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What to put in a baby hamper in 2021

When putting together a baby hamper, it is helpful to know that most parents today appreciate quality items and practicality – think about items they can use, rather things that will clutter up their homes.

If you know the person you are gifting too well, you will probably have an idea of what they want or need, or you can even ask them. If you want to keep it a surprise, read on for some tips to creating the perfect hamper.

The “four-gift” rule  

While there are no hard or fast rules to creating a hamper other than thinking about the items you would like and how much you want to spend, there is a social media trend parents are using for their offspring’s birthday and Christmas presents that has made things easier. It’s called the “four-gift rule”. It also comes in handy for planning a thoughtful hamper parents and babies will love and use.

When planning a baby hamper around the “four-gift” rule include:

  • #1 Something they want (e.g. a toy/baby play gyms)
  • #2 Something they need (e.g. nappies/skin care items)
  • #3 Something to wear (e.g. clothing/bibs/hair clips/shoes)
  • #4 Something to read (e.g. book, or it could be a baby record/milestone book or picture cards in the context of a baby hamper).

Obviously, the hamper can include more than one item for each subject if you’re doing a larger gift basket. If you’re on a smaller budget, look at hitting at least three of the categories. For example: A teether toy, an outfit, and a moisturiser. You could also substitute the moisturiser for nappy balm or a gift for the new parents.

TIP: If you think bigger is better, think again. If you would not use cheap or chemical-filled body lotions from a discount store, chances are your friend or loved one won’t appreciate them either. Rather than filling your hamper with lots of cheap items, think about just a few quality items mums and babies are bound to love and appreciate. You might even introduce them to a product or brand they fall in love with and want to keep on using. Brownie points for you! If mum is really into organic materials, look for 100% cotton or bamboo linen or clothes and sustainably made quality baby toys.

Mum gifts

When designing a hamper, you could also look at including an item or two for mum (or dads) as we do. Either a treat or something useful she might need (like dry shampoo powder/nipple balm/moisturiser/exfoliant). Mums need care too, or even a pick me up, after having gone through pregnancy, birth and post-birth recovery, which is why a lot of our Beechville Lane hampers feature a mum gift – though they could just as easily be for dads/other carers too.   

Siblings

If you’re putting together a hamper for a baby with older siblings, you may want to consider including a gift for them. It’s an optional extra. It’s a nice thought if you have the time and dollars to do so, or you are particularly close to the mum you’re gifting to. It could be as simple as adding an extra item like a colouring book and pencils, some play dough, some hair clips, or a little toy just to know the congratulations you send is for them too!

If you’re looking at creating a custom baby hamper with Beechville Lane, we’d advise these items to add if you’re looking for gifts to suit older siblings:

  • The Jellystone Designs teething stacker toy is a good option for both baby and older siblings (to about 3 or 4 years old) as they can come up with games to play – along with stacking – and it doubles as teething rings for baby’s sore gums.
  • Add in one of the books we stock, such as a book from Nick Bland’s Bear series (think The Itchy Bear, The Very Cranky Bear, The Very Sleepy Bear). Or add Possum Magic or The Green Sheep by Mem Fox or Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. These books by Australian authors are popular with babies and young children alike. Parents also seem to enjoy reading them! 😊

Hamper ideas – the essentials basket

If you’re keen to do a hamper up yourself, here are some examples of items you could include if you’re doing an “essentials” basket for mum and baby.

Big box of essentials:

  • Nappies (find out if the parents-to-be prefer cloth or disposable nappies)
  • Nappy balm
  • Bibs
  • Baby-safe bath gel / moisturiser / nipple balm (for breastfeeding mums)
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby nail clippers (you can buy essentials grooming/medicine kits for babies at good baby stores)
  • Baby thermometer
  • A baby rug / muslin / wrap
  • Baby brush
  • Travel change mat for out-and-about
  • Baby bag
  • Singlets / clothes / socks
  • Baby off-the-shelf medicines like Panadol or gripe water
  • Feeding utensils.

A different twist: If you’re going to a baby shower where a LOT of people are going, you might even like to do a gift hamper up that is for when baby is aged three months or 12 months old. That way parents aren’t getting a heap of newborn clothes or items which baby not even get to wear or use.  They grow very quickly in the first year, needing to upsize their clothes three to four times in that year alone! Some babies don’t even spend time in 0000 newborn sized clothing (the size for average-sized Australian newborn) and go they go straight in a 000 (0-3 months) clothing size!

Hamper ideas – Simple and nice

If we apply the 4-gift rule, a simple nice hamper could comprise:

  • A cuddle toy (for rule #1 Something they want – think “fun”)
  • A skin care product (#2 Something they need)
  • A baby outfit/singlet (#3 Something to wear. Remember if baby is likely to get a lot of gifts, then perhaps opt for a bigger size than 0-3 months.)
  • A hard book for baby’s hands to grab (#4 Something to read).

+ add an item for mum/siblings too if you like!

Hamper ideas – Larger, useful items

Other ideas, if you’re attending a baby shower in person and can take larger items:

  • A toy teether/a baby play centre
  • A baby floor seat for weaning/a baby cutlery and feeding set
  • A baby blanket or outfit
  • A picture book or story picture book they’ll have for years to come

+ add an item for mum/siblings too if you like! Ideas for mums or parents include: Breastfeeding tea, dry shampoos, face masks, a baby bag, portable change mat, breastfeeding cover, chocolates for a treat or healthy snacks for when there’s limited time for parents to cook, cleaning vouchers, accessories for the pram like a cup holder or a portable coffee cup. The sky’s the limit really but hopefully these ideas inspired you to come up with more.  

If you’d like to see an example of a great hamper popular in Australia right now, check out our Aussie New Mummy Box which has a good balance of something to want, need, wear and read. It features quality, organic or gentle skincare and clothing items from iconic Australian brands that parents love.

We’ve only featured items that will be useful past the first few months of baby’s life (minus the clothing item of course!), plus added a few treats for mum or new parents too. Even if mum doesn’t want chocolates or biscuits, there will be a treat available for visitors when they call in! The benefit of shopping with us is that it means less work for you as we have sourced the best Australian brands, and you save on the online postage of having to buy these items individually. Or if you are planning on physically shopping around, you save on fuel costs and time.  

Gender of baby

When planning a gift hamper, also consider the gender of the baby. If you do not know what the gender of the baby will be try sticking to neutral tones when choosing clothing or linen such as whites, yellows, greys, creams, browns, pastels, etc. The handy thing about buying unisex colour tones is that items can then be reused for any subsequent children regardless of their sex too. Though these days, are there any “gender” colour really? That is up to you.

Hamper presentation

You could get creative and make a “nappy cake” which is very traditional at baby showers, or you could be more modern and present your gift in:

  • A baby bag
  • A baby bath (you can pick these up for about $15 at most discount department stores.)
  • A rattan basket
  • A box with ribbon (our hampers are shipped this way Australia wide via the postal service. Plus it gives the recipient the whole pleasure of “unboxing” all the little surprises inside!)
  • A new nappy tub/bin
  • A toy bin / box for the baby’s play area
  • A generous muslin (you could wrap your gift in a muslin and tie it. No packaging there apart from what you tie it with!).

Get as creative as you like!

If you want to save time and take the guess work out of it you could order one of our hampers online, add a personal message, and have it shipped straight to the recipient’s door. Easy!

Whatever you decide, happy hampering. View it as a fun and learning experience! 😊