Close your eyes and raise your hand if you’ve ever groaned at the thought of picking out a new baby, baby shower, or congratulations on expecting gift. No peaking.
Ok, it’s pretty safe to assume all hands are raised. Even I, lover of all things baby, fret and stress over what to get all these newborns, mothers to be, and even 1, 2, and 3 year old birthday tots. There’s so much to chose from, and always the fear of getting a duplicate, too much of something, something unnecessary or, gasp, lame.
I’ve put together a list of 25 unique items, different ideas, and personal favorites that hopefully help give you some great ideas for the next time you need to pick out gifts for the little munchkins in your life (and their Mommies too!).
1. Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets.
I have about 5 sets of these. They double, triple, and quadruple as nursing covers, changing surfaces, and car seat covers. They protect from the sun and bugs, and add the perfect amount of warmth in the summer months when popping in and of the grocery store, target, etc. The breathable blankies are light enough to swaddle in the summer, and can be doubled and swaddled around baby’s winter jammies as well. They fold up super small and fit in purses and diaper bags perfectly. Plus they come in all kinds of adorable prints and colors that are totally irresistible.
2. Scentsy Buddies.
These super cuddly, soft, stuffed animals have a unique zipper pouch in the back that can hold a special “Scent Pak” in a variety of 50+ different scents. Keep baby’s nursery smelling nice while adding a touch of aromatherapy comfort that baby will forever associate with their cute little pal.
3. Pretty printed note cards, envelopes, and stamps.
I loved getting some stationary like this because there were so many different notes I needed to send after my babies were born! Of course all those thank you notes, but also notes here and there for family that was helping out, meals that were coming our way, and the babysitting help that was so much appreciated.
4. iTunes gift card for the iPhone loving Mom. These are great for Mom to get a little “me time” from the convenience of her phone. She can order books, magazines, baby related apps (nightlights, timers, record keepers, white noise players etc.), shows and music without even having to leave the house.
5. A Keurig Coffee Machine.
Click here to purchase. (or grab a Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon and get one there!)
This might seem like an odd “baby” gift but I love mine for so many reasons. Obviously it’s great for coffee, tea, and now even for iced beverages, but it’s also great to get instant boiling water for oatmeal, or even to warm up a baby bottle. I was pumping and freezing lots of breast milk in the beginning so it was super easy to grab some frozen milk toss it in a mug and brew boiling water around it: thawed the milk so quickly! And even now, some days I feel like that perfect cup of coffee or tea is the only way I manage to get through a day with my sanity in tact. When we first brought Gracie home from the NICU, I loved that my husband would offer me a cup of tea at midnight (lucky for him all he had to do was touch a button and voila!). But still, it was, and still is, so great.
6. A subscription to something called a “Blumm Box”.
This little treasure is a great monthly surprise for Mom to open in the mail. There’s something special about getting packages in the mail and this one will not disappoint. Each box contains new and different trial size sample products for Mom and Baby. She might find something new that she loves! I can’t wait to get my first box and when I do, you’ll be the first people I share it with.
7. A special baby blanket. I personally can never receive too many blankets for my kids and love that they are all special and personal. My girls already tote them around for various purposes and I know they will always be treasured pieces in their collections. There are so many cute options these days. Here are a few of my favorites: (click each photo to purchase)
And seriously, do yourself a favor, and buy more gifts on etsy! They have such a nice personal quality and I think it’s so special that they are handcrafted with so much love.
8. MadPax Kids Backpacks.
These things are hands down the coolest option for kids on the go, especially for 2 and 3 year olds. They make the perfect size toddler backpack that is great for travel or packing snacks and a blanket to take to the park. They have adult size packs and lunch packs too. The iPad safe pocket is an added plus.
9. Wooden Blocks.
My tech loving, tv watching, hyperactive two year old will sit quietly for quite a while playing with wooden blocks. She stacks them up and knocks them over, and plays make-believe with them. (Etsy also has some beautiful sets these days that will make the perfect family treasure.) These also look great on display in baby’s nursery.
10. A prepaid photo session.
Professional photographers have wonderfully creative ideas these days. I can’t speak from experience having never tried this, but I think contacting a local natural light photographer, partnering up with family or friends, and prepaying for a photo session for baby would be a fantastic present for any age child. Mom and Dad can never have too many pictures of their precious bundle, and they could chose the time and location of the session at their leisure.
11. A baby boo boo kit. There’s nothing worse than experiencing your first baby fever and panicking because you have no infant tylenol or motrin. Or changing a diaper to discover a rash and having no cream on hand. Even running out of baby shampoo mid bath can be an annoying experience. These are a few of my favorite baby care products, all of which can be found anywhere from Target to the grocery store.
