There’s a fresh crop of babies in my friends and family, so I’ve been buying lots of baby presents and thinking about the baby and toddler items that have had the most staying power in my own house. Most of these are products that I hadn’t known about or at least thought about before having a kid of my own, and I’ve noticed that they haven’t appeared on my friends’ baby registries either, so they make for good presents.
- Child-sized metal flatware: we’ve had a variety of brands of plastic, plastic-handled metal, and silicone-covered metal baby spoons and forks, but the plastic ones just frustrate my daughter and she chewed through the silicone. The ones I’ve found that work best are the metal ones from my childhood and also a six-piece set of multi-stage flatware made by Oneida.
- Lift-the-flap books: lift-the-flap books get so beat up the first time around that they’re also a good present for a second or third child. Some favorites in our house are Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, and a series of chunky, square DK board books with titles like Baby Baa Baa, Baby Bathtime, Baby Colors, etc.
- Wet bag: these washable waterproof zippered bags are standard fare for cloth diapering families, but they’re a really handy thing to have in any diaper bag. I have two sizes of Bummis wet bags, and they’re great.
- Flannel crib sheets: most crib sheets are cotton percale or jersey, but flannel ones are harder to find. We have two from Garnet Hill.
- Lap pads: these are waterproof flannel pads that you can put on a changing table, so when the baby inevitably pees in the middle of a diaper change, you only have to wash this, not the changing pad cover. We have a few brands, but I like these Carter’s ones the best.
- Booster seat: we never used a high chair and just used this Fisher Price booster seat that straps onto a chair. It’s nice having our daughter right there at the table, and we take it with us when we travel. My mother-in-law was given one as a gift, too.
- Kid-sized water bottle: I think with our next kid, I’ll skip the sippy cups and just use these. My daughter prefers a water bottle, and the stainless steel ones are a lot more durable than plastic sippies. I like the kleen kanteen ones.
- Long-sleeved bibs: seriously.