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Holiday gift guide for newborns to 1 1/2 year olds

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By Karen Apablaza

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Christmas is around the corner! Many of you have started Christmas shopping but for those who have not and need some great gift ideas for newborns up to 1 ½, check out my gift guide below. Happy Shopping!!

Pop ‘N Pick Up Elefun
New from Playskool this holiday season is the Pop ‘N Pick Up Elefun. Little ones cruise along with this adorable toy as they push it forward and five colorful balls pop out of his trunk for little ones to chase. Push the Pop ‘N Pick Up Elefun toy forward and five colorful balls pop out of his trunk for little ones to chase. Roll over the colorful balls and the toy scoops them up to start the poppin’ fun all over again! This toy is recommended for ages 18 months and up and the suggested retail price is $29.99. It is available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on

Pull-Back Vehicles Baby and Toddler Toy
The Pull-Back Vehicles are part of Melissa & Doug’s K’s Kids line, which are designed to engage children with a variety of multisensory features, skill-building and productive play. The Pull-Back Vehicles are perfect for little kids because they are soft, lightweight and easy to use. Simply pull back and release these soft vehicles to see them speed off across the floor. Retrieving the cars after they are released encourages crawling. Playing with this to also develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Parents, you will love the removable wipe-clean wheelie insert and washable fabric surface! The Pull-Back Vehicles are recommended or ages 9 months and up and they retail for $24.99 at Melissa & Doug.

Bubble Guppies Rock & Roll Concert Stage Playset
Bubble Guppies is a big hit in my house so you can imagine my excitement for the new Bubble Guppies toys introduced this holiday season such as the Bubble Guppies Rock & Roll Concert Stage Playset. Little kids will have a rockin’ good time watching Molly and her rock lobster drummer perform two of their greatest hits. Kids can help Molly get ready for the big rock show in her dressing room, then roll her down the ramp past Mr. Grouper as she bursts through the star-shaped door into center stage amidst the flashing lights and music. Molly and her rock lobster are included with the set, but you can buy additional figures including Deema & Bubble Puppy or Gil & Nonny. They are dressed and ready to rock & roll. The playset is recommended for ages 8 months and up and is available for purchase at Toys R Us for $24.99, the additional figures are sold at Toys R Us for $10.99 each.

Disney Baby The Lion King Simba Drop ‘n Roar Amazing Animals
The Lion King is one of my all-time favorite Disney animated films so I just had to include this cool new toy for fall 2013 from Fisher-Price. This playset is perfect for baby and it features the lovable Disney characters Simba and Zazu. The set comes with four colorful balls and all you do is roll them down Simba’s back and right out of his mouth (it opens!) they come …or they drop through the chute and roll out from under his belly. This toy is great for learning as it builds thinking & problem solving skills, motor skills and encourages curiosity. It includes sound effects and an original song, ‘I Just Can't Wait to Be King.’ Additional activities include bat-at roller ball, spinner dragonfly and peek-a-boo leaf. The Lion King Simba Drop ‘n Roar is recommended for ages 6 months-36 months and the suggested retail price is $34.99. It is available for purchase at

Peek n’ Peep Eggs
From Kidoozie, these Peek n’ Peep Eggs are fun and educational. Little kids sort the egg shapes in the carton then lift the eggshell to reveal a cute, colorful chick inside. Press down on the chick to hear him squeak and match the chick’s eyes to his eggshell. The Peek n’ Peep Eggs are recommended for ages 12 months and up. The suggested retail price is $11.99 and they are available on

Rolling Busy Bus
ALEX Toys is a great company for cool toys that are fun and creative and at the same time develop critical skills that last a lifetime. Babies will definitely be busy with the Rolling Busy Bus! The beads on the bus go round and round, and up and down, and over and under! The busy bus features a curvy bead maze at the top, peek-a-boo window, sliders, turning tiles, spinning gear, and wheels that will keep tots learning and having fun. This is a fantastic early learning toy for developing visual stimulation, hand eye coordination and cause and effect. The busy bus is recommended for ages 0-2 and the suggested retail price is $43.95. It is available for purchase at ALEX Toys and

