Recently I’ve needed to buy baby gifts for two people in the “casual acquaintance” category. This category includes anyone where (1) it seems like it would be a nice thing to buy them a baby gift, but (2) you don’t really know them well enough to know what they’d like/need, and (3) you don’t want to make things awkward by getting something too large for the relationship. In other words, you want a token that shows your general good wishes, but this is not the time for engraved silver baby cups or a $100 baby swing.
I find in these cases I fall back on the same five basic ideas:
Idea #1: A set of board books. (Photo from Amazon.com.) Books with dust jackets and paper pages make good sentimental gifts and are a fun baby shower idea, but many of them can’t be enjoyed by the baby for years; baby board books can be used almost right away, and they’re less sentimental and more practical. I read this particular set to my particular babies one million times, and they were also good for propping in front of a baby
suffering enjoying tummy-time. They’re good basic “a picture per page” board books, nice and bright and durable. And they’re $10ish for four! Perfect.
Idea #2: The sleep-and-play. (Photos from Carters.com.) Many new babies wear these around the clock at first, changed not for “daytime” and “bedtime” but instead with every diaper leak and spit-up. Such changes can happen many, many times a day with some babies. I know some parents report getting way too many baby clothes as gifts, but even with handmedowns I was still buying more of these with every baby in the first two sizes (newborn and 3 months). They’re easy, comfy, cute, and no one has to try to match colors on too little sleep.
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