UNDER $25: ECO TOYS
When little hands reach for this toy at the grocery store, you won’t mind the impulse buy. PBS Kids teamed with Whole Foods on an exclusive line of Earth-friendly, educational playthings, including this non-toxic sandwich stacker that toddlers will definitely sink their teeth into.
Buy It Now! PBS Kids wooden toy sandwich stacker, $11.99, available at Whole Foods Markets and pbskids.org
UNDER $25: PENCIL & PAPER
The mini-fashionista will find a kindred spirit in this character’s wild costumes, which get the couture treatment with colored pencils.
Buy It Now! Jamie Paper Dolls Set, $4.99, shopseedling.com
UNDER $25: A SPECIAL DELIVERY
Sign up your new-mom friend for a package of thoughtfully curated skin creams, organic baby food, washes, wipes and other organic, sustainable goodies she and her newborn can share. Ecocentric Mom offers a one-time service, or subscribe for an every-other-month delivery so your pal will never have to leave the house for emergency diapers during a snowstorm.
Buy It Now! Ecocentric Mom’s Mom amp Baby Box, $24, ecocentricmom.com
UNDER $25: FESTIVE PACIS
Holiday-induced meltdowns are bound to happen. Have these BPA-free, vented and anti-slip pacis on hand … and oooh look, there’s a snowman on the front! Yup, instant distraction.
Buy It Now! MAM holiday pacifiers, $9.99 for four, shopmambaby.com
UNDER $25: SWEET TREATS
The perfect stocking stuffer for pregnancy candy cravings: Sugarfina’s prettily packaged trio of peach sweethearts, gummy bears and spicy chili ginger hearts. (The boxes are petite enough that the midnight snack totally doesn’t count.)
Buy It Now! Sugarfina Sugar Mama Giftset, $25, sugarfina.com
UNDER $25: MIND GAMES
Put that endless photo stream of family snapshots to good use. Paper Culture’s make-your-own memory game prints your favorite pictures on thick 100-percent recycled cards kids will love to try to match (maybe they’ll actually learn to recognize Aunt DeeDee before New Year’s). Plus, this paper won’t go to waste: With every order the company plants a tree.
Buy It Now! Paper Culture Personalized Memory Game, $24.99, paperculture.com
UNDER $25: PAGE TURNERS
Reading rainbows do in fact exist. Home Grown Books uses wind power, 100-percent recycled paperboard and vegetable inks to make toddler-friendly titles like Dress Up, featuring some very fashion-conscious felines who teach clothing vocab.
Buy It Now! Dress Up Board Book, $9.95, homegrownbooksnyc.com
UNDER $50: PRETTY PJS
Kids won’t protest an early bedtime with these festive Skylar Luna jammies in the top drawer. Made from 100-percent organic cotton, they’re so soft you’ll want to order photo-worthy matching sets for the whole fam, à la the Kardashians.
Buy It Now! Skylar Luna red/silver stars long sleeve pajamas, $39, skylarluna.com
UNDER $50: BUILDING BLOCKS
An antidote for princess overload, Roominate kits encourage girls (ages 6 and up) to get into the female-lacking STEM fields (that’s science, technology, engineering and math) through cool modular building pieces, like this pied-à-terre. Even better inspiration: The company was invented by two women, alumnae of Stanford’s graduate engineering program.
Buy It Now! Roominate Studio, $29.99, roominatetoy.com
UNDER $50: BEST-DRESSED DOLL
Honing a signature sense of style starts young. This Mamas & Papas colorful character helps little ones learn the ins and outs of getting dressed with a zip, tie, fastener and baby-safe mirror so he can check out his latest look from all angles.
Buy It Now! Learn to Dress Max Doll, $26.99, us.mamasandpapas.com
UNDER $50: A COFFEE BREAK
So they stop begging for a sip of your pumpkin spice latte, give the next best thing to Starbucks: Janod’s toy espresso machine painted with non-toxic water and paints. With features like a lifting lid to insert coffee pods, a sliding reservoir for pretend water, and a rotating dial to set coffee strength, your preschooler will be brewing coffee like a real barista.
Buy It Now! Janod Espresso Machine, $35, perfectlysmitten.com
UNDER $50: COOL SNOW CONES
Don’t “Let It Go” before it’s sold out. If her Elsa Halloween costume went off without a hitch, your Frozen fanatic’s obsession will quickly turn to Olaf’s belly. He spits out sugar-free strawberry or blue raspberry snow cones in this adorable maker with an easy-to-turn crank.
Buy It Now! Disney Frozen Olaf Snow Cone Maker, $29.69, kohls.com
UNDER $50: PONY PRINCESS
Whoever said the ’80s was the age of excess clearly hasn’t met the pony of 2014. My Little Pony is back in a big way, and Buckingham Palace has nothing on her new pad. Princess Twilight Sparkle comes with this majestic kingdom that features a vanity, swing and cloud car that glides down a groovy slide.
