A Guide To Baby Shower Gifts

Baby shower gift ideas and tips for the expectant mother and those who love her!

Baby gifts range from the practical to the whimsical. Use these ideas and tips for giving the best baby shower gifts.

Assessing baby's needs

When selecting a baby gift, it is important to consider the circumstances of the baby's family. If this is a first baby, the family probably does not have any of the basic gear. On the other hand, a third addition is probably already equipped with a lot of the basics and needs more consumable items or things that are likely to be worn out.

Think about the financial situation of the family. If you know that resources are tight, focus on the practical items they need and consider joining with other friends to purchase a larger, more costly item that might represent a strain for an individual to purchase.

Check to see whether the new mother has registered for gifts anywhere. Even if you do not choose an item off of the registry, this will give you an idea of the tastes and needs of the family. Or, ask the expectant parents if there is something special that you could provide for baby.

Also, is the baby shower before or after the baby's birth? If the shower is held well before the baby arrives, it is likely the parents have not stocked up on all of the basics yet. If the shower is held after baby has arrived, it may be more appropriate to buy things that baby will need later on.

Basic Baby gifts

There are many items that every baby needs; these basics will help new parents equip their nursery:

- Baby blankets (also called receiving blankets)

- Cradle or crib bedding (mattress pads, sheets, bumper, dust ruffle)

- Hooded baby towels

- Baby bath tub and bath supplies

- Footed sleepers

- Diapers or a subscription to a diaper service

- Bouncy seat

- A baby feeding pillow, such as a boppy.

- Burp cloths

- Grooming and manicure kit

- First aid kit

When a group of people purchase a gift together, it is nice to help with one of the more substantial items for the baby. Some of the larger items baby needs are:

- Car seat

- Stroller

- Swing

- Furniture (crib, cradle, rocking chair, changing table, dresser, lamp)

- Hamper

- Diaper disposal system (such as a Diaper Genie)

If you would like to buy something for when baby is a little older, try these necessities:

- Unbreakable dishes (plates, cups, bowls)

- Baby and toddler utensils (spoons and forks)

- High chair or portable booster chair

- Developmental books and toys

- Baby-proofing supplies (outlet covers, cupboard locks, pads for sharp corners)

- Clothing (buy one or two sizes ahead)

Fun and Unique gifts

For the baby who already has everything or if you just want to give something a little different, there are plenty of other gifts you can give.

Artwork: A framed piece of art that matches the motif of baby's room is sure to be a hit. Make sure the frame is lightweight and that non-breakable plexiglass is used to keep it child-friendly.

Child sized furniture: Easy chairs for toddlers have become very popular. And, what child would not like to have furniture that is just her size? Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, chairs and ottomans can be found to match any d├ęcor. Some vendors even offer personalization with the child's name.

Gifts for the parents: While most people give shower gifts that are for the baby, consider giving something that the new parents will really appreciate. A week of gourmet meals delivered at their convenience is a great option and many catering companies are offering this type of service. A basket of home videos and snacks is also a thoughtful gift for parents who will not get out much for a while. Want to help them get out? Offer them several hours of babysitting. New parents may also enjoy subscriptions to parenting magazines.

Still not sure what to get? Gift certificates to stores that stock baby gear are always appreciated.

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