My wife and had lots of discussion of what we would have loved from our baby shower. While times have changed a few things are still the same. We tend to buy specific items when we look at family or friends registries.
With that said, you don’t always have to purchase the most expensive thing on the list, and you don’t have to buy the cheapest either. A good rule of thumb is to buy something you would want, but won’t break the bank or put you out either.
My wife and I typically look the essentials first, and if they are not on the list, we check with the soon to be parents to be and ask if they have any of the following items below.
Now not everyone has a registry, and if not that’s okay here are a few items you can consider, and even if they do you could acquire these as well.
Crafted or Handmade:
In my experience, handcrafted items can be some of the most valued items. Sure, it may not be something directly on the registry, but a beautiful crocheted baby blanket, and small-cap, booties, changing pad or something along those lines is something that people generally hold on to for long periods of time.
DAD TIP: To make it a little extra special personalize it with the babies name, the parents will really enjoy it.
Every baby needs bottles, and there are a few different brands out there. I swear by none other than Dr. Browns Bottles. In my humble opinion, these are simply the best bottles on the market. My wife and I had purchased many different brands, but these while a little more expensive rarely if ever caused my sons to have gas. That it is because it’s what they are designed to do, which is, stop colic, reduce air bubbles, and limit gas.
DAD TIP: While you probably shouldn’t prop the bottle on a pillow while doing 38 other things, these bottles work well for that.
Considering I just mentioned bottles, a great accessory to go with them are bottlebrushes of course. It was not something we thought about when we did our first registry so many years ago; however, you are going to find it pretty hard to get down into the bottles with just a dish rag. This is the Bottle Brush (also Dr. Brown) we use and still do for sippy cups. Well, we have replaced it but the same model.
If you have children, you know the world around you does not stop once you have a baby. Things still need to get done, yet as parents, we want to be as close to our child as we can. Luckily there are plenty of carriers out there, both for both, girls, boys and gender neutral colors as well. LIke this Infantino Flip 4-in-1 from Amazon.
Diapers are probably a staple at a baby shower. We received a good amount of them, but I as I stated in my Essentials Baby Items post, parents shouldn’t stock up on just baby sizes, so if you are going to get diapers, pick up a box or two of size one or twos.
DAD TIP: Some folks like the diaper cakes, but I’ve met a few people who didn’t use them because they were removed from the packaging and were worried about germs. So, be cautious about doing this.
Teething rings are great, but a new item that your friends may not be considering is Teething Necklaces like this one here. A friend and his wife whom of which recently had a baby had this on their list. No, we didn’t get it as I was concerned about it breaking; however, we were told its very durable and the baby loves it.
Now I don’t know a ton about nursing, once since I can’t physically do it, and two because my wife didn’t do it. With that said we have had plenty of family and friends that did. A lot of the ones that did use or used a Boppy as a nursing pillow. They tell us it works wonders for back and neck pain, and it also helps the baby to be comfortable.
Baby Motion Monitor:
These have to be one of our favorite items. These Babysense Monitors may be a little on the higher end of the budget, but these are great for new parents, or if your baby happens to be like our youngest (he has a heart condition) they will give you peace of mind. I will say though that if the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, it will scare the hell out of you.
Jumper or Play-mat:
Activities mats and jumpers are things we used for the little one, but not until they get a bit older. You typically don’t want to put a baby in a jumper (or exersaucer) until they can pull themselves up on their own. With that said, activity mats are great for when they can’t quite pull themselves up but are ready to entertain themselves a bit. Check out this Activity mat, and this Jumper.
DAD TIP: Don’t use the jumper as a babysitter when you’re running around the house (use the carrier). I admit my wife and I did it, but things can happen in an instant, the dog could knock it over (it happened, he was okay).
Baby Milestone Blanket:
These are Milestone Blankets all the trend nowadays, if you’ve been on Instagram, facebook, twitter, or just about any other social media site you have seen them, and parents love them. I am sure if you get this you will see many photos of your friend or family members baby getting plenty of use out of it.
Warm Mist Humidifier:
Something people don’t always think about is your baby getting sick or congested, and when they do you are always looking for ways to help with congestion. A Wam Mist Humidifier also helps if they have allergies as well. So, if you cant find items on the registry you want to get pick up something like this one from Vicks, and eventually, your friend will thank you.
Typically you don’t purchase cribs for your friends (not that it doesn’t happen); however, they will most likely have one and will need some bedding for it. A few bed sheets and a crib pad will get used more often than not.
If you have kids you know, and if you don’t I can promise you, you will be changing diapers faster then you can say rubber baby buggy bumpers, and while you are at home it’s okay to change the baby on the couch or somewhere you know is clean, but what about in public? In public, they are not putting the baby on those crazy bathroom trays without something to put on it. Check out this changing Pad from JL Childress; it’s another item that will get used often.
Ah gift cards, some people feel very odd about getting gift cards for a registry, and I get it, it feels like you took the easy way out, but let me tell you, you couldn’t be more wrong. A good buddy of mine I served with while in the military went back home for their baby shower since they couldn’t take lots of items on the plan, their family requested gift cards. Long story short it was easy for travel, and they could purchase the things they needed and or wanted.
Okay now, all the stuff above may be for mom and dad indirectly, but that’s what they may need or want for their baby, but don’t forget about them.
A bottle of wine or two for mom and dad would be excellent too.
DAD TIP: Throwing a Baby shower after the baby is born is another concept that we just ran into for the first time. My cousin just did this, they had acquired the essentials beforehand, and decided to have a baby shower after, and use it as a meet the baby session as well.
Now I did say my wife and I looked for specific items when we go on friends and family registries.
We typically look for things like pack n plays, strollers, and car seats. The reason I didn’t list these items above is that sometimes they can be a little on the expensive side.
If you have the means to help out with those items, by all means, go ahead that’s what we do.