Unique Gifts for the Mom-to-Be

Looking for a gift for an expectant mother? Sure, you can go for the layette set, the burping cloths or the bibs. But if you’re looking for something different – something inspired – consider these 2009 winners of the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA), sure to delight that pregnant friend or relative who means so much to you.

breast friendNursing in Comfort

Breastfeeding is one of the best things a new mom can do for her infant, but it isn’t always the most comfortable. A nursing infant can feel heavy and awkward. My Brest Friend Deluxe (Zenoff Products, Inc.; $41-$45;) is a wearable nursing pillow that encircles a breastfeeding mom with a narrow band of cushioning and support at her back. The band widens to a comfy, secure surface along the front to facilitate baby’s latching on. An adjustable, silent-release belt secures the fit around mom’s waist and a side pocket keeps sundries within easy reach. A NAPPA Gold winner, this product won rave reviews from our parent testers, including one mom who told us, “It’s a HUGE help to breastfeeding moms, and makes it much easier to support the baby.”

For the Bookshelf

With dozens of new books out on pregnancy and infant care, it’s hard to know which to choose. Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Newborn: The Complete Guide (Medically Updated), by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham and April Bolding (Meadowbrook Press, 2008; Fifth Edition; $15) fits the bill. A NAPPA gold-award winner, our parent testers loved this book’s positive, realistic and thorough approach to preparing new parents for their birth experience. It encourages questions, offers alternatives and empowers parents-to-be to make decisions based on accurate, balanced research and personal choice.

Practical parenting books serve a purpose, but sometimes new parents need a laugh. If you’ve been up all night with a fussy baby, you could use a pick-me-up. Try Sleep is for the Weak: The best of the mommybloggers, including Amalah, Finslippy, Fussy, Woulda Shoulda Coulda, Mom-101, and More! (Chicago Review Press, 2008; $11.95). Edited by Rita Arens, these short essays from popular mommy blogs are sweet, poignant, funny and, most of all, authentic. They touch moms – who thought that only they fantasized about running out for diapers and never coming home – with solace, laughter and tears born from a wide range of viewpoints and shared experiences.

Comfortable Carrying
Looking for a comfortable and, above all, hip baby carrier? The NAPPA gold-award winning ERGObaby Carrier (ERGObaby, Inc.; $94-$110).

Our testers and judges dubbed this the most comfortable carrier they had ever used. It’s soft, well cushioned, durable, safe and – as one tester put it – “hip and cool for moms and dads!” Judges noted the carrier’s proper positioning of the baby, the excellent head support and the way it balances the baby’s weight between the parent’s hips and shoulders. The parent can carry an infant or toddler in front, along the hip or on the back.

Find more NAPPA Winners