9 must-buy holiday gifts for baby

by Laura Sussely-Pope

baby gifts 2012Babies are just a spectacular group of people -- eager to learn, easy to please and too precious not to love!

But with all that awesomeness comes a little difficulty in choosing appropriate gifts.

They grow so fast that first year that finding the right time for the right toy can be so frustrating! Add to that any and all safety concerns!

We've decided to take care of that worry for you! Here's our list of 9 must-buy toys that we feel are perfect for baby this holiday season!

Toys any baby will love

Rattles

Shake! Shake! Shake! That sound will catch your baby's attention faster than Mom’s voice! For the newborn set, a soft rattle in basic colors will catch their attention the most. As they grow and their hand control grows along with them, you can shop for one a little brighter and sturdier.

Mobiles

Babies spend a lot of time horizontal. Without being able to shift their weight or vision around, a toy that stays in their line of sight is almost a necessity! When younger, babies prefer contrasts like black and white. As they grow and their eyesight matures colors will take center stage. When they can sit up they will love reaching up towards the dangling items, stretching and cooing all the way!

A Lovey

Soft, cuddly and warm, lovies are always appreciated. They can be a stuffed animal, blanket, or anything else your baby attaches to and makes them feel comfortable. A lovey helps them feel secure and will remain a friend throughout their toddler and preschool years.

Teething toys

Some you can chill, some just chill in your baby's hands. When looking for the right one remember to keep safety a priority! Never give a baby anything with a crack, tear or small pieces!

Music

It soothes, intrigues, and helps the brain develop. Giving music as a gift can come in just about any form! CD's, DVD's, MP3's or even a musical toy! For the younger babies select quiet and calm lullabies. As baby grows you can step up the beat and add in some fun hand signals too!

Books

Tiny one's love to hear their parents voices as you read to them. Once development of the eyes gets on its way pictures become clearer and books take on a life of their own! Later on they can be one of the best chew toys there is!

Bath toys

No bath is complete without a soft, chewy rubbery duck! When baby finally starts to realize that bath time can be playtime too, a few soft bath toys can make it a magical time!

Puppets

What could be cooler than their lovies coming to life and talking? Puppets are a great way to stimulate your baby and bring out those first smiles. Quiet coos and snuggles can translate into full on performances!

Blocks

The best part about blocks are that they come in nearly every shape, size and softness you can imagine. Softer will be best for the tiny baby and you can add more solid ones to the collection as they grow. Once they are sitting up they will put much effort into stacking and of course, knocking them down!

What's on your holiday shopping list? Tell us in the comments!

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.