More and more people choose to keep their baby’s sex a secret until the baby shower, or they don’t even want to know themselves before the birth. Or perhaps they want to raise their child in a gender-neutral environment to protect them from all the stereotypes that are placed by society on young kids — not to mention the fact that gender identity is up to the child themselves. And while this decision is definitely celebrated, it can make buying presents a bit of a nightmare, since so many baby things are separated by gender — a trend that, hopefully, will dissipate as our society begins to embrace the idea that gender exists on a spectrum, and is not binary.
That said, here are some suggestions for gender-neutral baby gifts to get you going:
It’s something that any parent – and baby – will appreciate and something you can never get enough of. You can choose a neutral color or something with a fun print, but stick to pastel colors, since they are most calming for the child. You can even have it custom made with a special message. When choosing a blanket, go for high-quality, soft fabric that is all natural to avoid any risk of irritation on the child’s skin, but remember: cribs should be bare, without any additional bedding, as per the American Academy of Pediatrics‘ recommendations for safe sleep. Pictured above: Elephant Baby Blanket, Etsy, $35+
Stuffed toys have been children’s favorites for the longest time, comforting them when they need it and being a best friend to play with. Many people take these soft toys well into their adult life as cherished memories. Since they are most often animals or mythical creatures, there’s no question of gender, so you should be safe no matter what you pick. Pictured above: Felt Woodland Stuffed Animals, Etsy, $30.89+
pram (stroller) liners
A practical gift is the best gift, and this one is sure to be cherished for many years. Pram liners provide children with extra comfort and support while they’re in their strollers, making them perfect gifts for new babies. You can get them in a variety of colors and designs, so this can be the perfect gender-neutral gift. The best part? They’re durable, so it can be used for a younger sibling when they come along, or re-gifted to someone with a newborn after your baby grows out of it. Pictured above: Pram Liner: Cross Black, Bambella Designs, $59.95
From onesies to bibs, it seems like everything is divided into pink and blue. But there are actually plenty of gender-neutral clothing options for babies, that don’t have specific colors or text. You can get them in all kinds of prints, colors and styles. Just get whatever you think looks cute! Pictured above: Personalized Baby Outfit, Etsy, $32.99+
Baby Food Blender
Many mothers make their own baby food by blending fruits and vegetables into a paste. But if you try to do that in a full-size blender, it just won’t work, especially for the small quantities of one portion. So, getting a small blender can be the perfect thing to make the parent’s job at least a tad easier. Pictured above: Original Baby Bullet, Buy Buy Baby, $59.99
Everyday Baby Supplies
No parent will ever say “no thank you, I have plenty of diapers”. The basic baby supplies are always in high demand, and if you get them a package with a couple of bottles, diapers, wet wipes and baby powder, they will accept it with open arms. Just make sure that, if buying diapers, you don’t get too big of a package, because some babies can develop an allergy to certain brands, so it’s better to start with a small quantity. Pictured above: Babyganics World Essential Kit, Target, $27.99
Shopping for a gender-neutral gift isn’t that difficult — as soon as we let go of the idea that certain themes and colors are specifically for any gender. But until we, as a society, get into that mindset, there are always the options of white, green and orange for some good gender-neutral options. When buying a baby shower gift, focus on things that will be useful to the parents, rather than what the baby would like, because by the time they’re old enough to have an opinion on it, they will have grown out of it, or it would not be very useful to the parents in the first few months, and baby showers serve exactly that: to get the parents ready for the baby.
Brigitte is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.
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