While baby clothes are always tempting, many new mothers like to dress their baby in a particular way, be it in traditionally knit baby clothes or fashionable high street wear, so buying something you like might not be to their taste.
As most new mothers know the sex of their baby before it is born, the babies room is usually decorated months in advance, so again, your choice of gift might not "match".
I always feel that the best gift for a new baby is a soft, cuddly toy. In a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours you will easily find something that is suitable for either a boy or a girl and that will fit comfortably into your budget.
Here are some other reasons why you should consider purchasing a soft toy:
1. Babies often find an instant connection with a soft toy. How often have you seen a toddler running around with his or her favourite "moo moo" grasped tightly in hand? Having made an early connection with their toy, children often use their favourite toy for comfort.
2. Soft toys make great sleeping companions for babies. Placing a favourite soft toy next to your baby at bedtime will take away any fears of being left alone, or sleeping in the dark.
3. Soft toys are safe and allow little ones to play imaginatively, with out hurting themselves. Always check the toy safety label before you buy to ensure is carries the CE mark, this indicates that the toy conforms to all European safety standards. Try to avoid buying a toy that it too fluffy - all babies love to suck and chew their toys and you don't want them to get a mouth full of fluff; toys that are washable are ideal.
4. Babies like to mimic - Soft toys are great learning tools. Babies learn by doing, and so you can encourage them to eat or drink something new by showing them "Teddy" doing it first.
5. Soft toys encourage your baby to share. A baby will soon want to share everything with their new friend, from bath-time to their favourite biscuit. This type of behaviour will help your baby maintain friendship with other children as they grow up.