18 Clutter-Free Gifts for Expectant Parents

18 Clutter-Free Gifts for Expectant Parents

My 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children post has been such a huge hit! Evidence that most of us are tired of the overabundance of toys! But, as one kind reader pointed out, that list is geared more toward school-age children, and we have other ages that need some attention.

So, here you have it:

18 Clutter-Free Gifts for Expectant Parents

  1. Diapers. Cloth diapers are becoming hugely popular, which is wonderful for our environment as well as much healthier for baby bums. But it can also be a huge investment to get started. Receiving a couple of quality covers or packages of prefolds is a huge help. I recommend GroVia covers, wipes and prefolds. Disposable diapers are also a nice gift for the times when cloth diapers just aren’t practical.
  2. Spa Packages. Being a parent of a new baby is pretty exhausting. Most days are considered a success if everyone got fed and mom got a shower. Giving a massage, hair appointment or facial/manicure/pedicure are all great gifts that celebrate the mom.
  3. Restaurant gift cards. Some days it’s just a juggling act and having dinner taken care of is a complete relief. Grocery store gift cards and coffee shop gift cards are also very nice to receive.
  4. Noisemaker. For first time parents, it’s nice to have baby used to noise while sleeping, so parents can vacuum, have the doorbell ring or talk on the phone while baby is napping and not worry about waking baby. It’s also great for the baby with older siblings, so baby can nap and the siblings can play.
  5. Baby Proofing. Outlet covers are great and there are more options than just having small plastic pieces all over our house- so shop around.
  6. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace. Not to chew on- the essential oils in the amber releases when it’s warmed on the skin, giving pain relief to the baby.
  7. Camera. If you know the parents well and know what their camera situation is, this is an excellent idea.  Having a nice camera makes a big difference in picture quality. You can get a nice digital camera that takes video as well.
  8. Photo Session. There are many wonderfully creative photographers these days, and having sweet pictures of your family is really special.
  9. Air Purifying. Having clean, good quality air is definitely appreciated, especially if anyone in the home is sensitive to smells. Salt lamps offer a nice calm glow and can be used as a night light as well. You can read about the benefits here.
  10. Water Purifying. Bath time is important and none of us want to expose our babies to harsh chemicals that are often found in our water supply. There are charcoal bathwater filters that work great for removing 99% of the chlorine found in city water.
  11. Pamper with Smells. Gift an essential oil diffuser and a bottle of cleansing essential oil, its refreshing aroma quickly eradicates unpleasant odors and purifies the air and environment with the essential oils. I recommend therapeutic grade essential oils.
  12. Blankets. Just to warn you, most babies get a lot of blankets. But if you just can’t help yourself-  swaddling blankets are really nice.
  13. Books. It’s never too early for books. Did you know that reading to babies changes the way their brains develop and gives them a better chance at life? How cool is that?! You can watch a video about it here. Our favorites: Sandra Boynton books, Robert Munsch books, Bill Peet Books.
  14. Clothes. Ok, I’m going, to be honest here: people love baby clothes and love buying baby clothes. The issue is that most of the clothes they give the baby, just aren’t practical. I always had plenty of dresses for my daughter and cute sweater vest outfits for my sons, but what I really needed were some basics: Sleepers, bodysuits, pants, socks, a jacket, and wool tie-on hat.
  15. Meals. Dinners are great, but if the family has a good support network and is receiving meals, how about some easy breakfast and lunches? Yogurt parfaits, granola, artisan bread, butter and jam or bagels, and cream cheese are lovely gifts.
  16. Doula Service. If mom hasn’t given birth yet, doulas are amazing to have with you, Dad’s particularly love this gift. An experienced doula will help set the new parents’ mind at ease and assist any support people in helping mom the best way possible.
  17. Postpartum Doula. A postpartum doula can do anything the mother needs: clean the house, do laundry, help with siblings and prepare meals, as well as help them process through their birth, give breastfeeding support, or just hold the baby while mom enjoys a shower.
  18. Coloring Book. Give mom a cute book and some nice pencils so she can have an easy creative outlet in her downtime.

Need gifts for other people in your life? Click here:

Clutter-Free Gift Guide – This gift guide is a compilation of all the gift lists published on the blog, from toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between. Clutter-free and toy-free ideas. Click here to get this 33-page PDF for $5.

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. suzy on 07/25/2014 at 10:20 pm

    I loved your first list. This one is great too. I will be pinning so I can refer back to it the next time I have a baby shower to go to.

