Eco friendly and functional baby gifts made from safe, natural & sustainable materials, that come from independent business owners.
We may be in lockdown in the UK right now, but that doesn’t stop new babies from arriving into this world, and their loved ones wanting to buy them a little something special. For this reason, I’ve put together a list of great affordable gift ideas, from independent businesses, for the eco-conscious consumer that can be purchased online - and delivered directly to the new parents!
Being a recent parent myself, the gift selection below has also been curated for function, as the last thing you want is to give something that they’ll not get great use from. That being said, this list may be equally helpful for expecting or new parents.
1. Kimono bodysuits
Being informed about kimono, wrap-style bodies was probably the hottest tip we got from friends who were also parents with the arrival of our son. Tiny babies are so small and fragile and you’ll soon find out that they do not love things being put over their heads. Trying to do so is very challenging both physically and emotionally! And the beauty of the kimono bodies is that you can avoid having to do it completely. You can’t have enough of these as a parent, so being gifted them would be a godsend. A couple of great sustainable brands that make these in organic cotton are Rose & Guy (£14, pictured below), Nature Baby (from £16) and Mori (from £21).
2. Booties + bonnets
Baby shoes and socks are difficult to get on and stay on (consecutively). The only thing that worked for us with our son was a set of booties knitted by a lovely elderly lady which my mum had picked up and gifted to us. I found it incredibly difficult to find such a style elsewhere, so was over the moon when I came across Gooseberry Fool. This great brand has a fantastic selection of super stylish crocheted booties (from £14) and other gorgeous accessories - such as these bonnets (£16). All items are handmade with love from a lovely soft 100% pima cotton yarn and the booties have vegan friendly ties. Both bonnets and booties are sent in lovely cotton gift bags.
Bibs are an essential baby item, that until 1-2 years of age, need to be worn most days. The problem is that it’s very difficult to find ones that 1) you actually want your baby to wear, and 2) are effective in catching the drool. At LOMIE we’ve addressed these issues and developed beautiful, functional and sustainable muslin Scarf Bibs for your babies (from £11 + Woggle). The bibs have a removable and reusable, leather Woggle fastening system that adapts to your growing baby - meaning they’ll last from 2 months old through to over 2 years of age. Having the Woggle also means the Scarf Bibs themselves remain 100% plastic free and 100% compostable. The fine cotton muslin is soft against the skin and super absorbent, meaning no dribble rash for the wee babes. They make great gifts and all orders are sent out gift wrapped. A personal note from the sender can be included on request.
4. Sleep gowns
Sleep gowns are a fantastic alternative to pyjama onesies for night times and are suitable for tiny girls and boys alike. They are long like a sleeping bag and make night time changes that much easier as you don’t have to fiddle with undoing, then doing up a whole lot of poppers on a onesie. We love the 100% superfine merino sleep gowns by Merino Kids (from £39, shown below and preferred due to crossover neckline design) and Superlove Merino (£39). Merino is a smart textile in itself and naturally regulates both body temperature and humidity. The sleep gowns are therefore great at keeping the baby safe, snug and comfortable without posing the risk of overheating.
Often an item that is forgotten by new parents, is a mobile. It’s a wonderful gift to receive if you don’t have one, or if you do, it’s great to have a couple in different places for the baby. Mobiles are fantastic for entertaining your little one while they’re in their cot or on the change table. These gorgeous gender neutral mobiles, sold by Otis and the Wolf, are perfect for fitting in with any nursery colour scheme. The frame is made of wood and the lovely animal figures of 100% New Zealand wool (100% AZO-free).
6. Board or fabric books
It’s never too early to read books with a baby. Although they might not understand much (if anything) to begin with, it contributes greatly to the development of their growing brain and gives them a wonderful start towards a lifelong love of reading. For the first 12 months or so the best books for babies are those made from fabric or board, as their little grabby hands can easily rip paper pages. We love this organic cotton, sensory rich fabric book, suitable for newborns, that is sold on the wonderful Mama + Max webstore (with a dedicated Eco-Friendly shop). The bold, graphic patterns stimulate visual development and the crinkly ears heighten the babies’ senses. We are also a big fan of the Little People, Big Dreams series (£5.99 in board book) that make the lives of well known role models accessible for the youngest children. They make a great gift, inspiring the next generation to make their mark on the world.
7. Wooden toys
Although they won’t get used for a few months past birth, wooden toys make a great timeless gift. They are safer, more environmentally friendly and durable in comparison to their plastic counterparts and will get years of use from the time they are picked up. Wooden toys can also become keepsakes to be passed from one generation to the next. When you’re buying toys, it’s a no brainer to buy wooden ones. The Earth Arch Stacker (£20) and the Toy Cars (£18) by Raduga Grez - sold via the wonderful Petits Paladins online store - are fantastic pieces to encourage imaginative play. They have been made by a small family run business that controls its entire production process - cutting, drying and manufacturing - themselves, therefore having the ability to control and reduce wastage.
8. A journal
There are many books out there that allow you to capture, through written word, the precious moments experienced in the first year of the child’s life. I had one for my son, which I would regularly update, and now my son is 18 months old, he already loves to read the stories and look at the photos together. Since we reached his 1st birthday however, I stopped documenting as I didn’t have anywhere to write….. That’s why the journals from Month of Sundays (£38) are so great - they cover from pregnancy right up unil to the child's eighteenth birthday! They are handmade from the highest quality materials, and every order is sent out gift wrapped. They make the perfect gift for parents to be able to document their child's journey for them - all the way from infancy to adulthood. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!
9. Something Personalised for the baby
A unique personalised gift for the new arrival can be a very precious gift. The item, depending what it is, can be kept for many years to come. We love Leo and Wilf’s handmade embroidery hoops. You can choose from name OR initial, or name AND initial, date of birthday or something completely personalised (from £20, pictured below). They also have rainbows and alphabets etc as standard - so many options! We also love Lisa Stickley’s Phonic Alphabet Poster (from £24) that can be personalised with your child’s name. The alphabet is drawn in Lisa’s unique hand drawn style with each letter of the alphabet illustrated 'as it sounds'.
10. Food! (for the parents)
A gift that new parents will always receive with open arms, is pre-prepared meals. With so many changes to the previous life rhythm to adjust to, and a new baby to admire, having to cook is the last thing you want to have to do. With lockdown in place, grandparents or the helping hands friends also can’t come and stay to help out around the house. The Food Doula to the rescue(!) delivering bundles of nourishing and comforting, home-cooked dishes to your door. All their food is personally sourced, and sold in bundles (from £65), with free range, grass-fed meats and high-quality seasonal vegetables. Every dish is prepared and immediately frozen, locking in nutrients, so that they can be enjoyed whenever the parents need them most.