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11 best baby shower gifts that new parents are sure to love

From jam-packed hampers to baby tech, celebrate the little one’s arrival with these adorable finds

Sarah Young
Thursday 31 March 2022 15:25
<p>We tested gift sets, nursery essentials and little luxuries</p>

We tested gift sets, nursery essentials and little luxuries

A baby shower is a great opportunity for expectant parents to celebrate their impending arrival with family and friends and, if you’re invited to a baby shower, it’s always good etiquette to bring along a gift.

But, unless you’ve experienced the frenzied first few months of having a baby yourself, it can be tricky to know where to start.

While every parent has different tastes, the essentials required for a newborn are pretty much the same for everyone and, considering they will already have so much on their plate, a practical present that will help alleviate stress and make daily tasks like bathing and changing as fun as possible is always a good idea.

Of course, this isn’t to say that downright adorable gifts are off the cards because, is it even a baby shower without teeny tinny booties and babygrows to coo over? We think not.

How we tested

To help you pick out a present that’s guaranteed to be loved by any parent, our expectant mum tested a range of gift ideas from the incredibly practical to the indulgent and thoughtful. We made sure to include items across a range of budgets and carefully considered everything from quality to cute factor, with extra points awarded for those that promise to make mum and dad’s lives a little easier.

Read more:

From readymade gift sets to nursery essentials and little luxuries, with this gift guide, picking out a present for the new parents in your life will prove a doddle.

The best baby shower gifts for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Dockatot deluxe+ dock, William Morris willow boughs: £160, Johnlewis.com
  • Best outfit – House of Margaux newborn baby bundle: £30, Houseofmargaux.co.uk
  • Best sensory gift – Etta Loves x Keith Haring sensory strip: £26, Ettaloves.com
  • Best hamper – Selfridges medium baby hamper: £100, Selfridges.com
  • Best practical gift – Tommee Tippee twist and click starter set with six refills: £39.99, Tommeetippee.com
  • Best little luxury – The White Company hydrocotton baby robe: £28, Thewhitecompany.com
  • Best gift for mum – My Expert Midwife ultimate collection: £133, Myexpertmidwife.com
  • Best for easier bath times – Shnuggle baby bath with plug: £25.95, Shnuggle.com
  • Best for making memories – The Little House of Rainbows Australiana and rust reversible milestone cards: £19, Thelittlehouseofrainbows.co.uk
  • Best pampering gift – This Works baby sleep bedtime ritual: £25, Thisworks.com
  • Best baby monitor – Owlet baby monitor duo: £399, Owletbabycare.co.uk

Dockatot deluxe+ dock, William Morris willow boughs

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

While new parents will no doubt be swooning over their newborn, there will be moments when they need to pop their baby down and there’s no better place for them than the Dockatot deluxe+ dock. Designed to mimic the womb, the nest creates a comforting and secure place for little ones to rest without the risk of them rolling around. And, it features a springy, breathable base and cushioned sides that are filled with non-toxic materials that have an Oeko-Tex certification. The ideal spot for babies to lounge, play, rest and even partake in some tummy time, the dock should be used while under their parent’s watchful eye and, depending on the size of the baby, it should last until they’re around eight months’ old.

Available in a multitude of designs, our top pick is this William Morris print, but there’s something to suit every room, style and mood, from graphic motifs to pastel hues. Plus, the covers are machine washable, so you don’t need to worry about spills. The dock also features handles on each side, which make it easy to move around the house, while the original plastic packaging can be reused as a handy cover to keep it clean when travelling. A gift that’s guaranteed to be used on a daily basis, it’s bound to come in handy for any new parent.

House of Margaux newborn baby bundle

Best: Outfit

Rating: 10/10

No baby shower is complete without a teeny tiny outfit and this one is impossible to resist. Made by independent brand House of Margaux, the newborn bundle includes a pair of full-length leggings, a dribble bib and a pair of scratch mittens that are all made from the softest organic cotton – seriously, we couldn’t stop touching it. We loved that the leggings have an elastic waist for a comfortable fit, while the bib features handy press buttons for easy removal and the brilliantly absorbent fleece material on the reverse which is unlike any other we’ve tried. We fell in love with the happy leopard print that instantly brought a smile to our face, but there are nine other designs to choose from, meaning you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your recipient’s style.

