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The holiday season is upon us, and either you’re just beginning your shopping, are done your shopping, or maybe you’re the “wait until Christmas Eve to start” kinda person – but one thing’s for sure – deciding what to buy for your kids, especially before they’re able to tell you what they want, is not always easy. There are so many options out there and we can’t just buy them everything!
Let’s round-up some of my favorite books, toys, clothes, and of course, some feeding-related gifts too for this 2022 Holiday gift guide! I’m also going to share my favorite gift ideas for new parents and some specific ideas for moms too (I think you deserve a little extra spoiling, but as a mom I’m a bit biased about that).
Now, I also want to take a moment to say that I love giving the gift of experiences! Coupon books of their favorite activities they can cash in anytime, a season pass to the zoo, dance lessons, etc. These aren’t gifts that will take up a lot of space under the tree (or that I can really add to a 2022 Holiday gift guide), but they’re just as special and can lead to year-long enjoyment!
I’m telling you, your baby is not going to remember how many presents were under the tree, even your toddlers won’t pick up on this, but they will remember how much fun they had going to the beach or zoo with you.
They’ll also remember the toys that bring hours and hours of entertainment, like The Joey from Roo and You. From fort building to obstacle courses, slides and towers. This would be a staple “toy” from their childhood that will be at the center of many of their core memories – worth investing in, in my opinion (find it in the gift guide later on)!
Holiday season reminder
I also want to acknowledge that times are hard right now. Inflation, the pandemic, it can feel like one thing after another, and I know that a lot of families are struggling. So maybe your Christmas budget isn’t what it normally would be. That’s okay! I truly believe that our kids appreciate Christmas for the magic and joy of the season. Plus, I’ve included lots of ideas in this 2022 Holiday gift guide, at various price points, so choose what works for you at this time.
I’ve included an easy-to-spot ranking system for the price of each item. One dollar sign ($) means the gift is under $100, two ($$) means it’s between $100 and $200, and three ($$$) means it’s over $200. Skip past whatever doesn’t fit in your budget – no guilt required (and certainly no judgement, do what works for you!).
Tips for Gifting without the mountain of toys
If you need a tip for staying within a budget this year, or are just sick of the never-ending clutter from toys (that only get played with a handful of times before they’re forgotten about) try the “want, wear, need, read” idea. I’m not sure exactly where it started, but this is the jist….
- Get them something they… want
- Something to… wear
- Something they… need
- And something to… read
That’s it! Easy as pie! Four gifts, something to check off every category and call it a day.
Honestly, kids (particularly babies and young toddlers) can become easily overwhelmed by a huge stack of presents on Christmas. It’s a lot for them to take in. The noises from excitement and unwrapping, the visual stimulation of looking at all of those gifts with bows and shiny paper… it’s A LOT!
Babies and toddlers can become easily exhausted by it all, PLUS – usually the wrapping paper and boxes are what steal the show as the best gifts anyway! So, what I’m saying is that if you can only afford (or want) to get your baby or toddler a couple of presents from the 2022 Holiday gift guide this year, don’t stress, don’t feel guilt – that’s just enough for them!
That said, let’s jump right into my top choices for the best gifts this holiday season! Let’s go from oldest to youngest (moms have to be first some of the time!).
BEST GIFT Ideas FOR MOMS
My husband always says that I’m difficult to buy for, I disagree. But nevertheless, if that’s you too, send the link to this 2022 Holiday gift guide to your partner to casually drop some hints for this year!
DIY Breastmilk Jewelry by Milk + Honey ($$)
*paid promotion by Milk & Honey*
Ok, this is really cool! When I saw this kit from Milk and Honey, I needed to learn more! You can use this kit with breastmilk or formula to make up to 14 pieces of jewelry to commemorate those moments of bonding and feeding with your baby. Something so incredibly special, and customizable so they can make the jewelry to suit their individual style. (And if DIYs aren’t their thing, go for a gift card or pick out a piece of handmade jewelry – they’re gorgeous!).
