Since they are you friends or relatives, chances are you know their lifestyle. Do they like to travel or like taking day trips to the amusement parks or zoos? If yes, backpack diaper bag is a good idea. A backpack diaper bag frees up both hands and it looks good on both man and woman. Baby carrier is another good choice for gift for active parents. Think about other travel accessories like shopping cart strap, stroller cup holder and other small but useful traveling gadgets. Portable booster is a good idea too. It is always cleaner than the ones you find in most restaurants.
Most new parents experience some sleep deprivation. A baby swing can help lull babies to sleep more easily. New mom and dad can then get some much needed sleep too. A baby play center can keep baby entertained and occupied in a safe environment while mommy can relax or get some house work done. Baby can be entertained with a bouncer or a mobile. A music CD for babies will help keep baby entertained too.
If expectant mom plans to breastfeed, try getting her a big soft blanket that she can use to put over her shoulder while nursing. Books and magazines will help keep mom entertained while breastfeeding. A one-year subscription of parenting magazine is a fine gift idea too.
Consider photo albums for gifts. New parents take lots of pictures of their baby. If new mom is someone who loves to do scrapbook, consider giving a scrapbook album. A good quality 4" x 6" photo album makes good baby gift too.
Consider buying gifts for the baby's nursery. Mobile, lamp, blanket or quilt are good gift ideas for the nursery. Some of these items can be personalized with the baby's name. A toy chest for extra storage space for the nursery should make a fine gift.
You can never go wrong with books. Board books are more suitable for babies. They don't rip easily. When buying books for first time parents, you may want to consider classics like "Goodnight Moon", "Pat the Bunny" and many other titles. Why classics? Chances are these books are not in the new parents' collection yet.
Wayne Liu is the founder of http://www.StyleAndMatch.com, a Gift Giving ideas site that provides thousands of gift ideas and information for different kinds of events and different kinds of people. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.