While you can always turn to a baby registry for a shower gift or baby gift ideas, it can be fun to surprise parents (and their little bundles of joy) with a totally unique present as well. And since you can pretty much always depend on the baby to happily drool on whatever is offered, any baby gifts you get should be purchased more with Mom and Dad in mind, especially if they have limited space and a desire for things that their little one can actually use. Lucky for you, we’re here to take the guesswork out of baby gift shopping with presents that both infants and their parents will love.
To help you get started, we consulted the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute Parenting and Pets Lab, who test infant-friendly items throughout the year to find the best gifts for babies. The Lab looks for toys and gear that are well constructed, easy to use, helpful for development (if possible) and — of course — cute as heck, since that’s half the fun of baby gifts. And in addition to baby toys and gear, we’ve selected some nice things for parents, including top-reviewed items, editor’s picks and best-sellers for you to peruse. All of these items are good for newborns and up, unless otherwise specified.
This toy is part of Manhattan Toy’s Wimmer-Ferguson line of baby toys, which feature black-and-white and high-contrast patterns that really grab a baby’s attention. Each side of this cube has some kind of surprise, including ribbons to grab, rattles to shake and a bungee-like elephant trunk.
Boy or girl, the adventure in this book is 100 percent unique to each baby. Every story is personalized based on each letter of the child’s name. There are also bedtime books, ABC books and birthday books available to be customized.
This toy is designed to grow with a child, starting off as an activity book that lays flat and eventually turning upright for 360 degrees of play. There are also lights and sounds that teach kids colors, the alphabet, numbers, shapes and first words. Ages 6 months+
Turn on this veg, and it’ll play “beetbox” sounds as it rolls around on its own, encouraging little ones to crawl after it. It’s part of Skip Hop’s “farmstand” line of toys, which also includes other fun fruit-and vegetable-shaped developmental toys. Ages 3 months+
Reversible, waterproof, and foldable, this foam play mat is designed with crevices so you can fold it for easier storage, and it also comes with convenient travel case with a carry strap.