After spending almost all of her pregnancy in lockdown, supermodel Gigi Hadid has welcomed her first child with Zayn Malik, announcing the news on Instagram.
The post shows a black and white photograph of Malik holding hands with the newborn baby girl and Hadid’s caption said: “Our girl joined us earth-side this weekend and she’s already changed our world. So in love.”
Having a baby during a global pandemic has been a trying time for many new parents, especially when it’s usually a time to celebrate with family and friends who want to meet the newborn.
However, as social distancing measures continue, the usual way of celebrating a new baby has changed from catchups over coffee and a cuddle with the new arrival to a much more muted approach so as to keep each other safe.
There’s never been a better time to get new parents a small token to celebrate and aid them in getting sleep (where possible), relax and have a bit of downtime.
Either way, there’s a never-ending list of present ideas to mark the occasion and these are the best gifts for a new baby and its parents.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
While your next baby shower may be a socially distant one, it doesn’t mean you can’t treat someone who is heavily pregnant and getting ready to give birth.
This Bloom and Blossom pregnancy heroes gift set (JoJo Maman Bebe, £24) is a trio of pamper products including trial size bottles of the revitalising leg and foot spray, anti-stretch mark cream and relaxing bath and shower gel all packaged up in a lovely gift box. It topped our review of IndyBest baby shower gifts, and we’re sure any expecting mother will appreciate this.
Seeing as pregnancy and looking after a newborn leaves parents sleep-deprived, a baby sleep aid will be a welcome present, like this Ewan deluxe baby shushing sleep sheep (Sweet Dreamers, £39.99).
Ewan the sheep is one of the first recommendations more experienced parents often give to first-timers who might be struggling with getting babies to sleep, and is featured in our IndyBest guide to baby shower gifts.
He plays a selection of soothing sounds and mimics the comfort of the womb with a soft pink glow. The new and improved Ewan also features a smart cry sensor that activates when baby stirs helping to resettle them.
Gifts for newborns
The key when buying for a newborn is to find an item that is unique enough that they won’t have already received it and hopefully practical enough that they’ll come reaching for it time and time again.
Parenthood sees everyone’s living room transformed into a chaotic playroom and while there’s no instant tidying solution, at least you can make it look good with this.
Those with rolling and crawling babies will find this a godsend, but it’s suitable for all ages. The super plush, extra thick mat is far more padded than any other we’ve come across before and it’s plenty big enough to fit a baby, siblings and all the family.
It’s more expensive than most, but it’s worthy of the price tag.
Of course, no new nursery is complete without a sleepyhead. These took the baby world by storm and quickly became an essential, albeit a quite expensive one. Ensuring a baby is comfortable but portable enough for parents to move them from room to room is very important, which is why we were impressed with the Sleepyhead deluxe+ pristine white baby pod (JoJo Maman Bebe, £130).
They make a cosy space for babies to nap, play and be changed in with little effort. While the product is not designed to be used overnight, or for babies to sleep in unattended, the Sleepyhead is every parent’s saviour for an easy-as-pie pod for their babies to relax in.
The super-soft material is breathable and washable, plus there are a range of snazzy covers to choose from – including a particularly great jungle print, ideal for summer.
Another essential piece of equipment (yes, there’s a lot of that) for a new baby is a carrier. These great products play an important role in helping parents leave the house while keeping their baby comfortable.
A soft sling, such as this BabyBjorn mini carrier (BabyBjorn, £84.99) in a cosy, tactile jersey material, is ideal.
Newborns are carried gently at the front of the body, meaning plenty of that all-important skin-to-skin contact. Vitally, our reviewer found this mini carrier was super easy to put on (and take off with the baby still in it), gaining it top marks in our IndyBest guide to newborn gifts.
A hooded baby towel to keep them warm after bath time is a must-have, and this Elephant hooded white version (The White Company, £22) is taken up a notch with a sweet elephant detail on the hood. It’s soft and snuggly, and of course, they will look adorable in it.
Gifts for one-year-olds
As teething babies will sink their gums into anything they can get their hands on, this ‘Baby, Let’s Eat!’ (Books and Pieces £4) book is indestructible, chew-proof, non-toxic and is also easy to wash, making it the perfect little gift.
It features super-bright colours, simple drawings and labelling of staple foods, which is particularly fun for those aged between six months to one year as they start their weaning journey and learn all about the food around them.
This Whirli toy subscription (Whirli, from £10) is an eco-friendly alternative that will help new parents cut down their plastic toy consumption. It also takes all the hassle out of trying to find a toy a child hasn’t already received, and with a gift card, new parents simply log on and choose a plan that suits them (the pricier the plan, the more tokens available for toys).
There’s a huge range of second-hand toys to select and, after trialling it for several months, we can confirm all items were excellent quality, appeared as new and arrived completely clean (Whirli sterilise them too). It topped our IndyBest gift guide for newborns to one-year-olds.
Once you’re done with the toys, pop them back in the post (return postage is free) and select your next bundle. There’s everything from books to building bricks; meaning there’s always going to be something the little one will love.
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Gifts for new parents
While anyone who has recently had a baby will say that they can never have enough muslins/towels/easy-to-wash baby clothes – a fun gift or a lovely decoration for a newborn nursery never goes unappreciated for a new parent.
Oh Mumma curates monthly gift boxes full of luxe products from boutique beauty brands for both mum and baby – in our box there was heavy-duty Nursem hand cream; a natural baby bath sponge; and bath salts from Made by Coopers Sleepyhead range, among other fancy products.
Handily, subscription levels are tiered – choose month by month, or buy a six or 12-month package – so you can choose how long you treat a new parent.
If parents have enough baby clothes and towels, opt for something to decorate the nursery with, instead.
Woodland animals are always a popular theme for nurseries and we’re big fans of this sweet woodland animals wall hanging (Great Little Trading Company, £24.50).
It features felt padded foxes, bears and trees hanging on a delicate wooden bar and is an inexpensive and sensory way to smarten up the baby’s room.
A regular sleep pattern for a new baby will also help out parents struggling to get some shut-eye, so this Lumie bedbug light (Lumie, £59.95) is perfect.
Babies come out of the womb without a sense of day or night, which is frustrating for new parents. Products like this help to reinforce nighttime by adjusting the light emitted to a soft white glow, which won’t keep babies awake.
There’s a “sunset feature” which gradually fades to promote natural light rhythms, and handily the Lumie grows up with the child and can be used as a nightlight too.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.