When we first got Samarah, we dealt with a lot of tummy issues with her. Mostly, once I was able to get her off the nasty formula and repair the “damage,” she was good to go. And by good to go, I mean she is my child with zero stomach issues. But I do have a child who has some pretty harsh gut issues, and after writing about it briefly HERE, many people reached out wanting to know more, what I am doing, etc. So I put together a toddler gut issues post for you – for any and all of you mamas out there who are currently just frozen, watching your babies in pain.
Next year my children’s holiday list is not likely to include babies, so I’ll just soak up all that it is this last year. For this year, I have put together 29 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers.
In case this is the first time you’ve visited my blog, we currently have a 1, 2, and 4-year-old so these are items appropriate for them.
By the way, these are in addition to the list I made last year – 57 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers. And from that list, the numbers I’m still super hot on this year are (#1 – but we need to order this ASAP, since it didn’t happen last year, #3 – for friends, #32, and #35 x 3 – we have one and it’s gross now – all 3 kids love these).
I did not do a separate list for Adoption and Faith this year, but from that list #4, #11, #12, #14, #15, #21, #22, and #23.
And finally, you could grab any of these ideas if you are helping with the Foster Children Christmas project.
For today….29 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers.
29 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
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- FREE idea! This one is 100% free, and I think everyone should do it for their children. Create an email address for them. On our 8th anniversary, I created an email address for Ryan. I told him I was doing it but said I wouldn’t give him the password to read the emails until our 9th anniversary. So, last week when we celebrated 9 years, I gave him the password. We both read through the emails and loved looking back on this past year. I am setting up a separate email for each of my children this holiday season. Ryan and I will both write to them, and when they are older, maybe 18 and graduating from high school, we will share the password with them to read everything.
- Kira Kids. Adorbs. Everything is made in the United States, and I swoon over all the things they have. We have the Taco Romper/PJ’s for Amiya, and she’s a trip in them!
- Beautycounter. Anything and everything, and the holiday season is the best time to dip your toes into all the awesome that is Beautycounter if you haven’t yet. If you’re not sure what you/they might want, grab a gift card (email me sarah at sarahkayhoffman.com and I’ll get one custom made for you). A few items on my Holiday hot list for the kids include….p.s. I have Beautycounter things on my health and wellness list coming this week, too, but I will say that if you are interested in the holiday sets, don’t wait. They are selling out quickly!
- Splish Splash Kids Set. The set comes with body wash, shampoo and conditioner, and the entire set packaged in a gift box. (It’s only November 8, and this original set already sold out. It’s back now, but who knows how long it will stay.)
- Better Baby Care Set. This set is estimated to ship on November 14th, and it’s another one I’m guessing could sell out, too. This set comes with a baby gentle all-over wash, baby soothing oil, and a baby daily protective balm. It comes packaged in a gift box.
- Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream. The perfect stocking stuffer that every mama needs to carry in the diaper bag. It contains a non-nano zinc oxide to help reduce and prevent redness, a gentle formula, perfect for sensitive skin, is soy and nut-free, and is safe to use with cloth diapers.
- Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30. Another great stocking stuffer! It’s a lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, with is an effective mineral sunblocker. It blends seamlessly into skin without leaving white streaks, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. Aloe helps hydrate skin while antioxidant-rich blood orange extracts fight free radicals.
- Wooden Car Tracks. Isaiah (2 years) is into all the vehicle toys and making them go, go, go while making sounds. I love the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Set.
- Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Thomas.
- Organic Manuka Honey Pops. Is it just mine, or do your kids love lollipops, too? You’ll notice that I don’t have a separate Stocking Stuffers list this year (like this one from last year), but these would be the perfect stocking stuffer for children (not babies). These lollipops are available in kid-friendly raspberry, orange, grape or a variety pack, and they contain +100% RDA Vitamin C for kids, without the use of any artificial colors or flavors.
- Cardboard Furniture. I started reading about how popular this was, and I couldn’t wrap my hands around it until I started researching more. Now that I understand, I’d love something for the kids. It’s eco-friendly and cute. Besides, how often have you bought something in a large cardboard box for the kids, only to have them more interested in the cardboard box than the item inside that box? This could be a DIY holiday gift and/or one you purchase.
- Handmade Dollhouse. I don’t actually have a specific one in mind, but this idea is for the girls and inspired by this. While growing up, we had a tiny playhouse like this at my Grandma Verna’s (nowhere near as fancy, but lovely nonetheless). That would be on our bucket list, but in the meantime, I’d love a larger handmade (inside the house) dollhouse.
- Earth Mama Organics Mini Deodorant 4-Pack. No, your babies and toddlers should not use this, but I put this on the babies and toddlers list because when I refer to Earth Mama, it’s almost always for the babies and toddlers. This time, though, it’s for YOU…..but small enough to put inside their diaper bag. Earth Mama’s mini deodorants are travel-savvy and squee-cute. Pop one in your purse, the diaper bag, your gym bag or stuff ‘em in stockings with a falala – they are just that good.
- Firetruck Pajamas. 4T for Isaiah.
- Garbage, Fire, Dump Truck set. Can you tell what Isaiah is currently into?
- Hurley Hippo Bath Toy Organizer.
- Kid’s Silk Pillowcase. Good Hair needs the best pillowcase possible. Samarah needs one immediately, and the other two will need them soon, too. (Side note: If any mamas out there have a recommendation on the best pillow/brand for this, let me know!)
