Meaningful Gifts: Newborns

Baby gifts are among the most fun to shop for. I've noticed, though, that the most popular registry items appeal more to the parent than to the baby (cute clothing, beautiful nursery decor, useful baby gear, etc.). This makes a lot of sense, given the important role parents play in infant care. That said, I thought I'd make a list of gifts that appeal to the newborn. Babies this tiny may not seem like active participants in the world around them, but they are! They gaze at, grasp, mouth, kick, and bat at objects... and with purpose, too! Their minds and bodies are developing at lightning speed (Wonder Weeks, anyone?), so why not give a gift that supports all of that learning? Here are a few ideas from around the web...

Baby Gyms - Something simple and sturdy allows for the focus to remain on the toy hanging from it. Bells, teething rings, and chimes also make wonderful baby gym toys! Baby will also need a soft place to lay, so a blanket, mat, or sheepskin would be a nice accompaniment.

Baby Gyms - Something simple and sturdy allows for the focus to remain on the toy hanging from it. Bells, teething rings, and chimes also make wonderful baby gym toys! Baby will also need a soft place to lay, so a blanket, mat, or sheepskin would be a nice accompaniment.

Art Cards - High contrast, black and white images are easiest for young babies to see. Wee Gallery offers several themes (great if the parent is doing a themed shower or nursery), but there are lots of other options on Etsy. This would also make a wonderful DIY project, if you feel so inclined!

Art Cards - High contrast, black and white images are easiest for young babies to see. Wee Gallery offers several themes (great if the parent is doing a themed shower or nursery), but there are lots of other options on Etsy. This would also make a wonderful DIY project, if you feel so inclined!

Mobiles - These are incredible tools to support a newborn's ability to concentrate his or her gaze. You could buy one ready-made, make one yourself, or use a kit (I've seen them in Michael's and Target). The one pictured is a Montessori Munari mobile. Take a look here if you're curious about the other Montessori infant mobiles.

Mobiles - These are incredible tools to support a newborn's ability to concentrate his or her gaze. You could buy one ready-made, make one yourself, or use a kit (I've seen them in Michael's and Target). The one pictured is a Montessori Munari mobile. Take a look here if you're curious about the other Montessori infant mobiles.

Grasping Toys - Babies are born with a grasping reflex, and their grip can be quite strong! Eventually, grasping becomes more purposeful, which is why the grasping toy is such a wonderful gift. Look for interesting textures (wood, fabric, rubber, etc.) and make sure it's non-toxic, as this will eventually find its way into baby's mouth!

Grasping Toys - Babies are born with a grasping reflex, and their grip can be quite strong! Eventually, grasping becomes more purposeful, which is why the grasping toy is such a wonderful gift. Look for interesting textures (wood, fabric, rubber, etc.) and make sure it's non-toxic, as this will eventually find its way into baby's mouth!

To those who are shopping for a new baby, happy gifting! Any parents have other gifts their newborns especially loved?