I’m convinced shopping for babies is the best thing in the world! How can you resist adorable, tiny socks and soft, cuddly baby swaddles? So whenever I have a close friend or family member send me a baby shower invite, I’m grabbing my keys and heading to the nearest store that sells baby goods! There’s just something so exciting about picking out the perfect gift for those sweet little babies that will be arriving soon. But picking out the perfect gift for such an event can be difficult at times. Especially if the mom-to-be doesn’t have a baby registry or if there are limited options on her list. If you have no clue what to get her, here are some gift ideas and tips on how to put together the perfect baby shower gift so that the mom-to-be feels both loved AND ready to conquer this new phase of life: motherhood!
Tips for Baby Shower Gift Giving
We all have good intentions when buying a gift for a new momma. But sometimes, we may forget to focus on the mom and what she really needs. We can get so caught up in what we think is cute, that we forget who we are celebrating. That’s why, when shopping for baby gifts, it’s important to keep these things in mind:
Always Purchase with the Mom in Mind
As you begin shopping for a baby gift, make sure to keep the person you are purchasing the gift for in the back of your mind. Consider their style, preferences, and lifestyle.
When it comes to clothing and nursery décor, everyone has a different style. Some people love neutrals that will work for girls and boys, and some love busy patterns and bright colors.
When it comes to baby gear, everyone has a different lifestyle, so something that worked for you may not work for them. For example, I have a tiny apartment, so a full-sized high chair wasn’t going to work for me, even if someone said, “Oh, but this high chair is literally THE BEST!”
So when shopping for the mom-to-be, think about her personality and lifestyle, and pick items from there!
Avoid Only Buying Clothing
It can be extremely tempting to only buy clothing. The tiny little onesies and sweaters are just too cute to pass up on! However, it’s important to remember that new moms need so many other things too, such as baby gear, bedding, and safety/hygiene items, so buying these items first instead of heaps of clothing can be a lifesaver for many new moms.
I learned this first hand after my mom threw me a baby shower when I was pregnant with my first baby. Although I was incredibly grateful for all the kind gifts, I got mostly clothing. Unfortunately 90% of these were newborn size, and with no way to return or exchange the items due to a lack of gift receipts, most of these went unused. (With an almost 9 pound baby, I just didn’t need newborn sizes.)
Clothing can also be difficult because we all have such different styles. Some people want more neutral items so they can use them for all their babies. Some prefer to have more gender-specific clothing.
Clothing can still be a great thing to give as a baby shower gift because it is an item parents need. But just be cautious if you decide that’s what you want to give. If you do decide to give clothing, try to include a variety of sizes and include a gift receipt so the mom can return them if needed. You may also want to check out her registry to see if you can gauge her style, and always consider the seasons and weather. (Don’t buy a thick sweater in the 6-9 month size if the baby is going to be 6 months old in June!)
Always Include a Gift Receipt
Even with our best intentions for shopping for our friends/family, they may still need to return the gift we purchase for them. They may have already received that item, or it may just not be something they need. That’s totally okay!
Everyone is different and likes or needs different things. So try to include the gift receipt so that, if needed, they can return it so they can get something they can use. I always say that I’d rather have a person return my gift to get something they love, than to keep my item in their closet to collect dust.
Use the Registry!
You can avoid many of the pitfalls mentioned above simply by using the gift registry! Using the registry can prevent multiple people from buying the same gift, and you can ensure you’re buying something that will be the mom’s style and that will work with her lifestyle.
Many moms research for hours and hours deciding what baby items they want to add to their registry. Unfortunately, many people think they “know better”, so they go rogue or don’t even glance at the registry. Although it’s great to include an item or two that you personally loved as a parent, try to stick to the registry if you can.
Include Something They Can Use, and Something They Can Keep
It’s always nice to receive a baby item that we can use for all of our babies, such as baby gear, clothing, blankets, etc. But it’s also super nice to receive the “boring”, disposable items all of us mommas will still need, such as diapers, diaper rash creams, shampoo, lotion, gripe water, etc. So it never hurts to throw in some of those items as well!
You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot of Money
Sometimes I feel like I need to spend a lot of money to give a really good gift! This could not be farther from the truth! What’s more important than how much you spend is that you put thought into the gift and give your friend or family member something they can use and cherish.
One of my favorite baby gifts is a crocheted blanket my sister-in-law made for me. The time she invested in making the gift meant more to me than any expensive gift I could have received.
Go In On the Gift with a Friend
Sometimes I want to purchase some of the larger items that I see on the registry. However, most of the time this isn’t within my budget. Go in on the gift together with a friend or two. This helps the mom get some of her bigger, more expensive gifts without you feeling like you spent your life’s savings.
Pick a Theme or Category to Make Shopping Easier
I love to go with a theme when buying gifts. I just love the cohesiveness a theme offers. It also makes it a lot easier for me to decide what items to purchase by narrowing down my shopping search. That way I’m not so overwhelmed by all the cute choices.
For example, your gift could include items for bath time, the nursery, or care/hygiene items. You could also pick a favorite print, color, or animal as the theme of your gift.
Now let’s dive into some adorable themed gifts you could put together! You can pick just a few items to include from each theme/list based on your budget, or go all out!
