Expecting a new baby is one the most exciting times in your life, filled with great anticipation and fun stops on the journey to becoming a parent. One of those "fun stops" along the way is having a baby shower. Whether you are a friend or family member giving the shower, or one of those attending the shower, the first question is always the same: "What should I buy for a gift?" The most FUN things to shop for are obviously baby clothes, but in reality there are so many things that the new mom and baby will need in this journey. Once you start searching, you are quickly made aware of the overwhelming amount of stuff that's available for such a tiny little person. To make it easier, you can break down baby items into these three categories: personal care items, items for use within the home, items to use when travelling.
Personal Care Items
Seasoned moms know how important personal care items are when you are at home taking care of your baby, that's why they forgo the "cute" gifts for the practical, necessary gifts. What are the "essential personal care items" that a baby (and mom) will need that will make good baby shower gifts?
- Diapers - Yes, this is quite obvious but what you might not realize is that a parent never really knows when the baby will grow into the next size of diapers. So, if you are going to buy diapers as a gift, buy several different sizes AND several different brands. Learning which diaper is the best is a trial and error process. If you buy a couple of different brands in a couple of different sizes, it lets the parents have the freedom of choice and show them when it is good for the baby to move up into bigger sizes.
- Wipes - Another good, necessary, practical gift. Ask mom ahead of time, or check her registry, to see if she has a preference of which brand of wipes or a strong feeling about what ingredients she wants or doesn't want in the wipes that she buys. If she doesn't have a clue, do a little research for her and let her choose. There is so much information at this point that some help in the process might be greatly appreciated.
- Baby Wash and Lotion - You can never go wrong stocking up mom and baby with the skin care products they will use everyday. Again,make sure you know what brand she prefers.
- Bottles and Bottle Sterilizer - If the mom to be has decided to use bottles, check her registry and invest in her favorite choice, these will help more than you realize. A bottle sterilizer is also a MUST HAVE!! Your thought and practicality will be greatly appreciated.
- Baby Oral Care Products - Is this really a need? Yes it is!! Even before they have teeth babies need to have their mouths cleaned from bacteria and milk residue. Once they do have the first teeth they will need to be brushed. Great find is the New Baby Oral Care Kit (goes from newborn through the teething stage) https://brilliantoralcare.com/collections/oral-care-kits/products/new-baby-oral-care-kit?variant=31892410433606 and the First Teeth Oral Care Kit https://brilliantoralcare.com/collections/oral-care-kits/products/first-teeth-oral-care-kit?variant=31892410728518 from Brilliant Oral Care. These kits take you from newborn through the first toothbrush they will need.
- Silicone Teether - Before you can blink, baby will soon start the teething stage, waiting on their first teeth to come through. This can be frustrating and painful for them so it's a good idea to be prepared and have a good silicone teether on hand. A good choice is Baby's 1st Teether-Brush, also by Brilliant Oral Care. https://brilliantoralcare.com/products/babys-1st-teether-brush?variant=7463792115759
- Random Things That Are Needed - New moms might not know yet exactly the things they will soon find necessary, but seasoned moms will approve the following random items - Bibs (preferably plastic or material that won't stain, recommend the BABYBJÖRN Baby Bib 2 Pack), sippy cups, baby utensils or silverware, burp cloths, diaper rash ointment (check with pediatrician for the kind they recommend), gas drops, and a baby thermometer, for starters.
Items For Use Within The Home
Take it from a mom who's been there, not all the things they tell you that you need are actually things that you need, and the things they would never say you need, you do in fact need. New parents really need this kind of information. Let's look at some of the items you WILL need within your home, ones that would make perfect shower gifts.
- Crib and Changing Table - An obvious yes, but definitely necessary. Whether you choose a brand new, top of the line, custom built crib or you receive one from a friend or family member, make sure it meets the guidelines from the American Association of Pediatrics for a safe crib, https://www.aappublications.org/content/11/10/30. Some moms will say you don't necessarily need a changing table, and in all reality you don't, but the repetitive action of changing their diaper at the same place every time teaches them what that space is for and builds a sense of consistency for them and for you.
- Diaper disposal - There are many wonderful disposal units for diapers that will keep odors at bay and not spread to other rooms of your home. Some have their own disposable garbage bags and others use kitchen size garbage bags. All work well, the brand you choose is totally your preference.
- Bumbo Floor Seat - Great chair for Babies as they begin to sit up, keeps them off the floor in an upright position, use from about 3 months and up. http://www.bumbousa.com/product/floor-seat/
- Doorway Jumper -These jumpers attach to any doorway, good exercise and entertainment for baby. https://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/bumper-jumper-103652
- Baby Swing - This will come in handy when you need to cook, do laundry, or give your arms a break. Babies usually love swings! https://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/glider-lx-gliding-swing-103667
- Baby Bath Tub - From bathing them as a newborn to continuing baths as a toddler, this baby tub will grow with them. https://www.fisher-price.com/en-us/product/4-in-1-sling-n-seat-tub-gpw86
- High Chair
Items To Use When Travelling
Leaving the house once the baby is home may seem overwhelming, but it is not as difficult as you may think, especially if you have some key items to help you as you travel with your baby. There are thousands of these different items, in all sizes, shapes and colors. These come down to the parents personal choice as to what they prefer, but we wanted to highlight them as significant shower gift ideas. If the new mom you are shopping for has not listed one of these on her registry, do some research on which are the best and send her some links to choose from if one or more of these are what you would like to purchase. Whether it is across town or across the globe, here's some key items that will help new moms be mobile with their babies:
- Car Seat
- Diaper Bag
- Pack And Play
- Baby Carrier
- Shopping Cart Cover
- Portable high chair
For The Practical Gift Giver
It may not sound cute or exciting, but sometimes the best baby shower gifts for moms to be are simply gift cards! I know, it might sound cold or far from personal, but gift cards are a welcome blessing and a great way to let the new mom be able to go and pick out things she needed but didn't receive. Sometimes, having gift cards as shower gifts allow mom to find items she didn't even realize she needed. Even as simple as getting to pick out a nice diaper bag, or stock up on formula and diapers is a much needed relief with a gift card in hand.
Babies Are Gifts
Babies are precious gifts to their parents and they come with lots of needs. Try to see baby showers and these gifts to buy as a way to help support new moms and dads as they embark on the great journey of parenthood. Babies deserve the very best care so when buying for a baby, do your research! There are fabulous products out there to help take care of babies the right way, find those and then watch baby flourish and grow right before your very eyes!
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