Etta Loves x Keith Haring sensory strip

Best: Sensory gift

Rating: 9/10

Visual stimulation right from birth is super important in order to develop this sense, which is why we think this sensory strip from mum-founded brand Etta Loves makes such a great gift, especially for art-loving parents who want to introduce their little one to the delights of Keith Haring. Made to support babies’ visual and cognitive development, it’s a reversible piece of padded organic cotton that’s been printed with two of the American artist’s striking designs: “Baby” and “Brazil”. As very young babies don’t see in colour, the black and white side is intended for use from birth up to four months, while the brightly coloured side is best-suited for those aged five to six months. The strip can be used in numerous ways to stimulate and soothe your little one, from attaching round the edge of the pram to standing up in front of them for tummy time, or as a distraction for wriggly babies during nappy changes. It feels exceptionally soft and is also machine washable to make new parents’ lives that little bit easier.

Selfridges medium baby hamper

Best: Hamper

Rating: 9/10

If you’re looking for a baby shower present that’s sure to impress, then this luxurious hamper will certainly do the trick. Beautifully packaged in a Selfridges box, inside you’ll find four glorious gifts for the little one including a handy balm salve for soothing sore skin and two offerings from Danish brand Liewood – an adorable grey bunny comforter toy made from organic cotton and a matching pack of two muslin cloths – undoubtedly the hero of every parent’s arsenal. The standout product for us though is the Organic Zoo organic-cotton bodysuit, which features a fun “milk” slogan and is exceptionally soft – we also appreciated that it comes with poppers around the neck as well as the legs for easy changing. Packed with so many thoughtful and high-quality items, any parent would be thrilled to receive this hamper. Plus, it makes gift-giving a breeze, making it an ideal purchase for those short on shopping time or clueless when it comes to the overwhelming world of baby gear.

Tommee Tippee twist and click starter set with 6 refills

Best: Practical gift

Rating: 9/10

A nappy bin might not be the most luxurious gift, but it’s one that’s guaranteed to get used and make a real difference to the recipient. You see, while they might be small, newborns make a lot of mess and can need up to 12 changes per day. But just because their nappies stink, doesn’t mean the home should, too, which is where Tommee Tippee’s twist and click bin comes in. Designed to make changing time a breeze, the bin individually wraps each soiled nappy in an anti-bacterial film to lock away odours and germs, keeping your home fresh and smell-free, while also removing the need for multiple trips to the outside bin – genius. It’s super easy to use, too. You simply push the nappy into the bin, twist the handle until you feel a click (which means the nappy is now wrapped up) and close the lid, which has a plunger on the inside that pushes the nappy further down. The bin has a sleek, compact design that means it can fit easily into any room and, despite its slimline size, we were amazed that it could hold around 28 nappies at once.  If you’re concerned about all the extra rubbish using a system like this might create, don’t be, as the antibacterial film used to seal the nappies is bio-based and made from sustainably sourced sugar cane, while the bin itself is made from 98 per cent recycled and fully recyclable plastic.

The White Company hydrocotton baby robe

Best: Little luxury

Rating: 8.5/10

Perfect for bringing even more joy to bathtime, this baby dressing gown is a little luxury that most parents won’t have thought about purchasing for themselves. An indulgent alternative to a towel, it’s made from hydrocotton, which is a non-twisted yarn of pure natural cotton that feels thick and fluffy, even after multiple washes. We love the adorable teddy ears on the hood and that you can pick up the design in a range of colours, from classic white to unisex grey and blue or pink. We think any parent will love using this to wrap their little one in straight from the bath for an extra layer of warmth, or to include as part of their baby’s bedtime routine, signalling that it’s time to wind down. The robe comes in two sizes, 0-6 months and 6-12 months, which also means it has plenty of longevity.