Baby Shower Gift Ideas
Bath Time Basket
Bath time baskets are one of my favorite gifts to put together because some of my best memories with my kids revolve around bath time. And there’s truly nothing better than snuggling with a nice clean baby!
Health/Baby Care Basket
Unfortunately, babies are bound to get sick! Those pesky colds and flus hit at the most inopportune times. And it seems like when they do hit, we have nothing we need. I remember when my daughter got a cold for the first time, I had to send my husband to the store because we didn’t own a humidifier yet! Get momma ready for that with healthcare products and all the other baby care items they’re sure to need.
The nursery can be one of the most peaceful places in the home, even if there will be lots of moments of frustration/crying that will also take place here. Help her decorate to encourage a peaceful place for baby to grow and learn with a nursery basket.
Baby quilt (I love any of our cotton muslin quilts, but both of my kids are obsessed with their Little Unicorn toddler quilts, so much so that they drag them all over the house)
Sound machine (I personally love my Tonie Box as a sound machine for my babies. You can purchase a Bedtime Music Tonie and a white noise Tonie. As your child grows, the Tonie Box grows with them more than a traditional sound machine would.)
Bedtime–every parent’s favorite time a day. Not only did I love it because it meant I got to get some much needed sleep myself, but winding down and snuggling my kiddos is just the best feeling!
Some people like to make diaper cakes as a baby shower gift. I don’t love doing this just in case the mom wants to return the diapers, because some diaper brands just don’t work for some babies, which can lead to blowouts or rashes. On top of that, they may grow out of the sizes quickly. But I definitely love gifting diapers because we all need those, so just leave them in the package if you gift them!
Small pack of diapers to try (If the budget allows, include a few different brands for them to try–just include a gift receipt)
Changing pad (This changing basket with cotton insert is a gorgeous variation on a traditional changing pad for a nursery–featured below.)
Travel changing mat
Diaper rash cream
Cute basket to organize diapering goods
Diaper Bag Essentials Gift Basket
Every new momma needs a nice, sturdy, and roomy diaper bag to fit all the things you need when out and about! One of the cutest gifts is to grab her a diaper bag and fill it with all of the must have diaper bag essentials!
Baby Book Basket
I love children’s books! And reading to kids from birth has been proven to lead to success in later life! But many new moms don’t have any kids books. That’s why putting together a basket of books is one of the best gifts, so that you can help them start their home library! Include a good variety of different books!
Toddler Feeding Time Basket
These are things I didn’t think to add to my baby registry because I figured I wouldn’t need feeding items for a while. But babies grow really quick and they’ll be eating solids before you know it! That’s why feeding essentials are one of the best gifts to give, because it’s often something that gets forgotten!
Drop mat for easy cleanup after meals
Suction plates (We loved the ezpz mats because it doubles as a placemat.)
Bowls (Again, ones with a suction function are great, such as the flower suction bowl shown below by Jamie Kay.)
Snack cups for on the go eating
Bibs (I personally love silicone bibs cause you can easily rinse them between feeds and they dry quickly!)
Even before you need the fun plates/cups, you’ll need feeding accessories for your newborn. Whether your friend plans to breastfeed or bottle feed, you can throw together a basket for her that will be super helpful for when she’s spending hours upon hours feeding her little one!
If your friend has a favorite animal, you can put together an adorable gift basket! One of my favorite brands for stuffed animals is Jellycat! They make the softest first stuffed animal for your baby, and they also sell books that match!
Favorite Print/Pattern/Color Gift Basket
Copper Pearl is one of my favorite brands! Mix and match their adorable prints in all the baby essentials for the perfect gift! They make baby hair bows, hats, swaddles, sleep sacks, quilts, burp cloths and more, so pick a print and get one of each baby item!
You can also try going with items that coordinate by color. I LOVE coordinating gifts with color because it’s just so aesthetically pleasing when things match! My sister loves yellow, so here’s a gift basket with items that coordinate with this color.
OR Pick a Bigger Baby Gear Item
If you’d prefer not to give several little things and would rather give one large item, here are some other great gift ideas that most parents need/want. (You may need to use the registry for some of these!) These are the perfect gift to go in on with a friend!
Other Fun Tips
Here are just a few more tips to make your gift EXTRA special!
Include something for momma in your gift as well, such as some chocolate, a candle, or bath bombs!
Include a gift card for her favorite restaurant, because none of us want to cook after giving birth.
Include a children’s book instead of a card with a sweet, thoughtful note inside the cover/on the back of the book.
Tie a small item, such as a teether, pacifier, pacifier clip, or baby toy onto the outside of your gift with ribbon! This can be a fun way to add an item you loved for your baby. I personally love to throw in my favorite pacifier clips from LouLou Lollipop!
Gift your items in a cute decorative basket that she can use again and again! Our Olli Ella Bolga basket is perfect for gift giving!
Still not sure what would make the perfect gift or running short on time to shop? One of the best gifts is a Baby Cubby gift card so the mom-to-be can get just what she’s wanting! And if that mom-to-be is you, be sure to create a baby registry here at The Baby Cubby!
For more tips, be sure to follow along on our blog at babycubby.com!
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