Even though the bigger and better Christmas presents are usually the ones under the tree, I’ve always loved the tradition of stockings, and I enjoy stuffing others’ as much as I enjoy opening my own. There’s just something fun about small, individually-wrapped presents, as well as getting creative to find good gifts that will actually fit inside a large sock.
I’ve already purchased personalized stockings from an adorable Etsy shop for the family, so now I’m having fun thinking about what to put in them. Although I’m pretty much only thinking about the baby’s stocking, so my husband might just get some last-minute chocolate that I buy at the corner bodega the night before.
Here are my top 10 picks for baby’s first Christmas stocking:
(Note: these are affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase – more info at the bottom of this post.)
- Baby Einstein Take-Along Tunes – If you don’t already own this toy, it is a must-have. It’s small enough to stuff in a diaper bag or purse, so I pretty much take it everywhere with us. The music is not annoying or loud, so you can even get away with bringing it on an airplane without making your fellow passengers hate you. The handle also allows you to attach it to a stroller or car seat with the Baby Buddy Strap.
- The First Years Stacking Up Cups – This is the cheapest toy I’ve ever bought for my baby and it’s her favorite (of course, right?). It’s a surprisingly versatile toy – you can stack and unstack the cups, turn them upside-down and make a tower out of them, hide small objects underneath them, balance them on your head to make your baby laugh, introduce your baby to numbers (which are on the underside of each cup), and teach him/her colors (except for red, since they decided to do two yellow cups and no red cup, which I will never understand). Your baby will also enjoy banging them together or banging them on your head when you lean in for a kiss.
- Infantino Squeeze and Stack Block Set – Every baby needs a set of blocks! But not wooden blocks until they’re old enough to know not to use them as projectiles and to avoid toppling them over on their face. These are great, because they’re soft, squeezable, chewable, colorful (and yes, there is red, so you can fill in the gap that the stacking cups left), and small enough for little hands to grasp. Also small enough to fit inside a stocking if you take them out of the plastic case first (or just wrap a few and give the rest to your baby later).
- The First Years Toy Keys – This small set of plastic keys may not fool your baby, but will still be fun to wave around, clank together and chew on.
- Egg Shakers – If you’ve ever taken your baby to a music class, you’ve probably seen egg shakers like these, which seem to be a favorite among pretty much all babies. They make noise, they’re the perfect size for little hands to hold, and they’re too big to fit entirely in one’s mouth.
- Hohner 4 Piece Baby Band – You’ll probably have to take these out of the package to fit them into a stocking, but that’s even better: four toys to individually wrap instead of one! This set provides endless entertainment for my baby – she loves the various sounds the pieces make, as well as banging them together for an even broader range of sounds.
- Wooden Rhythm Sticks – Another favorite noise-maker in our household. These sticks are well-made and fun to bang together, chew, or bang on other objects. Paired with the stacking cups, you can pretend you’re in a drum band with your baby. (Note: I don’t typically leave them in the playpen with her if I’m not right there, because I want to make sure she doesn’t find a way to use them as a weapon on herself.)
- World of Eric Carle, Tiny Seed Clip-On Soft Book – This crinkly book has been a favorite since my baby was very young. One reviewer commented that it isn’t much of a story, which cracks me up – ummm that’s not really the point. It makes a fun noise, is colorful, can be clipped to a stroller or car seat, and is the perfect size for little hands.
- Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set – This is a nice set with balls of different sizes, shapes and textures. My baby especially loves the spiky yellow one, because it’s easy to grasp and fun to chew. You can wrap a couple of the smaller ones to stuff inside a stocking and then just give the rest to your baby later.
- Angel Dear Lovey – These little blankies by Angel Dear are adorable, super soft and come already rolled in the perfect size for a stocking stuffer. That means they’re also a great size for throwing in a diaper bag and bringing along for stroller naps, car rides or plane trips. And best of all, they machine wash very well and stay just as soft. We have two, in case one ever gets lost, and I just may need to buy a third for extra extra backup.
I hope your baby enjoys these small toys as much as mine does. If you have any other favorites that would be good for stocking stuffers, please feel free to add them in the comments – I’m always looking for more ideas!
The links contained in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I did not get any of these products for free in exchange for promotion, so they are truly my own personal recommendations.
Photo credit: Jaclyn Reeves, PrettiesPlease.