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12 great baby gift ideas

Have a baby/parent that you need to give a gift to? Don't want to give them another set of bottles or bunch of pacifiers that they already have a dozen of? Here are some off the beaten path suggestion for gifts.
  1. Brain, Child Magazine She needs a subscription to Brain, Child Magazine or their book, a compilation of essays from the first few years of the magazine, or both (package deal for around $33). This magazine soooooo kicks ass, and it's not your typical parenting magazine. It's 4 issues a year of thoughtful writing from all aspects of parenting, and every issue is like sitting around with your favorite girlfriends and talking about "the way it is." It's my favorite gift to give my new mom friends on their baby's first birthday (I would have given it earlier, but I only knew them post-baby). This is one of my favorite things in the world, and the coolest moms I know agree. And I know some really cool moms! I put this first because it always takes a while for the subscription to kick in.
  2. Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth" AND/OR "Spiritual Midwifery" Basically, the first half of each book is a series of birth stories, no drugs, just the real deal and the intensity that accompanies child birth. No holds barred, just personal stories, not like the crap that's on TV. These books changed everything I'd ever known about labor and I credit them with the empowering birth I ended up having - no stirrups, no epidural, no swearing, just birthing the way it's meant to be. These books are only appropriate BEFORE she has the baby - not after, so if you decide to give this/these, then do it quickly! (Around $15 each.)
  3. La Leche League's "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding," get the most current edition. You can get this one at Amazon, too, or just about anywhere. It's the authoritative guide on breastfeeding, new baby stuff, and more. It's basically the new nursing mother's bible, and we read it cover to cover a few times, and still refer to it even now once in a while. (Around $15.)
  4. Baby Bargains Book by Denise and Alan Fields. This was our beacon as we navigated the shopping options pre-Declan, and it's still been a great reference since he was born. It's a nice gift to give along with something else. (Around $15.)
  5. Gift Certificate for the place they're ordering cloth diapers from. These get expensive. I'm totally assuming they're going with cloth. We have used "Kissaluvs" brand with Pro-Wrap covers, then switched to Mother Ease covers after a few months. We bought them at Katie's Kisses . We have 24 diapers and 8 doublers (an extra pad worn at night) and that means we only do diaper laundry every 3-4 days (every 2-3 when the babies are younger). Covers from Mother Ease.
  6. Any Weleda brand baby products. A set of each of these would make a great gift, they're available online at, or practically any health food store for around $10 each. These are wonderful, natural, and we use the Cream every day, the other stuff a lot too: - Weleda Diaper Care (only for when there's a rash) - Weleda Calendula Baby Cream (for use in the crotch area every day as general maintenance, as well as places you want to give extra TLC, like on scratches) - Weleda Calendula Baby Lotion (for general baby body moisturizer - we used it a lot in the winter for Declan) - FOR MOM during labor -- Weleda Arnica Massage Oil -- - Weleda Calendula Baby Oil (for baby massage - a nice idea to combine with a baby massage video/DVD).
  7. Cool, hip, and healthy for the kid baby shoes: Robeez. We love these, but for parents, it's a little hard to spend $25 on shoes the baby's only going to wear for a few months. So, it's a great gift. They're flexible, easy to put on and hard for baby to take off, they don't screw up the kid's feet, you can put them in the washer and dryer, etc. We bought Declan a pair of the booties for his baptism, and his Godparents gave him a pair of the doggie ones for Christmas. I'm trying to pick out a new larger pair of something for Declan now, since he grew out of those.
  8. A wooden rattle. You can get this lots of places, like Turner Toys . (We've never bought from there, but at least you get the idea.) There are also lots of incredible wooden products, including rattle-like things at the Michael Olaf Company. We buy lots of things from here and it has really influenced our choices. This ties in with my next suggestion............
  9. Organic ANYTHING!! Clothes and dolls available at Michael Olaf (see above). Again, hard to shell out for this stuff as parents, but greatly appreciated as gifts.
  10. Music! Dan Zanes has some wonderful CDs - "Rocket Ship Beach" is our favorite of his, but they're all great. This is kids music that doesn't suck. Or, buy local and get a copy of our friend's latest CD, "Cranberry Sauce Flotilla,". Also any of the Putumayo African or World or Latino Playgrounds. Anyway, music is best saved for a month or later after the kid is born, because kids' music is dumb until you actually have a kid. At least that's what I used to think. (Around $15 each.)
  11. Best from 3 months+ -- plain colored, T.C. Timber wooden blocks. We bought ours at Kid Surplus. We felt that blocks didn't need to have so much crap on them, and it was hard to find something more simplified. Declan loves them. (Around $11.)
  12. In Declan's first couple of months, swaddling was the key to restless evening/nighttime habits, especially before he got the hang of the whole day/night thing. Unfortunately, he was a large baby and Mr. Houdini escaped from all of our regular blankets. Until we learned about the MIRACLE BLANKET We bought two of them (one for use while the other was in the wash), and we can't recommend them enough for those early newborn days. Another great resource was "The Happiest Baby On The Block" by Harvey Karp, M.D. Wonderful strategies that really helped both of us to understand and work with Declan's newborn angst.