My husband is a very smart man. When it came time to coordinate a baby shower for a co-worker at his office he put me in charge of buying gifts on behalf of the entire team. Together they raised $150 to spend on a lucky new mom. I only had two hours after he got home from work but I managed to put together a pretty awesome set of gifts. In their case, the baby was already 5 months old (blame office politics for taking so long to approve a baby shower) so I opted to gifts that reflected the baby’s upcoming new phase-solid foods, along with a few other sure-fire mom pleasers. Since I’m in the baby shower mood I decided to share my favorite gifts to give. If your friend has a gift registry be mindful of her wishes, but if you are starting from scratch this list will give you a few ideas. *some included links are affiliate links.
The NoseFrida is my go-to baby shower gift. It has the conversation factor in spades. I mean, come on! You suck out boogers from your baby’s nose… with your mouth! It sure sounds gross but it is effective, more comfortable for baby than a bulb syringe, more sanitary than a bulb syringe, and will never get snot in your mouth. I promise. You can find the NoseFrida on Amazon.com, local or online baby boutiques, and even some baby big box stores have them.
If you are shopping for an expecting mom then a Boba Wrap is an affordable baby carrier that is going to give mom an extra hand when she needs it most. Lucky for her, I bet you are already an experienced babywearer and if she isn’t she will be after you show her the ropes. There are also lots of local babywearing groups you can point her to and even before she has the baby she is welcome to join meetings to learn how to wrap and practice. Boba Wraps have an amazing stretch to them that will make a newborn feel right at home, next to mom’s heart, during that crucial 4th trimester. You can find the BobaWrap on Amazon.com, in local or online baby boutiques, and many big box baby stores. An alternative to the Boba Wrap would be a linen ring sling such as the Maya Wrap sling, also perfect for newborns, or a Boba 3g.
I have an obsession with Boon products. They solve everyday problems that us moms don’t even know we have yet! Not to mention, their products are so pleasing to the eye and fit in with a modern nursery or home decor. Whether mom is breastfeeding or bottlefeeding they will need a drying rack for little baby items- that is where the Boon Grass or Lawn comes in. Not only is it the coolest thing you have ever seen, but it is so functional! Dry your bottles, pump flanges, pacifiers, NoseFrida tubes, teething rings, and everything else that is tiny and easily lost. They even make quirky accessories like Twig. I also recommend the Boon Squirt spoon and Boon Gnaw. If you are a high roller go ahead and buy you (soon to be) best friend a Boon Flair. It is hands down the best high chair on the market. Find Boon products on Amazon or at a store near you.
Another brand I’m obsessed with is Aden+Anais. One of the first things I ran out to buy my second son was a robot-printed a+a Burpy Bib. Their bamboo swaddling blankets are as soft as a cloud and come in fantastic prints and colors. My babies always spit up (obscene amounts) and the only way I could keep their clothing on them for more than 20 minutes was by using the a+a burpy bibs. Now that I don’t have babies I’m coveting the daydream blanket. If I purchased a $125 blanket for myself my husband might have me committed, but boy do I love that muslin and love blankets. Find Aden+Anais on Amazon or at any number of local stores on online boutiques.
Changing Diapers- A Hip Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapers
Nudge…Nudge. Maybe your pregnant friend is on the fence about cloth diapering, or she has already decided she wants to use them but is overwhelmed by the choices. Kelly Wels, a leading cloth diaper expert and advocate, has written an easy to read manual on cloth diapers. Why? How? What? It is all included. It even tackles how to clean those dirties, covers the terminology and has wonderful illustrations to show the different styles, and has a resource guide. I’m not just saying you should buy it because Dirty Diaper Laundry and Cloth Diaper Finder are included either. Pair this book with an irresistible and squishy newborn cloth diaper like those from DDL favorite Orange Diaper Co. for added cuteness. Find a copy on Amazon, Kelly Wels.com, or through a cloth diaper store like Kelly’s Closet.Basket Fillers
Don’t Do It
If you like creating a beautiful basket full of goodies and want some practical and inexpensive filler items here are some of my favorites! Oball- It is so easy for a young baby to hold. They also make a rattle version. The OXO bottle brush cleaner with several size brushes. Everyone needs one of those! Adorable baby socks, because babies always need socks. I love Trumpette brand. If your friend is using cloth diapers you can also include BabyLegs! Another idea for mom is a stylish and functional teething necklace from JellyStone Designs. Gift Certificate- try buying something mom might enjoy like a small gift certificate to Starbucks for a few coffees or even $25 to a local nail salon for a pedicure.
I’ve been given many gifts that have been gathering dust. One pet peeve of mine is to receive “knick knack” items that mean nothing and take up space. Little tchotchkes of a porcelain teddy bear that says “It’s a Boy!” or gaudy photo frames with lots bottles, baby booties, blocks, and balloons all vying for attention on the edge of a frame, all of these things seem like good ideas but they aren’t. If you are a close enough family member or friend to know that the mother likes these things, or have an idea for a personalized or engraved item she will surely love, go for it. But in my opinion, a practical gift is always a better one than a $15 dust collector.