Ask Design Mom: Baby Gifts

October 24, 2006



Michelle writes: A lot of my girlfriends are pregnant with their first child. Some are really close friends, others are acquaintances. Any ideas for good baby gifts that range in price from $20 to $60? Thanks — I love your blog (and I’m not even a mom)!

What a great question. Thanks for asking, Michelle and thanks for reading. Here are a few ideas:

1) A Knit Blanket
Although they are typically designed as part of a collection, with matching onsies, hats and socks available, a blanket is still a legitimate and useful gift on its own. They are not hard to find. The versions I own from BabyGap and Gymboree are thicker-than-normal and wear well. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be knit. Any pretty-in-it’s-own-right blanket would be great, like this cableknit one from Amy Coe or these swaddling blankets from Babystyle. It’s amazing how many blankets you need as a new mother — especially the first few months. $15 to $30 range.

2) Embellished Burp Cloths
These come in handy in instances the Mom-to-be can’t even imagine yet. Good for burping, drooling, spit-up, runny noses, protecting furniture from diaper blowouts, etc. These hit the scene sometime between Oscar and Betty’s birth. Previous to their invention, we had to use plain old cloth diapers without a single piece of rickrack or ribbon. How sad. My lovely friend Robyn D. gave me a set of three when Betty was born and I am never without one. Beautiful ones available here or here or you can embellish them yourself. $10 to $20 range.


3) Books, Books, Books
It’s never too early to get started on baby’s first library. A few good choices:

-A box of Sandra Boynton’s board books
-Pick several Dr. Suess books, like The Foot Book, There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, and Great Day for Up
-1 classic picture book in hardcover, like Where the Wild Things Are or anything on my Book of the Week list

-The 4 Winnie-the-Pooh books (a must have for every child’s library)
-Give Olivia or Eloise to friends in New York having a baby girl (both feature strong-willed girls in NYC)
$10 to $30 range.

4) A Bathtub
This feels like a big gift. And for sure the new mom will need one. But they’re not expensive. $15 to $30 range.

5) Diaper Bag
I would actually recommend against giving a diaper bag unless you know she’s hankering for a specific one. Moms usually have to figure out what works for them as far as diaper bags go. $40 to $60 range.


6) Robeez
These are the must-have baby shoes of the moment. The big deal is that they don’t fall off. They come in about a zillion patterns. Knock-offs available at Target. $20 to $30 range. Knockoffs $10 to $15.

7) Luxe Baby Beauty Products
The beautiful products I featured here and here would make excellent gifts. $10 to $20 range.


8) Like to make things?
Try these:
Sew a few bibs or a hooded towel. Tania makes amazing hooded towels and includes a rubber ducky and a bottle of baby bath when she delivers them. (Tania, how about a post with directions on how to make said towels?) Jordan screen-printed personalized onesies for Betty and they have been universally admired. $10 to $20 range.

9) Baby Monitor
No matter how small the house or apartment, a baby monitor is super-reassuring. $20 to $40 range.



10) A Good Coat or Bunting
Outerwear for babies is something that can be irritating to spend money on, because it can be pricey and you only use it for a few months — but, you HAVE to have outerwear for babies. So, I’ve loved receiving coats or fleece buntings or jackets as gifts. Try here or here or here. $30 to $60 range.

As usual, I hope my readers will comment with their own wonderful ideas.

[ Edit: I published this yesterday for a few minutes, but it wasn't appearing correctly, so I've fixed it and am trying again today. Sorry about that. ]

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 katie October 24, 2006 at 10:08 am

give them this baby soap dispenser along with the tub–it makes it possible to bathe a baby with one hand. http://www.kidsurplus.com/firy4296b.html

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2 Namona October 24, 2006 at 10:17 am

Great ideas! Spongy Feet has some beautiful blankets, burp cloths, and bibs. They also have wonderful customer service. I ordered a blanket that took awhile to get here, so they sent some burp cloths and a handwritten apology note with it. Wow!

Oh – and I can’t say enough about the Robeez. I love those things. I would be so delighted, if someone gave me those as a gift.

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3 Factotum October 24, 2006 at 10:39 am

Two of my favorite gifts when I had my daughter were: I got a lockable box filled with medicine (baby tylenol, Motrin, and Dimetap) along with band-aids, a thermometer, and more. My other favorite gift was a do-at-home spa kit for me, after all I was the one giving birth. I also thought it would be nice to give a spa or massage gift certificate–something to make the mom-to-be feel pretty (cause we sure don’t at 9 months pregnant or any time post partum).

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4 michelle October 24, 2006 at 11:15 am

THANK YOU GABBY!

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5 Lizzy October 24, 2006 at 12:35 pm

my favorite first baby gift was a box of needs like: infant tylenol, nail clippers, washcloths, mylicon drops, comb/brush, portable wipe box, pacifiers and more. it was so great to get all the little things all at once. i always give this to first time moms.

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6 diaper bags can't be given October 24, 2006 at 8:23 pm

they can only be bought… that’s good advice, Designer Mom! The fact is, diaper bags are like purses; you’ve got to let a woman accessorize herself!
Thanks for all your great links.

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7 Josh October 25, 2006 at 1:21 am

When Amy and I had our first baby, one of our friends gave us the greatest girt (even though I am sure it violates copywrite laws.) They downloaded a bunch of cool images from the internet (children’s book covers, vintage baby product posters, etc.) printed them out on iron-on printer paper (that I think you can buy at pretty much any craft store) and gave us a set of 10 or so onesies with really cool images on them. We loved them, and I’m sure they would cost just a few bucks to make. Some plain, white onesies, iron-on printer paper and some cool images and you are good to go.

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8 Design Mom October 25, 2006 at 12:41 pm

Love all these ideas!

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9 sarah October 26, 2006 at 6:43 pm

ALWAYS go with gifts on the mom’s baby registry. PLEASE PLEASE try to find out what the mom actually wants/needs and go from there. I just had a baby and I ended up with 15 unwanted receiving blankets. (otherwise i like the robeez!)

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10 Design Mom October 26, 2006 at 7:17 pm

Sarah, that’s good advice. I don’t think I’ve ever registered for a baby, but it makes good sense. Good luck with all those blankets. It sounds like you have some regifting to do.

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