When it came to my baby shower, I made sure to do some research on the most practical items. If people were going to be spending their money on myself and Huxley to help us out, I wanted to make sure I asked for the most practical items. But not everyone wants to follow the registry - some people like to purchase items that maybe mom-to-be didn't think of that would be super useful and helpful. Sometimes new mom's don't think about items they might need for 6-12 months. There are also friends and family members who want to treat mom separately (because becoming a mom is a serious life changing event.) You lack sleep, time, sometimes energy and your sense of self is a bit blurred. So taking the last 7 months into consideration, I created a collection of items that would make great gifts for a baby shower or just in general to help your mom-to-be out!
You can check out my Amazon Storefront for ideas - all my favourite Amazon baby buys are on there!
Otherwise, the list below goes 'off the registry' to bring you great ideas to get a new mom (or a woman/man who is already a new mom (or dad!) ) that she may not have thought to add to her registry! These are items I would consider buying for a shower gift.
Omg, you would be shocked at how expensive laundry detergent is when you have a baby. But more importantly, laundry detergent that is specifically formatted for a baby's sensitive skin. Yup - that's a thing. You shouldn't use regular laundry detergent when washing baby clothing. Ivory Snow is my FAVOURITE!!! Bryon's mom would give us a jug every time we saw her for the first month, and then Ivory Snow actually sent us some as well. We are still going strong with it and have a few left. The smell is AMAZING. But it's a fantastic item to throw in with a shower gift!
INFANT TYLENOL, ADVIL, MOTRIN
Honestly, you don't think about these items until you need them. And then one parent is stuck in the home with a screaming uncomfortable baby while the other rushes out the door to the closest drug store for infant Tylenol, Advil or Motrin. That is NOT a fun experience (I know from experience). It is actually a really great idea for a gift. Because after the 2 month shots, mom and dad might be thanking you for the gift of pain or fever relief.
BABY JAIL (PLAY PEN)
Huxley recently started to slither around and because we live in a 700 sq.ft. condo - there's not a ton of safe places for him to go. So we purchased this AWESOME baby jail! It pulls out and folds up like an accordion making it incredibly easy to store. It opens up each morning and then we fold it away when he's done playing at the end of the day. It's also large enough for him to have lots of space to work on his mobility. I throw in a variety of toys each day and switch them up. You will need a play mat inside it if your floor are not carpeted.
Toys. Toys and just stuff. You can never have enough good looking storage storage baskets when you have a baby! Storage baskets are also an environmentally friendly alternative to gift wrapping paper!
COFFEE OR COFFEE CARDS
Look, I love coffee, but I don't think I've ever appreciated coffee more than I do now after having a baby. If your mom-to-be is a coffee lover, throw in some coffee (find out what kind of coffee machine she uses first). Make sure it's the good stuff so she will really appreciate that morning cup of joe - and think of you ;) If you have no idea what kind of coffee machine she uses, get her a gift card for the nearest cafe. It gives her/him an opportunity to get out of the home and enjoy a pick-me-up!
I unfortunately STILL have not gotten around to buying photo frames to frame some beautiful newborn photos. Why? Because it's not exactly top of mind, or top of budget for me. A few neutral frames (not the kind that say things like 'baby girl' or 'live, love, laugh') but a few good basic frames with a black or white frame in various sizes are a great idea for a gift. The parents can frame whichever photo they like and they won't have to worry about remembering to buy some!
Huxley was born in March, which meant he was still an infant during the summer. I worried about taking him outdoors and to places like the beach in the summer. But, a stroller fan was the perfect way to cool him down and make me feel more comfortable. We will also be taking this fan on our trip to Hawaii!
BABY BUCKET LIST FOR YOUR CITY AND SURROUNDING AREAS
I love my full time job. Taking mat leave has not been easy for me. Most people look at mat leave and think, wow, that seems like a lot of fun. And it is - but if you're someone who really appreciates structure...mat leave is difficult to get used to. One thing I struggle with is finding things to do! I do my best to meet up with my coworkers every other week for lunch, take Huxley to a play and learn program, go for tons of walks and try to meet up with fellow mom's as well...but I still feel like there's so much more things I could take advantage of (on a budget!!) but haven't. A baby bucket list that includes some creative things to do with your baby on mat leave is a great idea to throw in with a shower gift.
