I love shopping for babies. Everything’s so cute and tiny and adorable. But most of the things that I’m drawn to aren’t going to be very useful to the new parents. I got the skinny from two experts (with babies) who say that the following items are the most appreciated – all quotes are from the mouths of moms!
“Onesies are wonderful because they reduce the need for daily laundry. Yep, daily.” For the price of a super-cute sailor outfit or a customized shirt that says “Future Doctor,” you can get several basic onesies at Target or Wal-Mart.
Diapers and diaper accessories
If you’re organizing a baby shower at work or among friends, contributing to a diapers.com account will allow the parents to order diapers as needed. But diapers themselves are always appreciated, as are extra supplies of Desitin, Vaseline, and baby wipes.
Toiletries and baby supplies
Other toiletry items like shampoo, powder, and baby lotion will also come in handy. “The convenience items that you are always going to need and never want to run out of are the most important things.” Gift cards to Target, Walmart, or the grocery store are also much appreciated – “when you’re at the store getting diapers, and you remember you need nipple cream and ex-lax and a nasal aspirator, it’s nice to have that stuff covered.”
Gift cards to restaurants near their home that you have checked will deliver to them are a wonderful gift. If you’re close friends or family, dropping off frozen food that can be heated up for a quick dinner or sending them a surprise delivery dinner from a favorite spot will get you nominated for sainthood.
Parents’ nights out
Movie tickets or a gift card to the local theater company, along with a coupon for free babysitting from you (if you’re able or willing), are a great boon to parents who haven’t been out of the house without the baby in weeks. Just make sure they aren’t date-specific in case “life happens.” And sincere, time-specific offers to take the baby out, even for a few hours so the parents can take a nap, are always appreciated. If you give them a coupon for your services, follow up a few weeks later so they know you’re serious, and can set up a specific day.
Day to day items
Coffee and ibuprofen might seem like a gag gift at the shower, but according to my experts they’re going to come in handy. Also, if they don’t already have one, an electric kettle can be very useful for making a cup of tea quietly.
A head start on college
Especially for a shower with a large group, starting a 529 for the baby is a lovely idea. Each person won’t have to contribute much to get a nice sum, and believe me, when the baby gets to college, both the baby and parents will appreciate every dollar (plus interest).
The cutie-poo gifts we love buying
From my experts – “The sentimental items won’t be sentimental until the other person (the gifter) makes them sentimental – for example, a disposable camera used for pictures of time spent with the baby is strongly preferred over a darling embroidered pillow that they’ll throw up on.”
Readers, what items did you find useful at your baby showers? How many onesies did your kids go through a day?
(photo credit: sarahemcc)