We just welcomed our second child into our family this summer. It was love at first sight. With a baby comes an overwhelming amount of love and joy, but it also brings a lot of stuff. As I have mentioned before, I am very subjective about what I bring into our home. When you add two children to the mix, things can get cluttered quickly. With our first child, we tried to only purchase the bare minimum. However, when we found out we were pregnant with our second, it became clear that some of the things we had forgone with our first were really essentials (and would have made life so much easier the first time around had we just gotten everything we really needed). It is a fine balance to strike – but I think after two children, we may have achieved it.
The thing with essentials is they are obviously necessary, but sadly they aren’t always fun to gift. People more often than not want to give baby clothes. (I get it – they are SO cute). However, new parents end up with major gaps in their essentials and wind up having to purchase them themselves.
If new parents set up a registry, I highly recommend purchasing gifts off of that. People know what they need, and it is a true gift to give people what they want. However, sometimes all of the gifts on a registry have been purchased or there isn’t a registry that you’re aware of. That’s when this guide can really come in handy. We have created a gift guide full of essentials (but everything is super cute!) – so you can give the gift of function while also giving something adorable.
I have created THREE GIFT GUIDES in this post with over 60 great baby shower gift ideas: Gender-Neutral Baby Shower Essentials, Baby Girl Gift Ideas, and Gifts for Baby Boys. Whew! It was a lot of fun to put this list together and to be able to recommend many things that we as a family have loved ourselves. Enjoy!
One more thing to note: Many of the items in both the Boy and Girls Gift Guides are indeed gender neutral (books, clothes, toys etc) so no matter who you are shopping for – don’t forget to check it all out.
Baby Essentials Cute Enough to Gift
1. Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair: My in-laws actually have this chair (in Walnut) at their home for when our children visit. It is fantastic. I actually regret not getting one for our house. Our high chair is fine, looks good and works well, but the Stokke chair is just the best. Plus, it can really grow with your child – something most other high chairs don’t do. It can be used from 6 months onwards. I’ve even talked to families with kids as old as 7 who still use the chair. It’s simply a great, solid piece.
2. Ergobaby 360 Carrier: We went through four carriers before we found one that we really liked. We liked that it was ergonomic in all three seated in all carrying positions (front-outward, front- inward, hip and back carry), and that it had breathable fabric. Even in the winter when we were bundled, carrying a baby around creates a furnace. The mesh design allows for some much needed airflow. I also have a bad back and this was one of the few carriers that didn’t have me in pain after walking up the hill to our house every day.
3 / 4: Banana Rattle + Pear Rattle: These rattles are crafted in organic cotton and decorated with embroidery stitching and shiny gold knitted fabric. They have a soft noise rattle and bell inside. There’s a lot to discover for a little baby – a whole world of sights, sounds and textures – so a sensory toy like this rattle is a great gift for a new arrival.
5. Dog Rattle: In the shape of an adorable puppy, this rattle is crafted in organic cotton, decorated with embroidery stitching and has sweet floppy ears. It has a soft noise rattle and a wooden grip ring.
6. Simone LeBlanc Heirloom Baby Deluxe Box: Help welcome a new little boy or girl into the family with these timeless treasures they’ll cherish now and keep for generations. The curation contains classic favorites with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. Designed to convey heartfelt congratulations, parents and baby alike will enjoy the gifts during this special time and for years to come.
7. Grey Elephant Bath Wrap: Bundle up baby after bathtime with cozy wraps in favorite animal designs. We have three of these (the elephant, a monkey and a polar bear) and I still can’t decide which one is my favorite. Added bonus – they can also be monogrammed.
8. Chenille Stroller Blanket: We have two of these blankets (one in dark blue luxe and one in light blue luxe) for each of our kiddos. They are so silky and soft, and great for cooler weather walks in the stroller. A household favorite for sure.
9. Linen Memory Book: Be proud to give this milestone journal to the new parents as a truly unique keepsake that they will display for years to come.
