Life with kids can be a messy, fast-paced blur. Long days are filled with young ones running around laughing, crying, and learning through making messes. It’s a joy-filled, germ-ridden existence. Parents with babies and toddlers are especially aware of the importance of keeping a clean home, as little ones tend to explore their world by putting just about everything into their mouth. For families who already have enough stuff, some of the best gifts for parents of toddlers are ones that make life simpler, easier, and a little bit cleaner. We’ve compiled a list of some uncommon and thoughtful gifts perfect for parents with toddlers – regardless of the holiday and your gifting budget.
A certificate for a home cleaning service can be one of the kindest gifts you can give to parents of small children. Whether you’re giving it as a gift for a holiday, a birthday, or just because, a clean house is appreciated any time of year. Not only will this gift turn any house into a clean home, it gives a parent time off to relax and recuperate. Most local cleaning services offer gift certificates in varying amounts with special deals around major gift-giving holidays, so you may be able to secure this gift as low as $50.
Cell Phone Wipes
Kids get their hands on everything. Toddlers can go from crawling on the floor to grabbing shoes to touching a TV remote or their parent’s cell phone. But toddlers don’t just spread germs from one place to the next, they also pick them up. If you put your cell phone down on a public restaurant table, those germs can spread to your child once he or she grabs it. An easy way to stop the spread of germs is to use sanitizing wipes on cell phones, electronic devices, and other common handheld objects. Wireless Wipes offers convenient resealable portable packs that can be stowed in a diaper bag, car, or purse. With packages starting as only $2.50, these aromatic cleaning wipes can be added to a gift bag or make a great stocking stuffer.
Our shoes keep souvenirs of dirt and grime from everywhere we travel. A study by Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, found an average of 421,000 units of bacteria (including E. coli) on the outside of shoes. These bacteria, which get tracked into our homes and can be picked up easily by crawling babies and toddlers, are especially harmful to the immune systems of small children. Even if parents have a rule of taking shoes off at the door (which many American families don’t), an antimicrobial doormat can help remove dirt and microbes before they make their way into a home. Many people haven’t heard of antimicrobial doormats, so this can make a unique and thoughtful gift. Starting at $27, it’s a pretty inexpensive present, too.
Motion-Detecting Light Switches
An easy way to make any home more technologically advanced, motion-detecting light switches are also a great way to keep homes cleaner. It’s also a great way to save energy while avoiding the spread of germs on light switches in some of the most commonly dirty rooms, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, kids’ rooms, and kitchens. With options as low as $19, these sensors are a cool way to help a parent upgrade their home while saving more money (and time cleaning) in the long run!
One way to help a parent (and their child) breathe easier is to give the gift of cleaner air. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can capture up to 99.9% of dust and allergens, reducing the amount of household dust, plant pollens, and pet dander. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving – it’ll clean the air and reduce dust and germs around the home. Air purifiers can also serve to reduce odors and kill bacteria and viruses. Options range from $40 to $150. Make sure to buy one with a HEPA filter!
Another cool techy gift, sanitizing wands use ultraviolet light to kill germs and bacteria on hard surfaces without using harsh or smelly chemical cleaners. These wands can be used to sanitize kids’ toys, counters, pet toys, electronics, furniture, and fixtures at home and in public. For parents of children with allergies, this gift can destroy allergy-inducing microorganisms. Starting at $44, there are even cordless, battery-operated portable options for busy parents on-the-go. Perfect for sanitizing a shopping cart handle or play surface for toddlers.
Touch-Free Soap Dispenser
Many public restrooms use them to limit the spread of germs, so why not have this simple technology in the home? With choices starting at $8, this gift can upgrade the look of any home bathroom or kitchen while promoting a cleaner living environment. Plus, it adds a pretty fun and unexpected touch.
Purses and diaper bags are a staple for parents of toddlers. Moms and dads have to carry necessary supplies and storage at all times to keep small kids fed, clean, and happy. When at all possible, bags and purses shouldn’t be put on floors – especially in public areas – because they can end up picking up dirt and bacteria from shoes. Bag or purse hooks are a great way to keep these items off the floor. Available in hundreds of designs and styles, hooks can range from $2 to $15. They’re generally lightweight and small, so they can fit easily in a bag and be taken out to hang on a table or counter at any destination.
Any of these gifts would make great presents for parents with toddlers and young children. In fact, they’d also make wonderful gifts for germaphobes or anyone who wants to reduce the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses (isn’t that everyone?)! No matter your budget, there are plenty of thoughtful and uncommon gifts you can give to the parents in your life that will make them feel appreciated. Show your loved ones you really care by giving them a gift that can improve their health and well-being.