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March 12, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Baby genius: Bright gifts for baby showers

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By Sara Kennedy / Sunday Market

Whether you’re a best friend or a co-worker, giving big or giving small, there’s a thoughtful, useful baby shower gift out there.

Here are some ideas based on the type of friend you are — and the type of babysitter you soon may be.

Co-worker

New to the office or just friends on a professional level? Get the mom-to-be something practical, fun and frugal, such as H&M’s 3 Pack Bibs ($10), sporting stripes, a frog and a lion. Going in on a group gift? The team will wow her with a Nuna Leaf Lounger ($220 at Tottini, South Lake Union). The elegant seat cradles Baby and glides side to side without motors. Later, it can be used as a kid’s chair, holding up to 130 pounds.

Social-media enabler

Yes, there are a lot of photos of babies on social-media sites. If you’re the type who encourages that, get her Sticky Bellies ($14 at Destination Maternity and stickybellies.com). Mom and Dad add the stickers to a onesie each month, take photos and let everyone keep up on Baby’s progress.

You can practically guarantee a photo-worthy moment with the PLH Bows & Laces Crochet Hat ($25.50 at Nordstrom). A trio of flowers adorns the bright magenta hat that’s sure to be seen in Mom’s Facebook profile photo in a month or two.

Funny friend 

Only a certain type of friend can give a mom-to-be a rattle that looks like a dead mouse — but in an adorable way. OB Designs’ Moe Mouse Dingaring ($20 at Top Ten Toys) is soft and easy to grab, and sure to be a favorite of Baby’s. Maybe those X’s for eyes just mean he’s fast asleep.

Even if you forget about the shower until the morning of, it’s totally fine. Almost any grocery store has great basics that will be well received. Fill a gift bag with a Lifefactory Teether Dual Pack ($15) and Babytime by Episencial Snuggly Lotion ($15, both at Whole Foods). Round it out with a pack of diapers or, better yet, a bottle of Champagne. Parents need their fun friends, after all.

Fashionista

Baby clothes don’t have to be pale blue or powder pink, or feature a cartoon character of any kind. Make Baby the coolest on the block with a Little Hip Squeaks Moss Criss-Cross Cozy Romper ($34–$35 at Eurostyle Your Life, South Lake Union, or urbababy.com). The hip graphic pattern is silkscreened onto organic cotton.

Go for global glam with the Tea Zidana Romper ($32 at Nordstrom; also called the Jihane Romper), featuring Berber-inspired floral embroidery. Or go lil’ hipster with Zara’s Basic Harem Pants ($20) and T-Shirt With Text ($16, both at Zara, downtown).

Design maven

If you’ve looked at Pinterest lately, you might think that every family has a perfectly decorated baby suite ready when Mom and Dad return from the hospital. That’s not always the case. Provide some décor inspiration with the Ink + Wit Animal A–Z Poster ($50 at Digs, Ballard).

Get them the perfect stuffed toy to put next to the changing table: Caitlin Wicker’s Narwhal ($45 at Eurostyle Your Life). The super-soft toy is made from recycled cashmere sweaters. And add a boost of style to the typically white plastic diaper pail with an Ubbi Diaper Pail ($80 at Diapers.com). The stainless steel bins come in chic colors such as pistachio and navy, and don’t require special expensive liners.

Conscientious buyer

Shop local and bring a Seattle icon into Baby’s room with a Westlake Woodwerk Washington State Ferry ($75 at Eurostyle Your Life). Westlake Woodwerk is the new name of The Giving Tree, and it still uses retired volunteers to hand-make the solid wood toys.

Looking for toys that are a little greener? BeginAgain Green Keys ($14 at Nordstrom) are made in the U.S. of a compostable corn-based material, rather than plastic.

Diapers can be hard on the environment, but Luxebaby Poof Diapers ($14 for 33 at Amazon.com) are fully biodegradable and compostable, and are made with sustainable materials. Plus, they come in a “couture-inspired” green loop print for even more adorable baby photos.

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