So you’ve been invited to a baby shower. If you’re already a mom, then great! You can skip this article because you already know that your shower gift will be a spa treatment and a bottle of champagne for post-birth, along with an offer to babysit while mom is off getting said spa treatment and drinking said champagne.
Regular mom at the spa - what all new moms look and feel like!!
If you’re new to the baby shower game, then this article is for you.
Baby showers are a great little party that historically women attend to fawn over a pregnant woman. They play games, eat pastries, comment on the mom-to-be’s size (which feels GREAT), and tell her all about how scary childbirth is.
Mom-to-be running away after hearing 10th story about unmedicated home water birth
Then everyone gathers in a semi-circle to watch the mom-to-be open all of her presents. This is the whole point of a baby shower. It makes it all worth it. Baby products are incredibly expensive and it is so helpful to have people helping you get the things you and the little munchkin will need - and there are A LOT of things.
If your friend/sister/niece/acquaintance/etc put together a registry, that’s perfect! There will be plenty of items on that list that she will be super happy to receive. Some least favorite items:
1. Unwanted parenting advice - Not really a "gift", but always relevant to baby shower etiquette. Mom-to-be is already overwhelmed. Someone else’s unsolicited 2 cents isn’t helpful and will only serve to frustrate a new parent. It’s also a great way to ruin a baby shower.
Baby shower attendee who can’t wait to tell you about the dangers of sleep training
2. Baby wipe warmer - This product is useless. It takes up space on an already crowded changing table and will have no affect on how fussy baby gets during changing times. Babies are babies. They will cry whether or not the wipe on their butt is warm.
3. Stuffed animals - They may be cute, but babies don’t care about them, and it is not recommended that children sleep with anything in their crib until they are at least 1 year, so it really just takes up space and doesn’t have any real purpose in a nursery.
4. Infant shoes - Babies just don’t need shoes. They spend minimal time outside, and when they do, their feet are not on the ground.
5. Baby Bathrobes - Cute, but not practical and will probably only be used once, for a photo, and then stuffed in a closet.
Some winners are:
1. Baby Monitor - Always necessary, and doesn’t have to be expensive! If it works, it’ll do. Of course, there are many top-of-the-line super monitors you can look into, and those are all great too.
2. Extra bottles and nipples - You can never have enough, and they get lost constantly.
3. Swaddle blankets - SO IMPORTANT, and not just because we make blankets over here! They have multiple uses, and babies love to spit up all over them so you need plenty!
4. These incredibly helpful wrap-front bodysuits from H&M - Lifesavers when a baby has a “blow out.” You’ll learn why soon enough.
5. Diapers - Babies go through so. many. diapers in the first few months. We suggest buying size 1 diapers since babies grow out of the newborn size pretty quickly.
If there’s no registry, don’t worry! What moms-to-be want are things that are going to make their lives easier once the baby gets here. If they’re breastfeeding, the baby will primarily depend on mom from day 1, so anything to help make other aspects of life more efficient and less stressful is key.
Here are some “off the registry” items that a mom-to-be may or may not know she needs, but will definitely appreciate once the baby gets here:
1. Gift certificate for a laundry service - Babies create a lot of laundry. Babies are also super needy and it’s hard to get anything done when you’ve got one around. Something simple like having someone else take care of laundry can be a huge help.
2. Baby photography session - This can be pricey in areas but many studios are willing to do mini-sessions for a discounted price. New parents can be overwhelmed, sleep-deprived, and not thinking about “capturing the moment,” but photographs of their newborn is something they will not regret.
Actual adorable moment that was captured, probably thanks to a super thoughtful friend
3. Gift certificate for a meal delivery service - A gift certificate to seamless.com or hellofresh.com takes the pressure off new parents scrambling for things to eat, and gives them one less thing to worry about.
4. Gift certificate to any baby store - A lot of times new parents don’t know what they need until the baby arrives. Gift cards are a nice-to-have when baby (or mom and dad) need a last minute or unexpected item.
5. Wine - New parents always need wine. A new mom may not be able to drink 5 glasses in a row, but she’ll appreciate the gesture and the reminder that pregnancy doesn’t last forever (it most certainly seems like it does towards the end).
Mom who got 5 minutes to herself once
The bottom line is, don’t get the new parents something that will do nothing but take up space in their soon-to-be chaotic household. Thing of how to make life easier for them, and help them adjust to life as a parent. Stick to simple, useful gifts and you’ll be remembered as a hero.