When it comes to getting gifts, looking for age-appropriate ones can be pretty nerve-wrecking.
Besides toys, there are still…. TOYS! Not that the kids will say ‘no’ to that, but deep in our hearts, most parents would prefer a useful gift that would help make our lives with children a tad easier and better.
If you’re cracking your brains over gifts for toddlers, here are 5 cute yet practical gift ideas that toddlers and mamas (okay, and papas!) will thank you for!
#1: A fashionable bib
Didn’t think a bib would make it on this list for toddlers? Think again.
Now that toddlers are more active (read: energetic and a little more trying at times), they tend to yank off those velcro-secured bibs or disposable bibs easily. Plastic ones tend to end up with unsightly lines when folded and brought out, and wear and tear is only a matter of time. Truth be told, mealtimes with a toddler can sometimes be a tricky task – fussing, meltdowns, food refusal – and the last thing any parent needs is an accidental magic charm where that bowl of food gets emptied on the child’s clothing.
By toddlerhood, most kids would be able to self-feed, and that translates to more mess all over. Let’s be honest. Which parent enjoys doing additional laundry?
Simply put, a lightweight, tough-enough bib that won’t be pulled off easily does make a difference.
What we like: The vibrant owl design caught my eyes instantly – as if you couldn’t guess it! This Make My Day What-a-hoot bib set our hearts fluttering with its irresistibly hootingly cute design! Parents would love this because it’s really easy to clean and maintain, and if there are food bits caught in the crumb catcher? Simply rinse off with soapy water and leave to dry – no washing needed unlike cloth bibs. And it’s certainly more earth-loving compared to disposables. Heading out? Simply roll it up to keep it compact – what a space saver in the diaper bag!
Plus, it’s made of 100% food-grade silicone that’s BPA free, making it safe for bubs who start weaning at 6 months and loves chewing on just about anything. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, the adjustable strap around the neck fits little munchkins from 6 months to three years! Parents can keep the stylish bibs for the next child too – talk about stretching that dollar :P
With 11 beautiful designs to choose from, you’re gonna be spoilt for choice!
#2: Cheery and comfy PJs
PJs seem like one of the last gift ideas on most people’s mind, as getting pretty frocks, shoes and young gentlemen suits might seem more excitable options as a gifts.
But if everyone else was thinking the same, that child would probably end up with plenty of clothing for various occasions!
Consider a cheery and comfy pyjamas set for the toddler, that’s great for keeping him or her snug at bedtime. The SkipHop Zoojamas comes in their signature animal motifs that any parent would have been acquainted with by now! SkipHop has a ton of kiddie stuff – from lunchboxes, cutlery, water bottles, to insulated lunch bags, hooded towels, and now PJs!
What we like: The bright and cheery designs are surely eye-catching, and makes a wonderful choice to suit any child’s personality. Designs aside, we liked that it comes with elastic cuffs for the top and bottom so they help to hold the ends without riding up especially during sleep. Well, little Vera’s bedtime gymnastic skills are quite amazing, so most nights, her top would ride up exposing her tummy. Made of 100% cotton, it’s great for kids sleeping in air conditioning, like we do. Keeping her nice and warm helps in achieving better sleep – and no, she hates the blanket, although the hubs and I are fighting for it in the middle of the night.
Available in 5 designs up for grabs to suit for the little cuties!
Here’s a little tip if you’re planning to get the Zoojamas as a gift: Size up, as they come in even sizes only i.e. 2T, 4T and 6T. The longer top helps to cover more of the child’s body and reduces the chances of riding up his torso; whereas the longer bottom has elastic cuffs to prevent from hanging loose, causing the child to step on them and slip.
#3: A trusty friend in the dark
If your child or your friend’s child does not own a night lamp, this would make a practical gift, especially in the middle of the night.
There are several reasons to night wakings, and based on our own experience with Vera, this includes requests for water, diaper change due to leakage and waking up for medication among others. Once she is toilet-trained, am pretty sure she will be waking up and asking to go to the loo.
Switching on the main lights is akin to waking the kraken – well, unless your child is not exactly light sensitive. A parent’s next best bet is a soft glow LED lamp which offers sufficient lighting in the dark, without that disturbing glare to cause a child to fully wake. That would be disastrous!
What we like: Portable, light and handy, makes it easy to take along if we are moving around the room. When sleeping, simply leave the Skip Hop Zoo Take-Along Nightlight at the corner of your child’s cot or on the bedside table so it can be reached easily. The big and soft on/off button makes it easy for little hands to operate too. Just remember to prepare 3 X AAA batteries to keep it going.
