Looking for gifts for an 18 month old? Here are the best gifts for 18 month olds – something for every budget and nothing that will put you on the mom and dad’s naughty list!
Does anyone else find that buying a gift for a kid under 2 is excruciatingly painful? I’m not sure if it’s because there are not really concrete likes and dislikes yet, or because they can’t “ask” for things yet, but man, 2 years in a row I’m stumped for what to get my own child. Like, I’m with him all day long. How do I now know?
We finally decided to just get Ryan one medium sized toy (in our small house, we try to keep toys to a minimum anyway) and a stocking full of tchotchkies that we know he’ll dig but won’t break the bank. To be honest, at his age I think he’s going to be more pumped about unwrapping presents. I mean, intentionally ruining things without mom’s disapproving glare? Score!
Gifts for 18 month old Gift Guide
Anyway, if you’re stuck this year for what to buy an 18 month old, have no fear. My holiday gift guide with gifts for 18 month old is here! Below you’ll find some fool-proof gifts the 18 month old in your life is sure to love!
This is Ryan’s all time favorite toy. Alex’s cousin got it for Ryan after her son was obsessed with his, and I was a bit skeptical at first. Not because it wasn’t adorable, but because it seems so simple. There are no bells and whistles, but this toy is awesome. It’s super light so even Ryan can pick it up, and it’s advertised to teach balance and coordination. I don’t know what it is about this thing, but it rocks.
Update: Owen is also in love with Mopi and it’s still in great condition almost 3 years later. It’s the best, you guys!
You guys, be careful with this one. It’s one of the most annoying toys ever. BUT Ryan adores it. We’ve made it into a car toy, which minimizes the driving me crazy and keeps him well entertained in the car, but like I said. Be careful.
That being said, these toys are the best gifts for 18 month old. They already get the concept watching you use them, it’s got a ton of buttons, lights, and sounds that will keep them entertained for at least 10 minutes, and you can bring it with you places. It makes a great stocking stuffer!
Books are always a good choice for any age. At this age, board books are a favorite for ‘reading’ on their own, while (in my opinion) longer books are great for mom or dad reading before bed or, in our case, while Ryan plays, occasionally paying attention. Trust me, mom and dad are tired of reading the same 12 books over and over and over. Offering them something new to add to to line up is a Godsend. Ryan’s favorites right now are I Love You, Stinky Face (always) and Harold and the Purple Crayon, but I also like having this Shel Silverstein book from my childhood to read to him while he plays. (There’s not a ton of fun pictures, but the rhymes are great for little ears)
Ryan is obsessed with putting things in other things. A few months ago I got him some stacking cups from the Dollar Spot at Target and he’s so in love – best dollar ever. Here is a super cheap option and here is a more expensive option.
Does anyone else remember these at every doctor’s office? There’s one at my OB and Ryan totally digs it. I think the fact that this style toy has lasted so many years without much altering really says a lot!
Yeah, this is expensive (about $100 on average). But if you have a bigger budget, go for it. We got Ryan the Spongebob Go Cart for his birthday and while I was skeptical, he’s obsessed, you guys. It’s the cutest thing ever. They make the Go Cart for kids 12 months and up, and the Lil’ Quad for kids 18 months and up. The quad comes in a bunch of different characters, too so you can pick and choose what the kid would like.
- Things they need
This is boring, I know. But while I don’t personally believe babies are as expensive as everyone makes them out to be (or, at least, they don’t HAVE to be.) there are somethings that just add up. 18 months is still the age where they have no idea what is going on, presents wise. For Ryan’s birthday, we asked my dad to get him his convertible car seat. My MIL got us an awesome Carter’s gift card. No, getting an extremely useful gift card, baby equipment, diapers, etc is not fun or exciting, but it’s the most appreciates.
Tips for buying gifts for 18 month old (or really, any kid!)
Before I wrap this up, I want to leave you all with some useful tips regarding buying kids presents. I may gets some poo for this, but I’m not writing this in any way this is mean, rude, or unappreciative to those who buy presents for their favorite little. I’m mostly putting this here to past Morgan, who legit had no idea what to get a kid of any age and broke most of these rules a few times – my deepest apologies to everyone I bought baby gifts for pre-kids. Live and learn, right?
- DO think about how you would feel. Would that drum set drive you off a cliff if you heard a toddler banging on it all day long? Yes? Then don’t get it; that’s just mean. Side note: if you don’t have kids yet and chose to buy that, be prepared, because it’s coming back tenfold.
- DON’T force us to take it out of the packaging it while you’re there. We may have it at home. It may not be age appropriate. We may know that the kid will legit hate it. We may just be being nice by saying that he’ll love it and have every intention to return it. If we want to open it then and there, we will. Please don’t be offended if we don’t though.
- DO realize that a receipt isn’t the worst idea. Not because we hate it! Or because it’s wrong! But because kid’s toys break. All. The. Time. Sometimes 5 minutes out of the box. Sometimes they’re discontinued and we can’t exchange them. If that happens, without a receipt most stores will give you the lowest price they can. If you paid full price, that sucks for everyone involved
- DON’T get what you want the kid to like. If my kid’s into dolls and princesses, but you really wished he loved cars, don’t buy him a car and hope he’ll dig it. That’s rude, and you know it.
- DO keep in mind what mom and dad can buy. While we’re very, very, very fortunate to be able to afford to buy Ryan what his little heart would desire, that’s not always the case. Don’t get a toddler an iPad if you know that it’s obscenely out of the parents’ price range. Yes, the child will LOVE it. But the parents may feel guilty that they can’t be the ones to make him that happy. Money is a sticky subject, guys, so play it safe here.
What are your tips for shopping for an 18-month old? Any other dos and don’ts for buying kids gifts? Old, naive Morgan thanks you! Let me know in the comments!
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