That’s the topic parents on Mumsnet are debating, after one mother felt under pressure to spend because she read online that other mums and dads were.
“Everyone seems to have bought their babies loads for Christmas,” she wrote on 5 December.
“Now I’m panicking as I’ve only got my 15-month-old a few gifts: a torch (he loves lights), a pretend aquarium (he loves fish), a toy tractor with animals, a personalised wooden toy box and some books. That’s it.”
The mum said she would rather save her money and get her son decent presents for his birthday in the summer as by then he will be walking.
“Am I sensible or just tight?” she wrote.
Mums agreed that the original poster was, in fact, completely right. The advice was as follows.
1. Don’t spend loads, babies won’t remember it.
“Your baby doesn’t care,” one mum wrote. “You are not being unreasonable. He won’t even remember any of it. Keep it for when he’s older, I’m sure he will be really happy with any gift at all.”
Another wrote: “Your baby will be more interested in the lights and general excitement. If other people have more money leave them to it, but your son won’t suffer because he only got presents he’d actually like for Christmas.”
2. Too many presents can be overwhelming.
Never mind the cost, having a pile of presents to open with a baby who can’t do it themselves will not make for a fun and festive-filled day.
“It’s cruel to overwhelm babies and toddlers with piles of stuff,” one wrote. “They need one or two good things at a time.”
3. Wrap up presents they actually need.
“I wrapped up a load of bibs, onesies and other practical things for mine when they were babies,” one mum wrote.
“The best bit for them was ripping off the wrapping anyway.”
4. Or buy some things from a charity shop.
Babies get bored easily, so if you’d like them to have different toys to play with, but don’t want to spend a lot, one parent suggested heading to your local charity shops to find some bargains.
“For my baby’s first Christmas (she was 10 months) I bought her about three presents from a charity shop totalling £10,” she wrote.
5. This age is the age to start traditions.
Rather than worrying about what presents the baby will have, one mum pointed out that the early Christmases are the ones when you start to make your own family traditions.
“Christmas is about making memories and traditions when they are this young,” she added.
6. Around five new toys is enough for a baby.
Many parents who listed what they bought their babies had on average four to six toys for their baby - and no more.
“We have got our six-month-old a crinkly teddy toy, a stack toy, a doll and an inflatable roller toy,” one mum wrote.
Another commented: “I have a 15-month-old too. We’ve bought him a pack of mega blocks, some books and an aqua mat for Christmas.”
“On my daughter’s first Christmas we got her a lovely Christmas dress and tights to wear to Granny’s house for lunch, a Christmas pack of bibs, a buggy toy, a book and some bath toys.”
7. Think about storage.
“We have never done the masses of presents routine for our children and actively discourage the grandparents from doing so,” one person wrote.
“Partly because they end up overwhelmed and partly because we have nowhere to store everything. Where do people keep all this stuff?”