Many people don’t know what to buy when they don’t know the baby’s gender. And, while a quick trip to the doctor could clear up any confusion, many people like to be surprised. At the same time, gender is important when buying new baby gifts, so here’s how to shop for a mysterious little bun in the oven.
Diapers and Gift Cards
Diapers are probably the most important thing new parents need. Babies go through a lot of diapers. Newborn size 1 is all you need, but you can also get different sizes for the months to follow, since baby will quickly grow out of the newborn diapers.
You could also spring for gift cards. That way, mom and dad can buy whatever baby needs.
They’re so little, but babies still like toys. Plush stuffed animals are easy wins. But, you could also get gender-neutral gifts like grey and teal-colored toys. Baby keys (those big plastic ones), a baby cell phone to play with, and other gender non-specific toys like that are also good ideas. You could also get something unique, like Makaboo customized baby gifts.
Thankfully, young babies tend to spend a lot of time sleeping, so don’t stress out too much over it.
A booster seat won’t be immediately helpful, but it’s something parents do need eventually and it’s handy to have on-hand right from the very beginning. Something like Bumbo or Ingenuity is a multi-tasker. The seat functions as a booster seat at the table, but it can also be put on the floor and help babies who can’t sit up by themselves yet.
As the baby starts to gain the strength to support his or her head, parents transition them into the Bumbo Floor Seat. Then, when baby is ready to eat at the table, it can be added to just about any chair and secured, meaning there’s no need for a dedicated high chair.
Bottles and Breastfeeding Accessories
Mom’s need a way to breastfeed, even when they’re not around. That’s why breastfeeding supplies are such a great idea. If you don’t want to buy bottles, you can make a “goody bag” for mom and dad. You could also get disposable nursing pads or breast therapy pads, a breast milk pump, lanolin, and other related items.
When in doubt, you can always ask. Parents know that bottles are expensive, and yet they are so very, very, necessary.
Moms and dads need a way to cart baby around, and a baby sling, like the Mobywrap, is a perfect gift. Many first-time moms and dads won’t think about this because they’ve never experienced carrying a baby around everywhere.
And, keeping baby close usually means less crying and more productive parents.
Many new parents also have to fend off well-meaning, but germy strangers trying to touch their newborn. A wrap or sling puts a physical barrier between the parents and everyone else.
Food doesn’t have to be for baby, but you certainly can help the parents stock up on baby food for when the child does start eating. No, parents often find it difficult to prep meals for themselves. So, getting them food makes a lot of sense. Anything that’s quick and easy, like protein bars, powders, snack items, and even coupons for eating out will work.
If mom and dad are the eat-at-home types, buy them a subscription to Eat This Much – an app that helps cut down (quite dramatically) the amount of work needed to plan out weekly or monthly meals.
Swings and Saucers
Baby needs swings, activity mats, exersaucers, strollers, bouncers, little rockers and car seats, monitors – baby gear. Baby gear pretty much encompasses anything that makes the parent’s life easier.
But, gear is also something practical for baby. Those exersaucers help baby get a feel for his or her legs, and the good news is all of this stuff is made for boys and girls so there’s no need to worry about gender.
Parents want to capture every moment with their child – understandably so. If you get mom something to keep a few photos in, she will probably love you forever. While most people post photos to Facebook, or Instagram, these days, many parents still want something they can keep on their nightstand or in the baby’s room.
Milestone cards, stickers, pins, and other doodads that get pinned, stuck, or otherwise affixed to baby clothes are always good buys.
Nina Govan currently works as part of a buying team for a large department store and has plenty of ideas to share about giving gifts. She is a regular writer for a number of different lifestyle and shopping websites.