By Jim Hill
Gifts for baby
Babies are easily pleased. But it's their mum and dad that you're really buying for and there's plenty of parenting tech to choose from.
Be it toys that teach, gadgets that track a child's health, or buggies and accessories that make child-rearing that bit more bearable, we've rounded up the best buys for baby.
- Explore our guides to the best baby carrier or the best hiking baby carrier
- The best buggies, prams and strollers
- Some baby bath stuff
And don't worry, if you're budget doesn't reach the same hi-tech Bugaboo model as Kate Middleton, we've included some more affordable, low-tech toys, too. Like the one pictured above, for instance.
Click through the gallery above to see the best gifts for parents!
The Wooden Phone from 3PrincessesStore at Etsy for £12 is hand-madefrom a single block of Canadian maple and finished in natural beeswax. When babies are teething, anything and everything in the house becomes a potential gob stopper with your smartphone being the primary target, so this tasty wooden toy is the perfect diversion. It's tactile, tasty, chemical free and comes with child's name etched on the back.
Unlike your own smartphone, this one is virtually indestructible and won't need upgrading.
If you do need a new smartphone, you know where to go.
Kiddy Evo-Lunafix Egg car seat
This more-or-less egg-shaped car seat comes with unique lie-back interior to ensure that baby has a first class experience whenever they travel. It's a safer and more ergonomic position for sleeping as it keeps the airways open, which means you can travel further before making a pit stop. This seat comes with an ISOFIX base, so the bracket can remain inISOFIX-compatiblecars, while the cot clips conveniently in and out. And with the collapsible canopy to protect from direct sunlight, the egg also makes a fine carrycot that's actually compatible with certain pushchair brands, such as Joolz and Baby Jogger, when you want to turn it into a pushchair.
D-Link Baby Monitor and Camera
Like an extra eyeball, you can place this baby monitor beside junior's cot and watch in unblinking 720p high definition as they sleep. It works over Wi-Fi, so that could be from the next room, or the next country. Or down the pub if you like. It's a free country.If you take this device on holiday and there's no internet, you can just set up a local network between the camera and your phone.
You can record snaps and video clips to your device too and if baby does wake, you can trigger one of five lullabies to play through the two-way speaker and perhaps send them right back to sleep. Perhaps.
Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer
There's nothing like the sound of screaming to add urgency to the task of warming baby milk, but that doesn't make the hob heat up any faster, or stop the microwave melting your bottles. This device, however, can heat a 150ml bottle in three minutes flat and constantly stirs the milk as it does so to ensure it's the right temperature all the way through. It's the perfect fit for the Avant bottle range from Philips - well, of course it is - and you can also use it to warm bottles of baby food. Or hot toddies.
VTech Baby Tiny Touch Tablet
Babies love to copy their parents, but rather than letting them thrash your smartphone the way you seem to, VTech has designed a similar, but rather more robust portable device. Just like an iPhone, the Tiny Touch Tablet has colourful icons to press, only these plastic buttons trigger songs and phrases and activities that teach your child as they play. It's more education and more fun than an iPhone and crucially, it doesn't smash when hurled from a high chair.
Once you've learned to walk, you might as well learn the alphabet too and that's exactly what AlphaPub aims to help you do. It can also help babies, too. Known for its fun and educational toys, Leapfrog designed this talkative pull-along dog to speak letters and words and songs as it is dragged around on its wheel paws. Press the letters on AlphaDog's back to hear the sounds of the alphabet, or the musical note on his tail for an educational song. Three AAA batteries are included, avoiding Christmas day Duracell panic.
Maclaren BMW Buggy
Not to be confused with the McLaren of Formula One fame, this brand collaboration is a stroller, rather than a racer, but BMW certainly brings some slick styling to this boy-racing buggy.
From the reclining bucket seat and four-wheel suspension to the washable hood with integrated sunroof, this machine takes lots of tips from the automotive industry. Our favourite design flourish is the quick-release seatbelt mechanism bearing the BMW logo for when baby needs to bail out fast.
Hexbug AquaBot Jellyfish
Frustratingly, in the first years of their lives, the toys that we'd really like our children to play with, like Hexbug robots, tend to be too sophisticated. However, the autonomous AquaBot Jellyfish is perfect for distracting and amusing cot-bound babies with its 18 graceful tentacles that keep it swimming around its own jar. A powerful ducted impeller and 15 pre-programmed swimming routines ensure this AquaBot will keep its audience entertained as it explores its environment. Just remember to keep the jar out of reach of children under three.
HoMedics Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
Designed for the nursery, this humidifier promises to aid dry skin, eczema and respiratory health, by improving the ambient air quality. Sleep-starved parents will realise that means junior is less likely to wake up screaming.
It works by spraying an adjustable micro-fine mist into the room, while oscillating almost silently. Anti-microbial technology prevents the possibility of moulds or mildews being introduced and one more feature that will please new parents is the calming blue LED nightlight. The integrated lamp gently illuminates the room without waking the little fella.
Babies aren't born with brand-awareness, but if they were, they'd probably want to pushed around in a Bugaboo stroller. Popular with celebrities and city-dwellers, the Bee3 is a particularly compact and flexible design that morphs into a variety of configurations and comes in no fewer than 64 possible colour combinations.
Like a benign Autobot, it will transform from a push chair into a pram (if you buy the separate carrycot) in just a few clicks, thanks to some clever Dutch design, and at 8.7kg, it's light enough to fold flat and carry under one arm.