Real, Honest Conversations About Adoption

Sensory Gift Guide

Our kids with sensory issues can be tricky to help in the way they need. We don't always know how to calm and console them or what they need to regulate their emotions and impulse-control. They can be anywhere on a wide spectrum of sensory needs that can be difficult to diagnose. This all led me to ask my OT friend Leah to create a sensory gift guide for us for Christmas so we can give the gift of regulation to our babies. Leah and I are thrilled to gift this to you guys, and I hope it helps!


BIG response to incoming sensory info (defensive)

  • Picky eaters

  • Cover ears with any noise

  • Clothes tags/sock seams are a big deal

  • Primarily need calming activities


Little or no reaction to incoming info

  • Sensory seekers-cravers

  • Constant motion

  • Very high threshold for sensory input

  • Need organized alerting/stimulating activities (sounds opposite) to reach threshold to release appropriate neurochemicals


Need sensory input but don’t actively seek it out

  • Sluggish

  • Primarily need alerting/stimulating activities



Build Your List

Below are some ideas for each category. To make it even easier, you can shop for all of it on Amazon using a list we put together.



  • bean bags

  • noise canceling headphones

  • weighted lap pads

  • weighted stuffed animals

  • pressure garments

  • cocoon swing (low and linear movements…no rotational)

  • visual timers

  • body sox 



  • mini trampoline

  • swing

  • hoppy ball

  • vibration

  • chewy jewelry

Alerting passive

  • cold packs

  • fans

  • visual stimulation

  • swing

  • tactile toys