The 18 Best Holiday Gifts for Expecting Parents
Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Christmas shopping for the moms- or dads-to-be in your life can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to go all in on just baby gifts…especially because your friend or loved one is still very much their own person who deserves to be celebrated! BUT you don’t necessarily want to ignore the fact that they’re about to be parents. For help coming up with the perfect holiday gifts for all expecting parents, read on for 18 A+ holiday gift ideas!
Prenatal massages should be a staple of all pregnancies! The drool-worthy relaxation a prenatal massage can bring on is beyond compare. But before you go ahead and book an appointment—or buy a massage gift card—consider your pregnant pal’s partner as well. There’s a good bet that they’d both melt into a puddle of ahhh with a pre-baby rub! (If you’re unsure about local offerings, a SpaFinder gift card always fits.)
Photo and to purchase: Purely
A super-fun gift from parents-to-be who are abstaining this season is a DIY holiday mocktail kit. Simple grab a wooden box or another pretty container and fill it with items like:
Homemade or store-bought syrups
Small cans of club soda, seltzer, ginger beer, and the like
Bar tools, like a cocktail shaker or a jigger
If DIYing a mocktail bar is too tall of an order, you can buy non-alcoholic cocktail kits, like this Wildwonder sampler, complete with recipe booklet, cocktail shaker, jigger, and muddler—or this Mocktail Gift Set, that comes with three drink mixers, a jigger, and a mixing spoon. Cheers!
The Happiest Baby on the Block
Dr. Harvey Karp’s groundbreaking book The Happiest Baby on the Block revolutionized our basic understanding of how to nurture babies. Swaddling, the 5 S’s for soothing babies, white noise—all these baby care no-brainers were simply not part of the parenting zeitgeist until The Happiest Baby put them there. This holiday season, give the parents-to-be in your life this now-classic parenting tome to help them get ready for the next best gift to arrive…their baby! (And if you want to step up your gift-giving game a bit more, consider a holiday SNOO, the world-renowned responsive bassinet that taps the basic principles of Dr. Karp’s famed books for getting babies to go to sleep, and stay asleep safely.)
If you’re unable to offer your babysitting services to the parents-to-be, give them the next best thing: A gift card for UrbanSitter! This vetted babysitting service is now available in more than 60 cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Miami, and Philadelphia. Gift cards are available in any amount from $5 to $1,000 and can be easily emailed or printed out to snail mail it to the parents-to-be.
Cute Expecting Ornament
Photo and to purchase: Anthropologie
Pregnancy holiday ornaments are great gifts to give…and there are so many options. (They do not have to be cheesy!) Consider a sophisticated stork ornament from Anthropologie, a too-cute preggo avocado ornament, a “love makes a family” adoption holiday ornament, or one that beautifully notes when the new baby is set to arrive.
There’s no doubt that Netflix, sofa-lounging, and snacks from the kitchen can be a fabulous way to spend the evening. BUT, time is running out for parents-to-be to go out on a date without having to worry about babysitters. So, why not offer some incentive to get out with a gift card to a local movie theater? Or you can gift the parents-to-be a monthly movie theater membership. For instance, you can send a 3- or 6-month AMC Theaters membership, where the recipient can see up to three movies every week for free!
Photo and to purchase: Coop
Sleep is the ultimate pre-baby gift! Help give just that with a pregnancy pillow that delivers full-body sleep support now—and after Baby arrives. A couple of preggo pillows that’ll surely sit atop of Santa’s list include the nest-like Queen Rose U-shaped pregnancy pillow and the more traditionally shaped Coop Original Body Pillow, designed to help keep hips, legs, and spine aligned while being hugged all night. Either way, mom-to-be will be snoozing soundly.
Gifts that facilitate soon-to-be-parent bonding and create a special memory for the forthcoming baby is a big win in the gift-giving department. Enter the modern classic: Letters to My Baby, which is a newfangled memory book where new and expecting parents use prompts (My wishes for you are… What I want you to know about me…) to write letters to their bub-to-be on included stationary.
These Kinds of Books
Books with honest-to-goodness pages are stellar gifts, for sure…especially parenting and self-helpy books that you can dog-ear and refer back to. But it can be difficult for expectant and new parents to find quiet time to pour through, say a novel, a memoir, or a nail-biting mystery…and it can be just as hard to keep their eyes open and focused! That’s what makes an Audible gift card such a spot-on treat! “Reading” while gently resting your eyes is truly the best. Plus, once Baby arrives, new parents can devour books while behind a stroller, stranded on the sofa with a baby, when driving the little one around the block in circles, and more.
