So your best friend/aunt/sister/co-worker is pregnant and you want to make her something meaningful. You may have already purchased some bottles or gone in on the office gift of a stroller together with your co-workers, but you want to give her something that is not only useful but that is made with love. Whether you will be attending a baby shower or not, it's always nice to receive something home made from a friend.
1) Crochet a baby blanket. Even if you don't have a baby I'm sure you know someone in the next 6 months who is about to give birth. Baby blankets are very satisfying to make because they go quickly and are adorable in general because of their size. Buy yarn that is washable since that thing is going to see regurgitated breast milk, drool, pee and poop within the hour of it's first use. If you are preparing in advance for a baby, neutral colors are always good. Whites, yellows, greens, and creams can be good for boys and girls. Most yarn makers carry a soft baby friendly type of yarn. You can also go for an organic cotton, but those tend to be more expensive and harder to maintain (you may have to hang dry).
2) Sew a fleece or flannel baby blanket with a hood. I know, I know. Another blanket? This is for the people who can sew but can't crochet, or have repetitive stress in their hands because all their friends are preggers! This is as simple as making a square or rectangle and sewing it together. For the fleece, you will probably only be able to add the hood and not double the fabric unless you have a really heavy duty sewing machine. You can edge the edges of the fleece with either a surge stitch or something cuter. At one of the corners, add a triangle of fabric and sew together to make the hood. For flannel fabric, you can double the fabric so that there is fleece on both sides and then add the hood. You can line the hood with fleece for an extra touch!
3) Burp Cloths. Inexpensive and highly needed, burp cloths are a great gift. You can make ones of various sizes (ones for over the shoulder that are larger and ones for cleaning up the baby's mouth that are smaller). Again, fleece and flannel are great fabric for this since they are soft and washable. They also come in a variety of fabric colors and designs. Mix and match so one side is flannel and one side is fleece. Pre-wash them for your pregnant friend so she has a whole stack of these ready to go!
4) Rattles. Babies and kids alike are bombarded with all kinds of toys. My nephew loved a rattle I made for him that was just a BPA free bottle filled with dried beans. You can fill any kind of bottle with dried beans, peas, rice, sand. Switch it up! The more creative you get with dried things, the more different sounds you will create for the baby to be amazed by.
5) Sock Puppets. I'm sure you have some ratty old socks somewhere in your house, the heel pilling and separating from the other threads. Perfect time to make that into a sock puppet! Use old yarn or ribbon as hair. Buttons can be used as eyeballs and a nose. Velvet ribbon is always nice for the kids. Maybe this sock puppet needs a tongue? Make sure all the buttons are sewn on tightly. This isn't a toy that the baby can play with by itself due to choking concerns.