Recently, my friends and friends of friends are starting to have more and more babies. A lot of them are getting married and starting their families right about now which means that there's more and more baby showers happening. People can become easily overwhelmed in what to buy for these showers and will come to me for advice. While I don't have ALL of the answers, I do have a few!
You can never go wrong buying straight from the registry.
Moms take a lot of time picking out exactly what they want, so when you go off of this list you won't buy useless items. Sometimes if there's a big item that hasn't been purchased yet, I will go in on it with another person or a few other people. So if they are requesting some kind of swing and I can only spend $50, I'll ask others to chip in for it too. If I can only spend $20, I'll buy some of the smaller things from the registry (blankets, hangers, etc). But all in all, definitely go off the registry. These are the things mom specifically wants and it makes her life easier when she receives them.
I don't buy diapers or wipes, even if she requests a specific brand. I buy a gift card instead.
I do this for a few reasons: 1) baby might have a reaction to a specific brand that mom won't know about until baby uses them, and 2) I've been told by 5 different stores that when unopened boxes of diapers are returned to be exchanged, the store either trashes them or the diapers are sent back to the manufacturer. I've tried looking this information up but it doesn't seem to be huge public knowledge. I asked our local Target this week while I was in there and they confirmed that the diapers are sent back to the manufacturer. The employee wasn't sure what they do with them from there, but it's a liability to sell the diapers again when people could easily mess with the packaging and put harmful things into them. (What a crazy world!)
While I think it's awesome you can still exchange them, it feels like a bit of a waste for me. So instead of buying boxes of diapers, I buy a gift card to let the parents buy some as they need some. That way they get the exact brand and size they need, as they need them.
This is a really cool gift that allows the parents to save and display all of the little memorabilia from the hospital. The little jackets, hats, and wristbands all of ours wore were put into a shadow box as a keepsake forever. It's really easy to throw all of that stuff in a drawer and think, "one day I'll get to this and put this in something cool". Sometimes, parents don't even know what to do with all of those hospital trinkets. By giving it to them to begin with, it takes out that hard step of them having to go to the store to pick out one themselves. I think it's an awesome sentimental gift to receive and I absolutely adore all of my shadow boxes from my kids' births. I got all of these ones from Hobby Lobby. They're usually not on sale but if you use the 40% off code that Hobby Lobby always offers, they're only around $20 I believe. At least, this specific one is! I love how different each of theirs are on the inside. I delivered in 3 different hospitals and Easton was obviously born in another one as well. It's funny how each hospital gives out slightly different things.
I used to buy outfits, but I don't do that anymore.
Everyone buys outfits! Babies have so many clothes that they barely get to wear them twice. So I refrain from the outfits, BUT if you are dead set on buying an outfit, don't buy newborn. Buy a 0-3 or a 3month size so that it can last longer. Some babies are born too big for newborn sized outfits and you won't know that for sure until they're born. So if your heart is set on buying clothes, please buy them a smidge bigger!
Lou Lou swaddle blankets are life!
I know better than anyone that every single parent has specific things they like and dislike. I really don't like the halo sleep sack, but I know others who love it. So while I know a parent might not like the Lou Lou swaddle blanket as much as I do, I will still throw one in as a gift. They're extremely soft and huge - 48x48, so even if you don't use it as a swaddle blanket, it's perfect to tuck around them in their carseat, stroller, etc. I'm all for introducing products I love in the off chance they might love them too!
Sometimes I will gift a "medicine cabinet" sort of thing.
Medicine is always the last thing I think about when I have babies. I always forget that there's things such as gas drops, gripe water, and even diaper rash cream when I'm in the thick of newborn life. I love throwing in these items for other parents. You never know what you'll need for your baby so it can be convenient to have these types of things on hand. Not having to run to the store at 3am desperately searching the aisles for something, can save a parent's sanity. Again, people have their own opinions on which products work best but I absolutely love the Honest Company's All Purpose Balm. It's always worked within a few hours and I just really love it. So I throw it in as one of my secret weapon items. Maybe it's not really a secret anymore (it's been 3 years since I've had an infant) but I think it's worth trying!
You can never go wrong with a gift card.
If you aren't sure what you want to buy, just grab a gift card! TJ Maxx and Burlington always has very cute options for babies in all categories, so a gift card to either is always helpful. If you want to be more general, Target and Walmart are great options as well. Moms love receiving gift cards!
So again, stick with what the mom wants on the registry or just throw in a gift card so she can get exactly what she wants. Everyone's tastes are different. If you have a few specific items you swear by, I always say to just throw them in (with a receipt!). If she hates them, she can return/exchange them.
This is a celebration of the baby, but it's also a celebration of the mom.
I love baby showers and I know they take a lot of time and dedication to plan. Enjoy the day with your new mama-to-be and just remember to give tons of compliments!
The adorable onesie baby tags pictured below are from Plymouth Cards! Don't forget to use code TATM20 for 20% off at check out :)
ps: if you have any other suggestions or things you love, comment what they are!