BATH KIT FOR BABY
There's all these fancy lotions and body washes and shampoos for babies and man are they ever expensive. Bryon and I just use Johnson's, and we love the bedtime ones and the original. With all the fancy things there are for babies, a lot of mom's forget about necessary bath items! It's nice to have them on hand.
MOM AND BABY CLASS
Once a week I take Huxley to a program called Gymboree. It's a baby class with songs, sensory activities and things that promote and encourage a baby to achieve their next milestone. It's also helpful for me because I get to chat with other mom's and talk to them about things I'm going through with Huxley and see if they can provide advice. There's tons of different mom programs, but a gift card to something like this might be a great way to help mom and baby get out of the house!!
GAME CHANGER! Even though Huxley only used these for about 2 months before outgrew them...they were such a convenience. Bryon is great at swaddling - me not to much - besides that, the velcro swaddle made it simple for everyone to bundle him up for bed and especially during nighttime diaper changes! Honestly, they are the best for newborns!
If you want to get something special, Minimocs are great. Though I would suggest sizing up to a three or four when they actually serve a purpose. Prior to 6 months, Huxley didn't wear shoes - he wore socks or just went bare feet. But now he likes to stand supported, crawl and slither, and even walk with assistance. Minimocs are great for protecting his feet. And they obviously look adorable. BONUS: they are Canadian made :)
Without an exersauser, I would be overwhelmed. We use a Skip Hop bouncer and it has been fantastic. I think we got him in it at 4 months. He hangs out in every morning while I sip my coffee. It's a great place to put an active baby while mom gets some stuff done around the house!
Let me tell you - in those first few months where you feel trapped inside you're home because you haven't quite gotten the hang of being a mom - a gift card is a God send! Gift cards are reasons to get out of the house and do some shopping. It doesn't matter what those gift cards are for - groceries, department stores, LCBO, a restaurant...ANYTHING - they REALLY come in handy on a rainy day.
For me, I don't get a lot of 'off' duty' time because Bryon has a very demanding work schedule. My social time/me time revolves around his schedule. So when I get a chance to go for a mani-pedi and leave the boys at home, it's such a treat! Because I enjoy it so much, it's definitely something I would consider gifting a new mom for those moments when she needs some 'me time'. Find the nearest nail salon close to her home!
Same thing as above! When I was nursing, going to the spa was not as easy lol. I feared leaking through the sheet on the massage table and felt rushed using the water therapies at the spa I usually go to. But now that I'm finished nursing, a day at the spa where I can replace crying (Huxley - not me lol) with spa music sounds luxurious!
FACE MASKS/ESSENTIAL OILS/BUBBLE BATH/MAGAZINE (OR BOOKS)
Some mom's aren't ready to leave the premises - and that's okay! Creating an at-home-spa-kit is nearly as good! Throw in some sheet masks, essential oils (I recommend lavender!), some Witch Hazel, nice lotion and some other girly things - it makes for a great little escape.
FITNESS APP OR CLASSPASS
Tread lightly with this one LOL. I was fit before and during my pregnancy, but I grew a really large baby, which meant I was large. By 8 months, there was no way I was getting my pregnant butt to the gym. And then I had a c-section, so I absolutely HAD to wait 6 weeks before I could work out again. I will say, I was DYING to get back in the gym. I love Class Pass - but had to cut back on my credits because of budget reasons (and Bryon's schedule - but that's not a usual case for most mom's). I decided to get the Sweat App by Kayla Itsines and I love it! I thought something like this would be a really great idea for the fit mom who loves working out, and is excited to get back at it again when she's ready. The Sweat App is perfect because you can do all the workouts in your home with just a few things like light weights and a skipping rope. There's even a postpartum program on the app! (You can try a 7 day trial for free!)