Available in 3 Zoo designs.
#4: Potty business
Potty training is one of the biggest challenges for any parent. So, how can potty training be a tad easier for both toddler and adults?
If the child that you’re getting a gift for is still on diapers, chances are, potty training would have crossed the parents’ minds, and that requires some helping hands to get started.
Unless the child’s parents are adamant about using the traditional potty that we used to have (also part of the Guo Da Li package during Chinese weddings), most parents would be thinking of getting a simple potty to kickstart this training. But what happens when the child is ready to transit?
When you see a well-thought product design, you know the product development team understand the needs of their intended users as well. What do I mean?
What we like: Consider the Ubbi 3-in-1 Potty! At first glance, it looks like a huge potty and you might be wondering why the need for an item which takes up space in the home?
Well, look carefully, because the functionality and practicality of this item is going to take a child from Phase 1 of potty training to Phase 2, involving the transition to the toilet bowl. And when the toilet trainer is not in use, don’t keep it in the storeroom or some cupboard and run to get it when the toddler needs it. The set comes with a hook so parents can easily put it at the toilet tank and hang up the toilet trainer so it’s within reach any time.
What scored a bonus? The cleverly camouflaged step stool did! This makes an unexpected surprise from a product labelled as a “potty”, but hey, this non-slip step stool comes in handy for toddlers when they brush their teeth and struggle to reach the sink. For adults, squatting to hand-wash clothing in the toilet will now be a thing of the past, because sitting relieves those painful knees while scrubbing away.
The potty set comes in three classic colours for the rims/designs – grey, pink and navy.
#5: A stylish and multi-functional bag
If your intended recipient already has a diaper bag, consider asking if that might be an ideal one the parent has so far? Chances are, most parents own more than one diaper bag, and the reason is simple. It take some trial and error to hunt for “The One”, and at times, dad and mum can’t agree with the prints, style or even colour (because mums might fancy a pink cutesy printed bag and hunky papa refuses to be near it!). Well, speaking from our own experience, we now own at least five in varying sizes, carrying style (think: backpack, carry-ons and sling) and colours :P
As a child grows, the number of things to take along changes too. We started off with a huge bag and gradually downsized to one that could pass off as a laptop bag. Did I mention we tried to squeeze everything into a backpack too?? That bag was too small and every time something was taken out, we had a hard time zipping it back.
What we like: First and foremost, I’d say pick a lightweight diaper bag, for obvious reasons. Next, make sure the bag has plenty of pockets for efficient organisation of things and ease of taking in and out. Also, look out for extra handy bonuses within the design.
The SkipHop Duo Signature Diaper Bag is equipped with 10 pockets, including a large main compartment with zip, a front compartment with zip and two front pockets with magnetic closure for easy access to small items such as sweets or coins for the supermarket trolley. I particularly appreciate the hidden zip compartment which helps to hold our keys because the hubs is constantly leaving them in the car, only to realise it after we’ve reached our doorstep!
For toddlers who need their pacifiers or toy, there is a metal d-ring on the front of the bag to allow easy hanging and access when needed – no need to fumble and dig in the bag to appease a wailing child.
The handy bag also comes with a stroller strap, patented shuttle clips and non-slip stroller straps to hook and clip onto the stroller, allowing parents to go hands-free when manouvering the stroller and tot. There’s a changing mat included, so parents need not buy a separate one.
On workdays, I’ve brought this stylish bag to the office, and colleagues were none the wiser, thinking that I’ve brought my new laptop bag for the day :P It doubles up to hold tablets and laptops up to 15”, so it’s perfect for working parents who may need their gadgets on-the-go. It also helps that the gender-neutral design is great even for the gentlemen too!
With over 20 designs to choose from, mums and dads get to consider options such as the sling one (like ours above), satchel, tote or backpack styles too.
There you have it – gifting ideas for a toddler sorted in five super duper easy ways! Best of all, these products are conveniently available at local retail stores such as Mothercare and online stores such as Agapebabies! Click here for stockist listings.
We’ve test driven all these products, and are glad to share that they have been helpful! Check out more functional and beautiful products for bubs and mums in Asia over here. Happy shopping and enjoy the happy smiles on your gift recipients!
What will you be wrapping up as gifts for the toddlers in your lives? Do share with us too!