Big Hugs Elmo
Big Hugs Elmo from Hasbro seems to be on every toy expert’s hot holiday list and with good reason. Big Hugs Elmo is adorable, lovable and of course huggable!! This is the first Elmo toy that can hug your little one back. When tots give their red furry friend a hug, Elmo will wrap his arms around them to show how much he loves them! This cuddly 22-inch lifelike Elmo has flexible arms and a soft head. He sings a sweet song about hugs and a bedtime lullaby and encourages pretend play. This all-new design makes the Big Hugs Elmo Hasbro’s largest and most lifelike Elmo interactive plush ever. Big Hugs Elmo is recommended for ages 18 months up to 4 years old and the suggested retail price is $59.99. It is available for purchase at most major toy retailers nationwide such as WalMart and on

Hoot ‘n Rattle Stacker
Owls are the hottest trend this year and the Hoot ‘n Rattle Stacker from Early Years is a sweet rattle featuring mama owl and her two babies, which rattle when stacked together. Big, thick, plush velour rings are easy for little hands to grasp and take on and off of the soft center post. There are crinkle wings, colorful fabric patterns and multi-sensory fabric textures with rich embroidered details on all. The Hoot ‘n Rattle Stacker is recommended for ages 3 months and up and has a suggested retail value of $19.99. It is available for purchase on International Playthings website.

Click, Rattle ‘n Roll Caterpillar
This Caterpillar from Early Years twists, rolls and clicks and comes with three removable rattle balls. It’s a lot of fun for baby to crawl after and chase. This toy is perfect for tummy time, crawling, and walking stages. It is recommended for ages 6 months and up and the suggested retail value is $14.99. It is available for purchase at and International Playthings website.

Baby Snug from Mamas & Papas
Baby Snug is baby's first two-stage floor seat that adjusts as your baby grows. The first stage seat is suitable from 3-12 months and can be used with or without the tray. Remove Baby Snug's seat insert to convert the infant positioner into a second stage seat suitable for 12 months + and can also be used with or without the tray. I love the ergonomic design of this seat! It gives great back support and comfort for your baby. Parents will love that it’s easy to clean, lightweight and portable. Baby Snug is recommended for ages 3 months to 18 month and retails between $59.99-$79.99 at Mamas & Papas website.

Lalaalu is a baby and lifestyle company founded by husband and wife team Nik Ruparel and Soniya Sheth, professional New Yorkers and parents to two kids. Soniya and Nik partner with notable New Yorkers such as chefs, designers, artists and other experts who are parents themselves to curate specialty KidBoxes for infants, toddlers & big kids that showcase their vision as both professionals and as parents. Every 6-8 weeks, Lalaalu presents a new curator along with a new KidBox available in three age categories: Baby (6-12months), Toddler (1-3), and BigKid (4-7). Each KidBox Collection is the unique vision of Lalaalu’s box expert. Nik and Soniya work with the expert to develop a theme that is meaningful to them and then fill the box with 4-8 items that tell a story about their family’s life in the city and the rationale for each of the products in the box. The result is a box unlike any other, and distinctly tailored to urban families. If you’re looking for something cool and unique for a baby gift then check out the New Learners KidBox, which features art cards, wooden toys, feeding spoons, a bib, books and more. This KidBox retails for $50 and is available for purchase at

Twilight Turtle Tunes
Fan of Cloud b’s original Twilight Turtle will love the new updated version that now features sound! Cloud b enhances the soothing starlight projection of the original with their newest innovation, Twilight Turtle Tunes – the first Cloud b character to feature cutting-edge Bluetooth technology! Utilizing a new free Twilight Turtle Tunes app provided by Cloud b, parents and caregivers can choose from a pre-set library of melodies and sounds that can be mixed and matched to create their own customized mixes to play via Twilight Turtle Tunes’ speaker box. A premium app will also be available for $1.99 including the basics, plus the option to access personal music libraries to create totally unique mixes. The melody and twilight effect can be programmed for up to 24 hours via Bluetooth. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a Bluetooth, Twilight Turtle Tunes comes with one default soothing sound of ocean waves. Just like the original, the new Twilight Turtle Tunes glows in blue, amber and green and projects the constellations. In the Bluetooth version, the colors morph from one to the other every five seconds. Twilight Turtle Tunes is recommended for all ages and retails for $51.95 at

Buggy Buddy from Diono
For someone that just had a baby the Buggy Buddy stroller organizer is great to hold bottles, pacifiers, rattles, etc. It keeps all of your essentials organized and within reach when out for a walk with your little one. It’s equipped with zippered pockets to keep valuables safe plus insulated drink holders and a cargo bin to easily store and carry snacks and drinks during any outdoor adventure. The Buggy Buddy fits most strollers and its suggested retail price is $10.99. It’s available for purchase on



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