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Ever feel like you’re constantly in the middle of baby season where all of your friends and relatives are expecting a bundle of joy?

As exciting as it is to welcome a new baby into the world, it also means that you’re now tasked with buying a gift. If your friend or relative is very particular, then it’s best to stick to what’s on their list. But if they’re laid back, well, that opens up a slew of questions:

Are you getting something for the nursery? Looking for a customizable gift? Trying to stick to a budget? Giddy to splurge on your first niece or nephew?

Phew! It can get overwhelming. Luckily, that’s where we come in.

Whether you’re shopping for a loved one’s baby shower or planning your own baby registry, we’ve compiled some of the best baby gifts out there for babies and parents-to-be.

From budget options to sweet toys to gender-neutral baby clothes, there’s something on this list to make any expecting parent smile.

Of course, when recommending products that are geared toward babies or children, we always make safety our top priority. In addition to ensuring that none of the products we recommended below pose a safety hazard, we also looked for giftable options that have high ratings, are outside the box, or offer customization to make the gift truly personal.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best gifts for personalizing

Name Puzzle Stool from Damhorst Toys

  • Price: $$

One of the biggest problems with buying something specifically for newborns is that this stage in a baby’s life is incredibly brief. So whenever possible, it’s best to pick items that grow with a baby.

These custom name puzzle stools from Damhorst Toys are great because they fill so many needs. It’s a great decor option for a nursery, and as baby grows, they’ll love the removable letters that they can refit to complete the puzzle again and again. Then, as they get older, it’s a sturdy, functional step stool so little hands can safely reach the sink for washing.

Damhorst Toys is a family-owned company that’s been making these stools since 1971, so you know they’re well-respected and well-loved. Our Market Editor still has hers from childhood!

Customizable book from Hooray Heroes

  • Price: $

This gift will definitely be more significant for mom or dad at first, but a personalized book, like these from Hooray Heroes, is a great way to memorialize the fleeting moments that are babyhood.

These hardcover books can be customized with the baby’s name and gender and can be written from the perspective of a mom and dad, mom and mom, dad and dad, or one parent. You can even customize baby’s eye color, hair color, hairstyle, and skin tone!

Parents will love reading this book (caution: tears are inevitable), and as their child grows and begins to understand more, they’ll love hearing a story all about them.

Customizable baby bib from MarlMarl

  • Price $

Having multiple baby bibs is so essential. But the fun, colorful bibs that you want to use for a special occasion shouldn’t be the same stained and beat-up basics that you use daily to wipe spit-up and drool.

In that case, can we recommend these adorable bibs from MarlMarl? The Japanese brand offers a wide range of super cute snap-on bibs with appliques. Their 360-degree design makes it easy to rotate the bib when the inevitable happens, and any style can be embroidered with baby’s name to make them an affordable custom gift.

Personalized milestone blanket from Lifestyle Blankets

  • Price: $

These days, the first year of a baby’s life is meticulously documented with an elaborately staged monthly photo (then posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). And oftentimes, parents use a milestone marker like a set of blocks, a onesie, or a numbered blanket.

While there are plenty of generic milestone blankets on sites like Amazon, why not step it up a notch with this personalized milestone blanket on Etsy? We love the relatively neutral backdrop and woodland animals along with the baby’s name in a beautiful script. You can even customize the material to be sherpa, minky, or fleece depending on your preferred method of snuggly softness.

Customizable rainbow abacus from WeGotYouBabe

  • Price: $

This handmade rainbow abacus is a beautiful and thoughtful gift with function. Three metal arches are affixed with colorful wooden beads and mounted on a sturdy wooden platform. It’s a stylish addition to any nursery.

It doubles as nursery decor when the baby is small and can be played with when they’re a little older. It’s made of wood and metal, and it has options for customizing colors and the name.

Best on Amazon

Splashin’kids Tummy Time Water Play Mat

  • Price: $

In the early days, tummy time usually isn’t met with excitement by most babies. But this inflatable Tummy Time Water Play Mat from Splashin’kids just might change an infant’s tune — that’s why it’s one of the best baby gifts you can find on Amazon.

Intended for ages 3 months and up, this easy-to-use activity mat can be filled with water for a gentle and responsive tummy time experience. Plus, the bold colors and floaty toys will engage baby as they strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles to reach and touch.

