Loco Parentis: What Your Child Really Wants for Christmas -The Toast

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Gifts_xmasIt’s almost Christmas and all over the Internet, mom blogs are filling up with gift guides for babies. You’ve seen these. They’re packed with affiliate links and, therefore, stocked with the priciest and most instagrammable versions of things you might typically buy for a child. Gifts like this $167 hoodie. For a baby. And these $60 shoes sized for a non-walker. And this $198 rag doll. You read that right. Who in their right mind would buy this for a child? If someone bought my kid a $200 doll, I wouldn’t put it in his toy box; I’d put it in our safe deposit box.

As the mom of a two-year-old (who is not armed with affiliate links), I’m here to level with you. Here is my gift guide to what your kid really wants this Christmas.

Age 0-3 Months

Nothing. Babies this age can’t do anything! Save your money for when they can actually focus their vision on fixed objects. If you simply must wrap something up, make it clothes. And pick a pattern that will look good with poop on it.

Age 4-8 Months

  1. Paper
  2. Toilet paper
  3. Grocery store receipts
  4. A used dog dish (or anything else disgusting)

Age 8 Months, 1 Week and 3 Days

  1. URGENT: A butter spreader with a handle shaped like a gingerbread man from your aunt’s house

Age 9 Months-1 Year

  1. Goldfish crackers
  2. A small bag of sand and a box of plastic spoons
  3. A 2/3 full box of tissues
  4. Anything with a zipper
  5. Popsicle sticks
  6. Your rich friend’s watch (for teething)

1 Year, 4 Months and 6 Days

  1. A box. Any box. Every box.

Age 1-2 Years

  1. As many birthday candles as you can afford
  2. Empty shampoo bottle
  3. An acorn and, if he loses it, a different acorn
  4. Your books (not kids’ books; only yours)
  5. A cell phone that’s already broken
  6. Clicky pens; the more apt to bleed ink everywhere, the better

Of course, if you simply must go the other way, babies also really love to mess with your MacBook Air. Recommended.

Aubrey Hirsch is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Rumpus, Brain, Child Magazine and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter: @aubreyhirsch.

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