Whether self-gifting or buying for another, finding that special something to mark the birth of a baby can be tricky. It’s easy to go for a safe-bet memento – a cuddly toy or a birth to one picture frame – but if you’re looking for something with a little more meaning we’ve got you covered.
Our pick of gifts and keepsake will leave you spoilt for choice. From developmental gifts to treasured finds that will last a family a lifetime, there’s something for everyone.
If you want some inspiration for what to buy a new mum, check out best gifts for new mums.
Here’s our pick of the best baby gifts and keepsakes:
1. Memories of Growing Up – Talltape, from £14.50
– Best for watching them grow
You’ve heard it been said before, children grow up far too quickly. What better way to mark that change than to measure their height at milestone ages? Talltape is perfect for that. It's a portable and accurate measuring tape that can be hung up, saving you from marking your walls to track your child’s height.
From birth all the way up to adulthood, the Talltape comes in 2 sizes and a range of beautiful designs from wild animals to fairies that will make an interesting addition to any nursery, as well as a lovely keepsake. As it’s built to last, it’s important that the Talltape be sturdy in nature. Tester Lydia said, “It’s great quality and durable. My toddler insisted in helping attach it to the wall and it was pulled about and survived. It’s easy to wipe clean and seems as though it will last.”
The Talltape was also fun for all the family as Lydia also said, “I have a toddler and a baby so it was easy to measure my baby laying down and my toddler found it fun being measured standing up.”
2. Rosa & Bo Nesting Woodland Friends with Chiming Benji Bunny, £22
– Best for play
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021, Gold – Newborn baby gift/keepsake
These nesting dolls are great for children of different ages as they appeal on many levels. The rich colours and chimes in the bunny intrigue on a sensory level, helping babies with development, as does the Russian-Doll design that aids with hand-eye coordination through interactive play. Older children, however, will adore the variety of animals which encourage imaginative play.
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Tester Marium said the toy attracted her children’s attention, stating “Both of them are of a different age and both has a different way of connecting and playing with it. While the younger one loves to shake the Benji bunny to hear it chime the older one adores its cuteness. Instead of simply nesting, my older child pretend plays quite a lot which he never did before and that is lovely to watch.”
As well as being beautifully designed the nesting dolls have been praised for their robustness. Marium said, “It has survived the times my baby threw it on the floor in one of his temper tantrums and it didn’t scratch at all. The colour didn’t come off and the design is perfect for little hands.”
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3. Colour celebrations milestone cards, from £16 for 30 cards
– Best for marking first year memories
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021, Editor’s Choice
Colour celebrations milestone cards are designed to celebrate black and mixed-ethnicity babies and their heritage. They are perfect for marking important life stages in baby’s first year, as well as meaningful cultural occasions such as the child’s naming ceremonies.
“We come from two different ethnic backgrounds so these cards really are well suited to us!” said tester Sharmina. “You can tell the quality of the cards is very good, they are nice and glossy.”
Tester Samantha also praised the high quality of the cards, “They’re well-made and the designs are cute. They’re also easy to wipe down if they should get slightly dirty and are a good size for baby to hold.”
The cards come with a with a handy storage box to keep them pristine too.
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4. Priya & peanut newborn baby sensory collection, £12.99 for 60 cards
– Best for early development
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021, Silver – Newborn baby gift/keepsake
This sensory collection is the perfect pressie to help give your baby a head-start in development. The black and white flashcards with animals, shapes and patterns both entertain and stimulate baby’s brain.
Both tester Claire and partner were pleased with the way they helped improve their baby’s focus and vision. She said, “Over a number of weeks we noticed an improvement in my daughter's ability to focus and track the cards and her concentration. My husband also found these to be a valuable bonding tool as he told stories based around the flashcards”.
The high quality of these flashcards also means they can be passed down from child to child, with the storage box preserving their condition. Tester Nin also echoed this sentiment and said, “The high quality makes it worth the buy. I have used these cards every day for weeks and they still look brand new! Such a great variety with 60 different designs. I pick out different ones each day for my son. He is always mesmerised by the animals & shapes!”
5. Mama Journals Childhood Memory Journal, £48
– Best for capturing childhood
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021, Bronze – Newborn baby gift/keepsake
This memory journal is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only is it the ideal way to mark many memorable moments over your little one’s childhood, it is also a meaningful keepsake to pass on to them as they enter adulthood. The book comes in a gorgeous selection of colours with premium quality paper, which is perfect for longevity.
