A Brown Cardboard Box, Edible Treats and Clothes

It may seem a little prosaic when compared with the bunches of beautiful flowers (and baby clothes and nappies folded up to look like flowers) which we were sent (and for which we were very grateful) but, probably my favourite present we received when our daughter was born was a rather ordinary looking brown cardboard box.  Inside our lovely friends (who already have children – this isn’t really something you can pull off if you haven’t already been there) had put together a selection of all the things they thought were particularly useful to have in the house when you have a small baby. The box proved invaluable and I have since created a few for our friends – adding a few items that I wouldn’t have been without. Sock-ons are great - unnecessary for a baby younger than six months but once the baby is able to get its feet to its mouth and somehow remove a sock they are fantastic. Find out how to put together your own brown cardboard box present >


Another favourite of mine (to send and which we received) is a muffin basket from Beverly Hills Bakery. It looks beautiful, tastes yummy and comes with a soft toy for the baby.  Great to have something to offer visitors who come to meet the baby (and to eat in the middle of the night when you’re knackered and the baby is crying).

My other tip would be that if you’re buying clothes for a new baby, buy a nice outfit that’s 6-9 or 6-12 months. We received so many tiny, beautiful clothes from friends for our daughter which she grew out of really quickly. A few people bought clothes in bigger sizes and it was a treat to be able to pull out a special outfit from the drawer when she was a bit older.  

Recommended by Melanie Leigh, solicitor and mother of one.

Fake Candles and Fleece Wrap

The most useful present I was given were these rechargeable fake candle lights that you just tip to light them up. They’re not glamorous but they’re oh-so practical for when you’re feeding your baby in the night and don’t want to wake up your other half with a bright bedside light, or risk waking the baby so much they won’t go back to sleep. Even though our kids are now a little older, we still use them when we need to creep in at night to find a dummy on the floor or for low-light bedtime stories. Awesome gift.

I never got a Fleece Baby Star Wraps but I wish I had - there’s no need to fuss with arm or leg holes and it keeps your little baby warm and cosy. They are amazing!

Recommended by Laura Brown, mum of 2

Nice Stuff for Mum with a Forgiving Note

I really loved getting bath foam - Liquid Yoga by Mama Mio was just perfect - especially as the baby gets a million and one presents. Having something for you and just you is much appreciated, especially if it comes with a forgiving note that says something along the lines of, ‘I don't expect a thank-you note for this’ as this helps alleviate any pressure when you’re already dealing with your new baby.

Recommended by Alexia Petch, mum of one child and pug, illustrator


Vouchers, Baby Essentials, Blackout Blind

A box of all the essentials is great - especially things for when your baby is ill and you don’t want to leave the house. We got so many blankets and toys that she didn’t really like and we’d rather have had practical stuff so we could spend money on nice things for the baby. Vouchers for Boots Chemists, as well as baby bath wash, Snufflebabe decongestant and Infacol may seem boring but they will be very much used. A blackout blind is also really useful - for daytime sleeping, summer bedtimes and early sunrises. None of these things are items that you think you’d want as a present but it’s surprising how things change as soon as your baby arrives!

Recommended by Julia Chappell, mother of one, Music With Mummy teacher and children’s book blogger


If you want to get practical about it, take a look at our award-winning range of Mums & Babies skincare - from beautiful-smelling baby massage oil to protective diaper cream, to cleansing foam.


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Got any other awesome presents that you received as a new parent that you want to share? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.