Now that my girls have bounced beyond the baby/toddler phase, I’m finding the holiday gift game for young families falls into one of two categories:
- Buy everything marketed for babies & toddlers at least 100 times and then wonder why the heck the littles aren’t interested in opening past 1 or 2 gifts, OR
- Get smart from the get-go and shop rationally, happily and stress-free… because toddlers aren’t as hard to please as we think they are.
I mean, let’s just say the first few Christmases with my daughters had my husband and I looking at each other saying, “We should’ve just given them empty boxes to open and play with.” (#truth!) Throwback here for KICKS, baby (or, I should say… BABIESSSSSS).
Because I’ve been-there-done-that, this year my FAB Mom holiday gift guide for new and young families aims to keep us focused on stuff we’ll actually use and enjoy… instead of just getting extra of extra. You know? My gifting philosophy for the littlest of kids (heck, for all kids) is this:
Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, Something to read.
How fabulous is that?! (I wish I could take credit for making it up.) Because if we set the standard to be semi-rational at Christmas, then it’s not so hard to pull back years later when those babies are suddenly asking for 10,000 gifts. A few quickie gift ideas & inspo for this season below… all these available online.
(And! Scroll below the vid & check the links & crazy White Elephant Gift Service contest from Zulily happening in LA on Wednesday & Thursday December 5 & 6… you too could end up with one of these fabulous bubble wrap suits at your doorstep…)
Something you WANT:
Kids want… toys! But wait: Instead of hitting up the usual chaotic stores that everyone runs to when we think of toys, avoid the rush and shop at incognito toy stores. Burlington has more toys than ever before at 65% off other retailers’ prices: LOL merch (so hot right now), Hatchimals (kids are still obsessed), unicorn-everything (how did we live without everywhere them a few years ago?!). All the trendy action character toys too — Minecraft, Marvel & more (oh my!). And, don’t forget to mix things up with old-school games… Santa LOVES bringing my kids old-school games… you know, because he’s old-fashioned like that. (Free shipping on orders $25 or more… if you get on it right now!)
New moms want… themselves back! Surprise a new mom with a monthly beauty box packed with full-size luxury items (always a hit). BoxyCharm is online beauty subscription box service that surprises us each month with full-size luxury
Something you NEED:
For soon-to-be or new parents, just get ’em something from their baby registry. (Namely, a stroller that’s chic & affordable.) Safety 1st’s RIVA Flex 6-in-1 Travel System is made with recycled materials (including it’s own recycled car seats). The whole thing comes with a car seat (carrying up to 35lbs), a base, a stroller lounger that doubles as a bassinet or toddler chair. The system grows with baby, has 6 modes to stroll (front/rear facing), isn’t complicated to set up (I tried it myself), features a one-hand, self-standing lift-to-fold function and has sleek color schemes & easy-to-clean machine-washable materials. The toddler chair can safely cart around a child up to 50lbs (technically, my 6 year old can still ride in this). AND, it’s less than $300 at Target.com (not available in stores, only online).
Something to WEAR:
New babies live in bodysuits. Done. Gerber Brand Essentials Collection are brand new and made with organic cotton (safe for baby’s sensitive skin). Super-cute safari or bunnies (for spring!), hats, booties, bodysuits and hooded bath towels… and everything is under $15. This new collection only available at Walmart.
For wild & wacky gag gifts, Zulily has gone above and beyond for White Elephant possibilities this year… all under $25! (We already know Zulily for their daily, 72-hour sales…) Get the goofy new dad a hairy belly fanny-pack, This-Guy-Needs-A-Beer socks (because he probably does) or a full-on plastic bubble wrap suit for the littles to have some fun with (because babies spit up and do all sorts of things that makes having plastic suit handy — and yes, my husband & girls got a kick out of testing this out). Download the app for more hilarious surprises. AND, WIN! On December 5 & 6 (Wed & Thurs), us Los Angelenos can enter to win a free surprise gift delivered to our door within 2 hours just by tweeting @zulily with the hashtag #zulilygiftsweepstakes + the elephant emoji. Bam! Maybe you’ll soon find a plastic bubble wrap suit on your doorstep???
Something to READ:
Noooooooooo, this isn’t boring!?!?! Listen (and I may get preachy here) — I’ve been reading to my girls since they were babies. Every. Single. Night. We LOVE books. They LOVE books. Sincerely. GET BABIES & TODDLERS BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY GIFTS!!!! (Told you I might get preachy. Deal.) Ready-to-Read (published by Simon Spotlight, a division of Simon & Schuster) offers leveled books vetted by educational experts via nonfiction and kids’ favorite characters. Recommended for ages 4-10, more at ReadytoRead.com.
For first time expecting moms, my book (yes, MY book) is IT. The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby is the book I wish someone had written for me to read during my first pregnancy when I was totally freaked out about the impending lifestyle change that is motherhood. I packed with my own stories, advice, tips from celebrities & experts and real-life experiences that helped other moms stay focused after baby (f-a-b, see?). On Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. Check out fabulous reviews & celebrity endorsements…