Best Baby GiftWith so many choices available, it's often difficult to decide what to purchase for a baby gift for a newborn baby. Are some products more appropriate for a newborn baby than other products? Not necessarily. Most often what you decide is appropriate as a baby gift depends on to whom the gift will be given and your relationship to that family. You are generally more likely to make larger purchases for family and close friends than you are for acquaintances and co-workers. Baby gifts can be handmade or store bought. If you choose to give a store bought gift you have plenty of sources for finding gifts.

Baby items are available in most retail stores, department stores and discount stores, as well as online. By shopping online you are able to search many sites at once for certain products, colors, sizes and brands. Many stores and websites specialize in products for baby and children. Shopping in stores allows you to see the actual product before purchasing it; shopping online allows you to research products as you find them and to shop at any time convenient for you. Products bought online are delivered to your home; however, stores often offer home delivery for large items.

An appropriate gift for a newborn baby often depends upon the circumstances of the newborn baby's family and your relationship to them. Families with little means to provide more than the basics for their baby may enjoy receiving non-essential items, or better yet, necessities with added benefits that aren't essential. For instance, instead of giving a basic diaper bag (a necessity) splurge for the designer bag that includes changing pad, key hook, cell phone pocket plus additional pockets and storage space. Going one step further and filling the diaper bag with items like diapers, wipes, rash crème, pacifier, bottle, ready-to-feed formula and a change of clothes, or having baby's name embroidered on the bag, makes this gift even more special, and useful.

Other ideas for gifts appropriate for a newborn baby include the following:

1. Car Seat. Securing baby in a car seat is required in all states and most likely the hospital will not allow baby to leave unless properly secured in a car seat. There are many styles and models from which to choose, so you may want to ask the parents what they prefer.

2. Baby Monitors. Wireless or wired monitors help reassure parents that baby is okay when they leave him or her in the nursery alone. Basic monitor sets transmit only sound, while more advanced sets transmit video so parents can actually see the baby in the nursery. There are even monitors that notify parents if movement is not sensed during a certain period of time. Any monitor is an excellent gift.

3. Baby Basics. Baby basics include diapers, wipes, rash ointment, bottles, pacifier, shampoo, lotion, bath wash, small stuffed animals, toys, socks, gowns and other clothes. An assortment of several of these makes a useful gift, but even a gift of only one of these items is appropriate and will be appreciated.

4. Strollers and Carriers. Carrying even a newborn baby around in your arms all the time will get exhausting. Using a stroller or carrier frees mom and dad so they can do chores or even relax. Carriers have the added benefit of keeping baby snug and close to mom or dad's chest reinforcing the bond between parent and child.

5. Bed Time Gifts. A baby gift that helps a newborn baby fall and remain asleep will be more than welcome by any parent. Often items that make baby's nursery special and comfortable help him or her sleep. Items include blanket, music cd, sound machine, crib mobile, wall decoration, and a special stuffed toy. A sound machine produces white noise that blocks general household noises so baby can sleep. Giving a music cd which plays soothing music or other sounds is another option.

6. Play Time Gifts. Play items appropriate for newborn babies include floor toys; toys that strap to strollers, sides of a crib, and car seats; and bouncy seats. Other play time products cannot be used until baby is able to hold up his or her head.

7. Parent Gifts. Since the newborn baby really has no idea what he or she is receiving and the gift is really for the convenience or enjoyment of the parents, consider giving parents a night out while you keep baby. This is most appropriate for families and close friends, but often acquaintances will gladly take you up on it. Other gifts for parents include bubble bath, restaurant gift certificates, a couple hours of house cleaning, prepared meals for home and help writing thank you notes.

A baby gift should generally be given relatively soon after the newborn baby arrives, if not before. Big items like car seats, strollers, cribs, cradles, and rockers are usually a personal choice and if giving one of these items it would be best to consult with the parents or a family member regarding their preference. Otherwise, any gift you choose is likely to be very welcome and much appreciated.