By Laura Vogel
If you have a friend who's expecting, and her tastes go beyond your standard fluffy, footed pajamas, here is a shower-gift list for you. All of these presents are distinctive and hip - expect a wealth of "Ooohs!" and "Awwws!" to greet each and every one!
Baby Bunch Onesies
This adorably packaged gift is as cute as it is useful; shown in yellow (also in pink and blue if baby's gender is known), four always-handy onesies are packaged per box. $20, babybunch.com.
One of the first things new parents need is a carrier for their new bundle of joy -- the Ergo brand is modern and ultra-comfortable. Its innovative design evenly distributes a baby's weight. $105, kidonyc.com.
Mama Mio Congratulations! Kit
Moms-to-be need some serious pampering, and this luxurious package of potions will help her ever-changing body bounce back from pregnancy beautifully. The kit includes Mama Mio stretch-mark-reducing tummy rub oil (3.6 oz), a super-rich body cream (6.8 oz), and a moisturizing shower cream (10 oz). Mama Mio's products have won scads of beauty awards, and every mom-to-be loves them because they're all about her. $55, mamamio.com.
See Kai Run Sandals
These sturdy, chic shoes are available for both girls and boys, and they run from toddler size 3 to 9, so you can plan ahead for baby's first summer. $36, simplysoles.com.
Sushi Rattle Set
This set of four hand-knit "sushi" rattles will be a hit with cosmopolitan parents. Do-gooder bonus: They are made by a fair-trade cooperative in Bangladesh. $33, elsewares.com.
The Miracle Blanket
The art of swaddling fussy babies is a resurgent art. The Miracle Blanket -- available in a range of tasteful colors, all 100 cotton -- makes it easy for sleep-deprived new parents to calm their little one. $30, miracleblanket.com.
Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms
Let's face it: Parenthood isn't easy, and a little humor goes a long way towards making the tough times easier. This hilarious book by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Noble gives moms much-needed laughs and solidarity. $13, spoonsisters.com.
Charmco Birth-Date Charm Bracelet
Splurge alert! If you are looking for a fabulous group gift for a very special, chic mom, you can't go wrong with this this "starter" charm bracelet that marks her child's birth date custom-engraved and spangled with a diamond. Over the years, additional charms can be added as her family grows (along with her accomplishments and passions); the beautiful vintage and vintage-reproduction charms from Charmco are timelessly elegant. Starting at $160, charmco.com.
Dwell Studio Hooded Towel
Design-loving parents will instantly appreciate the obvious cool factor in this hooded towel; its usefulness (in corralling a slippery wet child) will grow on them, too! $44, charmco.com.
Landing Pad Diaper-Changing Pad
Any mom will tell you that the ability to do diaper changes on the fly is priceless. This easily toteable pad comes with ingenious magnetic closures for quick pick-up and stowage. As well, it's available in cool, gender-neutral colors: green, grey, and black. $15, spoonsisters.com.