    • Rachel on 07/25/2014 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks Suzy!

      • Catherine Brastel on 08/19/2014 at 5:49 pm

        Thank you for your very sensible work here, Rachel! At a time where materialism seems to be the answer to everything. It’s a great list Rachel and I like that you mention doulas.
        The first language we learn is touch, and I would add to your list if I may, and I’d put it first: a Baby Massage Course gift voucher to help young parents to build with trust and respect a lifetime relationship with their babies. To help them communicate better by learning how to read their baby’ s body language. It will help baby sleeps better, so their parents(sleep deprivation is #1 cause of depression amongst young mums), settle better, improve their immune system, enhance motor and cognitive developments, help with colics, reflux….to name a few of the positives. Thank you for the opportunity Rachel, I’ll follow you and share!

        • Rachel on 08/19/2014 at 9:47 pm

          What a great idea Catherine! My masseuse just finished getting certified in infant massage, I hadn’t learned about the benefits of it yet, so that is very good to know.

  2. Kelly on 07/26/2014 at 12:58 am

    Great list! One gift that I have absolutely loved is credit for a local cloth diaper service. They drop off clean diapers and pick up the dirty ones every week. It’s made cloth diapering a snap, and it’s not as expensive as you might think. Several friends paid for months of service. It’s been fantastic. If a service isn’t available in your area, perhaps you could volunteer to do their laundry (or some other household chore) every week for the first month. As a first time mom, I am so grateful for those friends who would come over and clean, cook, or do laundry while I got to relax, take care of baby, and enjoy their company.

    • Rachel on 07/26/2014 at 1:44 am

      Oh, that’s a great idea!

  3. Beth on 08/01/2014 at 5:45 pm

    Great ideas! I love gowns, frozen muffins (and other 1 handed snacks) and diaper sample packs

  4. Carlene on 08/12/2014 at 4:11 pm

    Other popular gifts I’ve seen given is a Shutterfly or Snapfish gift card to so new parents can get photos printed and hen delivered to their door.
    If your local grocery store chain has a delivery service (like Peapod) new parents appreciate not having to go out to the store.

    • Rachel on 08/12/2014 at 4:29 pm

      Oh Excellent suggestions! Thanks Carlene!

  5. Adrienne on 08/18/2014 at 7:53 pm

    I love this! Minimalism is something my family is working on…we’ll get there…someday, *lol*. I needed to comment though because I am a birth doula, and I love that “we” made one of your lists! Thank you for helping to spread the word about us! Cheers!
    P.S. I shared the list on my FB page! ^_^

    • Rachel on 08/19/2014 at 12:57 am

      Awesome! Thanks 🙂

  6. Sarah on 09/19/2014 at 10:43 am

    I’ll add a maid cleaning! My mother in law has gifted these to us at various times since our little man was born and I love it! It’s so nice to just schedule one when you have guests coming to visit or life just gets out of control! 🙂

    • Rachel on 09/19/2014 at 10:59 am

      I love that Sarah. That’s an awesome gift!

  7. Jackie Maike on 10/25/2014 at 10:07 pm

    These are all awesome ideas. My cousin just had a little girl and they did not find out the sex before she was born. So I was having a hard time figuring out what to buy. They are very health conscious people so…… I bought a wicker basket with a lid and filled it with diaper rash cream, teething tablets, Tylenol, orajel, baby wash, thermometer etc. Some things I could not find “all natural” but I tried! I just stood in the baby isle and said…..hmm, they may not need it now, but what could they possibly run out of in the middle of the night, or what they may need and not have when the time came!

    • Rachel on 10/27/2014 at 3:05 pm

      That sounds like a very nice gift Jackie, good work!

  8. Lara Capuano on 10/26/2014 at 6:07 pm

    I recently started making homemade laundry detergent because we have a slew of messy kiddos, and I hated spending a small fortune on chemicals and fillers. I forgot about a baby shower I had been invited to until the last minute and realized I had no gift! I filled a huge jar with homemade laundry detergent and printed out a cute label with all the different uses for it (laundry soap, stain treatment, even as carpet shampoo!) This gift was a hit, and super cheap ($30 for almost a year supply, so a big jar is probably $5-7 and lasts a while for someone with only one child!) This also makes for great teacher gifts!

    • Rachel on 10/27/2014 at 3:02 pm

      That’s a great idea Lara!

  9. DonnieJ on 08/12/2015 at 4:29 pm

    Where’s the Booze? Not once did I hear that. I want booze & plenty of it.

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