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Nontraditional Gifts New Parents Love

Sick of baby blankets and onesies? You are not alone. Most baby showers include some duplicated gifts, even when a registry is used, and post-shower returns of unwanted gifts are so common, there are etiquette rules specifically for the circumstance.

Next time you are looking for a gift that sets you apart from the crowd, try one of these innovative parent-pleasers.

Babysitting vouchers, if you know the couple well. Once the baby is born, the new parents will soon be on the lookout for trusted sitters, so they can get away for dates and errands. Print them on squares of scrapbooking paper decorated with stickers or stamps, and bind or tie them into a booklet.

Photography is highly sought after by parents with a new addition. They will want to capture every moment, and may not be able to splurge on expensive photo packages. Ask your favorite photographer about pre-paying for a first year package. Many professional shutterbugs offer this service -- it usually includes maternity and newborn sessions, and a shoot about every three months during the first year, including the child's first birthday. If you're on a budget, this is an ideal gift to have several shower attendees chip in for.

Pampering products or services for Mom, who is often overlooked when everyone is swooning over Baby. She's the one who will be delivering the baby, feeding the baby, stressing out worrying about the baby, and getting up at night with the baby -- why not get her a little something that is just for her? Try a gift certificate for a spa service or manicure, a fluffy robe, some aromatherapy candles, or a nice bottle of bubble bath (or wine!).