“It’s important to pick the right gift for each baby,” said Lisa Lohman, assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Irvine.
“If you’re looking for something special, go for a gift that is more meaningful to the baby.”
Lohmann explained that she likes to think of gift giving as a sort of ritualised ritual, where people “pick out a particular item or a thing, and make it special to that baby”.
Lohmans research shows that the more often we experience the same item, the more likely we are to feel the need to keep it around.
For example, people who have a habit of bringing their lunch boxes to work, or having a favourite toy on hand are more likely to feel compelled to keep those toys around, says Lohms research.
“This is because they feel like they are giving back to the community,” she said.
“When you feel like you are giving something back, you’re giving your child something special.”
LOHMAN also says that it’s important not to feel that you’re being selfish.
“The best gift for a baby is an item that you feel is very personal to the child,” she explained.
“It may be a favourite pet or a particular gift, or it could be a present for a loved one.”
When choosing gifts for a newborn, Lohmen suggests putting things you like into the basket, like baby clothes or books.
“Basket it,” she says, and let your mind and heart make that decision.
Lohs research shows it’s better to put an object into the baby’s basket if it has an appeal that’s similar to that of a familiar object.
“For example, if your baby has a blanket, put it in the basket and if you are looking for a favourite toys, put a favourite stuffed animal in the same basket,” she advised.
“There is a big difference between the comfort and uniqueness of the items that you are putting into the baskets.”
To find out how much money to spend on a baby gift, LOHM recommends researching what types of things babies like and don’t like and how many are available.
She says that some parents may be tempted to buy gifts that are simply too big or expensive for their child.
“So it is important that you consider how much you are willing to spend, and how much is appropriate for your child,” Lohm explained.
But it’s also important to make sure your budget is realistic.
“I find it important that we keep an eye on our budgets and we don’t spend too much,” LOH said.
You can find a baby’s most expensive and most popular gift here.