It seems that you’re looking more for a keepsake for the child as opposed to a more practical gift like diapers or money (which is fine, by the way). As to that, it depends on how close you are to your friend and how much you want to spend.
A children’s Bible with a handwritten note on the inside cover to the parents and child will definitely be kept. I have one from when I was two and I read it to my children now. This is the version I was given and my son asks to read it every night:
My First Bible in Pictures (no handle): Taylor, Kenneth N., Tyndale: 9780842346337: Amazon.com: BooksMy First Bible in Pictures (no handle) [Taylor, Kenneth N., Tyndale] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. My First Bible in Pictures (no handle)www.amazon.com
If you’re leaning toward something more expensive (like your Noah’s Ark choice), depending on the parent’s denomination, a rosary or icon made with precious metals will certainly be passed through the future generations. If you decide to buy any jewelry, get the adult size, not child. Does the child have a patron saint?
Other heirloom type gifts for babies/children I can think of: high quality, handmade, Swiss music boxes; embellished or marble eggs; a hand carved, hangable cross for the wall over the child’s bed. On a side note, I think smaller more precious items will be kept as opposed to larger less valuable ones.
Save your best gift ideas for when the child is a little older and has more memory. I’d say eight years old about.
To be honest... I’m surprised you didn’t find anything in Hungary.
For some reason I always forget that by far, hands down, the best baby gift for all occasions to someone who isn't your immediate family, is diapers. Diapers and a hand-written card, perfect gift, don't over-think it just slam dunk the gift, FTWThe one thing new parents always need are diapers. So, my brother and SiL also failed at Social Distancing (thank god or we wouldn’t all have this little peanut of a blessing ) are due in Feb.
I’m going to create the craziest diaper cakes, made into a hot air ballon, airplanes, trucks , tractors a few others and use them as the centerpieces for the tables as well.
I’m literally buying the first 3 months in diapers so I have about 800-1000 diapers to work with .. sticking to mostly size 1s and a couple packs of 2s.
I didn’t want to give boring old boxes, and I wanted to do something special.
Check out the lady “Thoms Crafts and treats”
She gives step by step instructions and does beautiful and gender appropriate stuff
I tried posting a pic of some finished ones but they’re file size is to large
Diapers are currency for baby's