Before I had my little one, I had no idea what to get someone who was expecting. The easiest, and probably most appreciated, is something off their registry. You may prefer, however, to get something that is pretty (and practical), and not necessarily something they registered for. Here are a couple of my favorites:
1) an unexpected children's book: Not a Box, is a favorite of ours
2) anything from Plan Toys: these primarily wood toys are non-toxic and made to last
3) bla bla dolls: my son's all-time fav...he has deemed the bla bla puppy his 'lovey'
4) Haba Toys...very similar to Plan Toys, they have a great selection of brightly colored things to choose from
5) Sophie! She's a cute, squeaky baby chew toy from France that looks like a dog toy, but a must for teething babies.
Other favorites are: Swaddle Designs swaddling blankets, wipe warmers (a nice treat for baby tush on a cold night), Trumpette socks and Makie clothing.
And while we're talking baby gifts, I must confess that some of the things I SWORE I would never have in my house, are things that I cannot live without...like a swing or an exersaucer. I ultimately decided that I'd rather invest in prettier storage options and have the necessary but uglies around for the moments when I need two seconds to take a shower!