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We’ve got the intel on the gifts new parents really want this holiday season. Welcoming an infant is always a huge change, but doing so during an ongoing pandemic takes the stress level to another level. Give the new parents on your list a thoughtful gift that they'll actually use, instead of something that will just be another thing they'll have to dust. Check out our top picks for new parents, and send something lovely to a tired duo on your holiday shopping list.
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And if you have a baby on your shopping list, we've got you covered with our gifts for babies.
We recommend starting your holiday shopping early this year to make sure your items are still available—and to ensure that they'll arrive on time, as shipping could be delayed.
The 26 best gifts for new parents are right down below.
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1. For a break from all things baby: A not-too-challenging puzzle
If the new parents on your lists are into puzzles, gift them a new Ravensburger option. This 500-piece puzzle is just challenging enough for overtired new parents and the Cozy Retreat scene is sure to calm their new parent nerves.
2. For some aromatherapy: Our favorite essential oil diffuser
New parents may tire of certain new baby smells (e.g. diapers and spit-up), which makes an essential oil diffuser a thoughtful gift. Plus the moisture it emits is helpful for dry winter air. The Airomé Serenity is portable, aesthetically pleasing, quiet and easy to operate and clean.
3. For homebound new parents: Cushy slippers
Those first few weeks of being at home with a newborn are a huge transition, and slippers are a great gift for new parents who live in a constant state of sleepiness. Our favorite slippers, the Minnetonka Chesney, has an open back, so they’re easy to slip off when popping outside to grab a package or water plants. We love the real suede, faux fur and the fact that they're extremely durable.
4. For the new parents who are tired: A relaxing weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are so hot right now, for good reason! They can help ease anxiety and they just feel cozy. The original Gravity Blanket is a splurge, but it’ll make new parents feel cared for as they care for their newborn. There's even a version made for kids that's sized just right for use as a throw blanket.
5. For the new parents who are exhausted: A great set of sheets
While new parents don't get a lot of actual sleep, they do spend a lot of time in bed. Give them the gift of luxurious bedding with a set of our favorite Brooklinen sheets. They're just the right weight, and they hold up well through lots of washing.
6. For easy snacking: A delightful array of treats
For new parents, accessible, easy food is worth its weight in gold. So if you want to win Christmas, send this Wolferman's gift box their way. Your giftee will get a selection of decadent treats from the famous bakery, including English muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more.
7. For proud parents: A photo printer
How do people even print photos these days? At-home printers! New parents have a big reason to start printing photos—gift them their own instant digital printer. The Kodak Smile prints 2-inch by 3-inch photos with sticky backs, which are convenient for baby book assembling or grandparent mail. Also convenient? Wirelessly printing from your smart device.
8. For nursing moms: A way to document her breastfeeding journey
Nursing mothers will appreciate this journal, which documents their breastfeeding bond with baby. Mama’s Milk and Me includes blank space for reflection, as well as tips and information. It’s also a countdown and a guide to weaning.
9. For helping new moms snooze in style: Cozy pajamas
The button-down style on this Eberjey pajama set is breastfeeding-friendly, which is a bonus for new moms. And the roomy style is perfect for postpartum recovery—and beyond! Who doesn’t love comfy pajamas? You can’t go wrong with a luxe, soft PJ set.
10. For the new parents who still want to look cool: A stylish diaper backpack
You can't go wrong with the gift of a gender neutral diaper bag that fits everything that a baby needs and that looks cool while doing so. The Ruvalino Diaper Backpack is our favorite diaper bag overall, thanks to its included changing pad, insulated bottle pockets, and outer pockets that are just right for holding a parent's keys, phone or wallet.
11. To combat diaper pail stink: Eco-friendly candles
These candles are actually genius because they’re more of a refill. It’s such a waste to toss out the receptacle when a candle has burned down, but with Siblings, you melt the scented compound and pour it into a vessel of your choice, with the included wick. So smart! The scents are subtle and lovely, perfect for masking diaper pail aroma.
12. For overwhelmed new parents: Diaper delivery
No matter how much they try to plan ahead, new parents often find themselves short on diapers. Save them the hassle of having to do a late night diaper run, and give them the thoughtful gift of a diaper subscription. We like Coterie diapers because they're soft, free of harmful chemicals and eco-friendly.
13. For a special keepsake: A customized baby book
Artifact Uprising is our go-to source for personalized photo gifts. Their "The Story of You" Baby Book is a beautiful and easy way for new parents to keep track of all of their baby's milestones. The book includes fill-in-the-blank prompts where parents can write down everything they want to remember, and there's plenty of space to add photos of their growing bundle of joy.
