How to pick out gorgeous gender-neutral baby gifts for parents who want to be surprised
Many parents choose to find out the sex of their baby at their 20-week ultrasound scan but other parents love to be surprised at the birth.
If you are choosing a baby gift for friends who do not know if they are expecting a boy or a girl – or you prefer to choose a unisex gift – there is plenty of choice out there. Here are some of the most gorgeous unisex baby gifts.
A bouncy chair
When a new parent is trying to get on with a few things at home, a bouncy chair is one of the best things you can give them to keep the baby close, safe and settled. The Babybjorn Bouncer Bliss is a gorgeously soft jersey seat that moulds to your baby’s back to keep them supported as they grow and develop. The fabric is washable, so it will stay looking gorgeous, it’s easy to move around the home or take on holiday with you and the soft grey will look great in any home.
A sustainable wooden toy
A wooden toy is a long-lasting gift that will give pleasure for years and if it’s also sustainable, it’s a win-win. Though many toys come in pink or blue, this stacking toy by Little Dutch is literally a rainbow! It’s a toy inspired by the teachings of Montessori and the coloured arches can be played with and stacked in lots of different configurations.
An attractive mobile
Babies must learn to focus and their eyes continue to develop after their birth, so a mobile above their cot is a great way to engage their attention and keep them amused. This perfect new baby or baby shower gift from Gamcha has cactus and llama characters hanging from it and has been handmade in Nepal using organic cotton, sustainable wool from New Zealand and recycled polyester.
A baby walker
It won’t be long before your little one is playing with blocks, sitting up, cruising around the furniture and eventually walking. So, a baby walker that also doubles as a toy in its own right is a long-lasting and thoughtful gift. This lovely sustainable wooden walker from Le Toy Van has a sturdy construction that will support your baby’s first steps and is a classic new baby toy. It is filled with 45 rainbow coloured bricks that can be built up and bashed down time and time again.
A sleep aid
Babies often take some time to drop off to sleep and the best gift you can give a new mum and dad is something to help them settle, especially in those early days when colic might strike. Ewan the Dream Sheep is a firm favourite with parents, as it offers real womb and heartbeat noises to remind your little one of their time inside your tummy, as well as shushing sounds just like mummy makes. It has pink and white noise that helps block out background noise and also a choice of other sounds that aid sleep; harp lullabies, rainfall and even a vacuum cleaner. Its SmartCry sensor automatically activates if your baby starts to make a noise, which helps them self-settle. Of course, Ewan also has a comforting night light and comes in eco cardboard packaging.
A sleeping bag
Baby bedding is so last Century and the smart babies these days are dressed at night in TOG-rated sleeping bags. They are really handy, as you know exactly how warm they are and there’s no danger of your baby wriggling out from under their bedding and getting cold – or worse, getting caught underneath their blankets and overheating, which is very dangerous. Gro has long been the top name in baby sleeping bags and this glorious design called Moon Child fits snugly around the chest while leaving plenty of room for little legs to kick.
A play mat and baby gym with tummy time accents
Babies need to learn all about feel, texture and movement and one of the first things you need to start building into your baby’s daily routine is both play time and tummy time. The latter is very important for developmental reasons and will help your baby learn to hold their head up – it can also help ease colic and prevent flat head syndrome. This activity Gymini playmat from Tiny Love is suitable for babies from birth and has two adjustable toy arches hung with cute characters and shapes. It comes with a musical toy and a cloth book and your baby can play for hours with all the different parts of the mat. The black and white shapes can also help with your little one’s eye development.
New parents will soon appreciate the massive importance of sleep – both for themselves and for their new baby. Making sure that your little one is able to nap when you are on the go is key, as then you can still get out to meet friends and family or do some exercise or shopping while your baby sleeps. Popping a SnoozeShade over your pushchair – or your car seat – can help keep your baby from becoming distracted by what’s going on around them and keeps the inside of the pushchair dark and calm. Soon, it will act as a sleep cue for your baby and help you implement and maintain a good sleep routine. There’s even a model for travel cots that you can use on holiday.
A story book
A classic first book for a baby will be kept and – hopefully – read again and again down the generations. This book with clever words and sweet illustrations by Janet and Allan Ahlberg was first published in 1981, so many thousands of babies will have watched as their parents read to them about the family in the book, especially the baby who cries “Peepo!” as they spy the next part of the story through a hole in the page. It also helps babies understand what items are called. What will he see?
A cuddly toy
Every child should have a cuddly toy and it’s even better if you choose a great quality teddy bear that can become an heirloom. This gorgeous fluffy brown Charly bear by Steiff has been handmade from very soft cuddly fabric. It has safety eyes and the famous Steiff yellow tag and a stainless steel button in his ear.