Your best friend has already received some amazing baby gifts. Her great aunt stitched 20 pairs of identical booties, and she's received 18 pacifiers in all colors imaginable. Think outside the box and get the new mama something truly unique to celebrate the new arrival.
Keeping the baby's gender a secret -- or at least downplaying its importance -- is all the rage among new parents. Andrea doesn't need another frilly dress with pink lace, and Davon doesn't need any more John Deere baseball caps. Companies like Twotara (twotara.com), Little Me (littleme.com) and Polkadot Patch (polkadotpatch.com) sell gender-neutral clothing for babies of all sizes in colors like yellow, green, beige, brown and gray. When you give unisex clothing for the baby, your friend won't have to worry about other people imposing stereotypes on the baby based on the baby's appearance.
Buy your friend a clay or silicon casting kit, which she can use to make imprints or three-dimensional replicas of her baby's feet and hands. This priceless keepsake will survive long after the baby has grown up. Kits are available on Amazon (amazon.com) and eBay (ebay.com).
Your friend will receive many generic items that could belong to anyone. Personalize your gift by adding the baby's name to a sweater, a hat, a diaper bag or whatever else you are giving. Not only will your item be one-of-a-kind, it will be personal, too. Or research all the meanings of the child's name and include them on a decorative picture frame or write an original poem incorporating them. If you're not crafty, artists on Etsy (etsy.com) can personalize bracelets, bibs and even clothing hangers.
Gifts for Mama
Your friend's friends and family will likely shower her with gifts -- for the baby. Don't forget that a happy mama equals a happy baby. Shower the new mother with unique gifts she can use to pamper herself. Give her a handmade book of coupons that include babysitting help, a grocery store visit, a girls' night in or a manicure. Bath salts, body lotions and other sensual gifts will help her relax amidst the chaos of mothering. Books on holistic child raising, like "Mothering from Your Center" by Tami Lynn Kent, will help empower her as a caregiver.