Looking beyond traditional gifts
If you're looking to buy expectant parents a gift for their new arrival, but they haven't announced whether it's a boy or a girl, there's no need to panic. We've got a wide range of unisex toys, gifts and clothing to choose from. Even if you know you're buying for a boy or a girl, gender-neutral toys can make a practical choice as they're easy for children to share and they can be handed down to younger siblings.
Additionally, providing children with a range of different toys can help develop a broad spectrum of skills and they'll spark their imagination. While many children will eventually show a preference for specific types of toys or specific colours you may not have a girlie girl or a boy who's into cars and trains. In fact up to the age of two many children don't show a preference for colours.
Interestingly, a hundred years ago pink was seen as a masculine colour, closer to fiery red, and blue was deemed to be more delicate and therefore suited to girls. If you're buying a gift and the parents have decided to keep the sex as a surprise, plan ahead with neutral white. You can't go wrong with this perennial favourite. Cosy sleepsuits are a lovely choice and there's none cuter than this rabbit sleepsuit. If you do want to add a bit of colour, choose classic designs like lambs, chicks and farmyard animals and add colour with soft greys and fresh yellow.
Baby sleeping bags are a practical choice, aren't quickly outgrown and there's a range of classic and colourful designs to choose from. This Farmyard Baby Sleeping Bag is finished in beautifully muted colours that are just right for peaceful bedtimes.
However, if you're looking for something a little bit more contemporary, there are plenty of fun brands to choose from. Green Baby has been producing bright and fun Fairtrade and organic infant clothing for over ten years. Their cute designs are highly adaptable, and the focus on strong colours and fun characters will suit boys and girls. Or why not choose classic stripes and quirky animals with an Organics for Kids sleepsuit? Their designs are made in the UK and with ladybirds, frogs or these elephants to choose from, you're sure to find just the right design.
If you're interested in buying a gift, the majority of toys for babies and pre-schoolers are gender-neutral. As little eyes are developing, they benefit from the bright colours and strong contrasts often found on classic toys. Think alphabet blocks , wooden toys and traditional stackers .
Girls and boys alike will also love cute characters. Elmer the Elephant is ideal if you're looking for something colourful, or perhas a more traditional Beatrix Potter gift. This plush Peter Rabbit is presented in a smart gift box, so he's ideal if you're looking for an extra special present. Of course, you can't go wrong with a traditional teddy bear; cute and soft, yet earnestly steadfast, they'll appeal to both boys and girls.
Always ready for cosy cuddles, totally loyal and excellent at keeping secrets, a teddy is a friend to be treasured into adulthood. Our new range of Charlie Bears includes classic white and gorgeous grey bears that will sit happily in any nursery. The world-famous Steiff bears start at just £23.