Think Practicality with Baby Gift Purchases

think practicality with baby gift purchases

I’ve clearly got babies on the brain. Having a baby is an exciting time in anyone’s life. If this is a first-time baby, there can be a lot of information swirling around the parents-to-be’s brain and the process of prepping for baby can be incredibly overwhelming. Whether it is you that is about to be blessed with a little bundle of joy or you are in need of coming up with the perfect gift for the baby shower, one sure-fire tip for success is to think practically.

The baby industry makes billions of dollars each year because let’s face it – who can resist the cute outfits, cuddly toys, and the sweet décor that goes along with baby fever…?There is so much to consider when it comes to new baby gear that people tend to go overboard and practicality is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. Baby stuff is expensive, even when you just consider the essentials, so when selecting a gift or compiling a baby registry, do your best to keep your wits about you. I know, easier said than done;)

Why Practicality Matters

It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in baby stuff madness, it is important to approach the subject with a level head. Practicality is important because new parents will need to have certain essentials for the health and safety of their infant. Basic needs obviously need to be met which include food, shelter, clothing, safe crib and playpen, and appropriate travel gear.

Once the basic necessities are taken care of, many parents are then overwhelmed with all of the stuff they could never possibly use. As babies tend to grow rather quickly, many well-meaning gifts become unusable.

Practical  Gift Ideas for New Babies…

Even if this is your first baby or grandbaby, it can certainly be cost-effective and help you keep your sanity to think and shop practically. Regardless of how great everything in the stores looks, it’s time to face facts that there are just some things the baby can live without. Here are some ideas of practical gifts that will make new parents happy and won’t blow your budget out of the water.

Gift Cards

If you have no idea what the baby or the new parents need, get a gift card to one or more department stores, pharmacies, or online business. This allows parents to get what they need as they need it. Cash works the same way but may be spent for other reasons so you may feel more comfortable buying a gift card.  Be creative and buy a little tree decorated with gift cards, and then the tree can even be planted in the family’s yard to honor the new baby.

Next Size Up

Many new parents get hoards of newborn sized everything. While practical outfits and blankets are a great idea, it is an idea most other gift-givers have. Babies grow fast so consider buying clothing and other items the next size up so parents have a nice inventory of useable goods as the baby grows. In many cases, parents are overly stocked for the first few months and then have nothing of use for the following months without purchasing it on their own. They also end up with a ton of items still with price tags they were never able to use. This is also a good idea for diaper purchases too. Invest in a packages of tiered sizes so there is always the right size pack available to busy parents. Also, some babies are just born big and they quickly grow out of the itty-bitty newborn sizes.


Thinking outside of the box, you can create a baby coupon book for new parents. Spend some time clipping coupons for diapers, gear, and other baby necessities you see in the Sunday paper. You should also consider the other needs of the parents including coupons for safe cleaning products for the home, laundry soap safe for baby, and other relevant items not specifically meant for baby but which would help new parents save some money.

Photography Gift Certificate

Who doesn’t love baby pictures? Invest in a gift card for a local photographer’s service. New parents often take multiple professional photos of their babies as they age throughout the first year and such a generous, creative gift would certainly save them money and motivate them to capture the earliest months on film to share with family and friends.

Babysitting Vouchers

If you are really on a budget, make up some handmade coupons offering your babysitting services if you are local to the family. New parents especially could use some downtime away from the baby but may be reluctant to ask for help. You could also add coupons for a number of things you are willing to do such as cook a meal, clean up their home, or do laundry – tasks that often are ignored with a new baby taking up all of the time and attention around the house.


What are your favorite practical gifts to give for new babies?


14 thoughts on “Think Practicality with Baby Gift Purchases

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  1. Pam E-P

    I ALWAYS give diapers and wipes. I always joke that you can tell how close we are by the number of diapers and wipes you get from me.

  2. Jammie Hermans

    Last November, my best friend had a baby. I wanted to get her something big but her mom already got her a stroller and she was on top of the other big items already. I opted to buy her a case of diapers off of and have them shipped to her every month for the first year. With subscribe and save and amazon mom, it costs me about $25 a month. That’s within my budget and when she got the card, she cried. I provide almost all of the diapers for her daughter. It isn’t something I’d do for everyone because it ends up costing about $300 total but for someone you are really close to, it’s great. It helps them every month and it spreads out the cost of the gift. And it’s practical!!!

    1. MIKE

      Wow, that’s a very generous and great gift idea. I’d echo using for diapers.
      Using them for a friend, that’s even better.

  3. Tara

    I like making or sending food for new parents. It’s a practical and much appreciated gift as they’re often so exhausted that cooking is the last thing on their minds. If they’re local I’ll take something around, or for interstate friends I’ve organised a gift certificate for a dinner home delivery service.

    For something more personal I also like to knit a small toy or booties for the newborn :)

  4. Caitlyn

    I echo the coupons for chores idea, but I would like to add that perhaps you should consider focusing more on the other chores and less on the babysitting. It’s true that new parents need breaks from the baby, but in my experience almost all of the visiting family/friends want to hold the baby the entire time they are there. Which is great… but when the new parents are exhausted and barely functioning – it can be a lot more helpful to walk in and do a load of dishes or laundry or come baring dinner, etc. Just something to keep in mind.

  5. [email protected]

    Hands down: home cooked meals. This used to be the norm – when you visited a new baby you brought a meal. Sort of price of admission. Why did we get away from this?

    Also, pooling money among friends for a housekeeping service in the early weeks.

  6. Debt Blag

    You know what idea I’ve always toyed with?

    Opening up a 529 and telling friends who come to showers, visit after the baby is born, and even at birthdays as the child is growing up, “Hey, instead of another Dora the Explorer onesie, why not make a small gift to the 529?”

    Anyone can contribute to a 529…

  7. Katelyn

    One of my favorites for baby showers is rechargable batteries and a charger. The big dock and various types of batteries can really add up, but when you think of all the gizmos and rockers and light up things for baby, it saves so much for the parents in the long run!

    Plus, you never have batteries on your list or not being able to use something because you’re out of batteries! It’s a huge hit every time!

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  9. Claire

    I have three friends who are expecting at the moment… it’s crazy! I don’t want to get them all the same thing, but at the same time, I want to get them all something practical that they will use. I sell baby clothes for a living so I thought it would be a little impersonal to get them clothing. This list has saved me! Photography vouchers are such a cool idea, its a combination between something they will use and something sentimental. Perfect.


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