10. Zoo Animal Growth Chart: This is a great gift for any growing family. Illustrated by the folks at Tiny Fawn, it features 12 colorful animals, big and small. I also love that it’s made from canvas so it can easily be stored as a keepsake once the kids are all grown up.
11. Teething Necklace: I didn’t know about these for Baby #1, but have one now for when Baby #2 starts to teethe. Soothe your baby’s emerging teeth and sensitive gums by wearing this stylish teething necklace. The contemporary color scheme and various shapes and sizes of the organic maple wood beads are placed on a satin string with a breakaway safety clasp, providing a modern take on the ordinary teether. Easily cleaned, the BPA free necklace is intended for parental wear to alleviate pain throughout the child’s teething stage.
12. Dohm White Noise Sound Machine: City living leads to a lot of noise at night. From loud neighbors to a passing siren, there always seems to be some noise that wants to wake a sleeping baby. I am so thankful for this sound machine! There were times where it took hours to get Baby #1 to sleep and the last thing I needed was a passing car to wake him up. If it weren’t for this sound machine, I honestly might have gone nuts.
13. 5-in-1 Carseat Canopy: This functional and stretchy cover is more than just a car seat cover. Use it as a nursing cover while breastfeeding in public, put it over the shopping cart, cover the high chair at the restaurant, use it as a canopy over the car seat and stroller while on the go, as a light blanket or changing pad, and even wear it as an infinity scarf or shawl! I registered for this with Baby #2. We had a different cover for Baby #1 that just didn’t cut it. I still have my fingers crossed I receive this one as a gift.
14. Hatch Baby Rest: I cannot emphasize how much I love this product! So much so that we have one for each kiddo. It was a game changer for my toddler and got him to sleep through the night. And now I have one for late night breastfeeding and sound machine use with Baby #2. The Hatch Baby Rest allows you to encourage a better night’s sleep for your baby, toddler or big kid by customizing hues, brightness, and sounds. Simplify baby’s nighttime feedings and diaper changes with gentle lighting and white noise. Comfort and reassure growing toddlers with a nightlight that can safely stay on all night. Set and control programs from the device or remotely from your phone – no need to disrupt a sleeping baby. It’s awesome!
15. Oh Baby Bags: I only wish I had known about these sooner. The set includes a mini zip-top “duffel” that easily clip on to your diaper bag and dispenses scented bags made from recycled plastic. Perfect for stashing soiled baby clothes, wet swimsuits, diapers and dirty bibs.
16. Waterproof Outdoor Picnic Blanket: I cannot tell you how much use we have gotten out of this blanket in the past two years. We use it at the playground, the park, at the beach, on hikes, in our backward – essentially anywhere we play outside. I love that it’s waterproof so we don’t have to worry about damp grass. It’s easy to brush sand, dirt, and food off but equally as easy to wash. A great gift for anyone with kids (of any age).
17. Ubbi Diaper Pail: This is such a necessary item! The Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail is made of powder-coated steel to achieve maximum odor control. It is equipped with rubber seals that are strategically designed to lock in odors as well as a sliding lid that minimizes air disruption, keeping the smell inside the pail. To meet the needs of today’s parents, this award-winning nursery essential offers the convenience and value of utilizing any standard trash bag or reusable cloth liner. This feature makes it the easiest disposal system to load, use, empty and clean. Hooray for that.
18. Hatch-To-Home Bag: Check off the pre-hospital list: the HATCH-to-Home Set ensures baby’s trip home will be filled with comfort and beauty, and memories are safe and sound as well. We were gifted this with Baby #1 and used it again for Baby #2. The set includes a classic white terry newborn onesie, ivory bear, pile socks, a luxe keepsake envelope to hold birth details and documents, plus a beautiful ivory cashmere blanket (that we still use daily).
