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Fewer Toys for Tots

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Bad news for 0-to-2-year-olds: Fewer people are buying gifts for them. Forty percent of adults surveyed by The NPD Group said they buy gifts in an average year for kids in that youthful age bracket, down from 47 percent saying the same in a 2007 survey.

But there is some offsetting good news for toddlers (and for marketers of toys), as the amount people spend on two major gift-purchasing occasions for the 0-2 set -- baby showers and holidays -- has increased a bit. In the case of gifts for new babies, the figure has climbed from $26 to $29, on average. Grandparents are at the center of the new-baby-gift universe, spending an average of $72 on presents for a newcomer to their extended family.

Fielded in April and May, the poll found 42 percent of parents paying attention to word of mouth when considering purchase of products for their 0-2-year-olds. That's up slightly from 39 percent in 2007. In its analysis of the findings, NPD notes that "mommy bloggers" have become a force heeded by many parents and, hence, courted by some companies.