GIFTS TO DROOL OVER
The birth of a baby is a beautiful and unique occasion, and it's tempting to buy all sorts of cute gifts as soon as the little one pops out (or even before). Spending can easily get out of hand with gifts that cost as much as adult clothing and accessories. But who has $70 for a pair of baby booties that will last three months? It doesn't have to take a big budget to indulge in a special gift (or a few). This list features mostly practical items for newborns that cost less than $25 but come with all the love.
ORGANIC COTTON BLANKET
Price: $19 for two, Buy them at Burt's Bees Baby
Everyone hopes the blanket they get for a baby will become the one that never leaves the child's side. Simple, soft cotton blankets are perfect for newborns because they stand up to regular machine washing, and affordable enough to spring for organic cotton.
Price: $20, Buy it at Target
They're gushed over less than blankets, but towels can make bathtime easier and more fun for baby and parents. A cute hooded option, such as those made by Aden Anais, keeps babies' heads warm and cozy after getting clean. As a bonus, children can wear it as a cape as they grow.
Price: $10, Buy them at Babies R Us
Babies drool -- a lot -- and a classic bib can be a nice gift for new parents. Some handmade ones are even passed down as heirlooms. For the modern, fashion-conscious baby, accessory-like bandana bibs, such as American Boy & Girl three-packs, are a stylish way to avoid a mess. The colors and patterns become part of an outfit.
SOCKS OR BOOTIES
Price: $10, Buy them at Carters
Little baby feet are so cute, but get cold so easily. While little shoes are adorable and hard to resist, babies tend to grow out of them fast. Socks or booties are much more practical and longer-lasting -- and cheap enough that a gift-giver can afford multiple pairs, even when they're cable-knit crocheted booties.
Price: $13, Buy it at Personalization Mall
Hats are another very practical gift for newborns, whose tiny heads must be kept warm. There are many inexpensive options, including ones customized with the baby's initials or name. A personalized gift is likely to be cherished for years to come.
Price: $16 to $18, Buy it on Amazon
Clothing choices are pretty limited for new humans -- namely, to onesies. Luckily, they are adorable, cheap, and come in many styles. Go outside the box with a kimono-style onesie, which is easy to snap on without pulling fabric over a baby's head and face. L'ovedbaby organic cotton onesies in a range of solids and patterns.
Price: Less than $25, Buy at Babies R Us
Babies need bottles, and it's always good to have extras on hand. That makes a simple bottle set a thoughtful way to show support and contribute to the care of the little one. Many high-quality versions are inexpensive, even in three-packs.
Price: $5, Buy it on Amazon
Reading to babies is not only a beautiful bonding experience but also central in developing cognitive function and imagination. A classic such as "Goodnight Moon" is much more than a children's book -- it can be the key to a childhood full of shared storytimes and a step up in learning to read. Give the gift of a book beloved by generations of kids and keep a special tradition alive.
BIRTHSTONE OR ZODIAC KEEPSAKE
Price: Less than $25 from Etsy shops
Another way to personalize a gift is with the gemstone or astrological symbol that corresponds to the baby's birth date. A small stone or figurine could cost as little as $5 but be kept forever. (The smaller the gift, the longer it should stay on a shelf or in a box, lest the child mistake it for candy!) Etsy shops have offerings such as downloadable prints for $5 from Karitas Design and silver spoons stamped with the zodiac constellations for $16 from Milk & Honey Luxuries.
STUFFED SAFARI ANIMAL
Price: Starting at $5, Buy them at Stuffed Safaris
This classic gift never gets old. A cuddle buddy that a baby grows up with can be a special friend and a great source of comfort throughout childhood. And even long-lasting, machine-washable stuffed toys can be inexpensive.
Price: Starting at $13, Buy them at Wayfair
A set of letters showing the name or initials of the newborn is another thoughtful gift, and could stick around long enough to be displayed in a college dorm. Wooden letters can be found for a few dollars at some superstores, and a variety can be ordered online. A nice idea for the craft-minded: Decorate the letters yourself, or wait a few years and do it with the child.
Price: $2, Buy them on Amazon
Most babies start eating regular food, in addition to formula or breast feeding, before the age of 1. Using special baby spoons just for them helps bring routine to the feedings and ensure a safe and comfortable process for parents and babies.
Price: $5, Buy them at Babies R Us
This gift will be beloved by the baby and parents, bringing tranquility and security to both. Pacifiers are inexpensive -- which is good, since they have a tendency to get lost easily. A pack of pacifiers is a practical gift that keeps on giving.
Price: $2, Buy it at Target
Baths start right away for babies, and it helps to have colorful friends in the tub to keep them entertained while they get cleaned up. A rubber ducky can stick with a child for years to come. This one helps gauge water temperature to make sure it's right for babies.
Price: $5, Buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond
It will take some time before a baby can grab and hold objects, but they love watching, touching, and listening to colorful things such as rattles. A baby's first rattle is one of the earliest objects to make an impression and can become a treasured keepsake.
INFANT NAIL CLIPPER
Price: $2, Buy it at Target
While babies take some time to develop teeth, their nails start to grow right away. Many infants accidentally scratch themselves with their new nails, which means it's important to keep them managed with regular clipping. This cheap but practical gift will get lots of use.