Top 10 Show-Stopping Baby Shower Gifts

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Is there anything more exciting to a family than the arrival of a newborn baby, no…unless it’s two newborn babies maybe (which is both exciting and scary). As I write this I have a total of six friends and family who are either about to have a baby or have just had a baby – six! Now I have a lot of kids in my life, but six being born at around about the same time is a record for me. Two of the six are in my family, with both of my sister-in-laws due to give birth in the same month. In fact, my friends Mary and Leo, and Jenny and Chris are having their first in that month too. May is going to be busy. Luckily for them, I’d like to say my many years of gifting have made me somewhat of a pro. Not just because I think I’m well-practiced at picking presents parents need, but I pounce on people’s wish lists or registries, as if it was my only chance to get front row tickets to see U2 in concert. Here are some of the best gifts you can buy for newborn babies, quick get onto it, pounce!

Baby update: The May babies came, and boy did they! My sister-in-laws gave birth a few weeks early, and one day apart, no less. May 2022 has been busy and I’m pretty sure every May, every year after this one, will be too, as little Frankie and Leon (that’s the baby names) grow together.

Table of Contents

Baby carrier

Over $200 – I recently gave my sister-in-law the gift of a Baby Bjorn Carrier. Funny story, I’m 5-foot-nothing and my first experience with a baby carrier was walking my friend Cayla’s son, Orion, around the park while she recorded a podcast. I should mention at this point that Orion was a big baby for his age. His legs were constantly tapping on my knees as we walked past amused strangers and their curious pets. But luckily most parents are “adult” sized and won’t have the issue I had, which is why I love this gift for new parents with newborns. There’s lots of brands out there but I like the always reliable Baby Bjorn carrier, which is so easy to adjust, so whether you’re 5 foot or 6 foot, just pop it on, pull the straps, and go. 

Transition sleep bag

Under $50 – you’re gonna hear me say this a lot, but I recently bought this item as a gift for a friend – 6 babies coming this year, I repeat, 6! Love To Dream Swaddle UP Transition Bag is close to my heart because it’s an Aussie invention, and I’m Aussie (oi, oi, oi…we chant that every time people say Aussie). Transitioning bubba from swaddle to arms-free sleep can be challenging, so this nifty gift allows parents to transition their baby arm-by-arm, with removable ‘wings’. It’s also certified ‘hip-healthy’ design allows the recommended flexion for hips & legs.

UV light sanitizer

Over $100 – I love this item for parents – and non-parents actually – not just because sanitizing is so relevant in these times, but I like any gift that is multi-functional. The Papablic 4-in-1 UV Light Sanitizer sterilizes bottles in as little as 11 minutes and dries them (lots of them) in just over 40 minutes; and has a handy little tiered tray for pacifiers. You can also pop in other household items that need to be sanitized such as your phone, keys, or wallet. It’s big enough to fit toys and baby products, but is compact and well-shaped so it can sit nicely on a counter.

Diaper bin

Under $100 – Remember in the intro when I said there are 6 new babies coming into my circle? Well my other sister-in-law is getting this gift. Look, some gifts don’t sound as elegant as giving a beautiful hand-knitted personalized blanket (that’s also on the list by the way), but there are really good gifts because they make life for parents easier, or at the very least a bit more bearable, and the Tommee Tippee Twist and Click Advanced Diaper Disposal Bin System is one of them. The best thing about it, it traps dirty diaper smells, which saves parents from making constant trips to empty the trash. It’s also  nice and compact, and it’s environmentally friendly if you buy the official refills which are made from 98% recycled plastic.

Waterproof play mat

Under $100 – I think this is one of my favorite gifts to give newborns, even though they won’t use it straightaway. But they definitely will use it in time, and you probably know by now that I love gifts that get a lot of use. I like the Bammax Play Folding Mat for 3 key reasons – it’s colorful and foldable making it easy for parents to store it away if they want, it’s thick which comes in handy whether the baby is laying around, enjoying tummy time, or eventually crawling, and it’s waterproof; I gave my friend Nancy one of these and she said her baby boy literally peed on it as soon as he got on. She says that’s a sign he likes it!

From $25+ – my beautiful friend, Ann, a mother of an 18 month old girl, is someone who deeply cares about the footprint she and her family leave behind, which is why when I spoke to her about baby gifts she requested environmentally-conscious gifts – if you insisted on getting her anything at all. So I opted for a donation to UNICEF. You can choose from dozens of donation gifts, from vaccine gift packs, to school packs, to clean water and nutrients packs. Just choose your gift, sign a card, and send.

Personalized baby blanket

Under $100 – Ok ok I admit, sometimes getting gifts for newborns or new parents can seem a bit ‘clinical’ – sanitizers, monitors, diaper management etcetera. Enter the Personalized Embroidered Knit Baby Blanket by noorandnoah, which is both practical and sentimental, my favorite combination. It’s a soft, breathable, handmade cotton blanket – aka made with love – and you can customize the design by choosing from up to 8 blanket colors, and 9 different font styles. This beautiful gift is perfect for the nursery, car seat or stroller.

Baby monitor

Under $200 – my girlfriends and I have discussed baby monitors at length (oh how things have changed from our twenties); our conclusion, changes in connected technology have made this purchase more complicated than it used to be. When it came to buying our friend Em, gifts for her first baby, we spent the most time considering this purchase. We happily and diplomatically agreed on the Lollipop Smart Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection. The feature that we all felt was most important for parents today, is connectivity to your mobile phone, rather than being tied to a baby monitor. It also has a tail that can be bent to stand or wrap around the crib, there’s night vision, crying detection, and it comes in four equally cute colors.

Diaper bag

Under $100 – I recommended a multi-function backpack in my 10 helpful gifts for parents with a newborn baby article, but the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag is slightly different. Firstly, it’s more of a “traditional” shoulder diaper bag, and secondly, where the other bag is more for casual or active outings, this one has a large capability, comes with a changing pad and stroller attachment, so it’s a great gift for newborns and their parents because it is spacious and does the organizing for you with all it’s compartments and inclusions.

Rent for under $200p/m or buy for over $1000 – this is the champion of baby bassinets, or the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) as some cooler people might refer to it, (*drumroll*)…the SNOO smart sleeper. I don’t tend to include gifts that are more than $500 – in this case, BOUT 2-3 times that – but having seen this gift in action and speaking to many happy parents I do feel like it’s worth the title of ‘hero gift for newborn babies’. You probably have heard about it, and know that it was developed by a pediatrician and is touted as the world’s smartest and safest baby bed. It has 5 different levels of sound and motion to help soothe babies and boost sleep. The app means parents can control the SNOO remotely, view their baby’s sleeping patterns and track progress. This hero gift is one for your closest friend or family member, or maybe yourself! Given the price tag, it makes a great hand-me-down gift as well, something you can share within a friendship or family group. Trust me, it’s even a second-hand-gift anyone would love.