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Best Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Unique Baby Shower Present Ideas

I am partial to coordinating a group present and buying one big-ticket item for expectant parents. It’s not easy to pull off but I remember how daunting and expensive it was to get ready for a new baby. This is not to say that I am not buying cute outfits with matching socks and hats — this is my only chance to buy those these days and it’s so much fun to pick it out! But if I think back on what I really needed; items that are impactful, special, unusual, and thoughtful, this would be my secret fantasy list of what I would want.

How about you? What gifts do you particularly treasure?

1) Going In Together  for One Big Ticket Item

There’s a lot that can be said for getting the new parents one big item. I think this is especially great for office baby showers where it’s much easier to coordinate a group gift. The MacLaren stroller is a great all-purpose one. It’s lightweight, reclines, and can be folded down with just one hand. This is perfect for urban mommies.

We loved the Baby Björn once we figured out how to strap it on after practicing on a teddy bear (it’s complicated!). We also used it at night at home when we couldn’t get our oldest to sleep. She has acid reflux and needed to be upright so we’d walk for what seemed like hours in circles in our house trying to get asleep in the middle of the night. I guess we really got our money’ worth from our Baby Björn.

The Peg Prego high chair is very sturdy and reclines if your baby falls asleep after a meal. Easy wipe up too!

For mommies who need to pump at work, the Medela is great!

Video baby monitors lets you see and hear, a big improvement on just sound monitors!

And this is great for a group to buy together if it’s baby number 2: Phil and Ted’s Double Stroller which I think is the best double stroller around. I never had one but a mom in my music class showed me the features on hers. It’s all terrain and the same size as normal stroller. I had the Maclaren Double Stroller myself and it was too wide, too heavy, and impossible to fold with just one hand. The Phil and Ted’s is kind of genius.

The toddler goes behind. Yes, the view is obstructed but your stroller is neither very long and unwieldy nor very wide and difficult to maneuver. The Sit and Stand is a less expensive option and a Mom Friend at work swore by it. The downside is that the older child can’t fall asleep in the stroller and it’s a tad long.

2) Sheepskin Baby Booties

A mom friend brought me these back from her trip to Australia. We used them a lot during the cold Boston winters when I had my babies in the Baby Bjorn.

3) Bundle Me

Those of us who live in cold climates find this helpful with infant car seats that also snap to strollers. It’s easy to zip and unzip to adjust for the  change in temperature as you go from outdoors to indoors. And you don’t have to remember a baby blanket so it helps you get out the door faster!

4) Something personalized.

Personalized Receiving  Blanket

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Personalized Gift Set

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5) Fun Books for New Moms

6) And One for Dads Too!

And a Funny Adult Picture Book if You Dare…

7) Gift Certificate for a Baby Portrait with a Local Photographer

8) Board Books

9) Growth Chart

10) Digital Photo Frame

11) Flip video camera

We used to use a big, bulky Sony Videocam which was heavy as well. These days, when we need to video our kids at a performance we always grab the Flip. It’s so easy to use, lightweight (which is great when you have to film for a long performance), and easy to upload. Technically, ours belongs to our oldest but we seem to use it more than she does. I think every new parent could use a video camera. I know that we treasure our footage!

12) Digital Camera for parents who don’t have one.

We eventually got a fancy Nikon with lots of lenses. It is a great camera but can be heavy to lug around so we have to be committed to taking a lot of pictures of the kids AND remember to bring it or pack it. A smaller digital camera is a great option for throwing in the diaper bag to always have on hand when the baby is doing something especially cute (which happens a lot!).

13) Tree or bush to plant in the garden.

We weren’t living in a place with a yard, but this is such a lovely idea. Give the parents a tree or bush that can grow alongside their baby. A great place to go is Home Depot for reasonably priced trees and plants.

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14) CPR class and babysitter so both parents can attend.

We found that we need to take the infant CPR class annually at our local hospital because when you are not sleeping much, your retention isn’t so great. Plus, it was a great refresher and an excuse to leave the baby behind. (If you are suddenly thinking that YOU need a refresher course for yourself, here’s a short video which is what is occurring to me as I type this in since it’s been years since I’ve taken that CPR class.)

