Baby's First Year · Parenting · Pregnancy

Great gifts for babies and toddlers

Toddler opening gift in red box

My favorite gift for a baby or toddler is a book.  Even though my kids are teens now, I still have some of their favorite books from those early days.  Those books have been enjoyed so many times they feel like part of the family!

But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself!!

Here are 3 reasons why books make the perfect gift.

  1. A book is great for any age!
    Families can start the love of reading anytime, the earlier, the better. A baby book is a wonderful gift for an expectant parent!
  2. A great book can calm an excited toddler.
    We all know that toddlers never seem to run out of energy. Giving the gift of a quiet moment and a snuggle is really a treasure! Your gift could even become the favorite part of the bedtime routine.
  3. Reading is the gift that keeps giving.
    Babies and toddlers learn more words, talk more, and learn to listen when they are read to regularly.

5 quick tips to make reading a success:

  1. Choose a great book!
    Rhyming books, lift the flap, touch and feel and board books with colourful pictures are all sure to be a hit with the under 3 set. My personal favorite Brown Bear, Brown Bear illustrated by Eric Carle. It’s tough to choose because there are so many excellent books out there but the bright illustrations, simple words and the chance to add my own animal noises make Brown Bear a winner to me! Here’s some great ideas for kids ages 5 and under from the Toronto Public Library.
  2. See your baby’s delight!
    Position yourself and your child so you are able to see your baby’s face (that way you can see their enjoyment and talk more about what they are interested in!)
  3. Make the book come alive!
    Here’s your chance to try out your lion voice and practice your meow! Creative voices and dramatic pauses will keep your baby wanting the book again and again!
  4. Your baby may like to get a taste of the book.
    That’s why board books are so great, board books are practically indestructible. Feel free to let your baby get to love books any way they want!
  5. Your baby may even like to read the same book over and over.
    No problem! Your baby loves knowing what’s going to happen next! Some babies even like the same page again and again, just follow their lead and a great story time will surely follow!

Staying a budget?

The gift of reading need not cost anything. Give your child the gift of a library card so they can choose their own books (free from Toronto Public Library) or create your own personalized books with photos or drawings of familiar people and things around the house.

Find yourself struggling with engaging with your baby and toddler? Call Toronto Public Health (416) 338-7600 or eChat with a nurse for support.

One of the best parts of my job as a Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Public Health Nurse is helping parents strengthen their confidence in connecting with their child.

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