GroupThinkers, give me your ideas for a not-time-intensive or expensive but thoughtful gift for some soon-to-be parents I know!

The Back Story: Mr. KatesyDude has known this girl practically all his life who just happened to move to the same new city as us (far away from home). We’re not super duper close to her and her husband, but they’re nice people, and we see them every month or two at a common event.

She and her husband are having their first baby in a few weeks, and I feel like we should get them something. We haven’t been invited to a shower or anything, but we did see them last night and made loose plans to hang out over the next couple weeks before their bebe arrives. I’d love to show up at our tentatively-scheduled thing with a small gift and a card just to be nice (in truth, we haven’t always plowed full-steam-ahead into friendship with them, so I’d like to use this as an overture to be actual friends and not just long-time acquaintances).

The Ask: What are some good ideas for something easy to come by that might suit the bill? Things I know are that they live in a fairly compact apartment and have bought/received a lot of clothes and diapers. I don’t know them well enough to know their taste and am worried they may be subscribing to a parenting lifestyle (all organic, enviro friendly, etc.) that I wouldn’t want to offend/violate.

So, if you’ve had children, what is an ingenious parenting contraption you wished you known about in advance or something your kid could always use more of? Or what were the best shower gifts that you received?

If you’ve never had children, do you have a classic stand-by baby shower gift that works for anyone?

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(If it helps: She’s a creative, very put-together person who loves cocktails, music, and networking. He’s a science person. They are both cheekily, self-described nerds.)

Thank you for all ideas! If I’m slow to respond, I’m going to be watching this week’s Mad Men for a bit but I will definitely catch up after. :) :) :)