Christmas Gift Guide

IMG_1235So, Christmas is just a few weeks away and here at What Mummy Thinks, I’ve been trying to get ready for a few weeks now as I HATE how busy the shops get the closer you get to Christmas Day. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not all bah humbug, far from it, but being pregnant and dragging a toddler round the shops with you in a busy shopping centre fighting for gifts isn’t really my idea of fun! Isabella loves looking at the Christmas lights and is really interested in all the Christmas trees but shopping just isn’t for yet (yet!) so I’ve done a lot of my shopping online.

Some of our best buys (from previous years as well) have got to be:

For the babies-

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Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo – This comes in different designs and although it’s quite big, is one of the toys that all of the babies I know have really enjoyed. It’s fun and engaging with lights and sounds and it also teaches them about cause and effect. If you’re quick you can get some great deals on this from Amazon – last year it went as low as £77 but currently it’s £149. Their Rainforest Jumperoo is currently £69.

 

imageFisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick & Play Piano Gym – Again, this became a life saver for me last year. Isabella would be entertained with this for a long period of time compared to other play mats which just didn’t have the same attention grabbing factor. The other thing I love about this play gym is the fact that it grows with your child up to 18months. At around £60 I think this item is expensive but it does go on offer occasionally on Amazon. For the pure fact that we got so much use from it, I would say the £60 is well worth it but if you can find it cheaper, even better!

sophieSophie la Girafe – There are several different teethers available in the ‘Sophie’ range but we found the smaller, harder giraffe the best for teething. The bigger, squeaky teether is nice but Isabella didn’t use it quite as much as the smaller one. You can currently get a limited edition gift set for just £14.99 which is brilliant value for money.

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Most little girls, I’m sure, will have a mountain of dolls of which each will be a favourite on certain days but we love the rag dolls from JoJoMamanBebe because they are big enough to play with and roll play but they are also super soft and snuggly so Isabella can take her to bed at night too. There are so many to choose from that I’m sure you can find a perfect match for your little one this year. We have Mia as Isabella has matching red shoes and she loves to dance around the room with her. She’s just £15 and could be a friend for years to come. With a removable outfit and no googly eyes, she’s suitable from birth!

BellaButterflySummer Infant Slumber Buddies Bella the Butterfly – It’s soft and cuddly and has three lullabies and two nature sounds that you can use alongside the nightlight moon and star projector. We used this for well over a year and it was the perfect night time buddy for Isabella. It’s around £20 from most shops which might seem like a lot but if you spread the cost out over a year, I don’t think it’s too bad.

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Musical instruments are always a hit (whatever age!) and some nice instruments to get your baby into are drums and xylophones as they are easy to use; the cause and effect for a baby will be clear and will provide them with lots of entertainment. These toys are toys that will grow with your child. Isabella loves playing with them as much as the babies around us. The baby xylophone from JoJoMamanBebe is perfect as its beater is specifically designed to be safe for babies (who put everything in their mouths) but also won’t easily be outgrown as it plays real notes. It’s also very colourful and only £16! The drum, which again is only £13, is also a fab baby toy. We took the beaters away at first as they aren’t as baby friendly as the xylophone but it really does work just as well with little podgy hands.

For the toddlers:

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We absolutely LOVE our Little Tikes Gourmet Prep n Serve Kitchen – it’s the perfect size and there’s hours of fun included; lots of role play and learning to share involved here too (excuse the photo – this was just after opening it on her birthday!). We actually got this last Christmas in the Black Friday Sale in Asda for £38 and I haven’t seen it this cheap again so keep your eyes peeled this year in case they have more deals! Asda direct have a different, more unisex coloured one for £55.

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Isabella really is into role play at the moment and to go along with her kitchen, we have the Dotty Tin Tea Set. We had a china one but let’s be honest, that wasn’t going to last long around a toddler who seems to drop EVERYTHING! But the Dotty Tin Tea Set is perfect because no matter how many times she drops it, it won’t smash and we won’t have the floods of tears we did previously. It comes in a really sweet presentation suitcase which is actually large enough to store some food and a mini picnic blanket in so we can take it with us and have a teddy bear’s tea part wherever we go.

dotty dinoSome of the new toys that will be under our Christmas tree this year are from Orchard Toys; we have a couple already and Isabella loves playing with them. They are fantastic educational and fun games and puzzles which are really durable. The best part about them is that they all (except the puzzles) seem to have different levels to make the games easier or harder depending on the developmental stage of the child which obviously extends the life of the product.

It sounds simple but books! We can’t get enough of books and there really are some fantastic ones out there. There are a few websites where you can personalise books or you can just get some classics; whatever you choose, I’m sure books will go down a treat this year. Isabella’s current favourite (I really don’t know why???) is ‘It’s a Book’ by Lane Smith. She can almost recite it word for word (except the last page where we have changed the final word from ‘jackass’ to donkey – after all, I don’t know any parent who would want their child to call people a jackass!

For the adults

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Everyone wants to feel special this Christmas and so I’m going back to basics first; as I will be pregnant this Christmas, none of my usual Christmas dresses fit so I’m asking for a special delivery for first thing Christmas morning – a dress from Tiffany Rose; you can guarantee that you will feel a million dollars wearing any one of their dresses, the only problem for me, is picking just one!

Elle

To go along with the theme of feeling special and never seeming to get any time to get nails etc done, why not try Elle Macpherson’s Professional Manicure and Pedicure Kit (£29.99) and the Wet and Dry Face and Body Brush (£39.99)? They are perfect for squeezing in 15 minutes me time when the babies are in bed! They are a professional quality product which will give you professional results in your own home.

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I also really treasure my ‘fingerprint’ jewellery pieces that I have of Isabella. These are beautiful and so sentimental that I would recommend these every year. You don’t have to get something that is really big and clunky; sometimes something more discrete and delicate is more appropriate. I’ve tried several companies and I really like a couple of them. My top choice though is Pastel Print as their quality and attention to detail is phenomenal. One of my favourite pieces is my Peas-in-a-pod necklace which has both my daughter and husband included on it.

Father's Day

Not forgetting the men, I like things that are useful and personal too and I find that leather gifts always go down well. There are several different companies who offer personalised leather gifts. Or what about some personalised cufflinks?

scruffsScruffs Vintage Speaker Hoodie is another safe bet! This is a MUST have item for your men, either for work (if they work on site) or for weekends if they don’t. It’s so warm that I really want it myself!

Scruffs have introduced the latest in wearable technology and this hoodie has built in speakers, microphone and controls for easy access on the go; it’s even got a little pocket to keep your phone or iPod safe and away from scratches.

As well as including the latest in wearable technology, it still has its primary function which is being a warm hoodie. It’s made from a thick fleece fabric and really keeps you warm. It’s made from 80% cotton and 20% polyester.

I really love the fact that this hoodie is completely machine washable – all you need to do is ensure all the wires are zipped up properly and pop it in the wash!

Without knowing that this hoodie has its hidden secret, you wouldn’t guess and it doesn’t look out of place as a hoodie; At £59.99 it’s not really any more expensive than any other hoodie and you get so much more. So if you have any last minute shopping to do, make this part of your order!

We are also going to do our traditional gift of aftershave for Dad. Getting him his favourite smell is sure to go down well.

I hope this has given some of you some inspiration!!

 

We received a couple of the products used in this gift guide for review purposes. All thoughts however are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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  1. […] Now over to the little ones – These are some of the things I’ve bought this year. (I have previous posts with ideas for smaller baby toys please see my past lists) […]

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