Toys with no defined use, such as sticks and bits of string are, I think, best for their imaginations. They can make their own characters, or anything else.
Electronic things that make noises are perfect if you hate the baby's parents and would like to watch them going slowly mad.
In our house, the toys that endured have been:
Indoor tent and tunnel. About nine years on, it still comes out now and then for indoor hunting trips, etc.
Blocks. Adults seem to like playing with wooden blocks, so it's a good toy to encourage a parent to play with baby. It's much simpler than Duplo for tiny fingers. For the same reason, wooden train sets like Brio are good - though ikea's knock offs are much cheaper and almost as good)
Teddy bears are good for roll playing, and unlike Barbie or hero figures, their characters are not preordained and they are gender neutral - though early on, Finn established that none of his teddies had a willy, so they were all female, and could he please have some boy teddies.
The Rupert bear I got when I was two is now sharing a bed with my (5 year old) daughter. I hasten to add there was an intervening period when he lived in the cupboard, but she's happy with him, gives him lots of stitch tearing love, and she thinks Rupert as drawn in the books looks funny with his nose that hasn't been lain on, and his white, rather than grey, fur.
Having said all that. How many teddies or wooden blocks does a child need? Not as many as they have relatives, in most cases.
So for that reason, I think clothes are the best present for a baby.
Posted on 2014-12-16 11:53:15