8 Gift Ideas for Toddlers

Our editors pick the gifts they'll get their kids for the holidays.

8 Gift Ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers are cute, but they're also unpredictable and intense and, well, scary. Anything can tick them off, and they throw the biggest tantrums with the most incredible force. So if there's one person you want to please this holiday season, it is the tot in your life. The good news is: shopping for toddlers is actually pretty fun. No more rattles or teethers -- toddlerhood opens up a whole world of toys and games that will not only keep our little ones entertained, but also help them explore, create and connect with the world around them. To help you find the perfect gift for your little tot, we asked our editors to share their picks for their very own tots. From a sleeping bag to a subscription box that teaches kids about empathy, diversity and gender equality, here are 8 toddler gifts that will bring some major holiday squeals. Jessica, Co-Founder Editor's pick: Little Feminist Book Club + Activity Box, $33/month. There’s never been a more important time to teach all of our kids -- boys or girls! -- to be feminists! I love that each monthly box features an inspiring woman in history and is filled with art and science activities that teach about feminism and social justice. Editor's pick: Nailmatic Princess Story Nail Polish & Lip Gloss Trio, $28. I’m not personally one for much make-up, but my little Elsie is turning into quite the beauty junkie! This water-based set is safe for her tiny lips, fingers & toes (oh, and my carpet!), and there’s two pretty nail polish colors, which comes in handy for her signature “every other finger” manicure style. Kaity, Co-Founder Editor's pick: Talkie by Toymail, $59. We wanted to add something more meaningful to our older son's toy collection this holiday. This Toymail plush toy is not only adorable, but also a great way to keep in touch with grandma... without handing him a phone! With this screen-free voice chat device, we feel confident our son will love his new quality time with grandma and all other friends and relatives, no matter the distance. When he's not playing pretend with the doll of course. Charlene, Managing Editor Editor's pick: Melissa and Doug Fold & Go Dollhouse, $46. My oldest son makes a toy out of anything -- a dried-up baby wipe turns into a helicopter, and a sock becomes a tyrannosaurus rex. There's no doubt that his imagination lets him travel in his own beautiful world, and I want to keep it that way. That's why I plan on getting him this dollhouse -- to let his imagination run wild. This one from Melissa and Doug folds, which means I can tuck it away when it's not played with. Major score for those who live in a small space. Alexis, Associate Editor Editor's pick: Land of Nod toddler sleeping bag, $99. Now that my six-year-old is approaching “friend sleepover age”, I’ve been eyeing this sweet How Do You Zoo Fox Sleeping Bag from The Land of Nod. I love that it’s not branded in a licensed character, yet I know the design doesn’t scream “babyish” or anything that would turn my big boy off. And how cute is it that the animal face can be used as a pillow? There are a range of other designs offered (Dino, Penguin, Dog, Zebra), and there’s an option to personalize them with your kid’s name (for a slight fee). I plan on buying the Penguin one for his three-year-old brother for sleepovers at Grandma’s and late-night brother cuddle sessions in Big Bro’s room. Jenny, Fashion Editor Editor's pick: CamKing Mini 1.5 Inch Screen Children's Camera, $42.99. Cultivating creativity is important to our family, and with Vida taking interest in my photo-taking, I'd like to give her a camera to explore her own skills without risking to break mine! This super cute style from CamKing allows for picture taking and even video-making. Plus, it's lightweight, adorable, functional and affordable! Natalie, Gear Editor Editor's pick: Kid O Shape Sorting House, $29.99. At 15 months old, my inquisitive little girl is in need of more challenging yet age appropriate toys. She’ll find this simple shape sorter from Kid O under the Christmas Tree this year! I love this one in particular for it’s modern take on a classic toy. Roma, Fitness Editor Editor's pick: Joovy walker, $81.99. Like me, my son is pretty active. He already stands up with our help and loves jumping in his bouncer. So I believe that the next logical step will be to get him a walker. This one from Joovy is minimalist, which I appreciate, and it's also quiet -- a big plus, since we live in a city apartment and have to be mindful of neighbors. And who knows, maybe it will be the beginning of a happy relationship with running.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Mom rage is real—and it's a sign that mothers' needs aren't being met

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think.

Maternal anger takes most women who experience it by surprise. I'm not this person, we say, after feeling a shocking swell of rage during one of those inevitable moments of frustration we all face as a parent.

I never thought I'd be "that mom" who yells at her family, we say, after snapping and yelling at our toddler.

I don't recognize myself when I feel like this—and I feel like this more than I want to, we say, when we realize that our anger isn't a temporary, one-time thing but an undercurrent in our day-to-day, an undeniable presence like a shadow.

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think. And it's time to talk about what "mom rage" is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it.

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