Best and Worst Gifts for Expecting Parents

Having a baby can be quite exciting. From finding out you’re pregnant, to picking out the first items on your registry, each step builds in anticipation until the day you get to hold your bundle of joy. However, no one can quite prepare you for how inundated you might feel with all the STUFF. I remember being pregnant with my first born and receiving nearly two dozen swaddles and almost as many blankets. I quickly realized there might need to be a dos and don’ts of gifting baby items. Most expectant parents create registries, so of course that’s always a great place to start, but in case you feel like going rogue, or (like I’ve done a few times) you only have a few hours to obtain a gift, here are some mom-approved suggestions for gifting.

I polled our readers and here’s what they had to say:

Yes, please, we love these gifts

Diapers and wipes – these were mentioned by quite a few mamas. However, it’s super helpful if you purchase the specific type requested due to possible sensitivities. 

Footie zipper onesies that start at the foot – these are awesome for diaper changing because you don’t have to completely undress the baby.

Basic onesies – they can go through A LOT of these in one day

Contribute money to a large gift – many online registries now have this option and could include many of the popular gifts amongst experienced parents such as:

Baby wearing baby carrier

Bedside bassinet

Travel system

Vibrating rocker/baby swing/floor seat

Baby Shusher/white noise machine – the portable options are game changers

Sofie Giraffe teether

Nursing pillow

Moses basket

Love to Dream Swaddle

Postpartum care items -these items are often overlooked but super helpful and needed. 

Nursing pajamas/bras/loungewear

Nipple cream

Breastfeeding pads

Milk collection bottle – mamas rave about the Haaka

Baby bath items – washcloths, shampoo, baby bath tub

Thick “cloth diaper” style burp cloths


Baby medicine/tools – check the registry for specific brands, but things like Tylenol, Motrin, Mylecon, a thermometer, nose sucker, etc. They are all necessities and SO helpful to have in stock before they’re actually needed.

Give a gift to the mama – massages and mani/pedis are popular among the expecting mamas

Gift cards to Target or Walmart

Meals or meal gift cards – immensely helpful when trying to adapt to postpartum life; no one wants to be in the kitchen cooking

Signed picture books in lieu of a card

Items best left at the store:

Baby shoes – get some they can wear once they actually start walking or avoid them altogether

Bottles – these are finicky because babies are all different when it comes to bottles. 

Clothes in general – Some readers mentioned people have their own styles so unless they register for it, it’s probably best to avoid.

Fluffy blankets – these and swaddles were the top mentioned item of which parents received WAY too many. 


Newborn and 0-3 month clothes – Babies outgrow these sizes so quickly and it’s quite helpful to have items they’ll fit in later down the road. If you really feel the need to purchase clothing make it season appropriate and 6 months or bigger.

Photo albums/baby books – these might not be used or the parents might have specific books they want to use.

Stuffed animals

Swaddles/receiving blankets

Expensive baby trinkets – One mama mentioned a $200 silver cup from Tiffany’s. Avoid things that won’t be usable.


I know, I know, sometimes it’s fun to go rogue and purchase something unique, just try to remember, functionality is crucial when it comes to babies and sometimes the least exciting gifts are the most needed. Regardless of what you purchase, make sure you include a gift receipt (incredibly helpful with duplicate items or even items that just aren’t used). Now, onward, go equipped with this information to purchase some epic baby gifts. Moms and dads everywhere are thanking you for taking these guidelines into consideration.

Gracie is a wife of six years, mom to an almost three year-old boy, a newborn baby girl (2021) and a proud Wheaten Terrier dog mom. She is a New Mexico native that prefers a green lifestyle, but she still keeps a tub of Clorox wipes below the kitchen sink to rid of the “really bad germs”. She first moved to San Antonio to attend Trinity University where she achieved a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Teaching. Gracie is a former Spanish Immersion teacher turned work-at-home mom currently digging into her clean-crafted wine business. While working from home she still channels her inner teacher into finding the next best thing for her son: ways to stimulate him, help him learn, teach him multiple languages, encourage him to be a healthy eater, etc. She loves reading, running and exploring the vivacious city of San Antonio. Favorite Restaurant: Supper Favorite Landmark: San Antonio Mission Reach Favorite San Antonio Tradition: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo