16 Best Baby Gifts on a Budget

by Jennifer Holder on 8 February 2013 8 comments
Photo: roxeteer

About five years ago my friends, one by one, started getting married. For me that meant figuring out what being a "grown-up" really means — buying gifts for other people.

Once I finally got that down, my friends started having babies, and my gift-giving education started all over again. Honestly, sometimes I feel like Carrie on that one "Sex and the City" episode where she registers for shoes.

Well, needless to say, I have no children, but I’m finally getting the hang of this buying gifts thing. And even better, pretty much all of my Facebook friends have children, so they made me even better. Recently I did a poll of my friends about the best baby gifts they received and added a little pricing research. The result is this collection of budget friendly gifts you can buy for a friend or loved one’s newest little bundle of joy. (See also: What a New Baby Really Needs)

$0-$10 Gifts

Why, you wonder, does this collection start at zero dollars? Because of...

1. DIY Coupons: Cost of Paper

This might sound a bit hokey, but it’s a great idea from one of my friends.

New parents are tired and might be desperate for a night off or a good meal. Make them a coupon book and offer to prepare dinner, babysit later, or if photography is your hobby — offer a photo sesh. You could also find out the thing New Mom missed most during pregnancy and offer to buy in bulk as a present after the birth. In the case of one of my best friends, it was ceviche. I didn’t buy in bulk, but I did go get some, and she was a happy camper.

2. Boppy Pillow Slipcover: $9.98

If you don’t know what the Boppy is, scroll down. If you do know and you know your friend already has one, buy them a few extra slipcovers. After all, if you know what it’s for, then you know how terribly dirty it’s going to get (spit up, anyone?).

3. Pacifiers: $5.99-9.99

Binkies. Pacis. Nuks. Whatever you want to call them, a baby can never have too many pacifiers. And they’re the perfect thing to round out a gift.

4. Baby Gowns, 0-6 Months: $7.99-$10.99

No buttons, zippers, or fuss — baby gowns are perfect for wrapping babies up tight without having to mess with fasteners. Give the gift of a Circo 2-pack or Gerber 2-pack, and give the new parents a little diaper-changing ease.

5. Baby Medicine: $1.99-$9.99

Another great gift for new parents is a basket of medicine — little things moms and dads might need along the way including nasal spray, baby orajel, Grow with Me medicine dispensing set, gas drops, infant ibuprofen and anything else you can think of.

6. Baby Safety Nail Cutter: $3.99

Baby nails are surprisingly sharp, but unfortunately they’re also unsurprisingly soft. Cutting them is a necessary evil, however, because otherwise the baby could cut up their legs. The Simba brand nail cutters have great Amazon reviews and seem to solve the problem of cutting more than just a baby’s nails.

7. Ouftits, 6-9 Months: $6-$13

When a baby is on the way, parents are inundated with tiny clothes, but once the baby has arrived, he or she is mostly dressed in baby gowns or swaddled, so when it comes time for the baby to wear their cute outfits, they've outgrown them. Outfits in the range of 6 to 9 months seem to be one of the more important gifts you can give. Pick out some cute ones!

$10-$20 Gifts

There are more clothes to be had in this price range as well as some affordable maintenance gear.

8. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack: $14.99

I’ve seen this grass countertop drying rack at many, many baby showers, and all parents attest to its greatness. The straight up-and-down design allows for even drying, and the color and style allows for that cuteness factor.

9. Diaper Genie Essentials Pail: $19.99

If your friend is going to be breast feeding or their outside garbage is far away, get them a Diaper Genie. It’s perfect to keep the stink out, and most parents can’t live without it. Bottle-fed babies go number two less, though, so it might not be a necessity for them.

10. Socks, All Sizes: $18.99

Socks of all shapes and sizes are a surprising necessity. Probably not surprising to parents, but surprising to me. Pick up a pack of socks, and the parents will be eternally grateful.

11. Backseat Mirror: $19.99

As you know, babies have to face the other way in the backseat. Buy a handy backseat mirror so your friends won’t ever miss a moment (well, besides the moments when they have to pay attention to the road).

12. Boogie Wipes: $10.99

None of my friends actually recommended these boogie wipes, I just really liked the name. And upon further investigation found out that they’re actually more than just a cute name. They’ve gotten great reviews, but apparently going unscented is the best way to go.

13. Nosefrida the Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator: $14.54

Apparently Sweden does baby snot removal much better than anyone else. In fact, I wish this had existed when I was little — the only thing I remember from my childhood was the evasive boogie removal. But this seems to do the trick, painlessly and easily.

$20-$30 Gifts

We're a ways from stroller territory, but we're definitely moving into long-term baby comfort and care with the gifts available in this price range.

14. Boppy Nursing Pillow: $29.98

Every mother (and father) attests to the Boppy. And as neither a mother nor father, I can attest to the effectiveness of the Boppy as well. Holding babies has never been easier!

15. Diapers: $25 and Up

No, seriously. Unless you’ve had a baby or otherwise have a grasp of having a baby, this could surprise you — diapers are expensive! And although they’re a seemingly boring or obvious present, they’re extremely important. If you feel the present is lacking originality, try making a diaper "cake" (but don’t frost it... the baby will do that).

16. Swaddle Blankets: $29.99

Swaddle blankets are rather expensive, probably because they work so well. The ones suggested to me cost over the limits I set for this article, so I did a quick search for one in the price range. Luckily, aden + anais make an affordable and reliable option.

What's the best baby gift you've ever given (or received)?

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Abigail B.

Miracle blankets are a better swaddler and also about $30. I would add the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child to the list ($11); it is an awesome book explaining the best conditions you can give your child for sleep... too many people are completely uneducated about infant sleep when this is a huge biological need for babies! I buy it for every new parent I know-the gift of sleep!

Guest's picture

These are all great gifts. But don't be afraid to also give something just for the mommy. We still appreciate a little attention!

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michele

This is exactly what I do. A nice little bath basket with gels, creams and candles. Although, I have heard that the candles last a long time because Mommy time in the tub is often short lived.

Guest's picture

Wonderful gift ideas that just right for the budget. I am fond of giving pacifiers to babies. I really find babies with pacifiers extra cute.

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LR

You have listed here great items which make perfect baby gifts. Apart from being cheaper than other gift items available in stores, they will surely get appreciated by the baby's parents. At least they need not buy a few of the essential things they need.

Guest's picture

These are some very thoughtful and practical gifts. Gifts for new mothers and for baby showers can get expensive, and buying practical small items like medicine and socks that a new mother might not think of is a great way to give without emptying your wallet!

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Guest

All the little things add up quickly. Second hand items help. I have found the most meaningful gifts are homemade blankets. I still treasure those.

Guest's picture

Choosing baby gifts is not so easy and you have to think several times before choosing a perfect gift. Budget is also another point while buying a baby gift. I think items like pacifiers, diaper bags and baby blankets are the best items that can be gifted to a bay because they can be best utilized by the baby.