Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Heading to a baby shower?

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
-Soft-soled stretchy crib shoes (like Robeez or Isabubu)
-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!  
-For the eco-conscious:  Wooden or cloth teethers 

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.


  1. Great ideas as always!! Thanks for making me laugh.

  2. Thanks for the ideas. I love the car kit idea. My sister in law is having her first baby and this may be on the way to them soon!

  3. Great ideas!! Diaper cakes are so fun (and easy) to make! I've made two and it was a blast! Funny thing - I don't ever buy newborn clothes or diapers for people - because I've seen many friends get such an overabundance of newborn stuff that they don't go through it before the child outgrows it! (Not to mention someone like The Nugget who was probably never in newborn-wear). I usually get 3-6 or 6-9 month (weather appropriate) clothing/diaper sizes because I figure they'll need some help then too! But I like the idea of the car kit. Never thought of that one.
    B ":o)
    P.S. A tip that someone gave me that I always use - buy a board book (or age appropriate book for the older kids) and use that AS the card. Inscribe a To/From message on the inside cover - then the child has a book to add to their library, and they'll always know who it's from when they read it!