This year, skip the "First Christmas" ornament and gift families a few things they'd really need for their little one instead. Our list of useful gifts for new families will take the guesswork out of what to gift for both December newborns and older babies about to experience Christmas for the first time. From gorgeous gift sets to travel essentials, these items are sure to be a hit for the parenting journey ahead.
Items were received and tested prior to review to ensure a proper fit for this post.
Super Safe Infant Car Seat: Feeling really generous? A safe infant car seat is a must when traveling for the holidays. The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat provides comfort, convenience and safety! Not only is it compatible with over 50 different strollers, but the seat's Air Protect® technology offers side impact protection around baby's head and down the side of the seat. An anti-rotation stability leg ensures baby's head and neck are safe from sudden stops and other back and forth movements that occur when traveling, too! One of my favorite bonuses about this seat (besides the safety features of course)? The fabric can be removed without unthreading the harness for easy washes. My little December baby is coming home in Nomad Purple, but the seat is also available in Nomad Black and a gorgeous frosty Nomad Grey.
Cold Weather Travel Set: Spending time with family for the holidays often means some travel as well, so a thoughtful travel set like Erbaviva's Limited Edition Holiday Gift Set is extremely useful this time of year (and will be used many more times, I'm sure). The kit includes a body wash, lotion, and chest rub (with a bamboo spatula for application) in a beautiful cotton toiletry bag. The best part? The whole family can use these soothing organic items for a moment of zen while visiting relatives. Add a lip & cheek set for chapped skin during the cold weather, and that's a prepared family!
Matching Pajamas: You can't go wrong with family PJs — especially if baby is due in the month of December. How cute are the buffalo plaid jammies my son is wearing in the feature photo for this post?! They're from Taralynn's Boutique and both my daughter, baby and I have a set to match his!
Curated Bundle: These organic Oliver & Rain gift bundles have everything you need for the perfect baby gift — knitted booties, outfit, swaddle, and bib in a special keepsake box. Oliver & Rain gift sets are available in girls, boys and gender-neutral options. I absolutely love them and can't wait to dress my December baby up in her new Oliver & Rain set.
Personalized Swaddle: Gifting something useful with baby's name is always a great gift idea. I love the reversible custom swaddles from Audrey's Bear and am especially excited to use the rainbow swaddle I ordered when my December baby arrives.
Personalized Baby Book: We all plan to make a baby book for our little ones, but actually getting around to it is another story. Little Book of You makes creating a custom book about the little one easy in just 15 minutes or less. The illustrations are beautiful and the concept is brilliant!
First Shoes: If you pick out the right shoes, this gift is not only useful but treasured always. Imagine your gift being a part of a big moment like baby's first steps! pediped makes some of my favorite shoes for babies and tots, plus their quality, styles & pricing are all amazing. I recommend gifting a pair of Originals in size 6-12 months or 12 months (depending on baby's size).
Snuggly Keepsake: The Edushape Dream Buddy is a cuddly toy to cherish over the years. It comes with its own bedtime blanket and cut out shapes for creating bedtime stories or for your little one to share about their day when they're older.
Bath Sets: Do new parents a favor and buy them a Puracy Baby Care Gift Set. The set comes with four large bottles of cruelty-free, vegan and natural bathtime products made in the USA — two bottles of baby shampoo & body wash and two bottles of lotion. Puracy is a small business with a big mission — to provide quality effective products to families that are people-safe, pet-safe and environmentally-safe — which is why they're a top pick among many natural parenting blogs and have a safe rating on the EWG/Skin Deep website.
Teething Aids: Did you know that teething can start as early as two months? Taking care of baby's gums before the teeth even sprout is important for healthy oral hygiene but few new families are prepared with the right tools when teething starts. Gifting an assortment of MAM Baby items to make your own oral care gift set with teethers and toothbrushes or developmental toys is a useful gift that parents will be thankful for later.
Radiation-Shielding Products: I'm listing this as an everyday essential item because it definitely is, but the adorable radiation-shielding blankets and hats from Belly Armor are also great for when you travel to visit family and as keepsakes that are used with every new pregnancy and baby. Even just using your cell phone emits radiation, so imagine being in a room with your laptop & cell phone along with everyone else's electronics, too! Belly Armor's adorable bunny hat, mouse hat, and blankets (I like the new star pattern) shield baby from this harmful radiation.
Organization: Even the most organized person loses a little sense of organization once a baby comes into their lives, which is exactly why a few items from b.box are key — a baby stroller organizer and a spoon & bib set. This compact stroller organizer is one of the best I've seen — it has reinforced cup areas that securely hold your drinks and a variety of zipper enclosed pockets plus a mesh storage area that can expand to hold even more items when needed! If the baby is starting solids soon, keeping a wipable bib that zips up with an enclosed spoon ensures that the parents are always prepared. It's the little things like this that help to provide a little sanity and peace of mind to new parents.
Another great gift idea is an Easy Baby Traveler gift set — it comes with several different embroidered bags for easy diaper bag organization.
Multi-Use Items: There are so many different baby-related items out there that when you find one that has multiple uses it's a must-buy. Covered Goods sells beautiful covers that can be used not only as a nursing cover, but as a pretty scarf, cart cover, or car seat cover! My December baby favorite is the Red Rose pattern — just got it for my little girl.
Comfortable Pajamas: I'm loving the adorable Layers collection from ergoPouch — they come with a thermometer so you can be sure to put baby in the right pajama layer for the temperature! Not only are the pajamas made from breathable natural fibers, but they're rated to measure thermal resistance for the different seasons.