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20 best gifts for new parents that they’ll actually use

From sentimental presents to practical buys – these best gifts will make new parents lives a little smoother

Sarah Young,Leeanna Lock
Friday 05 January 2024 14:24 GMT
<p>The best gifts that will put a smile on any new parent’s face and help to relieve day-to-day stresses</p>

The best gifts that will put a smile on any new parent’s face and help to relieve day-to-day stresses

Our Top Picks

Whether you know someone that’s expecting their first baby or has just welcomed a new addition to their growing brood, the parenting game can be overwhelming.

For all the love and reward that comes with raising a little one, there’s also lots of work to be done – think twilight feeds, nappy changes and inevitable meltdowns to name a few – which is why a thoughtful gift that’s focused on making hectic days a little bit easier can make all difference.

After the birth of a new babe, parents are often inundated with presents. And while they’re almost certainly grateful for any gesture, be it packs of wipes or bathtime supplies, we think the best gifts are those that not only put a smile on their face but also help to relieve some of the day-to-day stresses that come with caring for babies and toddlers.

Products that will provide simple solutions to everyday tasks will help them along their parenting journey, whether that’s something to keep the baby entertained so they can grab five minutes to tidy up or a gift bought especially with mum or dad’s needs in mind.

How we tested

To help you find the best gift for the new parent in your life we tried a range of different products that will delight any family, from high-tech gadgets to tasty treats and educational toys, while assessing each item on its individual quality, price, practicality and thoughtfulness. Our experts are parents themselves who have tried and tested each gift at home.

The best gifts for new parents for 2024 are:

  • Best overall gift – Baby Bjorn baby carrier harmony: £209, Babybjorn.co.uk
  • Best thoughtful gift – HelloFresh gift card: from £29.99, Hellofresh.co.uk
  • Best gift for mum – Elvie breast pump: £269, Elvie.com
  • Best gift for baby – Babymoov swoon evolution motion baby swing: £279.99, Babymoov.co.uk
  • Best gift for parents – Seraphine cotton skin to skin top: £49, Seraphine.co.uk

BabyBjorn baby carrier harmony 3D mesh

best gifts for new parents
  • Best: Overall

Baby carriers are popular with new parents as it means they get to be as close to their baby as possible while cracking on with everyday chores or going out for scenic walks. We love BabyBjorn’s harmony carrier, which is one of the most versatile we’ve come across, mostly because of its longevity and ability to hold baby in four different carry positions. It makes a great gift as the carrier is suitable from newborn to three years (max 15kg), saving parents’ spending out for new products as they grow.

Whether your little one wants to sit facing forward, facing you, or enjoy a piggy back ride, these options are all available to suit their age with generous breathability and padded comfort. The newborn function, which provides head and neck support, is also reassuring for keeping them safe and snug at their tiniest until they can master control of those areas.

Crafted with soft jersey in areas the baby will come into contact with and breathable mesh elsewhere, it has an adjustable seat area that allows your baby to comfortably sit with their legs apart and their bottom in a natural position, while the padded shoulder straps and belt gratefuly relieve pressure on the parent’s body. The different sections fasten using clips similar to those you’d find on a backpack and, although it took us a while to figure out, we very quickly got the hang of it.

Thoughtfully designed and liberating for busy mums and dads on-the-go, we think a baby carrier is a fantastic gift that any new parent would be delighted to receive.

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HelloFresh gift card: From £29.99

HelloFresh gift card indybest.jpg
  • Best: For foodies

Food is often one of the last things on the mind of new parents and, when they do eventually get around to feeding themselves, it can be tricky to find the time to cook a nutritious meal. But, that’s where a food subscription box, like HelloFresh, comes in. Delivering fresh pre-portioned ingredients to mum and dad’s front door, along with easy-to-follow recipe cards, the service makes it easy for you to knock up delicious meals in as little as 15 minutes, and there are plenty of options to choose from including meat, veggie, family, calorie smart, quick cook and pescatarian.

We tested a HelloFresh recipe box of three meals for three adults and our recipes included chicken in creamy peppercorn sauce with mash and roasted carrots, Indonesian style coconut curry with courgette and zesty rice, and – our favourite – roasted cod with mini roast potatoes and a warm pepper and tomato salsa. We were pleasantly surprised by how easy the recipes were to follow and liked that each dish came with vegetable sides.

When gifting through HelloFresh, there are four price points to choose from, £29.99 to £45.99, with the cheapest option feeding two people with three meals a week. The gift will be emailed to your recipient on a date of your choice and you can also add a personal message.

Read our full Hello Fresh review

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Seraphine cotton skin to skin top

best gifts for new parents
  • Best: For skin to skin

This is such a lovely gift for parents to enjoy skin to skin with their little bundle of joy right from birth. We can easily see why these kangaroo-esque T-shirt pouches are so loved by midwives as they helpfuly allow hands-free snuggling while sitting or reclining on the sofa to soothe baby and encourage more close-knit bonding time.

