While babies are born all year long, it seems to me like there’s an increase in baby shower invitations through the spring and summer. I’m expecting a new nephew in August and two moms in my circle of friends are expecting little girls the same month, so I’ve been keeping my eyes open for useful and unique baby shower gifts.
As any mom knows, there are a lot of products out there that, while they look cute, really aren’t functional or useful at all, particularly in the bleary-eyed days of early motherhood, when you’re lucky to have the baby (and yourself) dressed at all, much less attired in frilly dresses with matching pristine, lacy socks and hats! Different moms find different baby items useful, of course; we didn’t get much use out of our baby swings, but those vibrating chairs and, later, the stationary walkers, were invaluable!
So, here are a few things that I’m considering, and I’d love to hear your ideas for fun, out-of-the-ordinary baby shower gift ideas!
- Diapers. Rather than giving newborn diapers, I’m remembering that diapers in size 1 or 2 were much-appreciated. Babies grow quickly, after all. I received a cake-shaped display of diapers when I was pregnant, but to be honest, I think I’d just leave them in the box… cute as a display may be, it falls apart once you remove a diaper or two, and who wants to deal with that mess? Diapers are even more fun to give if the mom-to-be is planning to cloth-diaper, by the way!
- A sling. This was the most useful baby item I had, and I highly recommend them! I preferred the ring-style, non-padded versions, but other moms like different things. If you have an all-time favorite, then consider gifting the mom-to-be with one; if you don’t know much about them but still want to give this ultimate “look Mom, no hands!” baby product to a pregnant mama, ask her if she has a preference.
- A baby-proofing basket. Fill it up with outlet covers, cabinet latches, doorknob covers, window guards and other must-have safety items. I have found good prices at One Step Ahead; the site has everything you can think of in terms of baby safety, and more!
- Reading material. Let’s face it, a mama-in-waiting has plenty of time to read… until the baby comes, anyway! Some books I appreciated were about breastfeeding, new mommyhood, vaccines and baby health topics. Some books to read to baby would be appreciated, too!
- Cutesy-poo baby clothes. Okay, these aren’t really useful, because they’ll be outgrown in about five minutes, but they sure are darling! Purchasing teeny onesies that say “I Wuv Auntie” and sweet little shoes with giraffes on them are the guilty pleasures that we can enjoy once our own kids are past that stage. Go ahead and include something sweet and frilly with your main gift!
- Create A Potluck Sign-Up Sheet. Check with the host of the baby shower and create a sign-up sheet so that those at the shower can sign up to make dinner for the new mom! Also check with the Mother-to-be and find out what sort of food they like to eat such as Italian, Mexican and put that on the sign-up sheet so it gives people an idea of what to cook. Also, find out if the family has any food allergies. Make sure that when guests sign up that they indicate the main dish they plan to bring. Make sure to state a drop off time that is convenient for the family and make sure to get everyone’s email so that you can send a reminder. This is such a huge mess for new moms to not have to worry about cooking dinner in the first few weeks after being home with a new baby! There are quiet a few free online services that can help you set up the perfect list.
What was the most useful gift you received when you were expecting? Did you get anything that was completely useless (though I’m sure it was cute)? Tell us about it!