Shopping for an expectant friend or new parent can be quite difficult in Cairo, although life has been made considerably easier with the recent opening of Mothercare and Premaman. While both shops stock the bulk of what every new parent will need, their exorbitant prices, and rather generic style may cause some to prefer shopping abroad instead.

However, the picky shopper and the difficult-to-please mother may have met her match in The Little Shop, a quiet ground-floor shop on Gezirah Wusta Street in Zamalek. Just a two-minute walk down from Metro Supermarket and Flamenco Hotel, the Little Shop has white-washed walls, clean wooden flooring and soft ambient music, all of which work to soothe the expectant shopper’s rather frantic nerves.

Divided into a few different rooms, the shop’s walls carry shelves full of baby products and accessories, as well as educational toys, trendy clothing and super cute baby covers. Here, you’ll find quality brands and funky designs that the larger department stores lack.

The shop is full of great gifts for both mother and child, from organic diaper creams and lotions by Earth Friendly Baby to decorated insulated lunch boxes. The shop stocks a small selection of stylish Reese-Li bouquet diaper bags, and a few baby aid compacts: a small and smartly designed pouch containing first-aid scissors, hypo-allergic plasters and a thermometer.

There are also brightly coloured and funky printed baby bibs and wonderfully fluffy blankets, as well as baby clothing by brands such as MoeBimbi. Our favourite item was definitely the funky printed bundle (around 500LE), a pocket-like baby cover that fits perfectly and wraps the baby’s arms to make a comfy, warm and chic bundle. We also liked the colourful pacifiers (around 80LE), each of which comes with a printed message like 'Masha’allah' or 'Mute Button.' Another cool gift is the Create-It Baby’s First Canvas, a kit of two canvases and baby-friendly paints that help you print your baby’s feet marks for keepsake.

The Little Shop also sells educational toys such as wooden rocking horses, building blocks and a Build-It Space Explorer Kit, while stuffed toys are also available, such as Les Petits Boutons by Amina El Dimerdash; a collection of striped and stuffed cotton rabbit toys in pretty pastels.

The shop also stocks kids’ furniture, including a storage bench, baby mats, a play gym and a hammock bed by HABA. Other items by the same brand are available via catalogue order. There is also a fair share of practical early childhood accoutrements such as breast pumps.

Items at the Little Shop definitely don’t come cheap: expect to pay out of your nose, between 200LE for tiny accessories all the way up to several thousands for baby furniture. However, you are saving yourself the trouble of importing these items and worrying about customs; so this shop is definitely worth checking out.