My selections included Aveeno Baby Organic lotion (the whole line- shampoo, baby wash etc. is great), Johnson and Johnson wipes- these are great for wiping down grimey parts of baby when you don’t feel like giving (or can’t give) them a full scale bath, Boogie Wipes- the saline in these wipes really tackles boogers without having to rub too hard on those sensitive little nosies, Vicks Vapor Rub (for babies) if Mom is hesitant to put this on baby’s skin, she can still put some on herself to help soothe a sick little one, a behind the ear thermometer- this deserves it’s own digression. We love this thermometer because we don’t have to disturb our kids and shove a rectal on up their you-know-what. We can check their temps without even waking them up (which is incredible). I do have to note, however, that if there is a high fever we do still use the rectal to make sure we are getting the most accurate reading possible. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is simply the best. It is because of this butt paste that my daughter asks to brush her teeth with “butt paste please”. All paste is butt paste to her. A ball syringe nasal aspirator- I hate this thing passionately but it really, really, really does help clear out tiny baby noses. And finally, infant Mylicon gas drops for those times when baby is crying inconsolably and nothing seems to help. Parents will love you!
12. Big kid hooded bath towels and lots of bath toys. My cousin mentioned this to me once and I thought it was such a light bulb moment. I always toss the bath toys when get extra grungy because they totally gross me out and “bleaching” them (even with the tiniest bit of bleach) makes me cringe. I mean, my kids chew on those toys and I don’t like the idea of any amount of bleach being ingested. Nor do I particularly like the idea of grimy moldy bath toys being ingested… But they never get replaced and then we wind up with an empty bath tub devoid of all bath time fun until I remember to buy more toys. Having a collection of new toys on hand makes those days easier and also keeps bath time fun and exciting.
13. A pregnancy journal.
I got one of these as a gift with my first pregnancy and felt it was so thoughtful. There are so many emotions and exciting things happening during that time in a woman’s life and getting them all down on paper was great. It’s so fun for my husband and I to look back through the journal at all the funny, sentimental, and serious moments that I jotted down. It’s definitely a special keepsake.
14. A car “emergency” kit. Let’s face it people, new Mom’s have momnesia (I speak from experience) and occasionally forget to pack such necessities even as basic as diapers and wipes. Seriously, I’ve done this too many times to count. Fill up a little Rubbermaid container with various size diapers (give Mom the extras), wipes, and plain onesies in a few different sizes, and plastic zip lock bags to contain messy clothes. Mom can keep this in her trunk and never panic in the event of forgotten diaper bag and poop-to-the-armpits-explosion-emergency while out and about. This seriously happened to my husband and I in Michael’s arts and crafts store. Talk about a poop explosion. Lilly went home in my husbands t-shirt as her scatter brained mother forgot the diaper bag. Groan. (And I’ll confess, that’s not the only example.)
15. Speaking of diaper bags- there will be no other accessory that Mom relies on more than this bag. She will take it everywhere, pack it to the brim, and count on it to hold everything but the kitchen sink. If there’s a time in a woman’s life when she deserves a nice hand bag this is it. There are so many stylish options these days and Mom will love being spoiled with this baby friendly treat. Go in on it with a few friends and pick something nice- just be sure to get a gift receipt so Mom can exchange it if the style’s not up her alley!
16. A collection of favorite books for baby. I could live at Barnes and Noble for days and still not get enough of their children’s book collections. These are my recommendations.
17. This tricycle.
It grows with baby and is great to take to the park, on walks, or just play with in the driveway. We love the phone and cup holder features that give baby lots to do and hold while out and about. Such a nice break from the stroller!
18. An “art box” for that special toddler in your life. Fill up a rubbermaid tub with fun art supplies like new crayons, markers, play dough, pipe cleaners, glue and construction paper, child safe scissors, coloring books, pony beads and stickers. When Mom needs a rainy day activity all she has to do is pull out the art box and let her tot go to town. This is especially great for the family that has a toddler and a new baby as it gives Mom a break and occupies the toddler for a little while.
19. A paint your own pottery gift card (in my neck of the woods this place is called Color Me Mine- but I know others exist). This can be a very fun and special outing for parents and baby. They can make hand and footprint mugs, plates, trivets, Christmas ornaments etc. etc. But it’s also a great family activity for toddlers who are just old enough to have fun painting their own special treasure with the help of Mom or Dad. My childrens’ grandparent’s love the hand and footprint mugs we’ve made for them.
20. A nice restaurant gift card for Mom and Dad with babysitter services attached. This is a special way to give Mom and Dad much needed alone time which is often hard to come by once baby arrives. We received one such gift card and used it as our “last supper” (har-har) before our first daughter was born. We got another one for use before my second daughter was born as well but had to use it post baby as Gracie came early! Sometimes Mom needs a little push to leave the baby- even for an hour or two!- but I think it’s so important to give her and Dad a break to focus on their relationship and being adults.
I hope this list sparked some ideas for your next little one that comes into the world. What would you add? What gifts did you give or receive that Mom or Baby totally loved?