The Most Practical Baby Gifts

The arrival of a new baby is always exciting. I have a friend who can’t wait to find out next week whether she’s having a boy or a girl.  I’ve written before that babies don’t really need all that much.  However, you may still want to give a gift to friends or family to celebrate the upcoming arrival.  Many baby gifts, such as clothes, won’t last very long. They can grow out of something in a matter of weeks, so they could only get a couple of wears out of it.  If you want to make the most of your money, you should think about getting them something special, that will last. 


Most Practical Baby Gifts




At my baby shower, guests were asked to bring books instead of cards.  I love how quickly that started a collection of reading materials for my kids.  They all are avid “readers” (Goofball can actually read, Tornado pretends to read, and Trey likes to chew on books).  A collection of classics like Dr. Suess books would make a great, practical gift.


Another idea is to give mom a journal to record memories of the baby.  I’m not a big fan of baby books, because no one really finishes them, do they?  Instead, I use a “Mommy Journal” to write down milestones, funny stories, and other memories.


Soft Toys

Newborns might not be ready for a cuddly toy just yet. However, it won’t be long before they can start reaching for things and holding onto them.  A soft toy can become a baby’s best friend, there for them as they grow up. You never know if something you bought for them might still be in their possession when they go off to college. Something they can cuddle is an excellent idea for a gift, and could last a long time.  It won’t matter if a bear has to sit on the shelf for a couple of years before they can have it.  Goofball and Tornado are still very attached to their “Goo,” a little teddy bear attached to a blanket. 



Another snuggly item that can become a best friend, baby blankets are also an excellent investment. They’re not just for keeping babies warm; they’re also an excellent comfort aid too. They can also be used to swaddle, for parents who want to do that. Trey is very attached to the special and unique blanket that I crocheted for him.  I taught myself how to crochet by watching YouTube videos and it’s now one of my favorite hobbies.  However, not everyone is crafty.  If you want to get something special, you can always buy a personalized blanket. Have a look at for some examples. As they grow up, not only will they have their blanket to keep but it will have their name on it too.



Any experienced parent will tell you that once the baby starts teething, you want a Sophie.  I don’t know what it is about that little giraffe, but babies love her.  The teething toy would make a great gift, even if parents don’t know that they need it yet.




Of course, if you feel compelled to give a gift, money can be the most sensible investment. There are several ways you can gift a new baby with money for later. Some people go for savings bonds, but there are other options too. For example, a college savings account can help them in the future too. Find out how to start one at and talk to the parents about setting up the first deposit for their new bundle of joy.  


Those little outfits are really cute, but clothing is just not a practical gift for babies.  Parents are better off hitting up garage sales or consignment stores for clothing that will only be worn a handful of times.  If you want to invest in a special baby gift, there are plenty of other, more-practical options.





  1. I love the book idea too. That’s what we told everyone that little man likes for his bday next week and I’m hoping he’ll receive that instead of unnecessary toys that he won’t play with. We also like money because we save all of it in their own accounts. Oh and I still totally do the baby book thing….I’ll just say that every page is not filled out. For the most part, I do alright and my kids will have something to look at when they are older. My daughter, the oldest, actually has two. I’ll give her one and keep the other one as a keepsake. I couldn’t keep up with two for the baby boy because he is just too darn active. I use most of my time and resources to keep him out of trouble:) Great round up of gifts that I’m sure any mom-to-be will appreciate!
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    1. Wow, I am seriously impressed that you actually finished multiple baby books – good for you!

      Books were an easy one for this list. Who wouldn’t love books for their baby, for them to have as they grow? I think we actually have two copies of Cat in The Hat, but that means it’s always easy to find.

  2. Jax

    My go-to gift is always books, but I am a librarian so I just can’t help myself 🙂

    A friend of my mom gave me a soft blue blanket with teddy bears on the top and bottom when I was born. It’s a large blanket for a newborn, but perfect size for an adult-me. I still have it, 30 years later, and it is my favorite to cuddle up with when I am cold or sick.
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  3. I love the idea of asking for books at the baby shower! One of my relatives did that and I thought it was a neat idea. You can never have enough books and it’s so beneficial to start reading regularly at an early age.

    1. A new parent might not know about her yet either – but I promise that they will thank you once the baby starts teething. FWIW – I saw Sophie in a picture of Babywoods. If the Frugalwoods have one, you know it’s worth the money.

  4. Sophie is so amazing! I But I prefer the books for gifts. Another awesome idea is the so-called “quiet book”. It keeps entertained the babies and kiddos both, depending on the content. I ordered one for my niece and can’t wait to give her!

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