Many people have a love-hate relationship with baby showers. We love the idea of celebrating the arrival of a new baby, but we can have anxiety about picking the appropriate gift (not to mention those not-so-fun baby shower games!).
Should we only choose gifts off the parents’ registry, or can we go with an old stand-by that we just know will be a hit? Will they lean toward the old fashioned toys, or would more tech-savvy and modern gifts be better received? So many choices can make the process more tedious than fun.
Having attended my share of baby showers, and selling a very unique shower gift myself, I can offer a few tips to guide you through the maze of baby shower gift shopping. Let’s look at some items that every new Mom can use.
Clothing:I suggest staying on the registry here, as Mom likely has a good idea of how she wants to dress her little one. Who wants to have a big stack of Minnie Mouse onesies to return, when you clearly registered for pink tutus? The exception here is if you want to buy an outfit for the future, like a 12-month size, for example, just to give Mommy something to look forward to. (She can still return this, but it’s likely not on her registry.)
Gear: All new parents need the basics, like a stroller, car seat, bouncy seat, high chair and maybe a traveling crib for hotels or car trips. These are among the most expensive necessities, so you could join forces with several other guests and tackle one of these items together. Definitely stay on registry for these pieces, since some of them match or coordinate. And remember never to buy these things used, as industry regulations change quickly, and they may not be as safe as a new model.
Feeding and Changing Accessories:What goes in must come out! So feeding and diaper accessories are great baby shower gifts. I suggest finding out which type of bottle, breast pump, diaper system or product line Mommy plans to use and supplement her supply. We have all run out of wipes at a terrible time, and having a ready stash would be a relief. This category includes Diaper Genie (or the equivalent), diapers, ointments, wipes, disposable changing pad covers, bottles, breast pump and accessories, Boppy pillow (or the equivalent), bottle warmer…the list goes on!
Bathing Supplies: Mom will likely have these on the registry, as she may have a certain fragrance (or fragrance free) brand or an allergy-free line that is her favorite. This is a fun category, as you could choose hooded towels, baby bath tubs, bath tub mats, water temp thermometers, squeaky toys or one of many bath gel/shampoo lines just for baby. There are also towels that keep Mommy dry as she takes baby out of the tub.
Just for Fun: If you’re sure that Mommy will receive most of what she has registered for, or you want to add a little something special to your gift, go for something that you would have loved receiving at your shower! A Bottle Snuggler is a great item in this category, as it helps Mom while it helps baby, and when it’s not feeding time, it doubles as a cuddly toy. Other thoughtful gifts are picture frames, photo albums, milestone or baby books, books for Mom to read to baby, a cute toy or something monogrammed with the baby’s initials, like a receiving blanket.
Most importantly, whatever you buy, include a gift receipt! If Mom gets an abundance of one category, even though she loves it, she may need to exchange it for another item. Gift receipts make life so much easier these days.
Enjoy your shower, and have a piece of cake for me!