19. Boppy Nursing Pillow + Cover: I would not have made it through those first few months of breastfeeding were it not for my Boppy pillow. The original, award-winning Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner celebrates over 25 years of supporting moms, dads and babies! This versatile nursing pillow lifts baby to a more ergonomic position for comfortable breastfeeding and bottle feeding, giving relief to your arms and back. The Boppy Pillow also transitions to the perfect support pillow for different stages of development including propping, tummy time and learning to sit.
Darling Baby Shower Gifts for Girls
1. Little You by Richard Van Camp: I love this book so much! Maybe it’s the postnatal hormones but it makes me cry everytime I read it (and I’ve read it so many times I can recite it from memory). It is such a sweet book. We received it as a gift with Baby #1 and I have given it as a gift since then; it is truly one of our family favorites. It’s great for babies – both boys and girls.
2. Oeuf Feminist Knit Crown: Ok, maybe this isn’t an essential item – but then again, maybe it is…
3. Baby Headband: This bold gauze headband with bow provides an adorable embellishment. My friend’s daughter rocked these all the time as an infant and it might have been the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Plus, it comes in a TON of different colors so there is no doubt you’ll find one you love.
4. Monogrammed Watercolor Rose Cotton Muslin Burp Cloth: No use crying over spilled milk. This burp cloth from Little Unicorn is crafted from four quilted layers of cotton muslin with an innovative shape for a superior fit. Add monogramming for an extra touch of sweetness.
5. Oeuf Peach Hat: This darling classic tie-strap hat is so cute, it automatically makes it a must-have. 100% cotton knit.
6. Ice Cream Rattles: Give your little ones a sweet tooth with these charming crocheted rattles. Beautifully handcrafted from 100% organic bamboo yarn, these eco-friendly designs are highlighted by the bright hues of an ice cream truck special.
7. Organic Kimono Wrap Shirt: I wish I had known about the importance of the kimono shirt before I did my registry for Baby #1. We learned very quickly that babies hate having things put over their head (too reminiscent of birth perhaps?), and that newborns can’t wear a lot of “normal” baby clothing until the umbilical cord falls off (which happens a few weeks after birth). The kimono shirt is an absolute must-have item for any little one. Our first child wore them pretty regularly until about 4 months when he became more comfortable with over the head shirts. Here is a link to some great basic girl kimono shirts that come in infant and preemie sizes too.
8. Octopus: We were given this darling octopus as a gift just before the arrival of Baby #2. It’s been hard to keep my toddler from stealing it from the baby. But then again, I totally understand! It is SO soft and there is something about the octopus legs that is super tactile – you just want to keep playing with it. This might be one of those situations where we might have to get two. I can easily see it being everyone’s favorite stuffed animal.
9. Kimono Bodysuit: As I mentioned above (see Organic Kimono Wrap Shirt / item 7), we learned within hours of our first child’s birth that babies hate having things put over their head. The kimono bodysuit is an essential piece of any new baby’s wardrobe (and I wish we had been given some or just known about their importance prior to bringing home a baby from the hospital).
10. Floral Sleep Sack: Make nap time as fashionable (and cozy) as possible with this chic liberty print sleep sack from The Lacemakers by Los Encajeros. Sleep sack is lined in an ultra soft faux sheepskin fleece. Please note, this item is custom made and has a four week lead time.
11. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: We have a set of these swaddle blankets in a different color and we absolutely love them. We use them for everything – a car seat / stroller shade, a lightweight summer blanket, as backdrops for our monthly baby photos. They are made of super soft muslin and somehow manage to get softer and softer with each wash. We actually didn’t use them that much as an actual swaddle (they were not stiff enough for our little one’s liking), but I know a lot of mom’s who used and loved them for this purpose.
12 / 13 / 14. Hearts Onesie, Bib + Blanket: I have seen this onesie on a friend’s baby and the hearts are so incredibly adorable, I had to include it in the guide. Pair it with the blanket and bib for a full gift set.
15. Zutano Fleece Baby Booties: We found these to be hands-down the best baby booties out there. They stay on (!), are super cozy and come in a variety of fun colors. Baby #1 wore these from the day he was born until he started walking and we’ve already gotten Baby #2 in them.
