Since I've closed my gift basket business, I'll hand out some free fun gift advice! I plan to post gift ideas frequently on the blog, but will try to keep it to a single theme per post.
What do you bring to a baby shower for first-time parents? You can go off their registry, but to be honest, the stuff I registered for, was not actually the stuff I needed or used most frequently, but the stuff the store told me I needed - HA! I have a feeling I'm not the only one, because when I was at Target the other day, I saw an expecting couple wielding a registry gun and aimlessly pointing it at things with a baffled look. Here's my stab at helping sleep-deprived parents from having to brave the returns line at Target, with screaming baby in tow! (FYI: To return something at Target, you need a gift receipt dated within 30 days, and if you don't have that, you have to trade the soul of your first-born for store credit.)
Stuff new parents NEED - and ways to "cute it up"
-Diapers and wipes - make a diaper cake! Bonus points if you include a size larger than newborn.
-Lotion, baby wash, diaper ointment - stuff them in a pail or shower caddy.
-Bibs, baby spoons, finger snacks - make a "fruit basket" with a few jars of baby food and a box of rice cereal. They won't use this stuff for about 6 months, so check expiration dates on the food. Even if they plan to make their own food, they can use a few jars for travel.
-Clear plastic bins for storing outgrown clothes and clothes to grow into - put an outfit and some index cards, and a Sharpie inside for labeling.
-Pack a car kit - stuff a tote bag or plastic bin with a toy, a board book, a non-annoying kids' cd, a travel pack of wipes, a washable wet bag, hand sanitizer, and tissues.
-Food gives new parents the gift of precious time! If you're a chef, whip up a casserole in a disposable pan and tape instructions to the lid. If you're not handy in the kitchen, pick up a frozen Stouffer's something, or pack a picnic basket with healthy snacks and a few treats.
The best clothes to give as gifts:
-Pajamas - a necessity but not often given!
-Socks - Baby Gap makes a great stay-on version
-Pants - solid brown matches anything for a boy or girl, stretchy soft fabric is comfy, blue jeans are great in sizes 6 months and up (it's a little hard to get stiff jeans on a tiny floppy baby)
-Zippered hoodies - great for layering and easy to get on and off
-BabyLegs - one size fits most! Especially great if you are sending a belated baby gift or if you heard that baby is "huge" or "tiny"
-Remember to stick a gift receipt for any clothing purchase in the box or card.
-For the germ-phobic: a fold-up playmat or shopping cart cover
-For frequent fliers: a Pack-n-Play or a second car seat base (make sure you buy the right model for their carseat)
-For the bibliophile: Board books - babies are rough on these, and it's fun for the parents to have a variety so they're not reading the same one over and over again!
If this is Baby #2+, don't forget Big Sib!
-You don't have to spend a fortune - if you just bring a bottle of bubble bath, a Matchbox car, or a new box of crayons and a coloring book, Big Sib will feel like a million bucks. It's really just about giving them something to open too.
-My favorite Big Sib gifts are storybooks that acknowledge that their feelings of jealousy when a new baby is born, with a happy ending of course! Mail Harry to the Moon by Robie Harris is a fun read.