It’s also made from BPA-free heavy-duty PVC so reviewers say it’s extremely durable — however one reviewer pointed out that you should change the water often to avoid “scummy water,” and another says it gets too cold for her baby to lay on when the air temperature is cooler.

Lil Nipper Infant

  • Price: $$

Trimming teeny baby fingernails can be nerve-wracking for new parents, but this gadget makes it a stress-free experience. It’s a battery-operated clipper sized for infants, babies, and toddlers with a safety shield and patented trimming mechanism for a clean, continuous cut. A mini light illuminates the nail, and an enclosed compartment with a sliding bottom catches clippings for easy disposal.

The Lil Nipper is made with medical-grade stainless steel and easy-grip side panels, with no blade sharpening required. It’s one of those gifts parents will find themselves using again and again.

Best budget-friendly gift

Lamaze Captain Calamari

  • Price: $

As a general rule, parents-to-be are always advised to make the bulk of their baby registry selections $50 or less so that it’s affordable for their friends and family. But if you’re sticking to a budget, even $50 might be a bit much.

This adorable, tactile toy is a fan favorite on Amazon and a budget-friendly option. Captain Calamari is full of knots and crinkles, and multiple textures to engage babies’ senses. It’s safe for babes of all ages and attaches to strollers, cribs, or bouncers. And, not for nothing, but this toy also deserves 100 cuteness points for the name “Captain Calamari.”

Best baby gift basket

Third & Main Heirloom Baby Boy

  • Price: $$$

If you’re at a loss as to what to get your friend or relative for their baby, you can’t go wrong with a gift basket. And if you’re not sure whether they’re having a boy or a girl, opt for a gender-neutral basket. The easiest way to do that is to pick colors that aren’t overly associated with baby boys or baby girls.

While this pick is technically geared to baby boys, it’s filled with goodies that will work for either gender. Each box is packed with a soft cotton knit blanket (machine washable, of course!) in a soft gray, matching hand-crocheted baby booties, also in gray, a fox-adorned rattle, knit fox plush toy, and a book.

If you’re shopping specifically for a baby girl, Third & Main also has gift boxes with a feminine theme.

Best for big siblings

“The Super, Incredible Big Sister” book

  • Price: $

If your friends or relatives are expecting a second or third child, the older siblings might soon feel left out of the mix (especially if there isn’t much of an age gap). Not only does gifting the older sibs make them feel extra-special, but it’s also a quick way to become the coolest aunt or uncle around.

This cute, personalized book from author Jennifer Dewing and illustrator Jill McDonald is available in “Big Sister” or “Big Brother” titles. The story reassures soon-to-be-siblings that they’re appreciated and loved, and even rewards them for helping out with their newest family member by awarding them a medal of honor. We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Best clothing splurge

Scalloped Bodysuit from MarlMarl

  • Price: $$

Onesies are a go-to gift for newborns and babies, and they definitely get a lot of use in the early days. That being said, they can be pretty forgettable when it comes to a baby gift.

If you’re looking to wow your friends or relatives, you might want to splurge on another unique option from MarlMarl. While the brand has a wide range of items for infants up to toddlerhood, we picked this cute dress bodysuit that is anything but boring.

Scalloped lace detailing and a soft pink color make this adorable 100 percent cotton outfit a guaranteed head turner. The only downside is that little ones don’t stay little for long, so it’s not a gift that will stand the test of time.

Best gender-neutral clothing

Baby clothes from Primary

  • Price: $

If you’re having a hard time finding clothing that deviates from the traditional “pink is for girls, blue is for boys,” might we recommend Primary?

This bold children’s brand offers a range of cute outfits in colorful, gender-neutral options for children from newborn to 12 years old. They’re known for using chemical- and irritant-free fabric and for being super soft and snuggly.

Best nursery decor

West Elm Metallic Woven Nursery Storage

  • Price: $$

It’s amazing how quickly babies accumulate, well, things, so storage options are never a mistake. These soft-sided baskets are nicely sized for toys, books, and various play things.

Each basket is handwoven in soft grays and cream tones with subtle metallic accents, and they’ll work well with just about any nursery theme. Plus, they’re available in two sizes.

