The best gift for a newborn baby is a soft rattle toy. You can use the right baby rattle to distract, engage and bond with baby from the very beginning. Whenever they are fussy - diaper changing time, bath time, tummy time or whenever, you can rattle the toy and use it to distract them from whatever is troubling them. Over time, they will get more and more intrigued by the rattle, especially if like a puppet you use it to draw them into play. Not only will you deepen your connection to the baby, but they will be curious about the rattle. They will wonder about the sound, the colors and the shape. Eventually they will want to explore it. As they get older and are able to grasp things, they will reach for it and want to grasp and shake it. We like soft toys because they will not hurt the baby when it falls on them, as it inevitably does.
There are many different soft rattles, some made of synthetic materials and some made with organic cotton, we like the organic ones because they have less chemicals and are safer on baby’s delicate skin. Also, with less chemicals, they are safer for the workers handling them as well as healthier for the environment. Some rattles are loud and bulky, neither of which we like for babies since the noise might be too jarring for them and the larger rattles will be impossible to grip. So look for small organic baby rattles with a soft non-jarring sound for little babies.
Also look for baby rattles that are in interesting shapes and colors - think taxi, hot sauce, football, baseball, fire truck rattles and more. Not only are these colors more attractive to babies, but as they grow into toddlers they can use them for imaginative play. In fact, we just learned that a parent purchased a NYC metro card rattle for their new baby and their older brother kept taking it and playing. He liked it so much so that his parents had to get the baby another one and leave the original one for their toddler.
At a certain age, kids are ready to explore their world and their baby rattles can give them an outlet for imaginary play. They can pretend cook with food toys, pretend drive with car toys, trucks, construction vehicles etc. There is no limit to their imagination and what parents & care givers can do is provide them with toys like simple rattles to allow them to explore their minds.
There are other gifts that we love for newborn babies, like security blankets. You can buy a new baby a an organic baby lovey blanket that can serve a similar purpose - be used as a first toy to distract baby and they will over time grow curious, explore it and as toddlers use it for imaginative play. This is an equally valid baby gift if it is organic, has interesting colors and shapes and is easy to care for - machine washable. Something parents appreciate especially with all the news about new viruses and germs spreading the globe.