But if you're not close enough to your friend to help with those things, here are five of my favorite gifts to give to new babies (and their mamas) to celebrate their births:
- Robeez: These shoes, which come in a million adorable designs and colors, are a great alternative to socks for the first year. And unlike socks, they actually stay on babies' feet. If you order them here, you get free shipping (and free socks with some orders). Other cute options are Bobux, Pediped, Treadders, and Pedoodles. I usually give them in a 6-12 month size so that they fit a little longer.
- Hooter Hiders: These nursing covers are also sold under the brand Bebe au Lait, but I think Hooter Hiders is much funnier. They come in lots of beautiful fabrics and are even sold at my local Target. This cover allowed me to comfortably nurse Pippi in nearly every restaurant in Greensboro when she was a newborn (since I wasn't doing much cooking). A wonderful gift for the nursing mom, it can also be used as a sunshade for a baby in a front carrier.
- Kids Music CD: You already know about the kids music I like best (go Big Bang Boom!), so check that list for ideas -- it's particularly good for second (or third or fourth) babies because their older siblings can join in the dance party. If you're looking for lullabies, I recommend "It's a Big World" by Renee and Jeremy. Junius listens to it nearly every night, but Daddy and I love it too -- simple, sweet and beautiful.
- Angel Dear Blankie: Babies love something soft to snuggle with at bedtime. And if it can't be mommy (and please, sometimes mommy just needs a break), it ought to be one of these super soft loveys. We have "Max" (puppy) and "Lulu" (pink bunny) at our house, and my kids love them so much that we ended up getting a back-up version of each in case we lost one. If we had a third (and we're not, by the way), I'd get the blue hippo and name him "Clive."
- Aveeno BabyCare: Sometimes the best gifts are the most practical ones, especially when it's for a family that already has clothes and things handed down from an older sibling. I love the Aveeno lotions and bathwashes -- the lavender products smell lovely and they're great for sensitive skin (or babies with mild eczema, like mine). If you order them along with some diapers, Tylenol or Mylicon from diapers.com, you can get free shipping direct to the house.