14. For the new parents who like to read: A Kindle Paperwhite
The days of uninterrupted reading time are definitely behind them, but that doesn't mean they have to give up their fiction habit completely. A Kindle will enable them to read anywhere and in any light, which makes it perfect for late night feedings or parents who co-sleep. Plus they can easily purchase books to add to their library with just the click of a button.
15. For an at-home spa day: An easy DIY manicure
Once a new baby arrives, those weekly nail salon visits become a thing of the past, so an at-home manicure set just makes sense. Olive & June's manicure set includes six nail polish colors, one bottle of top coat, cuticle serum, polish remover, a buffer, file, and nail clippers, as well as the Insta-famous Poppy nail polish handle grip.
16. For the new parents who need a helping hand: A baby bouncer
This gift seems like it’s for babies but it’s really for the parents. One of the surprising things about being a new parent is how often you just need somewhere to set your baby. Enter: the bouncer. Ensure that the new parents on your holiday list have a place to put their infant when they are using the bathroom or taking a shower—or when their arms just need a break. Baby Jogger’s City Sway bouncer is a sleek-looking number that also rocks and folds flat for storage. It comes with a removable mobile toy and it even vibrates and reclines. Parents will also appreciate the vented and machine-washable fabric.
17. For the new parents who plan to travel: A practical carry-on
If they have cross country holiday travel on their calendar this year, they'll really appreciate the gift of a great carry-on bag. A personalized L.L. Bean canvas boat bag is a chic and practical way to carry all of baby's essentials—with room for some of mom and dad's, too.
18. For an upgraded caffeine fix: A new espresso maker
The new parents on your shopping list likely already have a coffee maker. But maybe they don’t have an espresso machine. Upgrade their morning caffeine fix (Lord knows they need it) with one of our favorite machines. The Gaggia Classic Pro makes various fancy beverages at the touch of a button. Plus, it's a great value and doesn't take up much counter space.
19. For quick and easy meal prep: An Instant Pot
While it can be tempting to order takeout for every meal, eventually they'll need to have a way to make easy homemade meals without a lot of effort. An Instant Pot does all the cooking so that all they have to do is prep and enjoy.
20. For hungry new parents: Ingredients & recipes, delivered
New parents don’t have the energy to meal prep and plan, and going to the grocery store is a little tricky with a newborn in tow. Gifting a meal kit delivery service like Hello Fresh is a great idea. Send easy-to-prepare meals in a variety of serving sizes and frequencies, and take one less chore off their plate.
21. For the new parents who don't have time to clean: A robot vacuum
Tired parents will appreciate the cleaning break provided by a robot vacuum. Just set the Roomba and forget it, this little guy will sweep through rooms tackling floor dust and dirt. You can even schedule cleanings on your smartphone. So good.
22. For the new parents stuck at home with the in-laws: A boredom-busting board game
If they're expecting lots of visitors this holiday season, they'll appreciate not having to make small talk with in-laws and house guests. A board game like Catan is a great way to keep everyone entertained and engaged—without talking politics. Catan is a popular strategy game where three to four players build their own civilizations, competing for resources. It’s addicting—and perfect for grandparents and new parents alike.
23. To keep new parents caffeinated: A coffee subscription
If there's a new baby in the house, that also means there are some tired parents, too. Keep them caffeinated with the best coffee subscription. Counter Culture offers single-origin beans, and a variety of ways to customize each monthly shipment.
24. For the new parents who are minimalists: A Lovevery Playkit
If they're trying to avoid filling their baby's nursery with bins of plastic toys—or they just have a minimalist bent—give them a Lovevery Playkit. The thoughtfully curated boxes are designed for specific ages and stages of development, and the toys are high quality and sustainable. It's a great gift for parents and baby alike.
25. For the new parents who want to raise a book lover: A Bookroo subscription
It's never too early to start adding some great titles to the nursery bookshelf. Give them the gift of a Bookroo subscription designed just for babies. Each month, their new little one will receive three board books tailored to their age and stage, and packaged in a cute little box with their name emblazoned on the front.
26. For the new parents who enjoy great cocktails: A Shaker & Spoon subscription
Bars are decidedly not baby-friendly, but new parents can still enjoy happy hour with a Shaker & Spoon cocktail kit. Shaker & Spoon sends them everything they need (minus the alcohol) to create three original recipes, conceived by world-class bartenders, and built around one variety of liquor.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Gifts for new parents: Shop toys and more for 2021