BabyBrownSugar 2014 Ultimate Baby Holiday Gift Guide

by Christina Brown

babybrownsugar-holiday-gift-guide When it comes to holiday shopping, I've always been pretty calm and collected this time of year. I had just a short list of friends and close family members to get gifts for and I've never really had to stress about who is or isn't on my list. I've also never really had to worry about buying children's gifts. That all changed drastically a few years ago when my nephew was born. Then after him another nephew, then another nephew, and now my very own daughter! Now Christmas shopping is an anxiety-inducing game of multi-tasking, making long lists, checking them twice, forgetting someone, making more lists and then eventually crying in a corner. It's HARD. But it doesn't have to be. This year, as it's my very first year as a mom, I decided to pull together a 2014 Ultimate Baby Holiday Gift Guide with just a few of my favorite things that I think make great gifts for babies: Personalized Gifts Personalized-Gifts There's something very special about giving a gift with a child's name or face on it. They can keep it forever and they never have to fight with anyone else in the house (including siblings) about who it belongs to. Personalized Plates - Sarah + Abraham ($27) sarah+abraham This is by far one of the coolest items I purchased for my little sweet pea before she arrived.I scored this on a discount through Zulily last November and I would undoubtedly purchase from them again. What's cool is that these plates are totally customizable. Just go to the website and you can enter the baby's skin complexion, hair type, eye color and even expression! Personalized Onesies - Initial Request ($30) Initial-Request-Onesie These Initial Request onesies are a really great gift. Her C is Cadence onesie (although it no longer fits) is still hanging in her nursery and is a really great keepsake. See here for my post about how I named Cadence. This one's a no-brainer and really affordable considering that it's personalized. Personalized Name Toys - Damhorst ($4.95/Letter) Damhorst-Toys These are perfect additions to the baby's nursery. You can keep them up on display in the beginning months and then take them down and let baby plat with them once they're older. Personalized Sketches - Laidiecloth ($30) Laidie-Cloth The owner of Etsy shop Laidiecloth reached out to me about her shop and created this really cool sketch based on the below picture of Cadence at about 3 months old. laidiecloth-illustration

Works of art like this are always great as keepsakes and offer a creative spin on a classic portrait.

Educational Gifts educational-gifts Puzzles & Books - Paige & Paxton ($10) Paige-and-Paxton-Puzzle Paige & Paxton is a great series of puzzles, books and activities geared towards children 6 and under to help engage them in concepts around science and technology. Being the geek that I am, I plan on passing some of that down to my baby girl so giving her books and activities about these topics is going to be really important for me. Paige-Paxton I broke these puzzles out for my nephews over Thanksgiving and they spent hours with them. Great gifts! Baby Genius Activity Fun Pack ($17.99) Baby-Genius For the kid who loves music, this is an awesome activity set. Cadence LOVES to dance so anything music-related is right up her alley. Not only is it fun, but it's educational which is key. Web Design For Babies Book Series ($9.99) This book was given as a gift to Cadence and when I saw it I started cracking up. I learned a few things myself from this book. Never too early, right? Self-Empowerment Books for Kids self-empowerment-kids-books Empowering my daughter to be herself and to appreciate her beauty is something that is so important to me. If I can do it through my own blog LoveBrownSugar.com for other women, there's no reason I can't do it for my baby girl. Since the very beginning I've asserted her with verbal affirmation that she is beautiful. The following books help with that: Happy Hair™ by Mechal Renae Roe ($15.29) Happy-Hair-Baby All I can say is that I absolutely LOVE this book for young girls with textured hair. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but it emphasizes a message that is SO important for young girls of color. Happy-Hair-Book I also got some really great hairstyling ideas from it, believe it or not. This one is a must-have for baby girl's library. I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley ($6.00) i-love-my-hair-book This was the very FIRST book I purchased for Cadence's nursery. I knew before she was even born that I wanted to encourage her to embrace her curls. This book was released over 13 years ago all the way back in 2001 and the message is still powerful. Emi's Curly Coily Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide ($6.76) emis-curly-coily-cotton-candy-hair This book about accepting and maintaining curly hair is definitely a must-have as well. We get to see Emi recap her entire process from washing and detangling to wrapping up her hair for bed at night. This was so good I was taking notes! Great book for the young curly-haired girl in your life. Victoria's Glow Stick by Shannon Ellis ($8.67) victorias-glow-stick Recently released on Black Friday, author Shannon Ellis tells a story about a young girl named Victoria who brings her favorite toy to school for show & tell. It provides a great message about taking turns, sharing and also about diversity. I loved seeing all the different races and breeds represented in Victoria's classroom. As someone who grew up in very diverse settings at school, I really appreciate that being emphasized in the story. Gift Cards baby-gap-coat Who couldn't use a gift card? Baby and kid clothes are expensive. And they outgrow them so quickly! Every parent and child will be thankful for a gift card from one of these brands. Here are three of my favorites: Zulily.com - creative gifts at super low prices! This is where I purchased many of Cadence's personalized gifts (see above). GAP - whether it's a baby or an older kid, GAP has a little something for everyone. This is one of my FAVE places to shop for Cadence. baby-gap-onesies The clothes are such great quality and they're classic, which is key to a great kiddie wardrobe. Old Navy - Old Navy has some of the best PJ's and stocking stuffers around. They also always have really incredible deals on baby clothes and accessories.

What's at the top of your holiday gift list for the babies and kids in your life? Anything I forgot to include? Leave a comment! I'm always open to new suggestions.