November 15, 2015 02:00 PM

How many expectant moms have cried in the aisles of the big box baby stores, overwhelmed (if not downright frightened) by the sheer volume of stuff that comes with a kid?

I know I was one of them, and ever since, I’ve vowed to gift my fellow new mommies with only goodies that are both cute and practical.

Here are seven of my favorites — most are new to the market, with a couple classics sprinkled in that just make life easier.

Buttermilk Babies Blankets ($75)
Pretty much the softest baby blankets I have yet to find. The patterns are cute, funny and just the right amount edgy: teeny skunks and brass knuckles are among my faves in the “tough cookie” set.

They can be used as traditional swaddles if you’ve got that special skill set, or as stroller blankets, lovies, you name it. Jaime King, Molly Sims and Haylie Duff are all fans, sharing social media photos with their babies in Buttermilk.

Courtesy Buttermilk Babies

Just Born Deluxe Swaddle ($35)
Countless moms swear by swaddles for their infants, as it mimics the environment in the womb. A.K.A. a real game-changer for sleep. Just Born’s latest version features head support for the littlest sleepers and a tummy wrap that may help to relieve gas-related discomfort. No need to learn the art of swaddling here as Velcro patches do the hard part for you.

Courtesy Just Born

Baby Dee Dee Sleep Nest ($38-$48)
Once baby is out of the swaddling stage, sleep sacks are a popular choice for safe sleep as opposed to loose blankets in the crib. The sleep nest, a baby-sized duvet sleeping bag, is a dreamy, fluffy option that I swear resulted in longer naps and overnight sleep for my daughter. Sweet color choices and patterns make it a lovely gift.

Courtesy Baby Dee Dee

Aden + Anais Layette ($20)
The popular, celebrity-loved brand known for their swaddles has expanded to include layette. The clothes are super-cute, soft, great for layering and include many unisex styles with A&As sweet patterns. You’re going to go through a lot of clothes with a little one, so versatility is always appreciated.

Courtesy Aden + Anais

Ubbi Diaper Pail ($80)
The Ubbi diaper pail is almost magical in its ability to keep the stink in, all the way up to the toddler years when diaper pail stench can become unholy. It’s made of powder-coated steel, which is evidently a whole lot more effective at odor control than plastic diaper pails. It’s got a sleek design and comes in a rainbow’s worth of colors to match your nursery (that’s as cute as a diaper pail gets!) and uses plain ol’ garbage bags rather than complicated liners.

Courtesy Ubbi

Land of Nod Baby Gym ($109)
For those with a more modern aesthetic (or anyone who isn’t thrilled about baby stuff taking over their living room), this baby gym is an adorable and—yes—chic option for infant play stations.

Courtesy Land of Nod

Boon SOAK Tub ($30)
A 3-stage tub suitable for newborns, bigger babies and toddlers (hooray for not having to buy multiple baby bathers!) the Soak can be used in double sinks, on the floor or in the tub. Best for newborn to 18 months though you could stretch it longer as a sturdy spot within the bigger bathtub.

Courtesy Boon

— Rennie Dyball

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