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Christmas gift ideas for baby

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The first Christmas with baby is a big deal, but before you rush out and buy cute baby clothes and toys ( there are so many awesome products out there) it might be a good idea to ask mum and dad what baby may need for next year.

Even if you splurged on the latest "baby 3000 deluxe building-blocks toy", baby won't know, although they probably will enjoy ripping off the wrapping paper. Christmas at this stage is really a special time for the parents, grandparents and extended family of the little one.  

No doubt there would have been an over load of gifts at the baby shower and excited grandparents would have gone on a shopping spree once baby arrived (especially if it is the first), so the basics are probably covered.

Instead of duplicating things baby might already have, ask what is needed. Perhaps developmental toys, or clothes in a different age range,especially now that baby is growing so fast.

If you are on a tight budget, an offer of six months of once-a-month baby sitting so mum and dad can have a date-night could be a great "baby gift" idea. Print redeemable vouchers and pop them in a Christmas card.

Smart toy ideas

We asked retailers what they thought their best sellers would be this Christmas and here is what they came back with:

The Baby Trek exersaucer with developmental toys: This activity center is a great developmental toy. In addition to strengthening and building baby's motor skills the various interactive, entertaining elements of the exersaucer help with mental stimulation and development.

Premier kids baby seat: If a family member is expecting and baby will arrive in the New Year, the one thing they will definitely need and will probably ease some of the financial pressure off mum and dad is a car seat.

Winnie the Pooh Towel set: Gifts don't have to be expensive, if baby's room is themed, a themed towel set- like Winnie the Pooh will be a great hit.

Play pen: If baby is crawling, this will be a great practical tool for mum and dad!

Nuby Bug-a-loop teether: It might be something mum and dad will have to put away for later next year, but a practical gift like this will be greatly appreciated by mums and dads who are watching their budget.

Fisher Price Laugh and learn IPhone Case: This sturdy case protects IPhones or IPod touch's from dribbles, drool, and unwanted call-making, for parents of six-month-olds this gift is sure to be a hit!

Touch and Talk Bear: A great companion for babies six months and older, when you touch his hands or feet, he talks!

Think out the Christmas box

Gift wrap your time: Asking for help with baby is sometimes difficult for parents, should they ask someone to baby sit? Are they imposing? Have they asked to many times already? If you would love to be a baby sitter, why not gift some "time" to mum and dad. It doesn't have to be a whole day of baby sitting- it could be a voucher for a few hours once a month, or every second month. Not only will you be giving mum and dad a chance for a date night/ afternoon nap/ hair appointment- you get to spend some time with baby too.

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Gift cards: Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to know whether this is a good or bad idea but for parents of a growing baby, they may need to buy things later on next year. Gift cards allow them to save up for bigger purchases.

Gift memories: How about gifting a photoshoot for baby and mum and dad? Professional family photos are great to have and a really special gift too. They don't have to be ridiculously expensive either and range from about $100 upwards.

Gift experiences: Baby massage? Baby swimming lessons? Find out what mum would love to do with baby and scout around your area for classes. This doesn't have to be an expensive gift, you can purchase five sessions of baby massage classes for $65, but it will be a great experience for mum and baby to enjoy together.

Tell us- what was the best gift your baby received for Christmas?

- © Fairfax NZ News

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