It’s the baby shower, and Mom has registered for it all! The swing, the bouncer, the diaper pail, the carrier, the other carrier, the car seat with the stroller, the other stroller, the jogger, the booster, the convertible seat, the clothes, clothes, clothes, clothes, shoes, clothes, bibs, the socks- they’re so cute- more socks, bedding and lotions and soaps and baby-specific washcloths.
While all of this stuff is awesome and some of it necessary, there are always off-registry shoppers (Why? I don’t know.) and people who want to know what Mom really wants. So I compiled a list of 5 things that will help her out more than yet another $78 plastic thing to put baby down in, or more baby shoes. Babies. Don’t. Need. Shoes. No matter how cute. Here’s my Baby Shower Gift Guide!
1. Gift Cards
They seem so impersonal. They’re not. At least not in this case. Personally, one of the most fun things I got to do was shop for my own baby-to-be! A few friends grabbed a cute bib, or an inexpensive item off of my registry and added a gift card- it was perfect. A necessity (like a bottle washer and special safe-for-baby dish soap) and then a treat: I can shop for baby! Clothes are always fun… but really, on week 6 of parenthood, I needed $30 in breast pads, nipple cream and more bags to store my milk– all products I didn’t register for enough of, nor did I know which brand I would like best. For this reason, tapping into one of my gift cards to Target or Babies R Us or Amazon was perfect!
And don’t forget post-baby time for mama! I love Massage Envy and was lucky to have a gift card for a few massages this pregnancy. (There are Massage Envy locations everywhere, by the way!) Or find out where Mom goes for her nails or hair. A gift card to pamper her (or just wash… eeeer, trim her hair) is such a treat!
There are a few different websites that offer meal delivery services… set one up for mama and pick a few dates yourself! Meals in disposable containers are a bonus (bring a bottle of red wine with it, and I may try to keep you). Recently a friend set up Meal Train for me after Addie’s surgery. It saved me three nights of cooking, which gave me time to sit with Addie and give her the attention she needed during her recovery. Post-baby, having someone help out with the cooking (even a breakfast casserole for the mornings) is an invaluable gift!
3. Postpartum Doula
If you read regularly, you know that I love doulas, but did you know that there are more than one type? A postpartum doula comes to the house and helps Mom. She will hold the baby so she can shower, help with laundry, dishes, meal prep, naps… a whole slew of things so Mom can acclimate to motherhood (or motherhood with more!). Local doula Kristen Kardos helped me after Addie was born, and it was wonderful (also something I never would have thought of!). Having a list that you keep (when you notice something that needs to be done, like vacuuming or dishes or folding, write it down and leave it out for guests to see, too) will help you see what you need help with. It’s sometimes hard to ask people who come to visit for help (although if you’re a visitor, please ask Mom what she needs help with- trust me, she’s great at holding the baby, but maybe would like some help making lunch), but having someone come a few times after bringing baby home is so helpful! Book the minimum hours for Mom from a postpartum doula and she will surely thank you from behind those tired eyes!
4. Cleaning Service
I cannot express how awesome this is- there is just no reason to even try. With a new baby, having someone come to the house a few times to vacuum, or to do a BIG clean before the baby comes… whatever you think! Mom will surely appreciate some help getting things more than in order– getting them professionally clean!
5. Stick to the Registry
Still unsure? Just gift something Mom really (thinks she) needs! Not quite a gift idea, but I know before I became a mom for the first time, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do with all the clothes I didn’t register for, and bibs and socks (SO MANY SOCKS!), and a toothfairy pillow (kids don’t lose their teeth for a while)… but I didn’t have enough diapers or wipes or bottles. It’s fun to shop, of course… and I am SO thankful for all the gifts we got when Addie was born, but I can assure you- I didn’t need one more memory book or picture frame as much as I needed some more Pampers and baby wash! Try to mix it up if you’re shopping off the registry.
I hope this helps the next time you’re wondering what to get the mama-to-be! …and no matter what- thank you for helping out mamas. As a soon-to-be mom again, I can tell you that having that love and support to get it all together means so much, both financially and emotionally.
Here’s to more celebrations, more babies, a whole lot of love!
*Tip: include a gift receipt for everything, even diapers!
This post was not sponsored by anyone… I have received nothing for the links (or for Baby 2), and will not if you click them- but you can always send me a meal or gift card!