newborn baby

Before having my own babies, I always struggled with gift ideas when it came to newborns. Most of the time, I had no idea what the baby already had, what the parents would like the baby to have, or what the baby would appreciate having in the future. I usually defaulted to traditional onesies or those newborn sets with hats and socks and shirts. Now, looking back as a Mom of two, those gifts probably sat there collecting dust in a “return” or “donate” pile at the corner of the nursery. You may have done the same, and that’s ok because for someone who doesn’t have any kids, buying GREAT gifts for a newborn can be challenging. So with a couple of kids under my belt, here is a Mom’s perspective on what would be some awesome newborn baby gifts to receive, and ones you can be proud to give.

Personalized Basket – I started making these for my friends and family after my daughter was born. I realized that while most people take flowers or balloons when they visit the hospital both were anything but great ideas (flowers start to smell and some babies are even allergic and balloons are the last thing you want in your car for that FIRST, nervous ride with your baby). So I decided to buy baskets from my local craft store and then personalize with a name or decoration and fill them with different things – a cute stuffed toy, books, a meaningful item – you decide. Often I also included items I felt the Mommy would appreciate, ranging from breastfeeding must-haves to a mani-pedi gift certificate to a bottle of wine. You can tailor the basket to the Mommy’s and Baby’s needs. If you are not crafty, you can order a ready-made personalized baskets from Pottery Barn Kids.

Newborn Photography Session – These sessions tend to cost a few hundred dollars, but if you’re gifting to someone close (like a niece or nephew) and are willing to dish out the cash, this is my absolute favorite newborn baby gift. The newborn stage is so fleeting that everyone will treasure these photographs, and best of all looking back you’ll know you were the one who helped captured them.

Personalized Blanket or Bedding – Babies can never have enough blankets or bedding (considering how quickly you have to change them due to poop messes, spit-ups and such) so this is a very useful gift. Recently a friend of mine purchased personalized sheets and a blanket with my son’s name on it and I love it as does everyone else who sees it. It was from a shop called HugBug and super soft 100% cotton – you can browse their Etsy shop or visit their Instagram for inquiries.

Special Book or Books – When my daughter Sophie was born, one of our young family members who was a philosophy major gifted us a philosophy book titled “Sophie’s Choice.” She and I always talked about the origin of the name Sophie since it’s found in the word “philosophy” and means “wisdom” in Greek. Although she won’t get to read this book until she’s a bit older, I’ve kept it safe and sound for her in hopes that one day it will add to Sophie’s wisdom. Gifts like these are so special because they can be passed down and kept and used forever. If you can’t think of a meaningful book or story for the newborn in your life, then you can buy your favorite book and write a note inside telling them what you love most about it, then he/she will have a special note to read with each. You can also purchase a custom book where the baby’s name is written in the story, check out for some great options.

Gift Certificate to Baby Gym – Most Moms of newborns have probably already heard about Baby Gyms, but for those who haven’t or have yet to sign up, a gift certificate will give them the chance to try it out. Babies can enroll as early as 6 weeks and continue until 10 years old. These gyms are a place where babies develop physical, cognitive and social skills through dance, games, sports and more. It’s also a great time for parents to bond with their children one-on-one. One of the most popular of these is MyGym, check them out for more information.

Piece of Special Jewelry – This doesn’t have to be something they wear as a child, but can also be a meaningful piece of jewelry like one with their birthstone.

Check for the Future – Whether it’s a check toward their college fund or first business, contributing to a bank account for a newborn baby is a gift with longevity. You can write a check with a message and maybe a wish (as to how the money should be spent) and hopefully your little scholar or entrepreneur (or both) will follow through.

PS, the top picture is of my Christian from his newborn photography session that my best friend gifted us. It is truly one of my most treasured gifts!