Holiday Gift Guide: 12 Thoughtful Gifts for New Parents

From custom photo frames and storybook pillows to utility wagons and barista-approved espresso machines.

Buying a gift for new parents can be tricky. Chances are they’ve already received a lot of items off a baby registry: strollers, onesies, diapers, baby food makers and so on and so forth. But if you want to get them something special, there are still a number of items that are A) touching keepsakes and B) useful items they likely don’t have yet, both categories comprise the list below. From custom birth star maps and storybook pillows to utility wagons and barista-approved espresso machines, here are 12 thoughtful gifts for new parents. 

AllBirds SmallBirds

All birds wool runners are a treat for your feet — stylish and comfy with a great story of sustainability. Did you know they also make kicks for little ones? They do. Get a pair for mom dad, baby or maybe just baby who, by design, is by far the most stylish of the three

Buy Now $55

Personalized Storybook Pillow

Normally we’d scoff at the idea of gifting someone a throw pillow. But parenthood changes people. And this custom pillow, which allows you to create a storybook cover-homage starring the new arrival is sweet — and something parents can always look at during moments of sheer chaos and smile. Or just utter fewer curses. $120

Buy Now $120

“Please Sleep” Needlepoint

It’s a Koan uttered silently by new parents every night: please sleep. This hand-sewn needlepoint makes the prayer a permanent fixture one that deserves a spot in the nursery. All colors and text can be customized by the artist on request.

Buy Now $90

Aura WiFi Photo Frame

Yes new parents have nine million photos of their kids moments. This beautiful smart frame allows them to stream their favorites directly to it whenever they want. It has unlimited storage space, automatic dimming (the better to not blast the sleeping baby with bright light), and gesture controls that allow you to change in-frame photo selections with a simple swipe of the hand. Bonus: connect your phone to it upon first purchase so every once in a while you can upload a random funny photo of yourself to spook them. Starts at $300.

Buy Now $300

Instant Pot Lux 60

The Instant Pot is beloved by many home cooks who want to prep hearty meals quickly. But it’s also an extremely useful applicance for new parents. Not only can it clear space on your countertop by functioning as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and food warmer, but it can also make baby food and, thanks to its steam function, can sterilize baby bottles.

Buy Now $79

A Custom Birth Announcement

You could have hired someone to hit the streets and proclaim the birth of the new arrival. This is a worthy second idea: you can customize the framed announcement as a cheery keepsake that looks good on the wall. Plus, you don’t have to shell out overtime pay.

Buy Now $120

DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe

New parents need energy. If they’re riding the caffeine train, then a nice coffee machine is a necessary gift. This machine, recommended to us by a coffee expert as one of the best beginner models to buy, is a great choice. It has 15 bars of pressure that will ensure decent flavor extraction, only takes 40 seconds to preheat, allows users to adjust the flow length to customize your espresso, and, thanks to only three illuminated buttons, is simple to use. It can also make two drinks at once and handle E.S.E Pods (the non-plastic ones). If cappuccinos are more your forte, the manual frothing wand will allow you to whip up some foam quickly and easily in the morning.

Buy Now $350

Hatch Baby Rest Night light

The Bluetooth-enabled Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and “time-to-rise” hybrid controlled by your smartphone. That means it can provide soothing sounds to help a baby sleep before it becomes a sleep-training device for toddlers. You can select nightlight colors and sounds and it also offers preset light and sound themes to promote healthy circadian rhythms and melatonin production.

Buy Now $60

Veer Cruiser

The Veer Cruiser isn’t so much a wagon as it is a mobile command unit for parents. A modular stroller that can be outfitted with a variety of sold-separately accessories that help you get from A-to-B (from infant seat to sun shade) easier. It has burly, airless tires, a welded aluminum frame, and a sturdy telescoping handle. In short, it’s a utility wagon that can be customized to fit any type of parent and make park days and beach days that much less of a hassle.  Oh, it also comes with cup holders and a snack tray.

Buy Now $599

Google Home Hub

Parents have a lot of questions. Google’s Home Hub has answers. Like many screen-based home assistants, it responds to voice commands and displays them on screen as well as aloud. Users can customize morning routines so that the screen displays personalized information (traffic, weather, news, schedules, etc.) with a few simple words; it can set alarms and control compatible smart devices; it plays music and videos. There’s more, too, but one of the biggest sells is Google Assistant compatibility, which makes for a surprisingly seamless experience.

Buy Now $150

The Rad Roller

The Rad Roller, one of several massagers recommended to us by a physical therapist, is great for working out the stiff muscles that come from sitting awkwardly for hours with a sleeping baby. Two silicone balls attached side-by-side, it lets you massage all the aching groups. It’s also small enough to in any desk drawer and toss in a bag.

Buy Now $25

Magnolia Record Club

Whether it’s to soothe a baby or themselves, a curated collection of albums is something new parents will appreciate. If they sensibilities skew old-school — or hipster-y — Magnolia is a nice gesture. The monthly service sends a curated, special-edition record to their month by Amos Lee, Wilco, Jason Isbell, and a slew of others. Starts at $25/month

Buy Now $25