Many baby shower guests want to give parents-to-be a useful baby shower gift that will be helpful to them on their parenting journey. One way to do that is to purchase from their baby registry, but not everyone has a baby registry, or maybe there is not much left on it, or maybe you're just looking for something a little more unique in a baby shower gift. Here are some baby shower gift ideas that likely didn't make their registry, but will be appreciated.
1) Gift Cards for Take-out
Find out what their favorite restaurants are or maybe choose a place that they would like but haven't had the chance to try yet, bonus points if they deliver! New parents will be so thankful to have a meal that they don't have to make already paid for.
2) Spa Gift Card
New moms are often feeling pretty tired and unpampered when there is a new baby around. Once they get into a little bit of a routine mom can sneak out of the house for a much needed break to get her hair cut, or a manicure, or a massage. Bonus points if the spa offers prenatal or postnatal massage. Just a little bit of pre-paid time away to pamper herself will be an amazing gift.
3) Breastfeeding Gift Basket
Moms of newborns spend a lot of time feeding baby in those first few weeks (or "trapped" under them during their after feeding nap). There are a lot of gadgets and paraphernalia on the market, but often what a new nursing mom needs are simple things at arm's reach. I would suggest filling a basket or caddy with things like:
- Easy, nourishing snacks - think quality granola bars, trail mix, applesauce pouches, dried fruit, etc. and maybe a box of herbal tea
- Good lip balm and/or cuticle cream - some easy pampering for someone who is frequently washing their hands
- Quality tumbler that will keep their drinks cold or hot for a good length of time
- Wireless phone charger - a smart phone can be a new parents lifeline to the outside world some days. You don't want to be stuck with a dead battery!
- Amazon gift card - can be used toward the purchase of books in any format, which are great for those who are nursing/snuggling frequently, or they can utilize it for some easy shopping for items that can be delivered straight to their doorstep
- List of local quality lactation resources - include breastfeeding support groups and hotlines, lactation consultants and counselors who provide home visits or office visits, online resources like Kellymom.com
- Breastfeeding book - Nancy Morhbacher's Breastfeeding Made Simple is great! There's also a Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple version.
I would caution you to avoid gifting things like nipple creams, soothing gel pads, mother's milk tea, nursing shields, etc. because it can send a message that nursing will be painful and/or she will automatically encounter problems. This isn't true and if she does encounter challenges the best thing she can do is get in contact with a knowledgeable local resource for individualized support.
4) Parenting Books
Many people prepare for birth, but sometimes they forget about preparing for what comes next. You have to be careful with this one because pushing a particular style of parenting might not be appreciated. If you are a parent you might gift a book that you found particularly useful. The Happiest Baby on the Block or The Wonder Weeks tend to be books that have useful tips for all parents and Sweet Sleep or The No-Cry Sleep Solution are good baby sleep guides.
5) Miscellaneous Useful Items
Put together a gift bag filled with smaller useful items like diapers (disposable or cloth), natural baby soap and/or diaper cream, functional burp cloths (a lot of people really like prefold-style birth cloths because they're really absorbent, you can get pretty ones on Etsy.) These are things that new parents can always use more of!
6) Gift Certificates Towards a Birth Doula or Postpartum Doula
This is something that should be discussed with the recipient ahead of time so you know who they want to work with. Contributing towards a doula is an amazing gift to give a parent because you're giving them the gift of a supported birth and parenting experience. Have the recipient inquire with their doula about ways people can contribute towards a gift certificate or registry.
Can you think of any other new parent must-haves that are often overlooked on registries? Would you have appreciated any of these gifts as a new parent?