As soon as my best friend told me she was pregnant with her little girl, I immediately rushed out and grabbed the pinkest things I could find. While I'm sure she appreciated my zealousness [and love of all things pink] I've since learned. Fortunately, she puts up with me as I learn my way through being the favorite [non-related] aunt!!
Thankfully, I have lots of mommy friends these days, so I asked some of them to help me narrow it down to their fav companies to buy newborn/baby gifts and products from. Boy did they deliver! I picked out some of my favorites and went back and asked for the Mom Seal of Approval on the items that they loved getting at their shower or that they used all the time with their newborn. I've broken them down into two categories (1) the tried and true baby items you can't go wrong with + (2) fun & Extra AF baby items for your bestie.
TRIED & TRUE
Little Monkey Calms Down - the best thing about Capstone Publishing books is that they have the baby versions [Bye-Bye Bottles for Zebra + Big Bed for Giraffe] and slightly more grown Pre-K versions [Hippo Says Excuse Me +Little Tiger Picks Up] in their HelloGenius line of books. I got the twins this book, specifically Little Monkey Calms Down, and they LOVE it!! Sara loves them too with their adorable and easy to grasp language and illustrations.
Peanuts Alphabet Book - its never too early to start learning letters and this version is one even the parents can enjoy with the blast from this Peanuts edition. I also got this one for Sara [as well as two other new mommas] & this similar book is a bilingual picture dictionary - we need to be starting these kids early!
ProTip: If you're close with the momma-to-be then choosing your favorite childhood book (or hers if you know it!) with a personal message will mean THE WORLD to the momma and she'll think of you every time she reads it to her little one. Promise.
Babies run through diapers like crazy and no matter what they've got to wear them [unless your friend is doing cloth diapers!] and its the last thing you want to run out of at 3 a.m. when you REAALLY need one. I asked around my momma friends and did some online research and it seems that Target has the best policy for returning diapers so that if they aren't the specific size their baby needs, they can be returned unopened for a period of 90 days, with or without the receipt. If you aren't sure where to start - here's a basic guide to "the best" of the diapers 2020. Not kidding.
Noodle & Boo Room Spray, Soaps, & Lotions [*MOMMY PICK*]
How do you know that your bestie's baby isn't allergic to the lotion or scent you get? Get her Noodle & Boo products! Noodle & Boo was founded by a mama whose babies had extremely sensitive skin and eczema. Working with professionals who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, each exclusive formula is developed to nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate and sensitive skin. All products are manufactured in FDA-approved, pharmaceutical environments to ensure product quality and integrity. Every formula is hypoallergenic and clinically-tested to minimize the risk of allergic reaction, as well as dermatologist-tested to verify optimality for skin sensitivities. Additionally, its children's products are pediatrician-tested to ensure every consideration is taken to meet the needs of their youngest customers.
I give Noodle & Boo the thumbs up because of their mission statement, "children deserve an opportunity to live, hope and pursue their dreams." It designates a "significant portion of Noodle & Boo's profit" for children's charities. I actually just handed over my duties as President of my local Junior League Chapter and fell in love with volunteerism, activism, and the local nonprofit community, so this mission statement hit home and I'll happily be purchasing $12 French milled baby soap + their Super Soft Lotion in support!
ProTip: Get the giftsets to save a few bucks, like the Newborn Gift Set which includes the lotion + includes a 2-in-1 newborn hair/body wash. My Mommy Friend, Tracy, who made this Pick adores the Room Spray. Personally, I'm swooning over their Quilted Travel Pouch with smocking to keep all of baby's changing items or bathroom items together.
Gripe Water - Wellements [*MOMMY PICK*]
One of my mommy friends suggested her favorite and most used item - Gripe Water, specifically the brand Wellements, which is an organic baby brand. If you're not a momma, like me, I had to look up what Gripe Water IS. But, its simply something you can give baby for occasional tummy aches, nauseous, and fussiness - so this definitely seems like a tried and true product your mommy friends will use over and over again for various reasons. As always, I prefer organic brands, especially if their going into a developing baby's body and all of their products, not just the gripe water, are "100% USDA certified organic, made without the use of chemical preservatives and bottled in glass."
