Babies and toddlers are tricky people to buy for, they're so fickle and unless they're crazy about some tv character at this age, then you're really playing a guessing game. My theory is to always get something that will last them a while, they grow out of things so quickly and that immediately crosses a lot off my list. All of the toys with age limits on really don't work, plus when you've got two or more children, the likelihood is that they'll play with each others toys, or if they're anything like my two - all they will want is each others things.

1- I know this first gift is a bit annoying, it's loud and if it's opened at 7am, by 9 you know you're going to be hiding it away. It works well as a gift for someone elses child I find, or even one for them to keep at their grandparents. In reality though, kids love making noise, especially toddlers and a drum is the perfect excuse. I love this particular drum because it's still quite classy and not your usual garish toy.

2- I don't think I'm alone in having a toddler that just wants to play with every single thing that they shouldn't. Top of that list is the remote, my phone and my keys, I spend more time grappling sticky, chubby hands off of them than I do actually using them. So, how about their own set? It might fool them for a little while and they're not quite as noisy as the drum. I've found these little toys make great distractions if you pop them in your bag when you're heading on a day out.

3- A puzzle is a must isn't it? My boys both really enjoy puzzles, and they're another great toy to take out with you if you're heading for a meal or something as they are quiet and peaceful. This circle one is great as it's again not your straight forward bright and colourful puzzle, it has chunky handles so that little ones don't struggle to pick up the circles and you can still use it with older children to talk about shape and size.

4- Baby bouncer - Both of my boys absolutely adored bouncers as babies, and I think it's a wonderful gift to buy for someone who is expecting. Something stimulating for a baby so you can put them down is an absolute must in my eyes, and if you have pets it's a great alternative to popping baby down on a playmat etc. I loved this one from Kiddies Kingdom, it's neutral so could be reused for subsequent children.

5- Now a ball pool might seem a little extravagant, especially given the price but we had a bog standard version of this (plastic sand / water tray filled with balls) for Noah when he was a toddler and it was by far his favourite toy. He would lose hours just sat in there, throwing the balls out and us throwing them back in. The only thing that ever worried me was given it was plastic, if he fell it would hurt, but this foam version is perfect - though probably not as easy to clean it's still a beautiful present.

6- Toddler age is the perfect time to get your little one making marks, it can be seriously difficult for little ones to grasp their chubby hands onto normal wax crayons, so these chunkier ones from ELC are perfect. We had them and have re-bought them for Patrick as they're just great, it means he can really press down and get those motor skills going. They're super cheap and would make a great stocking filler.

7- This is one of Patricks presents this year that if I'm honest, I didn't really want to get. It's plastic, a little garish and makes all the loud and lairy sounds, everything I hate yes but everything a toddler will adore. I know it wont be flavour of the month forever, so I can cope in the meantime. Toot Toot drivers are amazing because you can add lots of different pieces to make the tracks bigger with new sets.

8- Lastly are a firm favourite in this household and something that actually featured in last years gift guides too, so that will prove how popular they are. The Tomy hide and squeak eggs, don't ask me what it is about these six little eggs that my boys adore because I don't know, but they do. We had to buy two sets in the end because as soon as one saw the other with them, it was all out war. They're super cheap and a perfect little gift.

*Some items were given in exchange for featuring.

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