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It seems in the last few years that all of my friends have had babies. I guess that is what happens when you are in your 30's... that infamous clock just started clicking so loudly that they couldn't resist anymore.
In fact, I think I've purchased nearly 40 baby gifts for friends, family members and co-workers over the past few years. And I've found that the most talked about and well-received gifts are the ones that incorporate the newborn baby's name on the gift.
There are so many great personalized baby gift options on the retail market today so in this lens, I've put together my list of favorites based on the rave reviews that they've received from friends and family.
What I truly love about personalized baby gift baskets is that they usually contain several items that are customized with the baby's name and sometimes even their birth date and weight. And the container options are endless - from little red radio flyer wagons to bassinet shaped baskets perfect for holding stuffed animals in the future to giant baby bathtubs.
It seems gift basket companies are getting more and more creative when it comes to putting together a fun baby gift. That said, I usually try to choose a basket that contains items that Mom & Dad can truly utilize in the future. Baskets that include personalized bibs, blankets, burp-cloths, onesies and other clothing are always a hit. And so too are gifts that contain keepsakes such as baby footprint kits or personalized first curl containers.
While gift baskets can be expensive because they contain so many great items, many retailers also sell the basket components such as the personalized baby blankets separately for people that want a terrific new baby gift at a lower price point.
The great thing about personalized blankets are that they can be used for years as it seems toddlers love to tote them around as much as little babies like to be swaddled in them. There are a wide array of baby blankets on store shelves these days ranging from plush animal and sports ball security blankets to full size baby blankets in every color under the rainbow.
No matter what design you choose, be sure to have it embroidered with the newborn baby's name and even their birth date to make it extra special.
For those creative few who like to sew, crochet or knit, there are a wide range of unique baby gifts that you can make yourself. Try making a doll for the little prince or princess that has just arrived and you can personalize it with their name too!
A great choice when this is the 2nd or 3rd child in the family, baby cookie baskets are a great way to congratulate the new parents. And we all know that Mom & Dad can use a little energy during those 3 AM feedings and what better way to lift their spirits than with a big 'ole chocolate chip cookie?
I love buying cookie gifts that are packed in unique, reusable containers like these personalized rocking horses or a custom clay cookie pot that can be displayed in the nursery long after the cookies are gone. The older siblings and visitors stopping by to see the new baby will enjoy indulging in these fresh-baked cookies too!
Keepsake and hand-painted birth plates are a terrific custom gift choice. Many online stores carry them. You can even find places that carry birth plates in tons of unique designs including classic keepsake plates to carriage designs to hand-painted frog and prince themed plates. No matter what the nursery theme, you are sure to find a plate that will coordinate perfectly.
Clothing of all types is available embroidered with the baby's name. There are so many great personalized baby clothes to choose from including lacy pink diaper covers, pink and blue infant caps, baby bibs with custom sayings like 'I Love Grandma', onesies, t-shirts and much more. Just choose a design that you like and add baby's name - no matter what you choose, it will get rave reviews because parents love to dress their kids in personalized clothes.
NOTE: The little onesies shown to the right are available for about $18 at All About Gifts & Baskets.
When Mom & Dad already have everything they could possibly need for baby (maybe because this is their 3rd child), I go with a keepsake gift that they can cherish for years to come. The Personalization Mall is a great source for silver and ceramic keepsakes such as silver plated rattles or birth certificate holders that are engraved with the child's name and birth date.
Another great keepsake option are personalized piggy banks that are hand-painted or silver train banks that are etched with the child's name.
Adorable personalized hooded towels or gift baskets featuring bath products are always well-received. Bath puppets, water activity 'books', plush towels, terry washcloths, and baby bathing products like shampoo usually take center stage in bath-time gift baskets. Since this is a daily or bi-daily occurrence in most households, these gifts are as practical as they are adorable.
Get the newborn baby library off to a good start with a book designed just for them. My Create A Book.com designs books where the child becomes the star character in the story. The books are printed on high quality laser printers and then bound to create a hardcover storybook. As baby gets a bit older, they'll love to read the storybook that is all about them and their adventures. There are tons of unique story lines and designs to choose from - this is one personalized baby gift they will cherish a lifetime.
Soooo cute - these flower pots make great shower centerpieces and do double duty as a gift.
Displaying photos and showing off baby is one of the joys of being a new parent so why not give a gift that can be used immediately. The new parents will love hanging a framed photo of baby in the nursery or somewhere else in the house. My favorite baby photo frames not only feature a unique design, but also display the newborn's name and other birth information.
In the past, I've even purchased those inexpensive wooden frames from Michael's craft store and hand-painted them myself using baby-themed stencils. I also bought letter stencils so that it was easy to paint the frame with the baby's name as well.
The ultimate personalized clothing gift is a layette set. Whether it is 3 pieces or 8, layette sets are fully coordinated and often have appliques like prince or princess, pink or blue embellishments, sailboats or flowers, and other unique themes.
You can find both fully personalized or monogrammed sets with items such as bibs, burp cloths, fleece hats, and ultra-soft baby blankets.
The arrival of a new baby can often leave older siblings feeling like they aren't special anymore. Well a great way to get them involved is to include a big brother or big sister sibling gift along with your congratulatory baby gift.
These days you can find personalized baseball caps, t-shirts and even photo albums that include the child's name along with a big brother or big sister caption. They'll proudly wear their new clothing and Mom & Dad will be thrilled that you remembered them too!
A mommy and me gift is always a great idea - at least it was amongst my friends. All of them needed a little pampering after the countless nights without sleep and the delivery. Many companies sell gift baskets that incorporate some bath and body products along with the new baby gifts.
The particular mommy and me gift basket shown above includes pamper items like vanilla body wash and bubble bath as well as monogrammed items like a gorgeous golden dress and terry bib for baby.