15 Best Baby Gifts for Infants in 2018

Whether you’re expecting, or have friends who are expecting, you know what’s fast-approaching on the docket: the baby shower. Though the vernacular of “baby shower” might still be fairly modern, pregnancy rituals are an ancient practice that span many cultures. In Ancient India, the mother-to-be was showered in dry fruits. In Greece, a ritualistic shout post-labor, and an integration ceremony celebrated baby joining the household. In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, gift-giving became a standard practice.

In the 1950s and 60s, as consumer culture skyrocketed, what we know as the modern baby shower hit the scene, as a means of supplying expecting families with necessary material goods they would require while raising their child. Today, baby showers are often an excuse to gather the expectant mother’s closest friends and family, play fun games, eat cute cakes, and celebrate the life about to be brought into this world. If you’re looking for the perfect gift to compliment such an occasion, or even if you’re buying for yourself, we’ve compiled a list of useful, thoughtful gifts any promising parents (or their newborns!) are bound to gush over.

Last Updated:
By Amanda Milewski:

Our panel of parents and experts recently reviewed this page and it was updated to include new products that would make wonderful gifts for babies, whether you are buying for your own or someone else's. In addition, all product information--specifications, composition, cost and availability have been researched and verified.

Our Top 3 Picks

Gund Peek A Boo Bear
  • Gund Peek A Boo Bear
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft Animated Toy
  • Price: See Here
Octoplush by Baby Einstein
  • Octoplush by Baby Einstein
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sensory Stimulation
  • Price: See Here
Gund Winky Lamb Huggybuddy
  • Gund Winky Lamb Huggybuddy
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Snugly Safety Blanket
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Top Gifts for Babies

Buying a special gift for a newborn baby can be fun, but it can also be challenging. Finding the right gift can take time since there are certain parameters that need to be taken into consideration. So, when we created this list of the best infant gifts, we wanted to help narrow down this search and provide a list that could be helpful in covering those bases that no doubt will be on the minds of the parents of a newborn and perhaps even a few they might not be taking into consideration at this time.

Safe and nontoxic

When it comes to a newborn baby this is the thing that is first and foremost on a new parents mind and rightfully so. When picking a gift out make sure that it fits the right guidelines of being safe for baby. For example if choosing to buy a gift set that includes shampoo, lotion, powder, etc., make sure that the products are designed for use with a baby, and aren’t harsh when used. Find out what other consumers have said about the products in the past, don’t just take the company’s word for it. Second, when choosing a toy, find out if it’s appropriate for a baby. Yes, there are some companies out there including a few that we have listed that make quality toys directed toward infant and toddlers, but still take the time to do research.

Sensory perceptions

Even at early stages of development a child is honing in on their senses. They are attracted to sound such as music, to vibrant colors and unusual shapes. They also responds to things that are soft to the touch. So a gift that will make a gentle noise for a baby such as a rattle, a squeeze toy or one that plays music will certainly please a child. Babies will also love brightly colored toys that are pleasing to their eyes, and sharpen their vision skills. When it comes to touch, cuddly stuffed animals soft blankets and soft wearable accessories such as socks are sure to also make a child more aware of the world around them even at such a young age.

Lasting Value

This one is important for the new parent especially. Kids grow up so fast and sometimes having a gift that will either capture those moments or grow with the child through at least the first few years can be a good thing to have. A gift such as a photo album, a commemorative picture frame or even a journal will help to preserve this moment in time that for a parent seems to go by way too quickly. Also, gifts such as a music box, a certain type of toy such as a type of doll or stuffed animal could also be around for years to come and something a child may not be so quick to outgrow.

Bonding

A baby being able to bond with their parents at this stage in their lives is crucial. After all, these are the first individuals the child will know and be the ones who will always offer a safe haven for kid in life. There are simple ways this is done such as holding the child close, singing to the baby or even just gently talking to the baby. Therefore, giving a baby gift that can be incorporated or even further promote parental/baby bonding is always a good idea. These can include items for bath time or even gifts for nap time such as books. Supervising a child as they play with a fun-filled toy is also a good way to have a bonding experience with the child.

What Determined the Top Gifts for Babies in Our List

It’s never easy choosing items for babies. Safety is one of the most overriding concerns. The quality of the design means nothing if the materials used in the manufacture of the infant gift item including its finishing are not deemed to be safe. This is why our team of researchers had to make a very meticulous scrutiny of the individual components of the infant products that we have included in our list of the top 15 infant gifts. These products need to be free from lead, phthalates, bisphenol A or BPA, formaldehyde, arsenic, and other harmful chemicals. While it was not easy scrutinizing each one of these products, we knew we had to do it.

