One of my worst nightmares is receiving an invite to a baby shower. I end up standing in a corner, watching all the presents get opened and in my head repeating things like “Cute, but it’s not safe” and “Yep, everyone has that but it’s not recommended.”
So, here you’ve just received the dreaded Baby Shower Invite, now you’ll need to venture into the land of pink and blue bears to purchase something that chances are the parents will end up not using. There is so much stuff on their registry, so you have to make a decision by reconciling what you like with your budget. If you know nothing of babies, it’s quite a mystery as to where to start.
Here are some great baby shower gifts. They won’t be the flashiest, but they’ll be useful and practical, so the parents will appreciate them all the more when the time comes:
- A book, even if you get it used, will be much appreciated. This is a fantastic human development book, not the latest ‘parenting fad’.
- A DVD, again, even if you get it used, the parents will still be thankful. (Soothing techniques are great for really cranky babies, but sometimes skin-to-skin works well to avoid crankiness.)
- Swaddling blankets, large, at least 40”x40”, thin and slightly stretchy. (A less expensive path, and more meaningful, would be to go to your favorite fabric store and find a fabric that you like that’s thin and slightly stretchy. Have them cut it at about 40”x40”, then if you have a friend who has a serger, they can hem it.) Swaddling is meant to soothe. Babies are not meant to be swaddled 24-hours a day. They need skin-to-skin and they need tummy time.
- A class, for those of you who have more disposable income than the rest of us, this is THE class for expecting parents.
- Diapers, if you know which kind (Cloth/Disposable), other sizes than newborn are helpful.
- Coupon for Date Night, if you like babies and want to babysit for a night, then a coupon for a date night for the parents is great, you might include a restaurant gift card.
One last helpful activity, is for all baby shower attendees to sign up for delivering a meal to the new happy family once the baby has arrived. If the meals can be frozen and delivered before the baby is delivered, that can be even less intrusive. Serving sizes are even easier than a huge pan of lasagna. (Chances are the new parents won’t be hungry at the same time given their off sleep schedules.)
When making a decision about a baby shower gift, ask yourself “What does a baby need?” They need to be held; they need skin-to-skin time with each parent; they need to be allowed to be a baby. They don’t need toys to make them ‘smarter’, and they don’t need a ton of ‘stuff’. Save the money and create a college fund that other wonderful friends and family members can contribute to.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment below or come join the conversation at www.facebook.com/parentelligence