It’s definitely a big spend in comparison to other journals on the market but tester Shelly said, “It will easily become a treasured keepsake that you cannot place monetary value on.” She also enjoyed the fact there are places within the journal to record ad-hoc memories adding, “I like that it goes up to 18 years which many baby journals do not. It even includes pages for family recipes and advice from loved ones at the back.”
The journal can be personalised with the baby’s initials or full name and has a “contemporary style” which tester Ellouise also loved.
6. The Book of You: A Record of Childhood, £25
– Best value memory book
If you’re looking for a less costly alternative to record childhood memories beyond the first year, The Book of You is the ideal pick. Though it only goes up to age 16 it is still a wonderful way to mark down noteworthy events over the years. The book contains prompts and questions that are engaging for parents plus it gives your child a space to record favourite memories and notes to their future self.
“I would be very pleased to have received this as a gift at my baby shower,” said MFM tester Christy. “I love that it goes up until the age of 16 and there is a lot for the child to contribute to as they are get older. A great bonding activity and a special keepsake.”
Tester Teri also loved the quality of the hardback book, praising its thick pages and bright pastel colours. “It’s definitely worth the money, I will be looking into buying one for friends when they are expecting,” she said.
7. The White Company Organic-Cotton Hello Baby Gift Set, £50
– Best for newborn essentials
A gift set of newborn essentials is a great gift that new mums will actually find useful.
All the products come in a star print cotton bag embroidered with "Hello". Inside is an envelope-neck bodysuit, cosy leggings, a knotted hat and a little elephant embroidered jacker with popper fastenings all made from soft organic cotton.
This provides the new mum with an outfit suitable for any season their baby is born and can be kept as a beautiful memento.
Available from: The White Company
8. The Day You Were Born, From You to Me, £20
– Best twist on a memory book
This beautiful, printed journal is a wonderfully different take on a record book. While it also contains facts all about your child’s birthdate – including the date, time and weight at birth – it also has a features other details that are personal to the day your special little someone was born.
From your child’s birth stone, Chinese zodiac year and their birth flower to the sunset and sunrise times on their day of birth and other astrological and astronomical facts – this unique gift will make a lovely sentimental keepsake to look back on.
9. Newborn Photography Session, Small Prints Photography, from £95
– Best early-days gift
Blink and you’ll miss that precious newborn stage, but with special photography sessions you’ll have keepsake prints to remind you of a time when your baby really was that small.
Small Prints Photography only book in one newborn session per day, which means while your baby is being expertly photographed, mum and dad can relax and enjoy afternoon tea and treats. With no time limit on the session, parents can also tend to their little one in-between shots without feeling rushed. They also provide extra room for siblings to stay in, all adding to a peaceful environment for wonderful newborn photographs.
“An unforgettable and emotional experience for new families, with a beautifully crafted book of photographs to cherish over time,” said mum of 2, Magda. “The photography experience is clearly designed to make families feel comfortable and nurtured, while the final product of the photo book is a stunning reminder on those newborn days.”
Due to the pandemic, Small prints have taken the health and safety of your baby and family into consideration. All staff are masked and keep a safe distance from customers when photographing to avoid direct contact. Hand gel is available on site and the company has moved to infra-red heating to ensure your newborn is kept warm without blown air circulating. They also leave 48 hours between appointments as an extra safety measure.
Available from: Small Prints Photography
10. Buttonbag Baby Bunting Kit, £12.99
– Best addition for the nursery
This bunting kit is an easy way to add a touch of personality to any baby nursery. A unique gift and a thoughtful way in which to create a lovely keepsake for yourself or a friend, the kit comes with 4m of nursery bunting with extra space to add baby’s name and birthday.
You also get pre-printed 100% cotton flags with pastel designs, cotton tape, threads scissors and a needle kit with easy-to-follow instructions. We love the addition of the elephant and heart shapes, with neutral colours that would sit well in most nurseries.
About the author
Janet is a qualified journalist with years of experience in consumer testing, including over 6 years at Good Housekeeping. During her time there she tested everything from household products to food, and is now freelance journalist who continues to put the consumer at the heart of her work.
As well as being knee-deep in the world of journalism, Janet is also a mum to a wildly vivacious teenage daughter which keeps life interesting. When she’s not working or mothering the journalist likes to dabble in teen fiction too.
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