The Perfect Gifts to Earn You the Title of "Cool Aunt"

Written by: Jaimie Geier

So many of my friends and family are expecting or already parents (except for me). It's a lot of fun to have littles around all the time, and to get to know their growing personalities… but it can be really challenging to figure out what gifts they (or their grown ups) would love.

As the self-proclaimed "cool aunt", I put together a few ideas and tips that I’ve learned over the years, which will hopefully help spark inspiration in your gift-giving journey.



Gifts for your pregnant friend or new parent

First things first.

Your friend tells you they’re expecting. And that is SO exciting! But for someone who has never been pregnant, you don't know what they need or what would be helpful.

For a first time parent, taking cara babies sleep classes are a big hit. And of course you can’t go wrong with any sort of self care… a mani/pedi, a massage, or a Dry Bar appointment to keep them feeling pampered before the baby makes their debut. Hatch has some amazing gifts or gift packages. I’ve given their Belly Oil as a gift and gotten great feedback. It also doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing.

Also, don’t forget about those first few weeks post-birth. Sending or bringing food goes a long way. A Caviar or Doordash gift card can also be a nice gesture.



Baby Shower Go-To

Of course there is a registry, and as a rule of thumb, I try not to venture too far from the registry. But gift giving is my love language, and I don’t love the idea of just gifting someone a pack of diapers, some nipple cream, and a wipe warmer. These are important… that doesn’t feel particularly "cool".

I love to pick one or two things from their registry, and then add something with more of a personal touch. I (obviously) need to be the person to gift baby’s first sneakers. Force 1s or Nike Jordans are always a classic. Not a Nike fan? These Chuck Taylor All-Stars are another classic!

Many soon-to-be parents will request books with a note inside, rather than cards at their baby shower. This is something I love to do! But rather than giving a simple paperback, I like to take it one step further. A leather-bound classic, with a handwritten note inside is something they’ll keep forever, and something that can be passed down!



Baby’s First Birthday

From before they were born to their first birthday, they’ve gotten about every gift you could imagine. People LOVE buying baby clothes. And don’t get me wrong, I too love a tiny outfit. But what about their grown-ups? The people who have spent the last 365 days keeping this tiny human alive - barely taking time for themselves. How could we forget about them?!

My go-to gift for Baby’s first birthday is actually a gift for their parents. A gift card to a local restaurant for a date night, or a little spa day. You can even go one step further and offer to babysit for said date night!

Of course, you can also throw in a gift for the baby. A personalized Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn has always been a big hit for me - it’s something that they can use for years to come. A fun set also makes an amazing gift. It’s an easy-button for me because it’s already a fully styled outfit.



The impossible-to-buy-for toddler

The toddler years. When they find their passions in life. They find interests that their entire world revolves around.. And then they change their mind.

My god-daughter is about to turn 3, and she’s in a phase where she wears the same princess dress Refuses to let it out of her sight during bath time or bedtime, because it is such a coveted dress that someone may actually steal it from her. Who knows how long this phase will last, but I’m not about to challenge her on it.

So buying her clothing is out of the question. Buying her accessories to compliment that princess dress, however… that may actually work. This tulip headband and these ice cream hairclips would be a huge hit with her. If I’m lucky, she may even let me help her style them with this ice cream necklace.

If I do decide to go the clothing-route, I look for pieces that represent their personality so that they’re excited to wear them! My god-daughter loves dressing up. This tutu and matching sweater keep things fun but sophisticated enough for public outings.

For gifting clothing, my rule of thumb is to always always ask for their sizing - especially at this age. Toddlers are all wildly different sizes. And kids apparel sizing is incredibly confusing. I’ve made enough mistakes for the both of us - ask before you buy.



The Big Kid

By the time the kids in my life reach age 5, they’re usually already a lot cooler than me. So as the cool aunt, I really have work to impress them. These classic banwood bikes are so insanely chic. Even better, you could take your cool aunt status to the next level and get a matching bike or scooter for the younger sibling. I only wish they made them in adult sizes so that we could all match.


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