The three-quarter length T-shirt for mum is practical for nursing and makes for a stylish – yet practical – casual outfit when paired with comfy leggings. Both T-shirts have wrap ties to make for a flexible fit and the fabric is so gentle on skin thanks to its super soft cotton. It’s hard to come by such a sweet gift for dads, so you are bound to put the biggest smile on any father’s face with this T-shirt for men (£55, Seraphine.com) to enjoy some essential newborn snuggle time.

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Babymoov swoon evolution motion baby swing

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: For hands-free parenting

Hands-free safe spaces are an absolutely god-send for new parents to keep an eye on them while they are cleaning the house or sitting down for a well-deserved cuppa. With the added bonus of comforting baby with eight relaxing rocking motions, entertaining them with overhead sensory toys, as well as the ability to play 12 different lullabies and white noise sounds, the swoon evolution is revolutionary in ticking off baby’s chill-time wishlist. The remote control is also genius but we did easily misplace it, luckily the touchscreen on the base is so simple to use.

We wish they did an adult version as the cushioned nest is so luxuriously soft from its boucle knit fabric, while still feeling cool against baby’s skin. We were grateful for the padded newborn insert, which is machine washable, and the variety of reclining positions to best suit your little one as they grow. Of course, this isn’t the most affordable gift by a long shot but if you can find a few friends willing to contribute, we think it makes a super helpful – and entertaining – gift for parents and baby.

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Swan retro pump coffee machine

best gifts for new parents
  • Best: For tired parents

There’s nothing that sleep-deprived parents rely on more than a caffeine fix and this espresso machine from Swan is guaranteed to make the early starts more manageable after a long night of bleary-eyed feeds. We love the retro design for gifting as it proves barista-style coffee machines really don’t have to look boring in your kitchen. From sage green to cream or grey, there are plenty of gorgeous pastel, bright hues or classic neutral colours to choose from, to complement any kitchen style.

We were grateful for the single or double shot espressos, as well as the pick-me-up cappuccinos and lattes that has a dial to let you manage your preferance of froth level. The simple button system makes barista brewing so much easier than expected. The machine is ideal for those short on time as you can add E.S.E pods for a super quick brew. We tested the coffee machine with illy’s E.S.E pods (£24, Illy.com), which we highly recommended purchasing in the blend tasting kit which includes 72 pods of the popular classico, intenso, decaffeinato and forte roasts.

  1. £109 from Swan.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Grind ground coffee tin, house blend

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: For coffee lovers

Paired with the coffee machine (or for parents who already own an espresso machine), Grind’s ground coffee makes a great one-off or letterbox subscription gift to keep caffeine fixes fixed throughout the zombie days. The iconic pink tin keeps the ground coffee fresher for longer and is obvious enough to grab on bleary-eyed mornings. You can opt for house, light, house decaf, dark or editions coffee blends. The packaging is compostable and arrives oozing a rich, smell that instantly makes you thirsty for a cup of joe.

  1. £9 from Grind.co.uk
Prices may vary
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BabyBjorn bouncer bliss

best gifts for new parents
  • Best: Baby bouncer

A baby bouncer is an ideal spot for little ones to relax and gives parents an opportunity to have their hands back, even if it is just for 10 minutes. Unlike most bouncers that last until six months, this one is suitable from birth to two years (or when your child weighs 13kg) making the price tag sound a lot more appealing. We were grateful that the bouncer can turn into a comfy chair when your little one can walk and sit unaided, you simply just turn the fabric seat around.

We absolutely adore the pastel neutral shades of the camouflage print – a true gamechanger in finally finding a playful design without being garishly bright. The ergonomic chair’s natural rocking motion makes it obvious why this is a best-seller as it really does keep baby entertained, while giving you chance to parent hands-free.

It’s lined with high-quality fabric that is soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. Plus, the cover is machine washable, so you don’t need to worry about it getting grubby. We absolutely loved the the sweet message, “A gift for you and your baby”, printed on the gift box helpfully making it present-ready for the new parents.

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Joie mimzy tecline highchair

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: Highchair

A highchair is a popular gift for new parents, especially from aunties and uncles who want to get something extra practical that they can see get used regularly. Joie’s easily adjustable reclining highchair is a brilliant option because it is suitable for babies right from birth up to three years, allowing parents to use it as a comfortable, safe nest for baby to rest in next to them when eating.

Thanks to its five reclining options and seven different height positions, you can adapt the highchair to suit baby’s growth and comfort. The newborn insert is softly padded and the seat covers are helpfully machine washable. Having a seat that baby already feels so familiar and comfortable sat in from their early days can really help make the weening process so much smoother too, when baby is ready to start tasting different food from their own miniature dining table. The tray is dishwasher safe and has a handy cup and snack holders to try and keep baby’s nibbles and drinks where they should be for as long as possible.

