Posted by on Nov 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Welcome to the First Annual Phase Three of Life Holiday Gift-Giving Guide!

(Exciting, isn’t it?)

Two things to note before we get started:

1. I only give advice on things I really know. I know pregnancy, infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Anything older, you’re on your own.

2. I am hosting my first-ever GIVEAWAY, courtesy of a couple of my all-time favorite Etsy shops. That happens tomorrow in my “Part II” post. Stay tuned.

Ok, shall we begin?

For the expectant parents 


Babyprints Photo Frame

Hands down, one of my favorite gifts we received right before Ryan was born. Maybe it’s because I was a new parent, but it never occurred to me to get something ahead of time to capture the traditional ink handprint and footprint.

For the newborn


Baby Einstein Octoplush

We bought this guy while I was pregnant. He became our “changing table toy,” which means Ryan only got to play with him when it was diaper time. He was often (mostly … sometimes) enough to keep Ryan occupied and happy while we changed him. He is now my go-to gift to send after the baby is born. Practically everyone else sends clothes, so it’s fun to be the person who sends a toy.

For the one-year-old


Block Train

This is one of those extra-bang-for-your-buck gifts. Ryan got a version of this when he was a year old; he loved it immediately and still plays with it sometimes. It’s colorful and cute, so when Ryan isn’t playing with it, it actually doubles as decor. (How many toys can you say that about?) We had it in front of our fireplace in Phoenix and we have it on Ryan’s dresser now.

For the two-year-old

Nesting Boxes

Nesting Boxes

Ryan got something similar to these as a gift from his godparents a few months before he turned two years old. He stacked them, knocked them down, put them on his head, and nested them back together; over and over until they were falling apart. Then we taped them back together and he played with them for another six months. Our godson is getting them for Christmas this year (ahem, pretend you didn’t see this, Tay).

For the three-year-old

Ravensburger Floor Puzzle

Ravensburger Floor Puzzle

These giant-piece floor puzzles are so cool. Ryan got his first one when he was two-and-a-half years old; he now has three of them and will get a couple more this Christmas. He loves the large, easy-to-connect pieces and is always very proud of himself when he completes it. This year, one of my nieces and one friend’s kid will be getting version of this puzzle. I was tempted to buy one for every kid on my list; I love them that much.

What are your favorite gifts  to give and/or receive for young children? Leave a comment and add your suggestions to this list.

(And did I mention I’m doing a GIVEAWAY tomorrow??)