Itzy Ritzy Mini Diaper Bag Backpack ($)
Personal Shopping Experience ($$$)
Love the versatility of this bag! Neutral to go with whatever you wear, and durable because that’s a necessity when dealing with kids. I love the mini option because many moms have a big-fits-everything diaper bag, but it’s really not always needed. For quick trips, and especially as your baby gets older, having a cute mini-bag like this one will carry everything you need without being too cumbersome to wrangle your toddler.
This is a really fun one – get her the gift of a personal shopping experience! Many moms struggle with not feeling like themselves, or with dressing their postpartum bodies. Having the experience of a stylist doing this for them is so much fun and a huge confidence boost! I personally love the team over at Charly Goss Style Inc. and they offer both virtual and in-person shopping options.
24 Hours of Freedom…I Mean Relaxation ($$$)
Give her the gift of a good night’s sleep, a meal at a restaurant with no kid’s menu (or room service), and maybe even a spa treatment (the ultimate luxury gift). The main gift here is that you’re recognizing that she needs a break – and that she deserves one. It doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation, just a night at a local, or nearby, hotel. 24 hours kid-free! Let her hit the refresh button and you take care of things at home.
New Robe and Slippers ($-$$)
These are the perfect present for moms to get cozy and feel really pampered with. Great for staying comfy on Christmas morning, or for lounging around on weekends. A must-have for every mom! Your price point will vary on this depending on where you buy, but we like these Amazon options below.
For the mom that loves to relax with a good book – pair it with their fave bottle of wine (if they drink) and they have all they need for a relaxing night when the kids are in bed. And, to show just how well you know them, fill it up with some books by their favorite authors – you get this right and they’ll be floored by how thoughtful this gift is! Great idea for any voracious readers on your list, actually!
BEST GIFTS FOR NEW PARENTS
Maybe you have a sibling or close friend that recently had a baby. Instead of just showering them with baby gifts, find something special that shows you’re noticing the season of life they’re in now, you’re there to support them, and that they still matter too.
My Little Eater Baby Led Feeding Course ($)
Hello Fresh Subscription ($)
Of course we had to include this! Feeding is one of those milestones that gives parents a lot of anxiety. That’s why we offer our courses as gifts! Yes, it’s not really traditional but you’re setting them up for success with feeding, and helping them be able to enjoy a really fun milestone with their new baby while feeling confident instead of stressing over it. And what better gift is there than that?
Shop the course as a gift here.
Another non-traditional idea, but parents love anything that makes their hectic day-to-day schedule a whole lot easier! If you can gift them a food delivery option for a week or two, so that ready-to-prepare recipes just show up at their door, you’ll be taking a huge load off their shoulders.
Little Z’s Sleep Course
Local Cleaning Service ($-$$)
Why not treat a parent in your life to the gift of sleep? Seriously, Becca from Little Z’s Sleep is so amazing, and if you know someone struggling with this, she’s wonderful to work with! I would suggest making sure they’re the sleep training type before gifting one of her courses, but you know your friends and family best.
Shop the courses here.
I feel like this is a no-brainer for a new parent – the gift of a clean house. No one wants to be worrying about dusting or vacuuming the house when there’s a new baby to snuggle! Get them a coupon or gift voucher, something they can redeem when they’re having a particularly difficult week(s).
BEST GIFTS FOR TODDLERS
I know every toddler has different likes and interests, so for the 2022 Holiday gift guide, I wanted to stick to the main categories of want, need, wear, and read.
What toddlers want:
The Joey from Roo and You ($$$)
Crayons or Coloring Supplies ($)
This is the gift that every toddler wants, and they don’t even know that they want it! It’s also what every parent wants, and I’ll explain why. The Joey is a play couch; it provides children with hours and hours of entertainment. Allowing them to exercise both their physical and creative muscles, so to speak. From building forts and castles, to slides and towers. Your children will be entertained (without you – see how it’s good for parents too), and they’ll burn some energy – that’s a win-win.
Shop the Joey here.
Again, they may not know to ask for this, but trust me, it belongs in the want category! I’ve never seen a toddler that isn’t fascinated by toys that mimic regular adult tasks. They just love watching what we do, and doing it themselves! Now, this could definitely be found at various price points, so it’s up to you as to how much you want to spend. But this doesn’t need to be fancy, there are some cute options at IKEA (as shown above) that will do just fine, while keeping your budget in mind.
