I’ve gotta tell you, I love a good baby shower. What’s not to love? Pretty food, sundresses, cake, and an afternoon spent with friends – sign me up! I especially love baby showers for first-time moms – their excitement and anticipation of a new little one always makes me appreciate my kids a little more (because you know toddlers aren’t always the sweetest things on the planet – sometimes you have to be reminded of how much you loved them before they were even born, right?).
So when I was asked to write a blog about baby shower gift ideas, I jumped on it. Presents at first-time baby showers are always so pretty aren’t they? The sweet layettes, never-used bibs, and latest gadgets are so fun and so appreciated by parents.
But when I asked several friends what items they would want to see on this list, they told me to skip the fluff, use my experience as a mother of four, and to write an article about what you really need with a baby.
I decided to do both. Why not? I don’t want to dismiss the pretty stuff because as far as I’m concerned, it’s your rite-of-passage as a first-time mom – I’m not going to take that away from anyone. Who wants to just get bath tubs and white burp cloths at a baby shower? No thanks. I’d want a little of both.
So I decided to do a list of the “must haves” for a first-time mom but break them down into “cool” or “practical” (it’s kind of like underwear – sometimes you feel like wearing some Hanky Pankies, but other times a good pair of all-cotton white Hanes is just what you need). The beauty here is that “cool” can also be “practical” and the “practical” might just be the coolest thing that mom ever gets (that prize goes to the mini Gerber bowls I got from a co-worker at my work baby shower with #1 – eight years later and I still use those things EVERY day – that’s pretty cool to me.).
Smarty Must-Have Baby Shower Gifts:
Cool: Love these Aden+Anais Burpy Bibs – made out of soft muslin and LOVE the snap to make into a bib. Great idea.
Practical: Good ol’ Gerber Diaper Cloths – bleach friendly, a nice size for the shoulder, and you get a zillion for about $10 (they also make fantastic dusters when you outgrow the spit-up phase). Now if you want to cutesy up a practical gift, monogram some Gerber diaper cloths – cute AND practical!
Cool: Video monitors are a must now – this Angelcare Ultimate Digital Baby Monitor is a video, sound AND movement monitor all in one. Very cool. (I think I’d actually become obsessed with watching the baby sleep if I had one of these but it would spare me creeping into the baby’s room to see if he’s crying because he lost his pacifier, and that’s priceless in my book.)
Practical:I’m pretty sure all first-time moms are going to want a video monitor but you might not necessarily need all the bells and whistles of the Angelcare Ultimate – instead try the Infant Optics wireless baby monitoring system. Not nearly as pricey but has everything you’d need.
Cool: This Puj Tub is intriguing – love the idea of bathing in the sink easily. The problem is it only goes to 17 lbs or 6 months. But if this gift is for a first-time mom, it might not be a bad idea because she’ll be able to use it for more babies down the road.
Practical: The First Years Infant to Toddler Tub Swing – I got it with my first and used it for all 4 kids. I loved it as much as one can love a baby tub.
Cool: Kiehl’s makes awesome baby products (not that my kids have ever had the pleasure of experiencing them!). I have several friends who are hooked.
Practical: Aveeno Baby Wash and Cetaphil lotion – so gentle and easily bought at a drug store, grocery store, or Target
Cool: A friend told me about these: personalized disposable diapers. How cute is that?! Diaper Expressions is one company that makes these – Google it to find others.
Practical: A jumbo pack of Pampers in size 1 – not newborn size because there are some BIG newborns out there!
Cool: Aden+Anais makes an awesome swaddle blanket, too. SO soft and the perfect size. I also love the Miracle Blanket – easy enough to swaddle after a middle-of-the-night feeding when you’re at the 6-week mark and have never been so exhausted.
Practical: I would not give swaddle blankets but instead advise the mom to take as many from the hospital as possible because those are some great swaddle blankets
You’re in risky territory here – you don’t want to offend a mom whose heart is set on breastfeeding BUT you know bottles can get pricey so it’d be nice to have a little stash of them as a first-time mom. The problem is there are SO many kinds and it’s a very personal decision (like diaper brands). My advice: give some sippy cups (Playtex are my fave) and tell the mom that the baby will be drinking from a sippy cup before you know it, and your gift is going to save her the trip to Target with a 6 month old.
Cool: Too many cute brands to name here – check with our friends at Shower Me With Love – they have some beautiful layettes. I’m not one to talk about practicality on this one – I dressed my first-born girl up in the most impractical outfits EVER and loved every minute.
Practical: If you really want to get down to basics, I would get some Gerber onesies and a big pack of white socks (because you can never have too many baby socks). Let’s just say my practical self came out with Boy #3 – that child hardly saw anything BUT a Gerber onesie (they’re actually one thing I asked for when my friends wanted to get me a little present).
Cool: The 4Moms Mamaroo is like the Escalade of vibrating chairs – this thing is nice. It has five motions like car ride, tree swing, kangaroo, rock-a-bye, and ocean wave. It has a noise machine built in AND a docking station for your iPhone or iPod.
Practical: The Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler seat fits the bill just fine. It vibrates, has musical toys and converts to a rocking chair as the child grow.
Cool:The Boon Flair highchair is sleek, mod, and has no crevices to catch crumbs. And it lifts and lowers easily.
Practical: Love the Fisher Price Space Saving high chairs
Other fun, popular shower gifts (according to our friends at Shower Me With Love)
Sophie the Giraffe: a HUGE hit with the baby crowd
Lovies from Angel Dear (the folks at Angel Dear wised up and sell them 3-per-pack so you always have a spare!)
Anything monogrammed. Don’t know the baby’s name yet? Give a gift certificate to have it monogrammed once the baby is born
Hope this list helps with your spring baby shower gifts! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite baby shower gifts – what was your favorite present you’ve given OR received?