We then explored the implications of the products to the overall growth and development of young infants. If it can help them develop and enhance their psychomotor skills while also laying the foundation for their optimum social, cognitive, and emotional development, then we had to include these products in our list. But it didn’t stop there. We had to make sure that the developmental benefits of these products are appropriate for the designated or recommended age. It is critical to ascertain the company’s understanding of developmental age appropriateness in the design and manufacture of products for babies.

One way we can determine if we made the right shortlist is by comparing it to the countless feedback or product reviews from customers who have the first-hand experience of these baby products. Parents need to have a voice in our selection so we made sure that their views have been thoroughly given credence.

And so, this is how we came up with our list of the top 15 best and most popular gifts for infants, especially now that we are only a few months away from the holiday season. At the very least, you now have an idea of what you will be buying your own little child.

Caring for Newborn Babies and Infants

While the gift items that we have included in our top 15 list are excellent choices especially for first-time parents, we just would like to reiterate that these are merely instruments that we can use to care for our babies. What they will really need is our devotion, commitment, responsiveness, compassion, and extra-loving care. Nothing, not even the most expensive, most-popular, and well-designed toy or infant product, can ever take the place of mom and dad’s undivided attention and love.

But how do we care for our respective babies, especially the newborns?

First and foremost, we must not be afraid to seek professional help, both for us and for our kids. If we are not really confident about taking care of our young children, then we need to seek the advice of those who are experts at parenting. We are not experts but we can share with you what we know. You can check out our section on Parent Tips for more of our articles on how you can become a better parent.

As for your very young child, we need to make sure that he or she has his or her own pediatrician. They need to be protected against common childhood diseases so they need to receive their vaccinations and immunizations. A regular visit to the kid’s doctor will also give us an idea whether our children are growing as they’re supposed to or are seriously lagging behind. This is, of course, in addition to making sure they are generally healthy. We can also ask our kid’s doctor for additional advice on how we can manage simple ailments at home such as fever and cold. Additionally, we can ask our children’s pediatrician about the signs and symptoms that will tell us it’s time to bring our young child to the doctor or to the nearest hospital. For some parents, they may need instruction on how to use an infant thermometer or even the use of a pacifier as well as teething products. The best person to show them how is a pediatrician.

For the first 6 months of life, it is best to breastfeed your child. Studies show that breastfeeding provides a lot of benefits not just for your child but also for you. Breast milk provides your child with adequate antibody protection, boosts his or her immunity, protects your child from many illnesses and diseases, helps prevent childhood allergies, and boosts your kid’s intelligence. It has also been shown that breastfeeding can lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome while also protecting him or her against childhood obesity. For you, you’ll feel less stressed and depressed while affording you some protection against certain types of cancer. Now, isn’t that great news?

Young children require plenty of sleep so they will grow and develop a lot faster. The more chances they get at the deeper stages of sleep, the more efficient is the synthesis and release of human growth hormone which helps direct how cells and tissues need to be built. Of course, it may be tiring and frustrating to put young children to sleep because most of the time, they are asleep when you’re awake and are quite active when you’re already sleepy. Unfortunately, the best advice is for you to get some shut-eye when your kid is also asleep. You can nonetheless use a variety of sleeping aids such as night lights, mobiles, lullaby players, a soft and comfy blanket, and other materials to make baby more comfortable and sleep more soundly.

Babies also need to feel relaxed. They may cry because they are hungry or require your attention. Most of the time, however, babies cry simply because they are anxious. You need to be able to soothe them. This is where baby products that play soothing music as well as provide a smooth texture to touch can help. Infant clothing like bonnets, mittens, and boots can help keep baby warm and cozy.

Of course, you will have to keep your young child stimulated. During the first month of life, you are his or her most precious play thing. After the first month, you can begin giving more sensory-stimulating toys like rattles, textured balls and other items, and things that light up and are colorful. These should help you make sure that your young kid’s sensorimotor and cognitive development proceed in an orderly fashion.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of things we can do to become better parents for our very young kids. Let our list of the top 15 baby gifts provide you with an idea of how to care for your infant. Or, as we have said earlier, you can just give these gift suggestions to your soon-to-be-mom friend. Either way we are optimistic that the kid who uses these products will surely feel the love of his or her parents

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a baby registry a good way to get gift ideas for a shower gift?