Puzzle Baby Play Mat from Sunny Home on Etsy

  • Price: $$$

We’re not going to lie, this is most definitely a splurge. But it’s adorable and, if you’re close with the person you’re shopping for, totally worth it.

Baby play mats aren’t new, but imagine a play mat that’s cut into a jigsaw puzzle! This nine-piece plush puzzle mat from Etsy is a soft place to play and a great addition to a nursery floor.

Safety-wise, it’s important to note that because this mat is plush and intended to come apart, this gift is intended for older babies who can sit up unassisted, not for infants practicing tummy time.

Best gifts we bet nobody else is giving

Lamb Plush Nursery Rocker

  • Price: $$$

Again, this is another splurge, but a totally thoughtful and special gift. Rockers aren’t new, but if you’re not a fan of the plastic options from mass-market brands, this plush lamb rocker from Pottery Barn Kids is a great alternative.

It has a vintage feel thanks to the wooden frame and the plush body, and well, it’s just too darn cute. And while this gift probably won’t get any use in baby’s first 12 months, the fact that you can add a monogram and that it’s safe for kids from 1 to 5 years old means it’ll be a nursery staple for years to come.

Gray Tubby Bath Organizer

  • Price: $

Bath time can be fun — unless you’ve misplaced your child’s favorite bath toy. Whether or not they’ve experienced the drama of a missing toy firsthand, expecting parents will definitely appreciate the gift of organization in the form of this bath toy organizer from Pottery Barn Kids.

This suction-mounted mesh container with a visible window means that you never have to wonder where Ducky wandered off to. Plus, its clean design doesn’t make it an eyesore for more design-focused families. For gift givers who want to give a name-brand appeal gift without the sticker shock, this is a happy compromise.

Best gift for parents planning on baby-wearing

Cub Wrap

  • Price: $$$

This is another splurge, but any parents planning on baby-wearing may want to consider the Cub Wrap. It’s made in New York City from recycled performance fabric, so it’s moisture-wicking and machine washable. Another bonus? It has a UPF rating of 50 (the clothing equivalent to sunscreen) and comes in a great range of colors.

The Cub Wrap is safety rated for babies between 8 and 20 pounds, and it’s certified hip healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Most traditional baby gift

Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Baby Quilt

  • Price: $$

A good baby blanket is worth its weight in gold, and this pick from Little Unicorn is particularly lovely. Four layers of 100% cotton muslin make for a soft, cozy, but lightweight and breathable blanket that will double as a playtime surface, stroller cover, nursing cover, and more. Of course, it’s entirely machine washable, with colorfast designs that won’t fade.

And speaking of designs, the Little Unicorn baby quilt is available in a great selection of prints and solids.

Best baby gift for parents heading back to work

Mini Ducklings Soothie Sleeve

  • Price: $

This clever set is designed by a pediatrician/mom to soothe babies when they’re away from mom and dad. It includes an exceptionally soft plush toy, board book, and removable sleeve that mom can wear on her forearm to absorb her scent. Then, the sleeve fits onto the plush toy like a shirt.

According to Dr. Sarah Donahue, the creator of the Soothie Sleeve, a mother’s scent has been scientifically shown to soothe their babies. The set comes with a choice of four plush animals plus an extra sleeve. It comes in a ready-to-gift box and makes a nice gift for moms planning to go back to work.

Choosing the right baby gifts means keeping a few things in mind.

  • Keep it age appropriate: A gift that parents can use right away or within the next 6 months is usually a good idea. Otherwise, you’re giving something that needs to be stored away, and you run the risk of the busy parents forgetting about it entirely.
  • Be thoughtful: Spend a little time thinking through gift options. No matter your budget, there are endless options for functional or downright adorable gifts. Baby items that you’d personally recommend, based on your own experiences or others, tend to be very well received.
  • Be realistic: If it’s overly fussy or not easily cleaned, do the parents a favor and keep looking!

What is a baby push gift?

A push gift, or push present, is a gift given to a new mother after she’s given birth. Usually, this gift is presented by the new mom’s partner or family in recognition and celebration of all her hard work bringing a new baby into the world.

Baby registries can be intimidating if you’ve either never shopped in this category before (ahem — or you put it off until the last minute).

But if you have the wiggle room to go “off-script,” our top recommendations will prove that you’re the most thoughtful and unique gift-giver at your next baby shower.