Couples Class or Tour
Give the happy pair an excuse to spend some QT together before their lives take a swift turn to the chaotic. Check out sites like CozyMeal that offer gift cards to cooking classes and food tours in many cities. Or maybe purchase a Global Experiences Card so that the parents-to-be can use it to book things like a ghost walk in Milwaukee, a trolley tour of Boston, or a river cruise in San Antonio.
Family Christmas Stockings
Photo and to purchase: Pottery Barn Kids
There are approximately one gazillion family Christmas stocking options out there…and a lot of them are pretty, darn sweet! You can customize stocking with everyone’s name (if the baby-to-be already has one) or initials…or you can do everyone’s title, like Mommy, Mamma, and Baby or Mamá, Papá, and Bebé. You can go the whimsical, modern felt route, maybe choose cozy and classic knit stockings, or have some fun with some retro vibe personalization.
Postpartum Doula Gift Card
Everyone needs help after a new baby arrives. Offer your help by way of giving the parents-to-be with a gift certificate for local postpartum doula services. Postpartum doulas offer physical, emotional, informational, and hands-on support to new families during the postpartum period. Postpartum doulas, essentially, mother new parents. Do a Google search for local services, ask parents you know in the neighborhood, or even share with the expectant parents what you’d like to gift them to see if they have any doulas in mind.
Photo and to purchase: Salt & Straw
Stereotype? Pregnancy trope? Who cares! The truth is people love ice cream—expectant parents included. So, why not make mom- or dad-to-be super-duper happy with a shipment of the classic, crave-worthy treat? Jeni’s ships nationwide with delectable flavors like Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks and Brambleberry Crisp, bursting with oat streusel, blackberries, and blackcurrants. Good ol Harry & David delivers pints as presents, too. And if you’re looking for dairy-free delectables, Salt & Straw has you covered.
Another date night gift idea for the parents-to-be: Board and card games! While Scrabble and Boggle (aka: the Wordle of yesteryear) and Cards Against Humanity are, of course, great picks…consider wrapping up some couples-focused games that could be just right for folks on the precipice of a massive life change. Some ideas include the Deeper Talk Deck to help facilitate meaningful conversations; the week-long Marital Bliss Game that sends couples on secret missions to perform acts of kindness; and The Couples Game That’s Actually Fun for a straight-up giggle-inducing good time.
“Cool” Bed Sheets
Photo and to purchase: Sheets & Giggles
There are three good reasons to give fancy cooling sheets to the parents-to-be in your life: 1) Pregnant folks sleep hot! 2) Small luxuries are often the best luxuries. And 3) Anything that can improve a parent or parent-to-be’s sleep is a stellar gift. (Psst: That also means that expectant parents would go gaga over SNOO, the responsive bassinet that adds 1 to 2 hours of sleep each night!) Look for cooling bed sheets that are moisture-wicking or made from a loose-weave fabric that lets air circulate more easily. Think: Organic Percale Cotton Sheets from Sol Organics or the Eucalyptus Lyocell Sheet Set from Sheets & Giggles.
Photo and to purchase: Pottery Barn
There’s something so very appealing about a beautiful breakfast tray and its promise of a loved one sweetly serving you French toast and fresh squeezed juice in bed. Plus, during pregnancy and early parenthood, a breakfast tray can make taking a load of swollen feed or constant nursing feel a little more…fancy. Pottery Barn hit it out of the park with their rattan version. Anthropologie comes on strong with their rustic-hardwood take. And this bamboo tray scores big by multitasking with a book support, glass holder, and more.
If the parents-to-be don’t have a maternity photo shoot on the books, gift them a professional pre-baby photo session. If you don’t have any local photographers in mind, check out Shoott, which services 30+ states right now. Here, you can purchase a gift card for a 30-minute photo session and prepaid pictures. The recipient simply goes online and books a risk-free photoshoot with a vetted professional photog in the area! (They get to view their gallery before making any purchases.)
If the baby-to-be is set to arrive very soon—or the baby shower has already happened (or been well-shopped for)—revisit the baby registry. Some must-have items are always left lingering because, well, it’s more fun to wrap up cozy bodysuits and stuffed toys than, sat, the baby monitor, wee nail clippers, the snot sucker, or the rectal thermometer! But knowing that all your baby purchases are done before the baby arrives is the biggest gift of all! Alternatively, if the parents-to-be have created a Happiest Baby registry, you can send them a gift card to clear it out themselves!
More holiday shopping ideas:
- The Best Holiday Gifts for New Parents
- Gift Ideas for Baby’s First Holiday
- DIY Holiday Gifts Perfect for Little Hands
- Meaningful Gifts for Preemie Parents
Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.