  1. £100 from Argos.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Elvie breast pump

Elvie breast pump indybest.jpg
  • Best: For nursing mums

It’s important to do what you can to make life easier as a new parent, so if you know a mum that’s nursing, be it her first rodeo or not, we highly recommend gifting her the comfort and convenience that comes with owning an Elvie breast pump. A wireless electric pump that can be discreetly slipped straight into their bra, it allows mums to express milk anywhere and anytime. Consisting of just five parts, it’s easy to assemble and is controlled through an app on your phone, which has a step-by-step guide on how to use it, meaning getting started couldn’t be easier.

Once it’s on, the pump is impressively quiet and we loved that it comes with a number of clever settings that allow you to personalise your experience, including 14 intensity settings, the ability to control the brightness of the device’s lights (which is particularly handy for night pumping) and a function that keeps track of which breast you’re pumping from. One of the most innovative breast pumps money can buy, Elvie’s offering is ideal for fitting into busy mums’ lives, meaning they have one less thing to worry about.

  1. £269 from Elvie.com
Prices may vary
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Claude & Co milk onesie

Claude & Co milk onesie  indybest.jpg
  • Best: Baby outfit

New parents are likely to be inundated with babygrows, but this one is guaranteed to stand out from the crowd. Courtesy of childrenswear brand Claude & Co, which specialises in unisex clothing, this all-in-one is equal parts practical and adorable with a tongue-in-cheek “Milking It” slogan in eco-friendly water-based ink.

Made from organic cotton in a gorgeous oatmeal hue, the onesie has a ribbed finish and feels amazingly soft, which is ideal for newborn skin. Plus, it has a decent amount of stretch to it, too, so you can rest assured that it will last a little longer than most. We also appreciated that it comes with an envelope neckline and popper fastenings that make getting the onesie on and off even the wriggliest of babies a breeze. Made to last and kind to the planet, this is a memorable gift that’s guaranteed to be passed down in years to come.

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SnuzCloud baby sleep aid

SnuzCloud baby sleep aid indybest.jpg
  • Best: For helping baby sleep

The one thing that all new parents want more of? Sleep, which is why this little gadget is sure to go down a treat. Made in the shape of a cute cloud, the sleep aid has a number of features designed to help little ones drift off including two light options with a choice of a calming pink glow (which makes it looks like the cloud’s cheeks are blushing) or a brighter soft white light that’s ideal for feeding in the dark or using as a night light.

It comes with four soothing sounds, too, including lullaby and waterfall, pink noise (a deeper alternative to white noise), and heartbeat, to mimic that of pregnant mum’s womb. We found all the sounds to be really pleasant and liked that the volume is adjustable. Plus, it’s portable and comes with a Velcro strap that can attach to everything from a crib to a moses basket, pram or car seat.

  1. £29 from Snuz.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Lovevery the looker play kit

Lovevery the looker play kit indybest.jpg
  • Best: For baby development

Right from birth, babies are already becoming aware of their new world, which is why this sensory play kit from Lovevery makes such a great gift. Fun and educational, it’s been designed especially for newborns who can see about 8-14in from their face and view the world in shades of black, white, and grey.

Inside you’ll find a host of high quality, interactive objects including monochromatic image cards, mittens to promote hand discovery, a two-sided mobile, sensory links and a silicone rattle, which helps your baby track moving objects and sounds. We also loved that the kit comes with a play guide for parents who are unsure where to start – it has step-by-step instructions and suggestions for how to use the playthings in the box, all of which are backed by research.

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The White Company animal friends bibs, set of 2

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: Gift under £20

You can never have enough bibs, especially as they seem to be the easiest baby item to lose when out and about. The White Company never disappoints with its range of sweet bibs, particularly this gorgeous multipack embroided with the sweetest, handrawn-esque safari animals. The neutral colours look just as cute on any gender, too. Made with super-soft cotton, we were grateful for the luxurious texture on baby’s skin and that they are machine washable.

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Little Dutch little goose baby gym

Little Dutch little goose baby gym indybest.jpg
  • Best: For keeping baby entertained

Baby gyms are great for encouraging exercise and development in little ones but, arguably best of all, they give parents the opportunity to take a few minutes to enjoy a nice cuppa. Crafted from sturdy wood with a sage green and natural frame, it’s ideal if you’ve gone with a tastefully themed nursery. It has been designed to promote hand to eye coordination with three soft toys that have different textures for the baby to touch and feel – the bee has a small mirror on its tummy, and the goose rattles and the flower’s leaves are crinkly. Great for style-conscious parents with its modern look, it comes complete with everything you need to keep little tots entertained and stimulated.