My Expert Midwife ultimate collection

Best: Gift for mum

Rating: 9/10

Most mums want to be as prepared as possible for the big day and beyond, which is why this set that’s full of products designed to relieve a range of challenges during pregnancy, birth and post-partum makes such a thoughtful gift. Packaged in a handy clear toiletries case that makes it easy to spot what’s inside, the ultimate collection includes 11 products that are all made using safe, naturally derived ingredients. During pregnancy, she can make the most of products like fantastic skin elastic, which is designed to soothe stretching, itchy skin, and peri prep your bits – a lavender-infused oil that can be used for perineal massage from 34 weeks. When it comes to the birth, spritz for labour will help ease stress using calming oils such as frankincense and geranium, while spritz for bits is an essential for her hospital bag that can prevent stinging and promote healing afterwards. There’s even a product for baby included, too – no harm bum balm, which protects and softens the new arrival’s skin at every change to prevent nappy rash. We loved that the entire range has been developed by midwives and think any mum will be overjoyed to have this survival pack of must-haves ready to go as soon as she needs them.

Shnuggle baby bath with plug

Best: For easier bath times

Rating: 8.5/10

Make bath time easier on parents with this super-helpful baby bath from Shnuggle. Suitable for use from newborn to 12 months and above, it’s extremely well designed and packed with features that ensure new mums and dads can feel confident bathing their little ones. It has a bottom bump at the base that prevents baby from slipping, as well as an inclined backrest that helps you support even the tiniest babies in an upright position. We also liked that the backrest is padded with foam to keep baby comfy, and it doesn’t feel cold against their skin. Unlike some baths, which can take up a lot of room, the clever slanted design of this one means it feels nice and compact, and we appreciated that it comes with non-slip feet, meaning you can place it on pretty much any surface, whether that’s inside an adult-sized tub or on the living room floor. It’s also super easy to keep clean – simply wipe with a soft cloth and warm soapy water – and even features a plug to easily empty or refresh the water. You can take your pick from six colours, including white, rose pink, aqua blue and taupe.

The Little House of Rainbows Australiana and rust reversible milestone cards

Best: For making memories

Rating: 9/10

Baby milestone cards help parents track how their baby changes and celebrate special firsts in their child’s life, making them a great gift for snap-happy and sentimental parents alike. We love this set from independent brand The Little House of Rainbows which comes with 25 reversible cards that mark weekly and monthly age milestones, as well as momentous moments like “I crawled today”, “My first tooth” and “Watch out, I’m walking now”. While we tried the Australiana and rust design, which features beautiful floral motifs, there are plenty of others to choose from, including cards decorated with lions, ballerinas, hot air balloons and rainbows.

This Works baby sleep bedtime ritual

Best: Pampering gift

Rating: 9/10

What all parents want more than anything is a good night’s rest, so consider gifting them a set of pampering products that will help develop a calming routine and soothe their little one before bed time. Courtesy of This Works – the brand best known for its popular deep sleep pillow spray for adults (£19.50, Thisworks.com) –  this set comes with four products that have been specially designed to help babies feel cosy and comfortable, including a wash, soothing bottom balm, massage oil and a baby-friendly pillow spray. Suitable for use from six months, all the products have the same incredibly relaxing scent and are made with ingredients known to help lull you into a peaceful sleep such as lavender, camomile and lemon balm. Plus, they’re all vegan and free from parabens phthalates, sulphates and synthetic fragrances.

Owlet baby monitor duo

Best: Baby monitor

Rating: 9.5/10

If you’re going for the most impressive baby shower gift award, this monitor is the one. Super high-tech, it combines a camera with a smart sock that allows parents to monitor their baby in detail – it tracks their heart rate, oxygen level and sleep trends, and provides HD video, all of which is synced to an app on your phone and sends notifications if readings leave pre-set safe zones. Parents can view their child’s readings in real time, but the Owlet also logs and summarises data, meaning they get incredibly helpful insights into their baby’s sleep habits and development. It is a bit of a splurge, but if there are a few of you willing to chip in, we’re certain your recipients won’t be disappointed.

The verdict: Baby shower gifts

For a gift that promises to give parents the luxury of having their hands free, even if just for a moment, we highly recommend the Dockatot deluxe+ dock. It’s an ideal spot for babies to lounge and promises to become an indispensable bit of parenting kit.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more affordable that will please even the most style-conscious of mums and dads, House of Margaux’s newborn baby bundle has the cute factor and we were bowled over by the quality of the items inside. Special mention also goes to the Owlet monitor, which is a standout piece of tech any parent would be thrilled to receive.

Voucher codes

For the latest discount codes on baby tech and essentials, try the links below:

For little one’s first bedroom, have a browse of our best nursery furniture round-up

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