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15) Meal delivery.

I remember being starving all the time. I was eating for two since I was nursing and meals that showed up were so helpful. I have some easy dinner ideas here but you can always just deliver food that you purchase too.

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16) Gift certificate to special restaurant because there won’t be time for that for a while once the baby arrives! What would you recommend?

My picks: The HerbFarm (Seattle), Lucques (Los Angeles), Babbo (NYC), O Ya (Boston), Citronelle (Los Angeles), Greens (San Francisco) …
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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

5 Comments

  1. For item number 5, books for new Moms, I’ve been giving my new mom friends a beautiful book called: “Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal & Toolkit.”

    The book is quite new and as far as I know, it is only available on Amazon.com – here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Purple-Leaves-Red-Cherries-Mothers/dp/0982975929/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316166696&sr=8-1

    It’s not only a fun book, but meaningful and beautiful and really feels like you are giving someone a special gift!

  2. Great gift ideas. Just found out my younger sister and hubby were preggers today. So, this post certainly gave me some ideas for Christmas and baby shower gifts. Visiting from the YUMMommy Community on BlogFrog. Stop by some time http://theblogfrog.com/1505764

  3. Group: Parent Bloggers
    Discussion: Best Unique Baby Shower Gifts http://www.pragmaticmom.com/?p=20776 What was your favorite gift?
    Mia, I liked your post, I really did, but, in my opinion, the most “unique” gift a parent can get is cash (good luck with that). From someone who just sold a $1200 dollar stroller he used all of ten times, I can tell you, these gifts are nice “thoughts” but pragmatic, they are not. Try returning 5 of the same embroidered baby blankets with your kids name on them, or 3 of the same backpack. And nothing annoys a new parent more than having to make 50 trips to toys’r’us to return things they know they’ll never use to exchange for credit. How much of this stuff ends up in a closet, and is forgotten about until long after your kid can use it? And, don’t get me started on books, or clothing, that shows up at your door without a gift receipt (aww, re-gifts, gotta love it). You want to do something unique for a new parent, give them cash, a pack of diapers, a pack of wipes and a movie pass for two years from now when they’ll be able to get out an use it.

    Here’s a list of things that never get used:

    – Ugly clothing from Aunt Ethel
    – The same ugly clothing, only for the next stage, from Aunt Bernice
    – Baby Monitor (the kid sleeps in the next room in a bungalow!)
    – Gift Certificates to the Gap (good luck finding good baby clothing there – I used it to buy stuff for my wife instead)
    – Expensive strollers (used the quick change stroller you can attach the bucket seat to instead then just moved to a McClaren)
    – Expensive Camera (dropped it in the first week, cracked the lens – should have bought a cheaper on so it would be eaiser to replace)
    – Books (got so many hand me downs, I had to return over 50 titles to different stores)
    – Boots (still in a closet, waiting to be regifted)

    I think the problem is people treat Baby Gifts as found money, and ask for stuff they think they need as opposed to listening to other parents who have been there who will tell them what they actually need… which is money to put away in a college fund.

    But, what do I know, I’m just a new dad?

    (Again, I really liked your post, I’m just annoyed about all the stuff cluttering my extra room that I don’t need, and never will).

  4. From Adam:

    LinkedIn Groups

    Group: Parent Bloggers
    Discussion: Best Unique Baby Shower Gifts http://www.pragmaticmom.com/?p=20776 What was your favorite gift?
    We do a lot of bartering with other parents – clothing, toys, playmats, snap-n-go strollers, you name it. It saves a lot of space and money. I’ve got girl hand-me-downs up until 8 years of age and boys until 12 (we don’t even have a son), and people are in and out of my garage on a weekly basis. To me, it’s ridiculous to want everything new for a baby (unless it’s things that become outdated due to regulations) – it’s just not cost effective (or that other type of green).

    Thanks for writing that post, it inspired me to write one of my own for New Dads.
    http://theevilthatyouknow.blogspot.com/2011/09/baby-gift-madness-preying-on-pregnancy.html?spref=fb

  5. From my LinkedIn Group Parent Bloggers:

    Connye

    • I love the post! Full of excellent suggestions. Thanks.

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