KicKeePants [*MOMMY PICK*]
I've heard over and over again from several mommas that this is the softest brand for PJs for your littles. I've personally bought a few pairs for friends and they seriously are incredibly soft. Pretty much anything from their site is sure to be a hit! They also have a much better selection of baby boy PJs than a lot of the other sites listed below as well.
For Your Bestie
We all have that bestie that you adore because she's been your #1 for the last 10-15 years and she's finally pregnant! Obvi - you JUST HAVE TO get those [insert baby item] that no one really needs/uses, but is SO STINKIN' CUTE you just can't help it. Been there done that- no judgment. I won't even tell you how much $$$ I spent when my life long best friend got pregnant with her first!!
The Beaufort Bonnet Co.[*MOMMY PICK*]
Obviously making adorable bonnets [you can read their long bonnet history here], but they also have the cutest coats + are one of the only sites I searched that has a Unisex section for babies. Its got a whole section of adorable Unisex items here so you don't have to choose between those two awful options ! Below are my picks for boys, girls, and gender neutral options:
Prince Throw w/ Monogram
Bellyful Bib with Hot Pink Picot Trim w/ Monogram
Gender Neutral Gifts
Seabrook Sunsuit w/ Monogram
Lila and Hayes [*Mommy Pick*]
Lila + Hayes was started by two new mommas who couldn't find sweet, soft clothing and pajamas for our first born children, Lila and Hayes. You KNOW I'm all about women owned businesses + they're from close to my hometown in Fort Worth! Below are my picks for boys, girls, and gender neutral options:
Gender Neutral Gifts
Any of their clothes in gender neutral color + Monogram
Angel Dear [*Mommy Pick*]
At Angel Dear baby's comfort is the underlying principle behind every design. Styling is simple but far from basic, in a spirit of modern luxury. Bonus! Twin options! Below are my picks for boys, girls, and gender neutral options:
Gender Neutral Gifts
BONUS: Twin Gifts!
Cuddle Twin Blankies- - Until one of my best friends had twins, I never realized how hard it is to find gifts for them! It's actually not super common to find twin-themed gifts or even gifts that come in pairs. The Cuddle Twin brand has boy, girl, nd gender neutral options. They even have "A Spare and a Pair" for triplets or very over zealous destroyers of plush blanket animals heads.
LexyPexy Teethers [*Mommy Pick*]These tethers are wood + non-toxic, non-allergenic, naturally antibacterial, and non-splintering! Modeled after the iconic Birkin bag, this teether is my favorite along with the passport! Lots of great gender neutral and boy options too.
Etsy Personalized name puzzles are also great for baby! Find some here. My favorites are this Dino one for a boy + these for a girl. And Tyuweddinggifts has a great shop full of different puzzles for your littles with animal options, numbers, letters, + more to add on!
ThreeArrowsCo on Etsy
ThreeArrowsCo has the cutest wooden accessories including my favorite the Closet Dividers: these floral dividers are perfect for a little girl's closet + these woodland tree themed dividers for boys. I also love these Name Tags they are versatile enough to be used for anything related to making a boy's first [or second...] Christmas photos look especially EXTRA + ladies we know that's what I'm all about. I can see these used as gift tags tied with pretty ribbon to a baby's presents under the Christmas tree + used with baby's December "X" Month Old photos.
Almost Anything from Poeme-et-Poesie. This shop aims to be the modern heirloom for baby. Take a look at some of their booties, blankets, bonnets, or bibs and you'll see what I mean. They also make great little boy gifts to have monogrammed if you already know your future mini-bestie's initials/name. My favorites are the barrettes and the hangers for little girls. Hands down.
I try and stick with the basics and only get something cutesy if I know them really well, but my number one no-no rule is to never go off script - that is, don't go off the registry and get something you "just KNOW" that she'll love. If she did, she would have put it on her registry, but she didn't. So don't try a new momma with that bull and just get the poor woman what she WANTS.
But, number two is almost just as important [to me anyway] NEVER get decor options, at least without asking and getting proof in text! I swear. That's the easiest thing for me to throw out as a gift [sorry not sorry]. My home is a reflection of who I am, as I think it is for most people [even more so for nesting mommas-to-be] and having someone else dictate what goes on your space is just too much. ALL of my momma friends say that while they appreciate your thought, they don't want something that will clash with their nursery or their nesting process of any kind.
I hope you guys enjoys this post! If there is anything else that you'd like to know - just LMK in the comments!
Have any questions? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other feedback or questions!