The Definitive Guide to Baby Shower Gift Ideas that aren’t just more cr*p!
The best intended baby shower gift ideas can be well, cr*ppy.
Here’s what every new mother doesn’t yet know… you get a lot of stuff. From the day you announce you are pregnant to long after the baby arrives people are keen to “help you out” by handing off their own old stuff to you. At first you think it’s wonderful how much people want to help but then, in turn, you to pass stuff on to someone else. On top of this you receive tonnes of well-meaning gifts. Sadly lots of this is all repetition – the same stuff that other people also buy. It’s a viscous cycle of crappy and excess stuff – a lot of things that just take up space that you never really need or use.
So when you’re buying a baby shower present for a mother to be, it’s hard to avoid giving something that clashes, that isn’t to her taste, that she’s hasn’t got 47 of already or that she really actually wanted to choose for herself… so here’s the definitive guide to stuff she’ll actually use….
Stuff to overcome “first month problems”
First world, first month parenting problems: (not limited to) pressure to breast feed, judgemental nut cases giving crazy advice, sleep deprivation & more! First world, first month problems can be a bit all-consuming because that first month is the most tiring, emotional and vulnerable of your whole parenting journey.
Gift certificates for cleaners, meal delivery places like Lite N Easy or Dish’d, over night nanny services and the like are great (truly amazing!) ideas, but are at the high-end of the price spectrum. If it’s not in budget, or you can’t find others to go in with you, try some “scaled down versions”. Breastfeeding and Baby Brain cookies are a great, highly affordable gift that not only gives the Mumma a quick snack in those time poor first months but also helps her feel like she’s proactively doing the very best for her new bubba. Right or wrong, that’s the overwhelming and all-consuming feeling those first few weeks!
Stuff to deal with “50 Shades of Pink”
You thought 50 Shades of Grey was hard to watch, try looking at a vomitrocious nursery jam-packed with every possible shade of pink from salmon to puce. Your mum-to-be may not usually be the decorating type (or maybe she’s already a decor nazi!) but those last crazy nesting months often result in a carefully selected, perfectly coordinated, matched to within an inch of its teeny tiny life… everything. Giving pink or blue nursery décor can ruin her vision and give her the major post baby guilts about not using your gift!
She’ll have so much pink and blue (or yellow of the ultrasound jury is still out) that something bright and completely different will become her go-to favourite pram, lounge room or car item. Consider brightly coloured, new-baby-eye-catching practical gifts like blankets, cool soft toys and pram liners. Stuff that she’ll love using that won’t cramp her carefully selected nursery style. This ‘Flippity’ felt taggy ball is unique, cool and under $15 at Flower Child.
Help her ‘Keep Calm and Carry Half her Bathroom & Kitchen’
Think back. Leaving the house was massively hard work those first few months. Nappies, creams, mats, burp cloths, clothes, the kitchen sink… and don’t even consider going to a place she (meaning Mum or the baby!) might get wet – a royal wedding requires less preparation…
Practical Gift Ideas for Getting Out & About (and dealing with gross stuff in your travels!)
She’s going to be carrying a world’s worth of gear on her hip (and a baby too)… so a compact, easy to keep stocked wet dry bag is the perfect option. Make sure it’s got compartments for the “gross stuff” like pee-d on clothes or “my first yoghurt bibs”. If it’s compact enough, it can sit in her nappy bag untouched until needed. Being un-covered in sticky stuff and bodily fluids with a new baby is truly a priceless present. Practical and unique, here’s a great example from New Age Nappies.
At about six months – everything changes. It’s no longer about what’s in her boobs (or bottle), it’s about what’s in her bag. The endless snacking that is a baby discovering flavours. Yes, it’s all about puree’d stuff. It was once the rite of passage for a new mother to sadly scrape pureed pears or yoghurt out of her soggy, fruit drunken handbag after some flimsy packaging gave way… let’s face it, there are too many gross rites of passage for new mums… but this one at least is rite to passage no more: enter reusable pouches!
Resealable pouches make excellent baby gifts because they not only eliminate sticky handbag or nappy bag spills but they become useful at just the time that the baby bonus runs out. Single serve yoghurt is approximately 4 times the price of a tub ($2 per hundred mls, a litre is like $5) and so these puppies make the “single income reality” just that little bit easier. There’s also no chance anyone else would have purchased these practical little numbers as their baby shower gift, everyone else is caught up in the triple-0 sized chaos of pink and blue. Pouches are available from My Lil Pouch.
Baby shower gifts that solve problems she doesn’t know she has… yet!
One day, she’ll be walking through a picturesque park, the sun will be
shining, birds will be chirping, the breeze will be blowing and she’ll be in tears because the bleeding cover won’t stay on the pram and LET THE BABY GET TO SLEEP! Let’s be clear, she will receive approximately 4587 muslin wraps to use as a pram cover and yet not one pram company will give her the means to attach them.
Clever, affordable little gems to solve these woes…
Pram Pegs… the most essential baby gift idea of this century. Not to exaggerate but this gift is the game changer and can also be used to peg a shopping list to a pram, and even a nappy together in an emergency! Available in different colour combinations and gorgeous packaging you can buy these at Mullins Designs.
Shock: Babies like weird, unexpected, hypnotic stuff
Whether it’s pushing on doors for hours at a time or pulling random stuff in and out of a box, babies have some crazy notions of fun. Developmental arguments aside, these delightful little habits are usually a surprise to first time mums who just wonder what on earth their bub is doing. And why the huge Fisher Price monstrosity filling her designer loungeroom is coming second to wiggling the cushion zipper 3,712 times a day.
Taggies. They’re the obsession of ‘under ones’ everywhere. Hours and hours spent flicking the tag on your shirt, the tag on the car seat, the tag on a washer…. Who knows…. But a brightly coloured taggy gift is one of those things that mums open with a baffled look – only to discover it’s the greatest toy they were ever given. For a first time mum, it’s like a Jolly Jumper – you don’t understand the pure joy until it happens to you. This adorable little Fox Taggy is available at Not Another Baby Shop.
The “I know you so well” Baby Shower Gift
Okay so she’s pregnant and not knowing what to expect when this new human emerges from her body. Sharing an in-joke or a gift that “connects” is a great option for a best friend or sister. A gift that shows the mum to be that she’s got connection, someone who understands her as a human, not just a “mum” can go a long way to calm fears about isolation and loss of her old self.
Is she a Gucci girl? Can you get her favourite Gucci bag made mini (they should totally create this line, they could call it Gucci Gucci Goo)? Does she love photography – could you find her a camera or app that helps her learn great baby photography? Or a voucher for newborn photography? If she’s a shoe girl, there are some beautiful options for soft, foot nurturing pre-walkers out there (we love these from Tiptoe & Co). And she will totally know that you chose those little pretties just for her…
Don’t doom your friend to live in a nursery full of “easy choice” crap. Look for practical, clever baby shower gift ideas that give her the message that she’s not flying blind, that people around her understand what she’s going through and are there for her…. it’s the greatest gift you can give a first time mum to be.
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About the Author: About the Author: Dana Flannery is a professional writer and seller of quality baby products through her business www.shoppersspree.com.au – where Aussie mums go for an online bargain hunting, impulse buying spending spree!