Let’s start this article by addressing the giant elephant in the room:
Why bother giving your baby a stocking in the first place?
It’s a fair question.
After all, your baby is 99% clueless when it comes to the holidays, so why go to the trouble of filling up a decorated toe-cover?
- Taking items out of something (like a holiday stocking) is a BLAST if you’re a baby.
- Filling a stocking is a great way to skate by the holidays when money is short. (Remember: Baby = 99% clueless)
That said, if you have other kids in the house, skipping the stocking may open the door to a whole host of other problems:
Preschooler: “Why didn’t Santa bring a gift for Baby Johnny?”
Dad: “…because Johnny spit up on Daddy’s favorite Packer’s shirt.”
Mom: “…because Santa ran out of toys.”
So your preschooler grows up with either a perfectionistic complex and severe anxiety problems.
In an effort to prevent such trauma, here are ten different ideas for baby stocking stuffers that will cost you less than $10. (And honestly, most are less than $10.)
Baby Stocking Stuffers #1:
A Cuddle Clutch Animal
If your baby hasn’t picked out a lovey yet, a small stuffed animal in the stocking can be the perfect little surprise!
What’s a lovey? A little animal your baby can bond with. A new little part of the family. So at night when he’s sleeping, he can be reassured to stay sleeping and secure, because his little “Lamby” or “Buster” is holding his hand all night long.
The best time to introduce a lovey to your baby is when he’s over 5 months old and has built up his neck strength and rolling skills. The size of the lovey (small but not too small) and those motor skills will keep the lovey from becoming a hazard in the crib.
Look for an animal your baby can easily hold in his hand and carry around. Animals with different textures and ears are a bonus, since your baby will enjoy fiddling with the ears and petting the “spiky” hedgehog quills.
Baby Stocking Stuffers #2:
A Bedtime Board Book
The act of reading a board book before bed is a wonderful way to help your baby start to slow down and get that melatonin pumping through his brain, making him sleepy.
It’s true, his attention span may only get you through a few pages, but that’s okay. It’s the routine that counts!
Besides using this as quiet bonding activity, he can turn the pages (motor skill practice) and eventually help you make animal sounds and point at colors. It’s a sweet part of the evening you’ll cherish forever. (I do, anyway!)
For more of favorite bedtime book ideas from other parents, check out Sleeping Beauty’s Top 10 Best Bedtime Books for Babies.
Baby Stocking Stuffers #3:
A Tasty Treat
As the older kids may be getting little candy surprises, it makes sense to have something tasty tucked in that stocking for baby too!
Obviously, if your baby is younger than 6 months, it’s probably best to skip this…unless you want to toss a bottle of breastmilk or formula into the stocking instead!
Baby Stocking Stuffers #4:
A Useful Toothbrush
I’m pretty sure Santa was a dental hygienist before being called North, because my kids always get a new toothbrush at the bottom of the stocking (along with an orange for some reason…perhaps Mrs. Claus was a pirate and carries a mortal fear of scurvy???)
These toothbrushes are soft enough to be gummed and gnawed.
I especially like #1 and #3 because they have a mouth guard that prevents baby from gagging himself. (And check out that cover for #3!)
Baby Stocking Stuffers #5:
A Soothing Teether
He’s going to gnaw on everything that comes out of that sock, so why not give him something his aching gums will thank you for?
Festivus Christmas Miracle!
Baby Stocking Stuffers #6:
A Bath Toy or Two
My kids love bath toys. We have a huge bucket under the sink filled with various Barbie dolls and plastic animals.
That said, I’m an Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to the huge ecosystem of bacteria and mold flora that can congregate inside them. (So nasty!)
I squash out the micro-life with a chorus of gleeful Bah Humbugs.
Before placing the toys in the tub for the first time, I seal up that little vortex hole at the bottom with a dab from my glue gun. Nothing is going in or out of that thing.
Sure, they can’t squirt water, but that’s why we have the Caterpillar Spiller Stackers, right?
Baby Stocking Stuffers #7:
One of the hardest skills your growing baby will learn to conquer involves coordinating those fingers of his.
This is why giving your baby chunky crayons is such a great idea – especially as a stocking stuffer.
It’s a fine-motor-skill workout routine!
Baby Stocking Stuffers #8:
A Rockin’ Rattle
If it shakes and makes a noise, your baby will love it.
The three examples above will appeal to different personality types.
- The first will appeal to babies who like to focus on one thing for a long period of time.
- The second is a winner for aggressive/active babies who just need to MOVE!
- And the last will appeal to babies who like to clutch and carry their toys all around the house.
Major bonus: Each can fit in the diaper bag as a “Crap, I need a distraction!” kind of sanity-saver.
Baby Stocking Stuffers #9:
As your little baby gets bigger, it will be nice to have a few spill-free snack bowls and sippy cups to grab out of the cupboard.
Even if you’re months away from starting solid foods, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead!
Baby Stocking Stuffers #10:
Car Seat Distractors
The more distractors within your baby’s reach during long car rides, the better.
That is, unless you would enjoy singing Old MacDonald for an hour to keep him settled?
Yeah…stock up with a few low-priced back seat toys and arrive at your destination with your speaking voice in tact!
What Are You Stuffing In
Baby’s Stocking This Christmas?
So what do you think? Are you going to have Santa fill a few stockings? Or skip it until next year?
I’m sure there are lots of other good suggestions and ideas to for baby stocking stuffers out there.
What are you going to put in your baby’s stocking this year?
Anything? Or just a few extra hugs and kisses? 🙂
I’d love to hear your ideas!
Meet Heather Taylor
Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others. If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.