This is also a great opportunity to support local small businesses – you can usually find a business on Etsy that can build and customize these types of toys.
Indoor Swing (3+ years) ($)
Little Tikes Trampoline ($$)
Much like the Joey, we’re looking at hours of uninterrupted alone time here while your child entertains themselves. This looks so incredibly fun! Most likely needs to be used with close supervision for a toddler, but preschoolers and older school-aged children would enjoy this too! They can even cuddle up in it and read a book.
GIFTS TODDLERS NEED:
Construction, Dinosaur, or Garden Fairy Plate and Utensil Sets ($)
Of course I’m going to pick some feeding accessories for this blog! The Holidays don’t always have to be about toys – choosing a set like this one means that you’re getting something functional, useful to have, AND they won’t even realize that because it’s so much fun too! Perfect for bringing some food play into everyday meals with a picky eater.
These are one of our favorite water bottles! Easy to clean, spill-proof, and keeps their drink cold. PLUS, they’ll love it because you can get almost any character on it. From Elsa to Paw Patrol to Peppa Pig – I’ve seen so many options! A great gift idea to go with their eating set, or fits perfectly in a stocking as well.
GIFTS FOR TODDLERS TO Wear:
My favorite place to buy kids’ pajamas! Comfy, fit true to size, and come in various licensed designs. With multiple Disney and Marvel options you’re sure to be able to find something your toddler will be excited about. They also have great Holiday print options for Christmas morning! This is a Holiday tradition for us, my boys love getting these every year, and kind of expect them at this point!
My Project Director also uses pajamas in her Christmas Eve box for her girls. They get to open this one present on Christmas Eve and always get a pair of Christmas pajamas, a snack, and a Christmas themed story to read before bed – so cute!
This is another store that carries a lot of licensed options your kiddos will love! I especially like to grab winter hats and mitts, or underwear and socks from here. The price is right and I could always find my kids’ favorite characters on these when they were younger. Hint: If you have a Paw Patrol loving kiddo – you need to check out their selection!
BOOKS FOR YOUR TODDLER TO Read:
So I want to start this by saying that I am by no means an expert in what books will help with development, or what themes to look for in kids’ books. These are just some of the books that the parents at My Little Eater enjoy, and said are very popular with their littles.
If you are looking for expert recommendations on books, here are a few of the accounts I love!
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont ($)
Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Paris Rosenthal/Dear Boy, by Paris Rosenthal & Jason Rosenthal ($)
I LOVE this book for all kids! Such an incredibly important message, with fun and creative images. It’s available in a board book or a picture book, so you can purchase whichever format is best depending on the age of your toddler. But it’s a great one to read to your baby too – never too early to teach them this message!
I Am Enough by Grace Byers ($)
You Matter by Christian Robinson ($)
BEST GIFTS FOR BABIES
Again, I’m going to show you some of my favorite picks for each category of want, need, wear, read, because the possibilities are endless and this should give you some good ideas to fill your list, or at the very least, get you started!
WHAT BABIES Want:
A great idea for developing fine and gross motor skills is a busy board! I’ve seen a lot of people make these themselves with different things from the hardware store, think of various types of locks, doorknobs, etc. However, if that’s not your idea of a fun time – this one is really cool too! It can be folded up to travel, and is perfect for your baby (or toddler) to help teach them new skills like tying their shoes or zipping up coats.
GIFTS BABIES Need:
Oxo Tot Stick and Stay Bowl ($)
Lovevery Play Kit
These are really wonderful subscription play kits. They’re delivered every 2-3 months, and are tailored to your baby or toddler based on their age. They also have some wonderful toys available on their site too!
For me, this is a need because they aren’t just for playing, they teach your babies and toddlers SO much too, which is why I really feel they’re a must-have.
I wanted to provide you with an example of all the things they add to these boxes (because it’s a lot!). I looked at “The Senser Play Kit” for ages 5-6 months, which includes things like: a spinning rainbow, magic tissues and box, play socks, a rainbow ball, and more! They also include a play guide for that age range.
