Welcome Baby for Just $30

Your best friend has finally popped out her baby after nine months of waddling around and eating everything in sight. It's cause for celebration, or at least a good gift. Having brought two little creatures of my own into the world, I've seen my share of cool and useful baby gifts. So here is a list of a few ideas, all for around $30: (Baby won't know we're on a budget.)

Bibs: I never thought newborns needed bibs until I had a baby who spit up enough every day to cover the Washington region. Bibs come in handy to protect baby clothes and to do a quick wipe of the face. And they continue to be useful as baby grows into a toddler and starts using hands and utensils to eat. One of the best bibs I ever received was made by A Mom Who Knows. They go for $15 a piece and are made from a thick, soft terry cloth. Best of all, they're long enough to cover most of the baby. You can find them at Blueberry Babies. You might as well throw in some burp cloths while you're at it. The same site has personalized burp cloths for $15. You'll spend a flat rate of $8.95 for shipping.

Books: Not many people think of giving an infant books, but babies quickly go from demanding constant care to demanding constant care plus some entertainment before you know it. So parents will be looking for things to do with their little one. You can get several cute baby books like "Tails" by Matthew Van Fleet, "Peek-a Who?" by Nina Laden and "This Little Piggy," a hand-puppet board book by Scholastic. You can get all three for just under $30 at Amazon.com.

Diapers: One of the biggest investments a new parent will make is in diapers. So why not get them a gift certificate to Diapers.com? The site has all the name brands of disposable diapers, as well as cloth and environmentally friendly diapers and other baby gear like wipes and formula. You can buy gift certificates for as little as $25, which will buy a box of nearly 100 Pampers newborn diapers. Gift certificates can be e-mailed to the new parent for free or mailed for $1.99.

A Meal for Mom and Dad: I'm always amazed at the way an infant, sometimes weighing as little as 6 lbs., can sap your ability to do anything, including cook a decent meal. So the gift of a meal is great for parents with new babies. If you're culinarily challenged and would rather leave preparation of a home-cooked meal to someone else, Home Bistro will prepare and send entrees like ginger-garlic beef with brown rice or a nut-crusted salmon filet for as little as $9.95 a piece. The meals are packed in insulated coolers filled with dry ice to maintain freshness. The site offers gift certificates for as little as $25, which will easily buy two entrees. Shipping is $15 for orders of $50 or less.

Toys: Every new baby needs to be welcomed to the world with toys. Sassy has a set of earthy toys called Earth Brights that are made with calming scents and bright colors. And many of the Earth Brights toys have wooden rings safe for chewing. The line includes Cuddle Dolls, which are small, soft and colorful infant dolls that are scented with lavender. Earth Brights also has a wooden rattle with tethered flowers, wooden leaves and lots of bright colors. Tree Top Kids, a local toy store chain, has most of the Earth Brights toys for around $10 a piece.

Other Gear: DwellStudio, the New York-based designer of home furnishings, baby and kid gear and tableware, is now making a baby line for Target. It's a good thing since much of their original baby gear is a little above my $30 limit. But luckily you can still give the chic design of DwellStudio for less: Try a hooded baby towel for $12.99, a three-piece baby outfit for $15.99 or a wearable sleep blanket for $12.99. All three pieces are available at Target stores or through their Web site.

What have been some of the best baby gifts you've given or received? Where do you shop for baby bargains? Post a comment below.

By Tania Anderson |  March 20, 2008; 3:00 AM ET Holidays and Special Occasions , Kid Stuff
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Babies don't care about the gift - make it something for Mom/Dad. And, what could be better than having a clean house, when the rest of your life is out of control. although, this is a little more than $30...

Posted by: Best baby gift - a cleaning lady | March 21, 2008 8:11 AM

You can get a $25 Gift Box at Sofia Bean www.sofiabean.com which includes the Sofia Bean signature gift box (doubles as a great toy/storage box), a unique onesie in 3 sizes, and either a hat or bib. Add the other bib or hat for $5 more. They also have a 3-pack of onesies that comes in a gift pouch for $30.

Amy

Posted by: AmyE | March 27, 2008 9:50 AM

Meals for new parents are awesome I agree. But I also like personalized gifts. www.littlegorilladesign.com has some cute stuff that moms will love with the new baby name on them.

Posted by: Mary | April 9, 2008 10:31 PM

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Posted by: Rob Sanders | April 28, 2008 7:04 PM

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