NURSE PURSEGiving baby gifts can be difficult for those who want to give something useful, not just adorable. The last thing we want to do for our friends is add to their work – or clutter – when a new baby comes onto the scene. At the recent Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo, Barista Kids found several great ideas for baby and family gifts that are both useful and attractive.

First, the Nurse Purse is a traditional gift with a twist for mothers who decide to breastfeed their babies and work out of the home. This bag is made to hold a pump while still looking professional and beautiful. With easy access to the pump through the bag, there is no need to break down the pump between uses, and its roomy design provides space for files, personal items, and even a laptop. The various designs are grown-up and modern, allowing the bags to evolve in use as your child gets older.

Another more traditional and super-useful baby gift is a nursing blanket from Me Beau Bébé. Designed to provide privacy to nursing mothers and/or distractible babies, this multi-use blanket has see-through mesh to allow for air circulation and baby viewing. But even more useful, the blanket can also serve as a burping blanket, stroller cover, swaddle, and changing blanket. Again, the five designs allow for grownup, modern choice, and as a bonus, the product is made in the USA and is 100% organic.

junior's freshFor those of us with friends and colleagues who live and work in Manhattan and Brooklyn, a fantastic gift to make life a little easier is Junior’s Fresh, a food delivery service that ensures healthy, fresh, and age-appropriate food for ages 4 months through toddlers. The meals are sold in seasonal “bundles” — and make a fantastic gift for a NYC family that could use healthy, pre-made meals for its current toddler(s) as they welcome a new baby.

Another very special gift for a family welcoming a new baby — or any family, really — is a session with Portraits That Move. Taking a family portrait session a few steps further, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Susannah Ludwig uses her skills to give families a chance to capture moments that show children’s personalities in their unique words and habits by spending a day filming and observing them in the children’s everyday environments. A perfect gift for families with older children, or for grandparents who live far away.

souvenarte booksAs families get ready to welcome a new member, there is often a heartbreaking clean out of beloved but unneeded items. Here’s a gift idea for a family with kids who create lots and lots of art. Souvenarte Books binds a gorgeous display-worthy book from collections of your child’s art. What makes this special is that their own studio photographers take the photos of the artwork themselves, ensuring that the artwork looks its best. This also means that three-dimensional artwork can be included — clay, multi-media, large paintings are all fair game. The books are high-quality and include an author’s page, dust-jacket and bookstand. Souvenarte Books is located in NYC, and art can be shipped or dropped off at their Upper West Side offices.

In comments, let us know what your most appreciated and thoughtful baby gift has been — whether given or received.