LEIGH'S LIST: 'I'm searching for a thoughtful gift for my friend's baby, but hate everything I've seen.'

Welcome to Leigh's List. A weekly column, a bit like an agony aunt, but for your shopping woes. A self-confessed shopping addict, Leigh Campbell enjoys nothing more than hunting down the *thing* you've been searching for but haven't been able to find.

Talia asked:

Hi Leigh. Can you please help me find a christening gift for my bestie’s baby? They’re about nine months old. 

I’m searching for something that is sentimental, useful, a keepsake or personalised but not something too… traditional, like from Wedgewood, for example. 

What can I get that shows I’ve thought about them deeply and that they’ll love?

Leigh answered:

Hi Talia. Excellent query.

Babies are surprisingly hard to buy for. Not just because they can't tell you what they want, but because sentimental AND useful so rarely meet at a junction.

I have a three-year-old, so I now realise that pre-mother-me bought my friend's babies the most ridiculous gifts. 

Jeans. Jeans! I often purchased size 00 denim. I thought they were so teeny tiny and cute (they were!) but also pretty much useless. 

The same goes for baby shoes. They are damn adorable, but fall off almost immediately, so end up being displayed in the nursery to gather dust (if you didn't lose them the one and only time you made your baby wear them).

Watch: How to wrap gifts when you have no gift wrap. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Babies are also teething around this time, and I was given about 12 Sophie Teething Toys at my baby shower, of which I placed most in the re-gift box. Turns out babies love to throw things out of the pram with reckless abandon, so we ended up using all of them. Moral of the story, you can always add a Sophie to any gift for a baby and it will be put to good use. 

Okay, let’s find your friend's little baby the perfect gift.

Namely Co Personalised Single Bed Blanket, $109.

Image: Namely Co./Mamamia.


This is my go-to baby gift, whether they’re a newborn or a little older. The brand does bassinet and cot-sized options too, but I always buy the single-bed size so they can use it for years – it’s great for snuggling on the couch or folding tastefully at the end of their big-kid bed when the time comes. 

There’s a plethora of different designs, colourways and fonts you can choose from so you can custom create a bespoke blanket. I still have my baby blanket from when I was little, so they hold great sentimental value, as well as being practical.

Callie Personalised Storage Basket for Toys, $52.

Image: Callie/Mamamia.


Babies of this age are just getting into all the fun, bright, noisy, plastic toys as they crawl and explore their new world on the floor. It means parents are often looking for a solution for how to store them so it doesn't look like the Kmart toy section threw up all over the living room. 

Chic enough to leave out on display, these fabric storage baskets are ace for soft toys, blocks or books. I have a few similar ones at home with my son’s name on them and we use them to transport toys to different areas for play and also use one as his laundry basket. 

Wonderly Words Of Wisdom For You Book, $54.99.

Image: Wonderbly/Mamamia.


This beautiful book is personalised with the baby’s name and an illustrated character to represent who they are. Each page has words of wisdom for them to learn as they grow, which are pre-set, but you can also customise them if you have a specific message in mind.

Books are a beautiful keepsake (make sure you write a message in the front!) which are also useful. They’re also the perfect size if you need to post the present in the mail, or pop it in your suitcase if you’re travelling to the christening. 

Tiny Me Personalised Name Puzzle, $35.

Image: Tinyme/Mamamia.


My son was given this for his first birthday and still plays with it weekly, and he’s almost four. When he was younger, it was fun for him to match the shapes, and now he’s starting to learn the letters and put them in order, so it aids with learning to spell, too. Added bonus: it looks gorgeous on display in their room until they’re ready to interact with it. 

You can pick from a bunch of designs like unicorns, dinosaurs, trucks and rainbows, and of course the puzzle is custom-made with the child’s name. 

Engraved Silver Rabbit Children's Cutlery, $29.95.

Image: Personalised Favours/Mamamia.


When I became a mum, it surprised me how early in the journey kids start using cutlery. The problem is, lots of the silicone styles end up smelling (and tasting) like the dishwasher, so you go through them, which isn't all that great for the environment. 

From about 18 months my son graduated to metal cutlery for that reason. This silver set is personalised, so you’re ticking the thoughtful box, but also super useful. Added bonus: it’s much more affordable than it looks – your mate will think you spent much more.

Want more gift ideas? Listen to This Glorious Mess where Tegan and Leigh share their go-to last-minute gifts. 

Interested in Leigh doing some personal shopping for you? Let us know in the comments what fashion mission you'd like to send her on.

Feature Image: Instagram @leighacampbell.

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