Updated: May 12, 2022
When it comes to babies, anything and everything is cute. But busy parents need products that also function well. If you want to be a rock star baby gift giver and rock your friend or families world, I have thrown in things to consider based on the child's development so that you can get a gift that will for SURE be used and loved!
In the early days, babies don't need tons (if any) of toys. They don't need bright colored things, flashing lights, or any other overstimulating objects. They also don't need fancy clothes. And fancy clothes and toys are usually all that parents get in the beginning because it's easy and fun to shop for.
So here is my list of really practical baby items.
1. "Where's the sock?" Battle Solved: Zutano Booties! ($21)
Every baby needs two pairs of these.
Seriously, socks just don't stay on little feet. It used to drive me nuts till I discovered these booties. I love them so much. They are so practical and while they cost more than a pair of socks, the value on these booties will last a long time. And here is my favorite budget-friendly option.
2. Baby Carrier: Boba Baby Carrier ($59)
I am a big advocate for baby carriers in general. Even with my RIE parenting beliefs (that don't love babywearing), I still find incredible value in them for various reasons. For the first couple of months of life, I prefer a stretchy wrap like this Boba. At $59, it is a budget-friendly option and they have a lot of cute prints. As much as I love slings, they just put too much stress on one side of my body (even purses give me a hard time) so I really love how that the weight is distributed everywhere.
Also, with a postpartum belly, I like the support the stretchy fabric gives.
3. Sassy Stages Developmental Gym with Built-in Instructions ($69.99)
Another simple place to lay your child is an activity mat. This one has a nice design compared to most and is a little cheaper than similar options. It also comes with tips for every stage of development. I also, compared to nice wooden versions, this one is lighter and is easy to fold up and move around.
4. Co-Sleeper's Friend: Organic Snuggle Me ($99)
Co-sleeping parents will appreciate this kind of gift. This Organic Snuggle Me is what we used. It fit perfectly in our bed and offered a little bit of mental security. Even with goals to co-sleep, I remember being a little stressed about the unlikely chance of rolling onto my newborn. This gave us the best of both worlds.
Since then, I noticed this cheaper option with good reviews. I honestly haven't tried it so I can't vouch for it but it looks like a good budget-friendly option.
5. An Easy Swaddle Option: Love To Dream: ($29.95)
To swaddle or not to swaddle. Unfortunately, this is not something you can plan for. Every baby is different. So I usually like to have a couple of options on hand in those early days to try out.
What I love about this one is it allows mobility for the baby but enough snuggles when their reflexes are going crazy. The zipper also allows for quicker access than the traditional method.
6. Blige SMTF Cute Animal Soft Baby Socks Toys Wrist Rattles ($11.68)
This one is just for fun and the cheapest option of the bunch. I love how simple this product is. Babies can get some solid entertainment with rattles on their limbs and I just think they are adorable.
7. A Friend At Night: Salt Lamp ($19.99)
Okay, this one is not necessary for the baby but it's definitely baby friendly! New Parents are up for a large part of the night. Flipping on lights at night can mess with our circadian rhythms.
I often slept with this light on the lowest setting. It was beautiful and comforting at night. The red dim light was gentle enough to leave on if I needed it.
8. Summer 2-in-1 Bouncer ($56.60)
I am not a fan of a lot of "keep you kid occupied" products. But I do like having a simple place to put your baby. And I do find the slight bouncing feature to help at times. This product is a good mix of designer look yet cheaper than the designer versions. I also like that this is small and lightweight so that you can move the baby when they are sleeping in it.
9. The Ultimate Pajama! Zippy Zams ($29.99)
Coming in at $29.99, Zippy Zams are not the cheapest pajamas but they are so incredibly more enjoyable as a parent than anything else.
Not only is the quality amazing but they come with a zipper in the diaper area! When you are doing diaper changes in the middle of the cold night (and especially if you are a newly stressed out/tired parent), it brings so much comfort knowing you don't have to strip your child to change their diaper.
And if these don't work for you, just don't get anything with buttons. No one has time for that.
10. 5 PCS Organic Wooden Toys Toddler ($25.99)
In the early years, this is really all you need. Some basic, beautiful, and natural options. Keep in mind, that whatever toy you buy, keep it lightweight. My mom gave me a hand-me-down metal rattle which was nice ...and then my baby dropped it on their head....
Things To Consider
In the early months, don't hesitate to just ask the parent what they need. There might have been something they didn't get from their baby shower and can't afford to get on their own. They will appreciate it. Also, keep in mind the season and what weather will be like as well as the type of parent. Are they co-sleepers? Minimalist? Like to be as toxic free as they can? Are they first-time parents of is this not their first rodeo? And lastly, you can never go wrong with too many blankets.
I would love to know! Whare are your go-to gifts for new babies?