Little luxuries: The best gifts for babies and toddlers

Mhairi Mann

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8 December 2021

From imaginative play to Fair Isle knits, you won’t go wrong with our edit of the very best clothing, toys and nursery decor for little darlings this Christmas

8 December 2021 | Mhairi Mann | If you purchase something via our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

T

he baby market can often be overwhelming, as you try to navigate the myriad 'must have' play kitchens, pram suits, teepees, tents and all manner of garish light-up gadgets. This Christmas, sidestep the usual paraphernalia and select from our edit of practical, beautifully presented gifts for babies and toddlers. Buy less and buy better, from imaginative play and educational gifts to expand young minds, to the cutest co-ords and festive sets to cuddle up in all winter long.

Winter warmers: The best fashion gifts for babies

From top left: Velour angel wing sleepsuit, £55, mariechantal.com; Burgundy Baltino merino wool baby set, £66, lacoqueta.com; Faye wool bonnet, £42, andostores.com; Sequin jingles reindeer jumper, £30, thewhitecompany.com; Knitted reindeer joggers, £29.50, babymori.com; Classic blue Fairisle jumper, £82, pepaandcompany.com; Finlay fox stocking, £29, mariechantal.com; Knitted mittens, £14, thewhitecompany.com

'Tis the season for coordinating cashmere, Fair Isle knits and bobble-topped bonnets. Marie Chantal has released a special edition of its signature Angel Wing onesie in festive red velour, as well as sweatshirts, joggers and keep-forever Christmas stockings. Pepa & Co. is the Duchess of Cambridge's regular go-to for smart and comfortable clothing for little ones, including tartan dresses and corduroy rompers. Visit the flagship shop on Elizabeth Street, a charming thoroughfare in Belgravia where you will also find Papouelli footwear, purveyor of the finest party shoes for tiny feet. 

Playtime: The best toys for babies and toddlers

From top left: Ride on car toy, £120, thewhitecompany.com; Multicoloured dice by Liewood, £38, alexandalexa.com; Little Dutch Activity Walker, £64, scandiborn.com; Le Toy Van Showtime Puppet Theatre, £149, harrods.com

As the old proverb goes, a child is not a vessel to be filled but a lamp to be lit. Ignite their imagination with educational toys that support early learning and motor skill development, while alos being particularly charming in one's living room or nursery. The Ride On car toy is a perennial favourite for a first birthday, while Little Dutch's far-reaching range of wooden toys and activity walkers are perfect for little minds, created with a Nordic aesthetic. 

Warm and dry: The best puddle-perfect suits

From left: Alaska Panda baby overall, £165, Penguin shell baby overall, £120, both Mini Rodini, minirodini.com; Heart printed limited edition coverall by Kuling, £65, alexandalexa.com; Slate gray rain coverall by CeLaVi, £44, alexandalexa.com

Prepare for wintry puddles and festive park rambles with these ultra-insulating, stylish suits. Mini Rodini's rain-resistant overalls are made from 100% recycled polyester, in an eclectic range of colours and signature cartoon prints. Swedish brand Kuling also creates waterproof coverups that don't compromise on style, as well as adorable boots, mittens and jackets.  

Soothing spaces: The best nursery furniture

From top left: extra-large chest of drawers, £1,195, dragonsofwaltonstreet.com; Ladybird tent by Ferm Living, £115, alexandalexa.com; Snuzpod 4 cribside cot, £199, snuz.co.uk; Big Stuffed Albino Octopus, £159, harrods.com, London toy bus, £50, thewhitecompany.com

Dragons of Walton Street has been hand-painting nursery essentials for discerning clients for more than 20 years. It is the brand of choice at the private Portland Hospital and it counts Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow among clients. At a lower price point, modernists will love Snuzpod's bestselling bedside crib in natural tones, while the Ladybird tent by Ferm Living is ideal for concealing toys. 

Read more: The best shops for baby and childrenswear in London