The item I miss using the most from when my daughter was a baby is the baby sling & the Bjorn.
I miss having her so close to me; I miss her being small enough to fit into the darn things!
Now baby slings are associated with granola moms or attachment parenting. Sure, they strap their babies to them, but I have to tell you, you are going to want to have that carrier, especially if the baby comes during nice weather (spring – fall). I put my daughter in the Bjorn to take a walk, to walk around the apartment to get her to sleep, and well anytime I wanted to use both my hands, I put her in there.
My daughter certainly lived up to the theory that babies like to be close to you. Heck, she's almost five and she still wants to be next to us.
I also used a wrap sling. It wasn't as easy to use as the Bjorn, but I'm sure that was because I didn't use it enough to learn all the tricks.
In the end, the carrier was quite a life saver. So send your friend this perfect gift.