Skip these toys this holiday season

Now that the turkey has disappeared from your fridge and your Christmas tree or menorah is set up in anticipation for December, it may be time to start thinking about holiday gifts for your little ones.

When shopping for young children, especially infants, sometimes it's best to go with common sense rather than what looks like the most fun. One of the biggest concerns with toys for infants going through baby development is that small parts can potentially be swallowed.

For instance, while toy cars and plastic robots are favorites (maybe more for a parent if the child is really young), they often contain tiny parts, so you may want to hold off until your son or daughter is a little older.

Dangerous toys are still on the shelves
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recently released their annual Trouble in Toyland report, in which they point out key toys to avoid for babies. Just because they're dangerous doesn't mean that they aren't sold in toy stores all over the country.

"We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that's the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys," said Nasima Hossain, public health advocate for U.S. PIRG.

Not only do toys often have small parts that can be choked on, but some contain traces of lead and phthalates, and some that make noise may exceed recommended noise standards and raise risk to a baby's hearing.

With that being said, some toys that you should leave on the shelves include the "Dora the Explorer" backpack by Global Design Concepts, which contains phthalates, "Super Play Food Set" by Geoffrey LLC, which has small parts that look like real food and "Car Wheel/Horn" by Toy State, which has a decibel level above 80.

Go for simplicity
Instead, opt for simpler gifts, such as cute teethers and Baby Einstein products, such as the "Musical Motion Activity Jumper." This jumper, or any jumper, is the perfect gift for an infant who is somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. Not to mention, all that bouncing will definitely tire him or her out!

What have your holiday shopping experiences for infants been like? Do you have any good gift recommendations for our readers? Leave your answers in the comments section!