Stokke High Chair
Babies are messy!! There’s no way around it – it’s going to happen. Might as well manage it with a full coverage bib like this one! It should fit up to 3 years old, perfect for toddlers too, and doubles up as an art smock for any crafty projects you might get into over the Holidays!
Find it on amazon.ca or amazon.com – and their website ships internationally as well. If you buy straight from Bibado you can use one of my codes to save you a bit of money! Use code MYLITTLEEATER at checkout for 10% off, or code MLEBOGO for 50% off one of two items purchased!
If you’re getting ready to start solids, or even if you’ve already started, the Holidays is the perfect time to grab a new high chair for your baby. We really love this option because it has all the features we look for, plus it grows with your child and can be used up to approximately 200 lbs. It is a bit pricier, but maybe you could get all the grandparents to split it!
GIFTS FOR BABIES TO Wear:
Parade Zipper Rompers ($)
Little Navy Sleepwear
This is a Canadian company with adorable sleepwear and blankets, perfect for babies this holiday season. You can even get them personalized with their name which is just the cutest!
Shop the selection here.
BOOKS FOR BABIES TO Read:
As I mentioned above, these are just a few of the favorites from the My Little Eater family, and great options for younger babies. They’re shorter, fun, and have bright, colorful pictures, perfect for the developing minds of little ones. And for books, you can buy brand new or check out local thrift stores to see what gems you can find there too!
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera ($)
The Indestructibles Collection – “Baby Faces: a Book of Happy, Silly, Funny Faces” by Kate Merritt ($)
The “That's Not My…” Series from Usborne Books ($)
Tails by Matthew Van Fleet ($)
These are a huge hit with most babies and toddlers because they include different textures for your child to feel as they read. It’s a great way to stimulate their senses. With newborns and young infants, if you read to them, you can move their hands over the different textures so they can feel what soft, fuzzy, hairy, rough, etc. feels like.
BEST STOCKING STUFFERS FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS
Let’s wrap up this 2022 Holiday gift guide with some stocking stuffer ideas! If you’re looking for ideas to help round out the endless chocolate and candy cane supply that’s usually taking up space in your child’s stocking, look no further. I’ve got you covered!
Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers
Again, going with the theme of making ordinary, simple gifts fun for kids by putting their favorite character on it! Grab a set of Frozen, Paw Patrol, Encanto, or Spiderman forks and spoons and they’ll actually be excited to come to the table to eat with them.
Socks and Underwear
Melissa and Doug Crafts ($)
Are you even a parent if you don’t do this? Tell me my kids aren’t the only ones to get some necessary replacements in their stocking?
There’s so many places to grab these, and it’s really probably personal preference, but Gap and H&M have really cute options for young kids, as well as Amazon of course.
If it says Melissa and Doug on it, I’m sold. Seriously, so many good options for imaginative play. From puzzles to sticker books to paint your own monster truck – I really think they’ve thought of everything.
Stocking Stuffers for Babies
Amara Yogurt Bites
Since babies really can’t safely eat chocolate bars or candy canes (and we try to avoid sugar until age 2 when possible as well), giving them some baby specific products as a “treat” is really fun for stockings. These yogurt bites are a great option and safe from 6 months and up.
Ready, Set, Food Oatmeal ($)
Is it odd to put oatmeal in a stocking? For an adult, yes probably. For a baby? No, not really. I know we want to give them all the special, wonderful, memorable things, but here’s the thing, your baby won’t remember. Now is the time to give them some practical things before they get old enough to say “That’s not a present!”.
Ready, Set, Food has been something I’ve recommended for allergen introduction for a while, and now they have oatmeal options as well.
Personalized Name Puzzle ($)
Babies need an open cup for when they’re ready to start solids, and it fits perfectly in a stocking! These are one of my favorites. They’re the perfect size for baby, easy to hold due to the ridged pattern, and made of food grade silicone, which is one of my recommendations when buying for babies and toddlers (to avoid plastic when possible).
That’s all for my 2022 Holiday gift guide! Truly an ultimate guide for Holiday shopping for your baby, toddler, and any new parents in your life. Find even more of my top choices in the Best 2022 Holiday Gift Guide section of my Amazon stores.
Hope you find something for everyone on your list and that this season is filled with holiday cheer for you and your family – Happy Holidays!!