that range in price, with some particularly affordable ones at the end. This guide includes new products, as well as some classics that I've included in gift guides in past years.
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Brinware makes adorable silicone and tempered glass tableware in wonderfully vibrant colors.
My son is now almost three and has been using the tempered glass plates daily since he was one.
The divided plates feature cute shapes such as a Fish or Butterfly that make meal time fun. They are made of high grade silicone that can go in the dishwasher, microwave and even the oven!
Incredibundles has designed adorably chic reusable storage containers and fills them with award-winning toys, books and products for babies – selected by child development experts and approved by parents. Gift-givers can choose from an extensive line of pre-configured bundles or order a Custom Bundle. My son loves his Sesame Street Classic Character Bundle.
They offer free shipping in the U.S. and also make a donation to a charity with every bundle purchase. Their partner charities include First Book, Sesame Workshop, Water for People, Global Green, CJ Foundation for SIDS and Room to Grow.
Lux Baby Box takes the stress and hassle out of gift giving. Each gift box is curated and coordinated for a classy presentation, and carefully hand packed and wrapped to create an unparalleled unboxing experience. Beautiful gift boxing and greeting card are included at no extra cost.
Here are some of their most popular gift sets:
Exclusive promo: click use code FREEBD for free shipping within the U.S. (valid through 1/10/18).
I've had my Parklon playmat for over a year and a half and can't recommend it enough! It blends with my decor, is super plush, non-toxic and BPA free. The style that I have is called Mono Raum. It has a geometric pattern on one side and chevron on the other. I leave it out in the corner of my living room, my son plays on it daily and everyone mistakes it for a rug!
Anything from the Aden + Anais Metallic Collection
Aden + Anais swaddles and dream blankets have been popular for years. My son has been using their crib linen from the start and the metallic dream blankets (pictured below) every night for the past year. You will get years of use out of a Dream Blanket, it's the most popular nap blanket at my son's preschool! Find other items in the metallic collection here and here.
These 100% organic cotton pajamas are one of the most practical and adorable items of clothing that I had for my son. They are adorable, comfortable, durable and fit for ages -- thanks to "ready to grow cuffs." My son wore each pair for at least six months (which is three lifetimes for baby clothes), and they still look brand new!
My son received this wonderful chair as a baby gift. At about eight months he developed an attachment to it and started having his morning milk in it. He continues to use it daily at almost three years old, especially to "read" his books. I expect him to continue to enjoy it for a few years (I can even squeeze myself into it, which he finds hilarious). The slipcover can be removed and washes beautifully.
This toy is recommended for 12 months and up, but I'm all for planning ahead (plus a nine month old can enjoy it closely supervised). If you are going to get only one toy for a one year old, this activity cube should be it. Solid, amazing quality and so many activities for different ages and stages. I see my son evolving in how he uses it over time. He got it at 11 months, used it daily beyond age two, and at almost three years old still uses it regularly! Every kid who comes over loves it (even those who never took to other activity cubes). It is one of my go-to first birthday gifts.
Pipsquigz Silicone Toys
Pipsquigz are silicone rattles that can suction to smooth surfaces. My son and all of his little friends got a ton of use out of these, especially when they were teething. We brought them to all of our playdates. When other babies mouthed them I didn't mind at all, I just tossed them in the dishwasher when we got home. They can also double as bath toys (click here for more dishwasher safe bath, teething and other toys).
Grimm's makes phenomenal quality wooden toys. The color is from certified non toxic water based stains. No worrisome paint or lacquer. Grimm's toys are sure to become heirlooms and double as decor! You can't go wrong with any of their toys (here are a whole bunch), but here are three that I particularly like and have given as gifts:
I have a love hate relationship with this toy. It is bright colored plastic, lights up and plays many different sounds and songs. My first thought when I initially turned it on was "could this give my baby a seizure?" So for weeks I had the sound and lights disabled. Eventually I enabled them. The piece with all the fun parts comes off, so you can place it on the floor and reattach it once your bub is ready for a walker.
Click through the image for the color of your choice.
Musical instruments make a classic gift and will get plenty of use! My son has the first five pictured below (click through the images for details) and has played with the others at classes and friends' homes. See my post on our festive and affordable first birthday party for more details on the instruments and how I found them.
If you prefer to gift a pre-assembled set of instruments, here are some great options:
Sassy Wonder Wheel
The Wonder Wheel is another toy that my group members recommended, especially for using on a high chair tray.
Building a child's library is so important. Check out my lists of recommended books for babies and for for toddlers. All of the books on these lists have remained in my son's regular rotation for years.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please check out my other guides, including my upcoming guide to gifts for 3-6 year olds and my guide to gifts for 1-3 year olds and moms! You can find all of my gift guides here. If I missed any great gift ideas, please let me know in the comments below!
Also be sure to follow along in my Facebook deals group, where I post deals on my favorite and popular products for the entire family.