Buy It Now! My Little Pony Rainbow Kingdom, $39.99, hasbro.com
UNDER $150: BABY BLING
You kept the perfect baby name top secret for nine months, but now it’s time to show it off. Personalized pendants are hot in Hollywood, and Lola James’s version (Emily Blunt has one) discreetly highlights your little love’s moniker.
Buy It Now! Lola James Jewelry Alter Ego ID necklace, $125, lolajamesjewlery.com
UNDER $150: A PERFECT PET
A puppy under the Christmas tree? Not so much. But the lower maintenance Zoomer Robot Dog is a great runner-up. This canine does everything a real dog does (without the mess): He lays down, rolls over, chases his tail and even comes accessorized with a hoodie. All without the late-night walks in the cold.
Buy It Now! Zoomer Robot Dog with Hoodie amp Ball Set by Spin Master, $129.99, kohls.com
UNDER $150: AWESOME ELECTRONICS
This will get kids to put down the iPad: a “hardware renaissance” (yes, such a thing exists) of DIY flashing light signs, sound-controlled cars and game show buzzers. littleBits Electronics helps kids build a prototype, from simple sensors to more complex rotating globes and bubble machines. It’s like a science project on steroids.
Buy It Now! littleBits Electronics Base Kit, $99, littlebits.cc
UNDER $150: A COOL COVER-UP
Nesting, breastfeeding, hibernating … there are a dozen reasons for Mom to hole up in a cozy cashmere robe come January, through all stages of baby bump and beyond.
Buy It Now! Cashmere robe, $79.99, marshallsonline.com for stores
UNDER $150: A ROCKIN' GOOD TIME
It’s the personal touch that every nursery needs: a plush, cuddly rocker emblazoned with your little one’s name. With a variety of animals to choose from – bunny, elephant, bear, unicorn – there’s one to match every layette.
Buy It Now! Lamb Plush Rocker, $149, potterybarnkids.com
UNDER $150: LEARNING TOY
There are three ways to play with this educational video game console – body motion, pointer play, or classic hand-held controller – that aims to get kids off the couch with thought-provoking, age-appropriate games that engage the mind and body. For example, bowling peppered with basic math questions – that’s clever!
Buy It Now! LeapFrog LeapTV, $149.99 (games sold separately), toysrus.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: SOFT SHOES
Cute shoes that actually stay on busy baby or toddler feet? Not impossible. This celebrity-loved line of soft-soled leather moccasins features elastic that actually keeps them in place while crawling, cruising and walking. Not to leave out Mom, the coordinating luxe tote adds a chic (not cheesy) mommy-and-me look.
Buy It Now! Freshly Picked baby moccasins, $60, carryall tote, $240, keepall zippered pouch (not pictured) $40, freshlypicked.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: PHOTO FINDER
Problem: Attempting to post a holiday #TBT requires searching through endless photo streams on old smartphones, memory cards, external hard drives and tablets. Solution: Lyve Home’s new mobile device manages pictures through a cloud-based service that automatically stores and saves images across all your mobile devices, computers, Dropbox folders and anywhere else you’ve managed to tuck away family selfies.
Buy It Now! Lyve Home, $299, mylyve.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: MOUNTED MOOSE
Antlers have been popping up in home décor, and the hunt for the coolest incarnation ends with this felted wool kiddie wall hanging. Bye-bye babyish bedroom, hello hunting lodge.
Buy It Now! Serena amp Lily Mounted Moose, $168, serenaandlily.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: GRAB BAG
A romantic getaway with baby in tow is totally possible when you can stash sippy cups and onesies in Pacapod’s stylish pebble leather diaper bag. The three-in-one organization system lets you access the changing pad, snack pouch or quick-change bag with one hand and effortlessly balance a drink with the other.
Buy It Now! Pacapod Firenze diaper bag in putty, $520, pacapod.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: NINTENDO (YUP)
A transparent handheld might sound like a throwback to the holidays of 1992, but don’t let its retro design fool you: This old-school system is completely updated for little gamers, compatible with 3DS games and is built to be totally kid-friendly. Feeling extra jolly? Bundle it with the season’s hot new item: Super Smash Bros.
Buy It Now! Nintendo 2DS Crystal Console, $130, target.com. Super Smash Bros, $40, target.com
SPLURGEWORTHY: LICENSE TO DRIVE
It’s just a step – or 20 – above Hot Wheels. Little back-seat passengers (ages 3 and up) get a major upgrade to the driver’s seat in a bright red ride-on that might even be fancier than the family wheels. Because “Hop in my Mercedes!” is the ultimate preschool pickup line.
Buy It Now! Mercedes SLS Two Seater Electric Ride-On Car, $495, neimanmarcus.com