June 24, 2011

baby gifts I love

I recently received an e-mail (from another Elizabeth, no less) asking for baby gift ideas. I'm no expert and, of course, some of you may not like my recommendations but these are things that I either own or wish I owned. If you want more ideas this is a pretty good list here on Babble.
William in the Belle carrier at 6 months.
Boon Spoon - when William was old enough to eat solids I would take this with me in my diaper bag and was constantly stopped in public to ask where I got it from. In fact I used it at the zoo once with William in my Moby Wrap and I was feeding him pureed sweet potatoes as we walked along the lion exhibit. Super easy and clean. Boon's other products are great too. I also like their bendable utensils ($8).

Baby Love Cookbook - I always intended to make my own baby food but I never got around to it. William had a lot of teeth really quickly so I would just use my Baby Mill ($10) to grind up our dinner and feed it to him (don't spend your money on the more expensive ones - this works great). One of my worst fears is having a picky eater for a child and I feel like one of the best ways to remedy that is by exposing your children to a variety of flavors from a very young age. My sister loves the Baby Love cookbook and after looking through a few recipes I decided that I had to do this with my next baby. The recipes look delicious and I want to eat them myself (which is convenient since the author gives adult versions)! I'm really impressed with the variety of techniques, flavors and healthy ingredients in this cookbook ($12).

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe - this teething toy is everywhere but it's just so great. I was always surprised at how often other babies would try to take it from William. It makes a great gift too ($17).

Tommee Tippee - people often ask me about this cup when we're out and about. This is what William drinks his milk out of and he adores it. Since he never took a bottle, he went straight from nursing to this cup (around $10).

Water Bobble - these water bottles for kids are awesome. It has a carbon filter so that if you need to fill up from the park's nasty drinking fountain where hobos live, at least the water will be filtered. Of course it's also BPA free and they also come in adult sizes ($8.99)

Lamaze Jacque the Peacock - every baby in the world loves this car seat toy ($12.99).

Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child - everybody has their own opinions on sleep schedules and what works for their family. However, I have to mention that this method changed our lives forever. One note: this isn't a reference book. It's a method so you have to read it through as you would a novel and then implement it into your life. That's just my take on it ($17).

Baby Einstein: Baby Shakespeare - this is one of those things that I rolled my eyes at but if you want to have 101 minutes of entertainment for baby while making dinner or quickly picking up the house, this is a lifesaver! Proof it works ($7).

Hooded Towel - having a hooded towel is a must for me. Someone made me one for my shower but if I had bought one I would have snatched up this in a second. Chicken Head ($36)!

Baby Gym - I have a big play mat/gym and, while William loves it, it takes up a lot of space and isn't very design appealing. If I could go back in time I would get this one from IKEA. Cute, simple, made of wood and inexpensive ($25).

Mustela Products - I received this set as a baby shower gift along with some diaper wipes and I was a believer. I've also heard their sunscreen is fantastic. It's pricey so I don't continue to buy it but it was a really nice gift that I would love to receive again ($40).

Moby Wrap - I think baby wearing is the greatest thing ever and I could go on and on about the benefits of it (my friend Rachel is a "sling lady" and she talks about baby wearing here) ($40).

Miracle Blanket - my sister-in-law gave this to me as a gift and it is a truly accurately named blanket. Just about everyone knows that a swaddled baby is a happy baby and there are a lot of swaddling blankets out there (I own several from shower gifts). The Miracle Blanket is virtually impossible for little babies to get out of. I also liked that the material is lightweight enough that William wasn't too hot or too cold ($32).

Duplo Blocks - perfect for kids around 18 months and older. I just got these for William and he is obsessed. They're just the right size and provide hours of entertainment ($25).

Bebe Au Lait - in my dream world (i.e. Europe) I don't have to cover up when I'm nursing but I'm related to or am around too many people who feel uncomfortable, so I do. This is a cute, simple cover that I received as a gift (the fabric selection is Kensington and I received a lot of compliments on the simplicity) although I like this bright one too ($35).

Boppy Pillow - I had no idea how much I would love my Boppy pillow not only for nursing but also for propping William up when he was an infant. It allowed him to be able to lay there comfortably with support while still being able to look around. A lot of the covers are ugly but I don't mind something neutral like this one. Plus it's good for a boy or a girl ($28 for pillow, $22 for cover).

OVER $50
Backpack Diaper Bag (similar to mine, which seems to be discontinued) - Petunia Pickle Bottom isn't a cheap diaper bag but I've had two custom bags plus a Stork Sak I bought for $20 at Last Chance and the PPB boxy backpack wins. I may not be original or super stylish but it has every function I could want. Wipeable, water proof, backpack and shoulder straps, built-in change pad, big pockets, side pockets, clips for the stroller ($20) and I still think it's cute, even if everyone has it. It is an absolute lifesaver to be hands and shoulder free when carrying my stuff with a baby. I used to be constantly leaning over and my bag would fall off my shoulder and I would want to scream. No more. There are other less-expensive backpacks out there too, but the PPB was worth it (around $170). 

Belle Carrier - When William grew to be about 5 months, I started phasing out the Moby wrap and started using the Belle carrier because I feel like it gives the baby a little more room to be free and look around (newborns and small infants love to be really close though so it's nice to have both). It is incredibly easy to get on and off and I also got it for a steal at Last Chance for a mere $7 (but it's normally $100).

I hope somebody cared enough to read this ridiculously long list because it took me hours to post! Hope it helps someone!


  1. LOVE IT!!! Thank you so much. It is greatly appreciated. I can't wait to shop. :)

  2. I don't even have children or plans to become pregnant and I read it! You simply have wonderful, beautiful, practical... TASTE. Thanks for the effort. I have some great ideas for the new babies in my life. :)

  3. As a mom of 3 little ones I can appreciate your list!! I LOVE the Boon spoon and need to snatch one up for our 7 month old who is just dabbling in solids.

    I am also a HUGE fan of the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book. The method has worked for all 3 of our children and they are all great sleepers.

    Great resources, thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you Elizabeth! I've never heard of the boon spoon or Tommee Tippee Cup. Going to place an order for a couple of the items you suggested. Your time in compiling such a thoughtful list is very appreciated :)

  5. wow! nice list. I love the boon spoon! That thing is awesome!

  6. Helped me! It's been 4 1/2 years since I had a baby and I realize how much better products they have now then just 4 years ago. I def getting a few things from your list asap. I got the nursing cover and swaddler coming in the mail as we speak ;)

  7. Great list! We have and love many of these (or similar) products. One thing that we have used every day for 2+ years was a baby shower gift- it's a sound machine. It has different white noise settings that help block out ambient noise and soothe our baby (now toddler). I often give it at showers because I love it so much!

  8. Hi Elizabeth,

    What a great list you put together!! I am the owner of Belle Baby Carriers. I am so happy that you have enjoyed the carrier, and what you said is what we hear all the time - it is incredibly easy to get on and off. Thanks for the recommendation :)

  9. Thanks for the list Elizabeth! As a soon to be momma (in September to our first, a boy!) I appreciated your list and the link to Babble. I added most of the products to my list and cant wait to my baby shower!

  10. this collection of cheap personalized baby gifts is amazing! i can purchase great gifts for under $20, thanks lizzy!

  11. Definitely going to check out this list of yours. Checking out these baby gifts could be a task but I think I am going to enjoy it!

  12. Definitely going to check out this list of yours. Checking out these baby gifts could be a task but I think I am going to enjoy it!


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