16. Patagonia Down Jacket: We have had Patagonia jackets in every size since our first kiddo was born. All have been gifted to us and they have probably been one of the most useful items we have received. In San Francisco, a down jacket can be worn all year round – and Patagonia has by far been our favorite.
17. Wooden Elephant Shaker: This beautiful animal shaker is perfectly sized for little hands to grasp and shake, a wonderful introduction to music! Plus, I love that it’s made of wood and not plastic; it is crafted from chemical free rubber wood with a non-toxic, clear-coat finish over natural wood and German-made, VOC free water-based paint. Buy one on its own or buy a whole set.
18. DocATot: The Deluxe+ Dock is the ultimate docking station for your baby ages 0-8 months old. Multifunctional and multitasking, the Dockatot Deluxe+ offers a comfy spot that lets baby rest, lounge, play, cuddle, do tummy time and get diaper changes. Due to the raised tube design and breathable and hypoallergenic materials, the Deluxe+ Dock also offers parents a safe way to co-sleep with their babies (be sure to review and follow all the Sleep Safety guidelines on their website). Deluxe+ Docks are lightweight and portable, allowing for easy travel.
19. Baby Socks: Socks are essential, and they always seem to go missing – so an abundant supply (like this five-pair pack) are guaranteed to be put to good use.
Adorable Baby Shower Gifts for Boys
1. Benedict the Bunny: Not only is this bunny adorable and hand knit with premium 100% cotton yarn, purchasing him provides 10 meals to children in North American and around the world. He is handmade in Peru using sustainable, fair trade practices.
2. Organic Wood Baby Rattle: Great for active and teething babies, the wood is soft enough to be gentle on the babies gums and the rings make great interacting sounds.
3. Oeuf Knit Shark Hat: I just think this hat is the cutest. Sometimes I find it more challenging to find darling boys clothes, but with Oeuf‘s of adorable knit items, I never have a problem finding something I love.
4. Polarized Sunglasses: A great gift for boys or girls, these polarized sunglasses come in a variety of colors and are perfect for any bright day. We bought our first pair when my kiddo was 4 months old for a trip to LA and Palm Springs. He wore them every day (and looked so flipping adorable).
5. Organic Kimono Wrap Shirt: I wish I had known about the importance of the kimono shirt before I did my registry for Baby #1. We learned very quickly that babies hate having things put over their head (too reminiscent of birth perhaps?), and that newborns can’t wear a lot of “normal” baby clothing until the umbilical cord falls off (which happens a few weeks after birth). The kimono shirt is an absolute must-have item for any little one. Our first child wore them pretty regularly until about 4 months when he became more comfortable with over the head shirts. Here is a link to some great basic boy kimono shirts that come in infant and preemie sizes too.
6. Puma Toddler Sneakers: Kids grow quickly and sneakers are expensive to be replaced regularly. You will be doing parents a great gift by giving them adorable daily functional sneakers for their running (more like sprinting) toddler.
7. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney: This is a family favorite in our household and has been since Day 1. A great book from infancy through toddlerhood, it’s clear why this beloved classic is available in 53 languages and 28 million copies have been sold worldwide.
8. Herschel Changing Mat: The convenient Sprout Change Mat offers a compact multi-fold design with a number of storage and transport options. Featuring an easy-to-clean surface, comfortable padding and a wet-wipe case, this highly functional accessory can be hand-carried, stored in a bag or attached to a stroller.
9. Patagonia Down Jacket: We have had Patagonia jackets in every size since our first kiddo was born. All have been gifted to us and they have probably been one of the most useful items we have received. In San Francisco, a down jacket can be worn all year round – and Patagonia has by far been our favorite.
10. Eat, Poop, Sleep Baby Blanket: This cozy blanket celebrates baby’s minimalist approach to life with Eat, Poop, and Sleep woven in big, bold type. The fun design is just asking for social media pics, and the black and white color palette means it’ll go with any nursery decor—where all three of those things may be going on at the same time. Made of 100% cotton in the US.
