Last week, I received a phone call from my mother.

“What does my grand baby need for Christmas?”

‘Tis the season to plan family gatherings and begin Christmas shopping. And this year – we’ve added a couple to the mix! My sister is expecting her second babe any day now, and our daughter will be 6 months old next week. In just one year, my parents have gone from one tiny grand baby to three! With each child in a very different season, I have developed a go-to list of favorite things for our little ones!

Newborns – This is the season of so many diapers, 5,249 bottles, and – let’s face it – minimal sleep. Gifts we love include date nights, gift certificates to Honest.com (our favorite site for all things baby), and teething toys! Some of Hatton’s favorite toys include the winkle and her Skip Hop stroller buddy. And the contraption that has afforded me showers, the ability to cook dinner, and eat with two hands: the Baby Bjorn bouncer.

Infants – This stage is such fun. We’ve seen an explosion of development from Hatton. She is reaching for toys, engaging with anything that makes noise, and rolling all around the floor (she is never still!) Stackable toys make fantastic learning gifts and easily grow with your little babe. Another hit around this house is our Skip Hop activity table, which transitions to an arts and crafts table down the road!

Toddlers – babies on the move! My niece is in constant motion. At 20 months old, she loves to frequent kids museums and outdoor parks, or try her hand at sports in the driveway. Consider purchasing a membership to a local kids museum or a few music classes from Kindermusik, if one is local to your family. Opt for zoo passes or a day at the aquarium. Your grandchild is sure to recount all he or she learned on such a memorable day!

While all of these trinkets are fun (and helpful to parents spending money on loads of diapers and wipes!), the greatest gift we can receive is quality time with our families. As we do every year, we will celebrate Thanksgiving in Blowing Rock and introduce our daughter to holiday traditions with her grandparents. Between the Blowing Rock Christmas parade and choosing her first tree, the photos we will capture of moments with her grandparents will forever remain our most treasured gift.

How do you spend the holidays with family? Do you have traditions with your grandchildren? Share your favorites in the comment section below!

Happy Fall,

Parker


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