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What does your baby need this Christmas

Tuesday, 26 November 2013  | 

There must be something in the water (or the wine) around Christmas and the New Year because babies are popping out all over the place during the months leading up to, and after the festive period. It’s great though! I love looking forward to welcoming a new little person and Peanut enjoys the prospect of having another small being to terrorise in her own special way. Her little cousin who was born exactly 9 months after we welcomed Peanut into the world is showered with big wet kisses and countless cuddles when we see her, so much in fact, that I’m starting to think Peanut suffers from goldfish memory in her presence – it seems she forgets that the poor girl was kissed and cuddled just seconds earlier. Having a baby around Christmas means that all of those lovely gifts you receive for your newborn and then for first birthdays, are multiplied after a few weeks when Christmas comes and before you know it, the toy box is full and you’re making space for the toy takeover! Kids love it – but parents, not so much.

We’ve been very lucky to receive some fabulous and practical presents in the past year for Peanut, many of which she received at birth and are still her favourites. Picking a present for a baby can be tricky if you’re out of practise or simply can’t be arsed but these are our pick of the best and will ensure you give a gift that will be loved. All come with the Peanut seal of approval too! Comforters: Probably the single most effective bit of baby kit you can buy in my opinion. From birth, stroking one of these soft velour squares of loveliness onto Peanut’s face gave her more comfort than a cuddle could sometimes. I’m not quite sure what it is about them that’s so awesome but they work and we have a few. As soon as we pop her into bed, Peanut grabs one in each hand and rubs her eyes, her mouth and cheeks until she drifts off – without them, she doesn’t settle as easy so they’re a big thumbs up for a simple gift. They’re not expensive and they’re not huge either so they’ll keep your pocket happy and mum and dad wearing a big smile too.

Muslins: One for baby and parents to take advantage of, a muslin square is an essential item in any change bag/nursery/ living room/ bedroom – you name a room, you’ll need one in there too! These days muslins are used for all manner of things including swaddling, mopping up a nice splodge of puke and for comfort too. Even after a year of using them it’s still convenient to pull one out from the bag and know it can be used for all sorts. Aden and Anais have a gorgeous selection available and unlike cheaper alternatives, they look a million times nicer, will last a lot longer and be greeted with a huge amount of gratitude too. Spiral/Pram/Cot Toys Keeping a baby entertained while they’re in your arms is easy up to a point, but once they’re becoming interested in their surroundings and enjoying bright colours and sounds directly in front of them you might start to struggle a bit. Toys that can attach to a pram or a car chair were a massive help once Peanut discovered that it was her hands that were whacking the rattles on the pram toy and that she could do it again, and again... and again! The result: fits of giggles and more time for me to get the things done that needed doing. Give a gift like this and it’ll last, providing entertainment at each stage of a baby’s development.

Sophie Le Giraffe DO NOT! Under any circumstances underestimate the value of this little rubber giraffe. Shipped over from France around 50 years ago to save mums from pulling their hair out and offer babies a bit of relief from dreaded teething , we’ve not let her go back yet. Sophie is a saviour thanks to her soft rubber feel, plenty of lovely nobbly bits to chew on and easy grip; and mums are happy with its safe phthalate –free construction too. Sophie does squeak but it’s nothing that a cycle in the steriliser can’t remedy... just in case she starts to annoy you a little.

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