11. Oeuf Bunny Striped Wrap: I am always a sucker for stripes and hoods with animal ears. Put the two together and this might be the most adorable baby boy outfit I’ve seen in a while.
12. Cotton Muslin HALO SleepSack: We have a number of HALO SleepSacks – ranging in size from newborn to 18 months – and in a variety of different materials depending upon the season. This one is made with two layers of lightweight and ultra-soft 100% cotton muslin, it is exceptionally breathable for optimal airflow, reducing your baby’s risk of overheating and ensuring a comfortable sleep. Halo Sleepsacks are the number one choice of hospitals and are used nationwide for safe sleep education. A portion of your purchase of each HALO SleepSack is used in partnership with non-profits and hospitals dedicated to educating families on safe sleep practices. I also love this pattern for girls.
13. Origami Boat: Set sail and let your Origami Boat float around with your kids. This Origami Boat creates endless fun for babies and kids, distracting them in the bathtub and enlightening their senses everywhere they go. It is made from 100% natural rubber from Hevea trees and hand-crafted with no holes so when they’re floating about, no bacteria or mold is present. Pretty cool! And it also comes in pink.
14. Koala Mini Rattle: Made with small hands in mind, this koata rattle is easy to grasp and light enough for a baby to hold with confidence. Get yours today and let your little one shake, rattle and roll!
15. Muslin Baby Bandana: Perfect for baby boys or baby girls, the Bebe au Lait Oh So Soft Muslin Bandana Bib is super lightweight, fashion-forward and is great for baby to wear when feeding or as an all-day drool catcher. Made with four layers of premium quality, open-weave cotton muslin that is ultra light and breathable. Also, this one is pretty cool (it comes with a teether attached). It was a favorite of our toddler when he was a babe.
16. Boppy Newborn Lounger + Cover: The Bobby Newborn Lounger is the perfect place for wee ones to coo and kick in comfort. It is uniquely designed with a recessed interior perfect for a newborn’s bottom. Designed for baby’s awake time, this must-have for newborns is a lifesaver for moms and dads. Because babies are cute but messy, I recommend getting a washable cover to go with is.
17. Zutano Fleece Baby Booties: We found these to be hands-down the best baby booties out there. They stay on (!), are super cozy and come in a variety of fun colors. Baby #1 wore these from the day he was born until he started walking and we’ve already gotten Baby #2 in them.
18. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: We have a set of these swaddle blankets in a different color and we absolutely love them. We use them for everything – a car seat / stroller shade, a lightweight summer blanket, as backdrops for our monthly baby photos. They are made of super soft muslin and somehow manage to get softer and softer with each wash. We actually didn’t use them that much as an actual swaddle (they were not stiff enough for our little one’s liking), but I know a lot of mom’s who used and loved them for this purpose.
19. Wooden Baby Brush Set: A great gift idea for any baby, this four-piece set is made to last and be a reliable piece throughout your little sunshine’s entire childhood, from baby all the way to infant and toddler years. (I also love that it comes with a maraca – a perfect distraction while trying to get those knots out).
20. Kimono Bodysuit: As I mentioned above (see Organic Kimono Wrap Shirt / item 5), we learned within hours of our first child’s birth that babies hate having things put over their head. The kimono bodysuit is an essential piece of any new baby’s wardrobe (and I wish we had been given some or just known about their importance prior to bringing home a baby from the hospital).
It is worth noting that there are a lot more essentials needed than I have suggested in this guide (strollers, car seats, cribs, etc.). The reason I did not add every item a new parent will need is that I felt some of those items were really family specific. For example, we were very selective about which stroller we wanted because there were only a few options that would fit in the trunk of my car (we had a Fiat 500 when I had my first son). For items such as these, I highly recommend going off the new parent’s registry. This is a gift guide full of fun giftable essentials that parents would be stoked to receive.