A few people have asked me recently what I’d buy for new parents for a baby shower or for when the baby arrives, so I thought I’d put together a guide to the best baby gifts that new mums and dads will actually make use of. Of course they’ll be grateful for any gift, but if you’re looking for something practical and that they won’t get duplicates of, I hope I can lend a hand.
“It’s not the things wrapped in paper that stick in our minds, but the gestures from our loved ones.”
Below are some physical gift ideas for you, but truth be told when I asked lots of my mum friends what their favourite gifts were when they had their babies, they often suggested things that aren’t a traditional gift at all. For example, Ryan and I got some Just Eat vouchers when Phoebe was born, and those were massively appreciated on the days we were just too exhausted to cook. Better yet, home made meals delivered to your door by friends and family can be incredible. Or even just a Starbucks Hot Chocolate! It’s not the things wrapped in paper that stick in our minds, but the gestures from our loved ones.
When you visit new parents, make the tea (don’t offer, just do it), put a wash load on (if appropriate!), do the washing up. These things will make new parents weep with relief.
Here are a few quick tips before I delve into my recommendations, because I was guilty of not thinking about any of these when I purchased gifts for new parents before I had a baby of my own:
- Think about how practical an outfit is going to be before you buy it. Does it have three layers that’ll make nappy changes a challenge?
- Avoid newborn clothes because they may outgrow them within a few days and the parents probably already have plenty.
- Think about the season – will it be summer when the baby fits in that fluffy jumper you’re thinking of buying?
Aden & Anais Muslin Squares
We got a set of three of these beautiful muslin squares before Phoebe was born. At the time I thought they were a lovely gift, but I didn’t expect to find them one of my absolute favourites. After all, muslins just seem a bit… boring, I suppose. But these are huge, they’re made from such lovely material and they have gorgeous designs (there are lots to choose from). I used them every day for months and occasionally still do despite Phoebe being almost two years old. They come in handy for pretty much everything when babies are involved, from makeshift bibs to cloths for mopping up spillages (and other bodily fluids!) and much more.
These are the perfect gift because new parents probably won’t think to spend this much on muslins, but of all the muslins I had they were by far the best and are definitely worth the price.
H&M Wrapover Bodysuits
When babies are first born, getting vests over their little heads and their squirmy legs is so bloomin’ difficult, which is why my favourite vests and bodysuits for Phoebe were the H&M Wrapover style. They have poppers over the body that mean the vest completely opens, so you can just place it beneath the baby and wrap it round them rather than having to get their head through a traditional style vest.
There are lots of wrapover options from H&M, including short sleeve and long sleeve vests (don’t forget to consider the season) and also babygrows. I’d recommend buying these in sizes between 1 and 6 months.
My favourites include:
This gorgeous set that comes with a hat and leggings for £9.99, three colours available. Buy here.
My 1st Years Personalised Bunny
If you’d prefer something cute and sentimental but not quite so practical, we really loved Phoebe’s personalised bunny from My 1st Years. Of course you need to know the baby’s name for this one so not ideal for most baby showers, but if you’re giving a gift when the baby is already here this could be ideal. There are several colours available and you can also choose different fonts for the name if you wish to.
They’re available for £26.99 from My 1st Years here, but check that they are back open before you buy as they recently had a fire in their warehouse that caused big delays in manufacturing and shipping (which is so sad! They’re a lovely company).
If you’d like to get a toy for the new baby, Phoebe’s favourite was Captain Calamari. It was a gift from a fellow parent who said it was their baby’s favourite too, and I’ve since purchased this for lots of babies because Phoebe loved it so much. (Amazon tells me I’ve purchased it three times!)
It can clip to the pram or be hung somewhere for the baby to reach up and grab, and there are lots of textures, colours and sounds to explore.
Nappies and wipes – such a boring one as a gift purchaser, but you can never have enough!
Big thank you to the lovely mums that helped me with this, you’ll find them all on Instagram:
@raising_harper, @mama.nat, @thiscomfymama, @mama_k_kent, @fairfield_home, @mummytimeuk, @mumderstanding, @the.bush.family, @leannetiley, @mamavakulich, @paytenbelle.