The 2017 Baby Gift Guide - handmade, canadian, pretty and functional gifts. Great for a baby shower! | Pure Natural Newborn Photography, Ottawa

The 2017 Baby Gift Guide

There are very few things in life that are certain, but my passion for supporting small businesses is one of them. Sure you could go to the big box store and get something similar, but for the extra few dollars are supporting a family, and helping the local economy. I was recently invited to another baby shower, and I wanted to make sure that my gift was awesome. To me, a gift for an expectant mother should be either pretty or functional. I wanted to take it one step further and find something that was BOTH! And because we know how much I like a challenge, I decided to find something that was also handmade. To my surprise, I found quite a few! Thus, the idea was born for the Baby Gift Guide : pretty AND functional gifts that are handmade and local (Canadian). With the holidays right around the corner, it made absolute sense to put everything together for you.


Baby Gift Guide

The Baby Gift Guide is filled with little goodies for little humans, with the requirements that it had to be both functional and pretty, and be handmade and Canadian. I was pleasantly surprised to find such beautiful things across the country, most of which are gender neutral. It was a fun treasure hunt!

Here are my top 6 picks:




  1. Otherware, Coldstream (BC) (also available in Ottawa at Fab Baby Gear) – These gorgeous minimalist teethers and freezer teethers are thoughtfully made to last the test of time, from Canadian-sourced natural and non-toxic food-grade materials. Does it get any more canuk than to use maple? I personally like that these are made a little tighter than others I’ve seen so that over time they don’t sag.


  2. Billy Bibs, Vancouver (USA) – I do have a disclaimer on this one, seeing as there is apparently a Vancouver in Washintgon and I didn’t realize until after I had purchased it and fell in love. This gift still meets all of the other requirements so I have left it in, but if you do know of a Canadian vendor, please do share with me! First of all, this bib is actually a reversible bib with two different designs so you get twice the pretty and all the functionality. They are so well made that you can use them for everyday use AND for photoshoots. Umm, yes please!


  3. Paper Ocelot, Saskatoon (SK) – While this gift is a little more on the for-mom spectrum, it will be used quite a bit in the first little while, even before baby is born. This multi-function stamp has the DIY option of sealing your envelopes individually with the brass seal and wax OR you can use it the lazy way to add class to your thank you cards by having a batch made up at once, and using them as wax seal stickers later-on. You can literally use this stamp in the future for ANY thank-you need, whether it is a one-off card or a dozen from your shower or baby’s birthday. You can even have your stamp customized too!


  4. LaFabère, Ottawa (ON) – Yes this one might seem to be leaning towards pretty-only, but it also serves a purpose as nursery decor. These personalized nursery prints have all the little details of your baby’s birth so that you can read back on it later and remember just what a special day it truly was. These look even better framed alongside the photos from that day or the newborn session to see just how small they really were. [you can also get the lovely silk ribbon here]


  5. Little Yeti Shoes, Ottawa (ON) – These baby moccasins are lovingly handmade using real Canadian-sourced leather, and have soft soles which are gentle on baby’s feet and perfect to toddle around in. They are available in a range of sizes from 0-24 months, in a variety of styles and fabrics. They even launched a holiday pair this year complete with red maple leaves.


  6. Dear Felicity, Port Alberni (BC) – An extra one for the little ladies. At first you may think it is purely decorative, but this particular way of making baby headbands means they can actually hold hair out of baby’s face, and they stretch quite a bit so it can last through the first year. Bonus functionality is that it indicates to strangers you have a girl so they don’t have to ask.



BONUS! Gift certificates for a newborn or baby portrait session also make a great gift for expectant parents. You can make it a joint gift with a few friends and family members, and the recipients get to choose the products that suit their needs and likes. Win, win! To learn more about your options, visit or email for questions.



The Baby Gift Guide is expected to be an annual showcase of new and exciting products that fit the bill, and a reminder of all of the amazing existing products we have in our midst. I have personally done the research to make my selection, and I have purchased each item on the list–it was VERY important to me that I be supporting the businesses that I have chosen to showcase, to truly demonstrate my stamp of approval (and I have high standards!). Each have all been inspected for quality, functionality, and of course, beauty.


This year’s edition is complete, but I would love for you to share your favourites from across the country so that I can continue my treasure hunt and grow the list for the next publication. Let me know in the comments below! To stay updated, sign up for the newsletter –> which also gets you the free Pregnancy & Baby Guidebook to Ottawa.


Until next time! <3



  • Thank you so much for including my bib!

    November 2, 2017 at 5:36 AM
  • I have tried to market newborn photography sessions with gift cards but have not had a lot of success. Do you recommend offering increments of gift cards…like $20 towards the newborn session or do you have people buy the whole session amount?

    February 8, 2018 at 2:24 AM
    • Thanks for asking, Meg. I have two options available for my gift clients to make sure the purchaser has a choice, and the gift recipient is happy. Option 1 is where the recipient sets up a gift registry (session fee) so that they can rest assured that their spot is guaranteed at the studio, and their friends and family can add to the print credit amount in any denomination. Option 2 is where someone is buying a surprise gift for the recipient, so it is a voucher for the session and at least one printed art piece worth of print credit (no maximum, applied to whatever print product the recipient wants from the menu) ensuring that they walk away with something from the experience, with the opportunity to purchase more if they want. You can see the options in the online store:

      February 8, 2018 at 1:10 PM

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