A: A baby registry is a good way to know what the new mother could need or want. However keep in mind that a registry is just a guide it isn’t required to buy something off the list. If an individual finds what they feel is a great gift idea of a newborn and their mother that doesn’t appear on the list there is no reason why this gift can’t be purchased instead. After all, odds are others will buy off the registry so sometimes thinking outside the box might be a good idea.

Q: Are buying baby clothes as a gift for an infant really a good idea?

A: Well, baby’s do need clothes, but there is room for concern in buying designer or high-price baby clothes. That concern is the fact that babies grow so much in those early months and years. So, it it any wonder that baby clothes are kept and handed down to others to use, for that matter some new parents look for bargains baby clothes that could cost a fraction of the price. That isn’t to say that baby clothes don’t make a good gift. We actually featured a few on the list that were clever unique gift ideas that no doubt a parent will love to receive nonetheless. When buying a baby outfit or accessories such as socks make sure to understand the sizing guidelines. When in doubt about size go for something that you know will be larger, for example an outfit that is made for a 3 to 6 month old. This way the baby could grow into the garment. Another thing to take into consideration is what kind of fabric the outfit is made out of and if will be soft on the skin. Also, make sure that there are enough snap closures for a simple opening for diaper change. New baby clothes are still a good gift idea, and one day could be among the clothes that are handed down to the next new mother to be.

Q: When buying a baby shower gift is a unisex gift the best option?

A: It would depend on whether or not you know the sex of the baby you are buying the gift for. These days even before a child is born a parent can know beyond a shadow of a doubt what gender their child will be, but some parents still prefer that element of surprise and decide to create their nurseries gender-neutral. So, the best course of action when buying a gift for a newborn baby is to make your gift gender-neutral as well. There are several gift ideas that fall into this category.

Q: Are stuffed animals and dolls really a good gift for a newborn?

A: The first thing to consider is that not all dolls and stuffed animals are recommended for a newborn baby. So, the first thing to always do when wanting to purchase one for a newborn is to make sure it is age appropriate. The next thing that will be a concern is the fact that stuffed animals and soft body dolls have been associated with suffocation in newborns. So, these should never be kept in a crib; in fact, pediatricians say that it’s best during the early stages of a child’s life should be free of unnecessary clutter. But don’t be afraid to give a stuffed animal or an age appropriate doll as gift. New parents have taken the time to learn safety precautions.

Q: What sort of gifts do new mother’s like to receive?

A: According to some mothers, a gift from the heart is one that could be most appreciated. For example, something like a handmade blanket, baby bonnet or boots. Those gifts that also commemorate certain events in the child’s life also fall under this category. These types of gifts are something that a parent will treasure as their child gets older. If all else fails and you can’t think of a gift idea the mother will like, then there is alway a gift certificate.

Q: How about a grab bag gift featuring necessity items?

A: Necessity items such as teething rings, squeeze toys, pacifiers, bibs, and rattles are always a hit. It seems like a new parent can never have too many of these. Necessity items such a baby powder, baby oil, baby shampoo and diaper cream are also something that a new parent will need. However, when choosing a product that is used on the baby’s skin make sure it is designed with a baby in mind. Johnson & Johnson has become a trusted name in creating a line of baby products and other companies such as Aveeno has also created a baby safe hypoallergenic line. Anyway, a grab bag full off necessity items for a newborn baby is an excellent idea and no doubt one a new parent would appreciate.

Q: Why are no building blocks, books or baby mobiles on this list?

A: No doubt about it, books and baby mobiles are a huge hit with new moms. However, these are items they tend to think of buying themselves especially the mobile for the crib. Books on the other hand can still be a good gift and there are some out there that are perfect for a newborn’s nursery. As for building blocks, these are a great toy but these are usually appropriate for kids ages 6 months and up. These can still be given as a gift nonetheless and no doubt appreciated, since it is certainly a gift the child will play with down the road.

Sources

  1. Olive and Cocoa, How to choose the perfect baby gift, How-to guide,
  2. Administrator, How to buy baby clothes, How-to guide,
  3. Judy Dutton, Do Baby Shower Guests Have to Buy Gifts on the Registry?, Blog,
  4. Administrator, Stuff You Should Know About Stuffed Toys, Informative Article,
  5. The BabyCenter Editorial Team , When can my baby play with blocks?, Informative Article,