As Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik announce the birth of their daughter, read our gift guide for new parents

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.

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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.

Baby showers

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.

This pamper set will be a welcome bit of TLC for any expectant Mum

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.

This pastel play mat steers away from primary colours (Munchkin and Bear)

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.

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.

Keep babies safe and secure in a soft pod that’s also easily portable (Sleepyhead)

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 good quality baby carrier will make it much easier for a new parent to leave the house (Baby Bjorn)

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 soft, fluffy towel will keep little ones warm and cosy after bath time (The White Company)

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).

A gift card for an eco-friendly toy swapping subscription service is the ideal gift for a parent who has everything (Whirli)

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.

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.

A subscription box of treats is the gift that keeps on giving (Oh Mumma)

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.

A woodland animal hanging mobile will keep little ones entertained and add the perfect finishing touch to a nursery (Great Little Trading Company)

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.

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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.

This sleep aid doubles up as a nightlight too (Lumie)

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.

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