  1. £52 from Kidly.co.uk
Prices may vary
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My Rocking Kids daddy and mini tonal embroidered caps

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: For stylish dads

It was hard to find a mini-me gift for dads but we finally did it – in the form of matching baseball caps. The black embroided design is so subtle and casual that any dad or “too cool for school” son or daughter will love wearing with any outfit for casual days out, travelling, playing sport or on holiday. Both caps have adjustable straps and the kids sizing will fit from around three-years-old (a little while to wait for new dads but so worth it to match outfits with their little bestie).

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Royal Rascals baby car mirror

Royal Rascals baby car mirror indybest.jpg
  • Best: For travel

If the parents you’re buying for are always on-the-go, whether that’s on school runs for older children or weekend road trips, a car mirror is one of the most practical gifts you can give. Ideal for checking on your baby while driving, this one from Royal Rascals attaches easily to the backseat headrest using two adjustable straps that keep it firmly in place, even when passing over bumpy roads.

The mirror is a great size, giving you an ample view of your baby without creating too much of a distraction, and we also liked that it can be tilted too. While we tried the black version – a great option for those looking for a mirror that will blend in – it also comes in bright yellow, which stands out meaning you can quickly identify the mirror without taking your eyes off the road for too long.

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My Rocking Kids mama varsity sweatshirt

best gifts for new parents baby
  • Best: For stylish mums

Mama merch is all the rage and such an easy gift idea to put a smile on any new mum’s face. There’s nothing better than a comfortable sweater and this classic varsity style in khaki green is sure to become any mum’s go-to loungewear or casual jumper for pram strolls and coffee catch-ups. The inner lining is made of luxuriously soft fleece to keep you cosy on colder days. Sizes are available from small to 4XL and we recommend sizing up if you are after more of an oversized fit.

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Ylang & White rose mist diffuser

best gifts for new parents
  • Best: Diffuser

Every new parent deserves some relaxing pamper time and this is a sound way to help add a spa-like atmosphere into their suddenly-hectic home. You’ll also be pleased to know that you don’t have to gift an expensive Neom diffuser when your local supermarket stocks this little beauty for less than £20. We adore the modern, minamilist style to perfectly complement any room in the home. Not to mention the fresh, natural aroma from the essential oil’s gorgeous floral and citrus aromas of white flowers, lemon and clove leaves that’s included.

We were grateful for how easy it is to refill and add your own favourite oils too, especially for those nights when all you need is the scent of lavender to really get the family settled for a better night’s sleep. We love that you can adjust its light shows in the evening to suit your mood and set a timer of one to three hours with just the click of a button.

  1. £18 from Asda.com
Prices may vary
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The Birth Poster the milestone mat

The Birth Poster the milestone mat indybest.jpg
  • Best: For sentimental parents

Time flies when you’ve got a baby and it can feel like they grow up so fast, which is why a baby milestone blanket makes for a brilliant gift for sentimental mums and dads. A great way to track your little one’s growth, this mat from The Birth Poster lets parents keep track of key age milestones as their little one grows. Designed to be used as a backdrop to take photos they can share with friends and family, the mat is sleek and minimalistic in its design, coming with black circle and underline markers that make it easy to adjust the day, week, month or year to indicate their baby’s age.

While the cream colour might seem bold for something you lay a baby upon, the mat itself is actually made from vegan leather, which is completely wipeable and water-resistant, so it’s easy to keep clean should there be any little accidents.

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The White Company natural heirloom baby blanket

The White Company natural heirloom baby blanket indybest.jpg
  • Best: Blanket

Likely to be used every single day for everything from naps to tummy time and as a comforter, a blanket is one of the most useful gifts a new parent can receive. This one from The White Company is a great choice for newborns as it features a cellular design (meaning it has lots of small holes) that allows for maximum airflow and is temperature regulating, which will keep the baby from overheating or getting too chilly. It’s also made from soft cotton, which will be gentle on the little one’s sensitive skin, and comes in a neutral colour that will complement any nursery. We think it’s a great all-rounder and it gets bonus points for being machine washable.

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The verdict: Gifts for new parents

For a gift that’s practical, stylish and sure to make a difference to their daily life, BabyBjorn’s harmony carrier gets our seal of approval. Something they can use for years to come, it’s built to last, safe and comfortable for both baby and parent. If you can afford it, your recipients won’t be disappointed.

Alternatively, give them one less thing to worry about with Hello Fresh’s meal kits, which are perfect for those hectic weeks that follow a new arrival, or kit out baby in Claude & Co’s highly-Instagrammable “Milking It” onesie that’s guaranteed to become their favourite ensemble.

Shopping for baby shower gifts? We’ve rounded up the best present ideas, as well as nursery decor and furniture for baby’s first bedroom.

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