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 them 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?
Unique Baby Shower Present Ideas
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’s 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 let 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 a 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.
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
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
11) 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!).
12) 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.
12) 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.)
14) 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.
15) Gift certificate to a special restaurant because there won’t be time for that for a while once the baby arrives!
What would you recommend?
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.