- Microfiber Hair Towel. Our beautiful girls also need special hair towels.
- Tiny Crane Bath Toys. They have so many cute, fun, cozy, and safe bath toys.
- Bugs in Jar. Samarah and Isaiah would love this. It’s on the “Hot Toys List” this year.
- Princess Tiana. It’s Samarah’s favorite Disney princess, and I want to celebrate her love for Tiana. I love the Toddler Doll (you can also find this same doll in all the other Disney princesses), and the Disney Princess and Me Dress.
- Schylling Little Helper Broom Set. Why do kids love to clean so much? And will they still when they are teenagers?!
- LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart. My kids are always “making ice cream cones” with whatever they can find, and I love this learning set around the activity.
- Stacking Cups. A long time ago (still sometimes now) Isaiah’s teacher had him stack cups as high as he could. He stayed focused on it for a long time, and I loved watching him go, build, go. I’d love these for Maya.
- Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby (the African American one + all others can be found here). Samarah has entered Motherhood, and she would absolutely love this. What little girl (or boy – Isaiah loves playing with them, too!) doesn’t?!
- Sensory Balls. Give us all the sensory toys.
- Wooden Learning Toys. I love toys like these for the kids. I’d choose wood over plastic any day of the week.
- Child’s Own. Take your child’s drawing of a person or thing, and watch it brought to life. This concept is super cool. I think my kids are still too young for it, but if yours are a little older, you must check it out.
- Peppa Pig. I’m not sure how much longer Samarah will stay on the Peppa train (I might outlast her!), but now Isaiah and Amiya love it, so we’ll be hanging out with Peppa and family for quite some time yet. I’d love Peppa’s Bedtime book, the Castle Playset, school bus, George’s New Dinosaur (book), and George’s Train Ride Construction Set (Isaiah would love this). Is it apparent yet that we’re Peppa Pig fans?!
- Paw Patrol Racers. And Paw Patrol is their other current favorite.
So there you have it…..my list of 29 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers. What’s on your list?
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Her favorite Disney Princess is not Cinderella, Belle or Elsa (though she does love them, too).
Samarah has had the 5-Minute Princess Stories book for quite some time now. Not too long ago, we started reading it to her each night before bed. The first night we read the first story, and then we were going to go in order, reading story by story.
Until one night, she pointed to the upper left-hand corner and said, “I want that one.” Ryan read it to her, and then told me about it. We brushed it off. Samarah knows what she wants – always – so we figured she just wanted to choose the story of the night.
The next night she repeated the process, wanting that same story read. He asked her why, and she smiled saying, “I don’t know. I like that story.”
The next few times I read her the book, and each time we picked it up, she pointed to the same princess (for those who don’t know, it’s Princess Tiana).
And then one night about two weeks ago, I decided I was going to press her on it so I could understand why she loved Princess Tiana so much.
Her Favorite Disney Princess
“Samarah, what story would you like to read tonight,” I asked.
“That one, mama,” she replied as she pointed to Princess Tiana.
“But why, Samarah? There are so many Princesses in the book. Do you think we could read a different one tonight?” I asked.
“No, mama. I just love her.”
“What do you love about her, Samarah? Can you tell me?”
She got quiet. She pulled back some. Her shoulders shrugged upwards, and her entire demeanor got quiet, shy, and even a little giggly simultaneously.
So I asked, “Do you think she is pretty?”
“Yes, mama. I love her. And her skin is like mine, and her dress is green and that’s your favorite color.”
“Sam…..is that what it is? Do you love her because she also has beautiful skin like our Princess Samarah?”
“Yes, mama. Yes, I just love her. She is beautiful.”
We continued on, and I kept telling her that Princess Tiana is beautiful – that all the Princesses are beautiful – and that she never had to feel afraid for thinking her skin, like Princess Tiana’s skin, is beautiful.
She said that I looked like Belle and that we could both be Princesses. Oh my heart, my sweet Samarah.
I See Skin Color
Samarah and I had a Color Conversation back in August, and I feel like four is when children really start to see it.
In so many ways, I feel guilty for past ideas that “I don’t see their color, only that I love them.” My intentions were never rooted in anything but love (as I described in that post), but Samarah is helping me see that yes, yes, yes, yes I do see color. She sees color. We all see color and acknowledging it is so important.
I still believe (because it’s fact), and will always tell my children, that when we bleed it’s all red, but to tell them or act like I only see “one” color is to show them that that color is, almost certainly, White. If I looked at the cover of Samarah’s Princess book and said, “Nope. I don’t see color. They are all the same,” that would be like me telling her, “There are five beautiful Princesses. One is Black, but she just sort of meshes with the White ones and so all I see are five beautiful White Princesses.”
I never want my children to feel blush embarrassed (how Samarah first reacted) by their love for a Prince or Princess or whoever else because they can identify.
I do see the color of Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya (and even their coloring is different from child-to-child), and I think they are the most beautiful babies I ever laid eyes on.
Her favorite Disney Princess (at least currently) is the one she most identifies with……the one with beautiful, dark skin like hers and a green dress (because green is mama’s favorite color).
p.s. This whole thing has me really thinking about the way we have been programmed (since birth) to think of beauty. I don’t believe classics like Annie should be replaced with a different colored Annie (just let the beautiful little redhead keep her spotlighted fame!). Instead, I wish that new movies for children would be as abundant with different colored children as they are with the White, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Princess. A different topic for a different day.