There are a thousand and one things that mom's think that they need for their first baby. I heard the other day that the average registry has 250 items on it! How can one tiny human possible need those many things? Oh, yeah - mine had closer to 300 things on it...
Now as a mom for over a year, I know how valuable smart gifts can be. I am 100% thankful for every gift that I was given, however thinking back, I can tell the difference between the gifts from my college and single friends and the gifts from experienced moms. Some of the mothers at my shower gave me the most practical gifts that I would never had thought to put on my registry.
Cute clothes, blankets, bibs, and toys are all fun and exciting for mom to open- and will get used, however I would recommend giving mom some gifts that will make her motherhood experience easier not just cuter. And, as a rule of thumb, I always view a baby shower gift as GENDER NEUTRAL. Even if the mom knows the sex of the baby, I stay away from gender specific gifts. I say that because, I rarely buy anything that isn't gender neutral so it can be used for subsequent babies no matter their gender. As a first time mom, that isn't usually something that you think of. You are just so excited for cars or bows! When that mom is a year into motherhood, she will be so thankful that your gift has longevity past her first child. Keeping the gender neutral theme in mind, here are 5 great gift ideas:
1. Bottles Bottles are important for both moms that plan to breastfeed and those that want to formula-feed. Even breastfeeding moms can pump milk and leave a bottle when they need to leave the baby with dad or a sitter.
I recommend the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners. They are great bottles for replicating the natural sucking and breathing patterns of nursing. The liner inside collapses the way the breast naturally does and prevents baby from sucking in air while feeding.
Especially if mom plans to breastfeed but occasionally supplement with formula or pumped milk, it is important to have a bottle that won't cause nipple confusion. I had a hard time getting Oliver to take a bottle when he was an infant. I so wish I had had these bottles because I think he would have responded to the Playtex natural latch system.
2. Baby Care So many first time moms- including me- forget important baby care items. Lotion, baby powder, and diaper rash cream are common baby shower gifts, but what about thermometers, gas drops, or saline spray? There are some baby care items that mom will be SO thankful that you gifted when newborn care becomes a reality. Here are some good ones to include.
Forehead thermometer (way easier to use them a rectal or tongue thermometer), Gas drops, Gripe water, Saline spray, Motrin or Tylenol, Teething tables, and Coconut Oil
3. Board Books You can rarely go wrong when gifting books, but I would stick to board books instead of paper books. My 15 month old still prefers board books because he can turn the pages himself. He loves the Baby Touch and Feel books pictured below. Anything that baby can feel, move, or makes noise are good guidelines to keep in mind.
4. Muslin Swaddles If you want to get a blanket, go with muslin rather than a fluffy blanket. Muslin blankets can be used to swaddle baby and are breathable thus making it safer if baby were to get the blanket over their head. They can also be used as burp cloths so their are much more versatile then a regular blanket.
5. Nursing Covers I know that not every mom nurses, but that doesn't mean a nursing cover wouldn't be useful to a bottle-feeding mom. There are a few brands that make 4-1 covers that can be used as a carseat cover, shopping cart cover, highchair cover, or a scarf in addition to a nursing cover!
You can get everything on my list at Target, and chances are, the mother you are shopping for is registered there. If you want to grab something off of her registry, you could supplement that items with one of my suggestions! Bonus: If you have the Cartwheel app on your phone, you can get 10% off any Playtex bottles or cups between now and 9/3/2016! You can add the offer to your cart HERE. And if you don't have the Cartwheel app- get it!
Ok so let's summarize this perfect baby shower gift tutorial: 1. Muslin swaddles over thick blankets 2. Baby care products are something mom will definitely use and might forget 3. Bottles like the Playtex Nurser are perfect for breastfeeding or formula-feeding moms 4. 4-1 Nursing Covers might be something the new mom didn't think of 5. Board books over paper If you buy at least one of the things on this list, you gift will go from cute to practical and helpful!