In Japanese culture, giving gifts to a parent before their child is born is not generally practised. Because of the excitement and activity having a newborn involves, people in Japan often wait one to two months for the family and newborn to get settled before bestowing them with gifts.
Baby-Shower.com suggests that if you give a present before a Japanese baby is born, an item with a dog theme would be appropriate because dogs represent safe and healthy deliveries.
Cash gifts are common in Japan for several occasions, including the birth of a child. Japan-Guide.com suggests that 10,000 yen (about £81) is an appropriate amount for close friends and family. Cash gifts are given in "noshibukuro," an envelope tied with a cord. In the United States, these can be found at Japanese book stores.
Another traditional Japanese gift for babies is a Sasano-Bori woodcarving, a doll that traditionally is the same length as the newborn. Additionally, the newborn's name, birth date, length and weight are painted on the doll in traditional calligraphy.
Yukata, a white gauze cloth used to wrap babies after their baths, is another traditional gift. The material absorbs moisture, thereby also keeping babies cool when it's hot outside. These wraps should be given in several sizes, to accommodate the infant as he grows.