I remember shopping for baby shower gifts, before I had my baby, and being completely lost. I didn't know the first thing about Babies or what they needed. I think my first gift was a bunch of beanie babies and random items I found at the gift shop I was working at...yes, I was THAT clueless. Over the years I got better at it...mostly because I learned how to work the gift registries. If you want to go the easy route, the registry is always the best way to go. Anything you purchase from that magical list will be greatly appreciated, 'cause hey, Mommy-to-Be picked all that stuff out herself! The only problem is that sometimes first time Mommies have no idea what they are actually going to need. They pick out all the fun stuff, like bouncers, walkers, bedding, toys....all great items, but not enough to get you through that first year. So, here is a list of my personal top 5 gifts to give at baby showers. Give any one of these items in addition to a registry item or on its own, and you will be good to go. It may not be the flashiest gift at the party, but long after the cake is gone and the games are over, it will be the shining star in an otherwise chaotic world. Yes, I said chaotic...have you lived with children?
Number 1 - Cloth Diapers.
They make excellent burping cloths. Super absorbent and ready to handle anything from a little drool to....let's just say they can handle ANYTHING and leave it at that. Plus, they are cheap and you get a lot in just one pack. Trust me on this one!
Number 2 - Nipple Shields
These little babies are going to save the day for those great Mommies opting to breast feed! They are uniquely designed to help with a variety of things, including latching on, inverted nipples and best of all, they allow Mommy's nipples to heal without missing out on any feedings.
Number 3 - Perfect Baby Bathtub
There are a number of different products out there, some offering a lot of wonderful fancy features - don't get sucked in by those! Look for the ones that go in the kitchen sink, NOT the regular tub. Standing while bathing your newborn is not only easier on Mommy's back, it's also safer than climbing up from hovering around the tub, while reaching for towels and trying to hold on to a slick, wet, wiggly baby. Any added features are just the icing...nice, but useless without the cake.
Number 4 - Clothes
It's always easy to get caught up in the fun of shopping for baby clothes, but unless you are sure that you know Mommy-to-Be well enough to know what her taste and style is, stay away from the cute outfits and stick to the basics. Onesies, Sleepers, anything marked 'footie' or 'sleep and play'. These items are not only practical and comfy, but always in high demand!
Number 5 - Diapers, Diapers, Diapers!
Whether it's in addition to, or THE gift, it's a safe way to go! Just stay clear of the generics....later on when Mommy is cleaning up yet another blow-out due to a faulty diaper, she will be thinking of YOU! And that is NOT an image you want to have tied to your name. Feeling extra generous? Throw in some wipes as well. And again, don't cheap out, it's a gift, remember?!
So, there you have it. Are they the most fun and pretty presents? No, maybe not, but if you are looking for affordable items that will truly help your friend or family member as they embark on this great new journey as a parent, any one of the gifts listed would be appreciated. I know how grateful I was.