Babies are so fantastic: they’re adorable, resilient, and don’t require much. But that leaves loved ones in a bit of a predicament: what exactly do you get for someone who has a baby?

You could always go the Target gift card route, but if you’re old-school like me you like for the parents to have something to really “open.” Plus it’s so much more fun to shop for a baby!

Here are my suggestions for the best creative gifts for babies: they’re original, they’re useful, and I can promise you that they will be appreciated!

I do have affiliate links in this article. You can read this to learn more!

If you’re shopping specifically for a newborn, you might want to first check my “Top Picks for Newborns” as a starting point. New parents may be more in need of those items! However, these gifts I mention below will be great for a family with a baby, whether it’s Kid #5 or the baby is already 6 months old.

These are great “foolproof” gift ideas for any occasion, whether it be Christmas or a birthday or another celebration.

Creative Gifts for Babies (and their parents!) - Real Simple Mama

Photo Books or Photo Gifts

I’m addicted to photo books – it’s like scrapbooking, but quicker and less messy! I have one of each of my child’s birth and first few weeks. I also have way too many coffee mugs, magnets, and other gifts which have been personalized with photos of my kids. I can’t get enough!

If you don’t have the photos or don’t feel comfortable, a gift card to a place like Shutterfly or Snapfish would really be appreciated. (Both of those sites usually have promotions going on, like free shipping or 50% an item.)

Membership to Zoo or Museum

This is such a fantastic idea, and one I wish I could gift to all parents. The local zoo or museum will have memberships you can purchase as a gift! We have the Doseum which is a hands-on museum for kids, and it’s wonderful. Rest assured that this gift will be used, especially if the baby has older siblings.

Maid Service

Oh my goodness, what a blessing this would be! Schedule a house cleaning so that the parents don’t have to worry about doing chores for a few days. (I would just carefully word this so that it doesn’t look like “hey, your place is filthy – take a hint!”)

You can also request that the maid service contact the parents directly to schedule. And I specifically ask that they use cleaners which are as “natural” as possible: baking soda, vinegar, etc.

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Homemade Coupons

A homemade coupon for something like “one free night babysitting so you can go out” or “one free dinner brought over” is thoughtful, useful, and creative. Even something like “one afternoon off so you can take a shower and a nap while I watch the baby” would be most welcome!

Make the coupon look cute by designing it by hand, or on your computer and printing it off.

Money for Baby’s Savings Account or Trust Fund

I opened a trust fund for each of my kids once they were born. For my second child, I just asked for money for her savings since she was getting all of Big Brother’s hand-me-downs, and we didn’t really need much.

We try to save about $1000/year, per kid, to give them when they turn 18. A boost from loved ones around a birthday or holiday really helps us meet that goal.

You could give this gift in the form of a savings bond, or just designate on the check that it’s for the child.

Give the Parents a Date Night

You could do this a few different ways, once they’re ready to leave the baby: you could make one of the coupons I suggested above and bring dinner over (sort of like a “date night without leaving the house”), or you could actually plan a date night. There are all kinds of dinner-and-movie options, or you could do something more original like buying them some games of mini-golf.

A new baby really does mess up the romance of a relationship for a while, so if you feel like the time is right, this is a great way to remind them of their love for each other, and give them a break for a little while.

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Books

This gift is more for the baby, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great gift to give! I personally get tired of all of the bright, noise-making toys; I would much prefer to get a book for my child (and have specifically requested books for many occasions).

You could get a few by the same author, or get a few different ones. My article here has over 40 suggestions for books, some specifically for babies!

I also love it when the person who got the book writes a little personal note inside the front cover, just giving us a little note for our child and signing it with the date. Little touches like this really make a gift more meaningful.

Shadow Box

A shadow box is essentially like a 3-D picture frame: you can put things inside which give the presentation some depth. This can be anything from baby shoes, to onesies, to jewelry.

I made shadow boxes after each child was born, with precious memorabilia from their birth and first few days. You could easily purchase and design one yourself, for the parents to redo later if they choose (using pins instead of glue means that the items inside can be rearranged or changed out).

If you think about it, include a few other small things like the pins and paper backing they might like to use.

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Photo Session

A photo session is probably one of the best gifts I can think to give anyone with children. Not only will it give the family memories they can use for a lifetime, but it’s also a chance for them to get dressed up and spend some quality time together!

You can either gift them a session with a photographer, or you could offer to do the shoot yourself! It would be even more special to have a loved one do our pictures, since they know our personalities and could help us all feel super comfortable during the session.

Here is my guide for when to do photo sessions during a baby’s first year: I missed a lot of these with my firstborn, and I really regret it.

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Tah-dah! I hope that I’ve inspired you to get an original, yet functional gift for the family of a new baby. I promise you that all of these ideas sound fantastic to me (as someone who’s gone through the birth process twice).

I’d love to hear from you: let me know what you thought of my ideas, and if you have any of your own!