Having a baby changes everything, and that becomes especially apparent once the shower gifts show up.
Of course, there are the must-haves: diapers, bottles and itty-bitty onesies – and, then, there are the toys. Across the board, most baby shower gifts hoist up function over form and tend to lack a few points in the design department.
But, this is the perfect opportunity to help the new kiddo form a lifelong relationship with visual language. If you have an expectant loved one with an individual sense of style, consider showing up to the baby shower with something that exceeds plastic, swirly expectations and takes aesthetics into account. From an Alexander Calder-inspired mobile to an Eames elephant, here are our top picks for baby shower gifts inspired by art and design.
1. Cool kid on the block: Eighteen wooden stacking blocks featuring Keith Haring designs will help the child (once he or she is a bit older) learn colors, along with stacking and balancing skills. Keith Haring Stacking Blocks Set, $39.95, www.mcachicagostore.org.
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2. Basquiat for baby: The winner of the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat" tells the early story of an artist who never colored within the lines, $17.99, www.thelacmastore.org.
3. Mobile for minimalists: An homage to Calder's mobiles, this Danish design is the perfect balance between play and minimalism, $62, www.mcachicagostore.org
4. Elephant in the room: Introduce the little one to Eames' designs with this happy toy. Colorful Eames Elephant in Yellow, $105, store.moma.org.
5. Where's the circle?: "My First Shapes With Frank Lloyd Wright" introduces circles and squares with the architect who knew them best, $12.99, www.thelacmastore.org.
6. Bringing up baby: The Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair Set allows baby to join the family at the table and can adjust according to the child's age, eventually folding into a full-size chair. $349, shop.nordstrom.com.
7. In the book: "Keith Haring: I Wish I Didn't Have To Sleep" reimagines the famous street artist's iconic style in the form of bedtime story. $9.95, www.thelacmastore.org
8. Favorite chair: Featuring illustrations by Roxy Marj, this chair has a crinkle and squeak that can keep baby engaged for hours, Roxy Marj Baby Activity Chair, $129, crateandbarrel.com.
9. #Cutiepie: Crate & Barrel's cheeky baby gym is ideal for a future social media celeb, Wee Workout Baby Gym, $123, www.crateandbarrel.com.
10. Dog fancy: It's a splurge, but consider this a designer heirloom to be passed on and treasured, Doudou Oscar Dog, $715, us.louisvuitton.com.
11. To the moon and back: This color-changing lunar lamp is a cosmic update on the nursery light and would make a natural addition to any baby's room – jumping cows not included. Lunar Light Show, $20, www.mcachicagostore.org.
12. Coming up roses: Rosie Pope's line of diaper bags for Pottery Barn Kids are sleek and subtle. Rosie Pope Highbury Hill Diaper Bag Backpack in Blush, $159.99, www.potterybarnkids.com