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10 Favorite Baby Gifts for Newborns

I recently went to a friend’s baby shower, which is always an interesting chance for me to gauge what other new moms and seasoned moms think are the must-have gifts to give. Because apart from the big items like a stroller, car seat and crib, we all want to give something that’s both useful and special. Something to stand apart from the Gerber onesies and diaper cakes.

It’s also interesting just how much we forget about the newborn stage when we’re out of those fleeting months. (Probably the sleep deprivation.) So to help anyone heading to a baby shower in the near future, here are 10 of our favorite gifts for newborns:

1. Infant Sacques from Kate Quinn Organics

For those diaper changes at 2 a.m. (and 4 a.m. and 6 a.m…) you’ll want feet-less gowns that you can simply lift without needing many functioning brain cells. These infant saques from Kate Quinn Organics have an elastic bottom, reversible handmitts and super soft fabric. ($21)

2. Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddles

Aden + Anais products might be thee most popular baby gifts ever. Parents (me being one of them) swear by their muslin swaddles, burpy bibs and sleeping bags, but we especially love their bamboo collection. Their bamboo swaddles — such as the Masala Baby collection, above — are incredibly, luxuriously soft. We can’t recommend them enough. ($39.95 for a 3-pack)

3. The mamaRoo bouncer

This mamaRoo bouncer was the biggest hit at the baby shower I recently went to. I’ve read a lot of rave reviews about this bouncer, but it was even better seeing it in action. The mamaRoo sways and bounces in five motions — from swinging to a figure-eight to a big circle — and it even connects to your MP3 player or iPod. The motions are smooth and calming, with a speed adjustment and seat recline, and we really love how the hanging toys easily flip over from black-and-white to color. For anyone who has used a mamaRoo in the past, they’ve even made some improvements to the 2011 version. ($199.99 from 4moms)

4. Vulli Chan Pie Gnon Natural Rubber Chew Toy

Made from the same company as the insanely popular Sophie the Giraffe, I much prefer this “mushroom man” alternative — especially for smaller infants. The Chan Pie Gnon is easier for tiny hands to grasp, and the nipple-like head is easier to gnaw on. Plus, look how cute! ($13.37)

5. Wee Gallery Art Cards

Because babies can only see in blurry black-and-white for the first few months, experts say newborns need strong contrasting colors for visual stimulation — like black and white.

Wee Gallery creates these amazing geometric animal images and puts them on a variety of products, like mobiles, wall decals, books and stamps. We especially love their art cards, which can be held 12 – 15 inches from your baby’s face (the distance he or she can see in the beginning) or hung on the wall as art. This is a gift any new mom will appreciate! ($12.95 for a boxed art card set)

6. Little Alouette’s Wee Wood of the Month Club

Within the first few months, babies inevitably realize that life is better when something is shoved in their mouth. Which is why we love giving new moms safe objects for baby to chomp down on — especially handmade wooden teethers from the Etsy shop Little Alouette. Because they come in a variety of unique and creative animals and objects (like a mustache, guitar and fawn), these wooden teethers will be played with way past the infant stage.

Little Alouette even has a “Wee Wood of the Month Club,” which is the perfect baby shower gift. For $55, Little Alouette will send a variety of teethers, toys, rattles and blocks each month for three months! (We’re not the only one who loves Little Alouette. American Eagle is now carrying some of their wooden teethers for Little 77!)

7. The FlexiBath

Flexibath Foldable Bath

Another shower-stopping baby gift, the Danish-born Flexibath is a soft plastic tub (free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and other harmful materials) that can be used for the first four years (rather than 6 or 7 months) and folds flat to store. The baby tub to end all baby tubs. ($37.97 on Amazon)

8. A Baby Carrier

Whoever gives the coveted baby carrier will be silently praised and thanked around the clock — whether they’re running errands, doing household chores, soothing colic or putting the baby to sleep.

After testing dozens of baby carriers in our Babble Best: Baby Carriers 2011 feature, we’d have to say that the best carriers to gift new moms would be the Baby K’tan (above), Moby Wrap, Sakura Bloom sling or Ergo Baby. A lot of moms like to choose their carrier based on style preference and lifestyle, sometimes making carriers a hard gift to give, yet the previously mentioned carriers tend to be the most universally loved.

We’re giving away a Baby K’tan baby carrier! Enter here.

9.  Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles

With the anti-BPA/anti-chemicals/anti-plastic movement going on, new parents are often scared of dangerous materials leaching into their brand new babies — especially through their plastic baby bottles. These Lifefactory glass bottles will set mom’s mind at ease for more than just the healthy glass design: the colorful silicone sleeve protects the bottle from highchair heights, and the borosilicate glass can go from the freezer to boiling water. Need another reason to love them? The nipple can be removed and replaced with a cap for toddler and big kid drinking. ($60 for a starter kit)

10. Numbered Monthly Onesies

A truly thoughtful baby gift, these monthly onesies are perfect to capture baby’s growth. We love the variety of handmade designs from the Etsy shop Culpeper General, which are printed on Gerber onesies and come in a monthly sized 12-pack for $75. Worried that he or she will be too big for the typical monthly size? These monthly stickers are removable and made to look like iron-on appliques.


Need a baby gift? Win one!:

And here’s even more baby gifts we love:

What were your favorite baby gifts?

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