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I know whenever I am invited to a baby shower, I always want to give a truly appreciated gift. I’m sure we all feel that way with any gift we give for any occasion, but I don’t know–there’s something about babies that makes me want to give a gift that is extra special.
Since most baby showers are for first time parents, I now have the benefit of experience to help pick out an amazing gift. I love putting together a gift basket full of cute and practical items that can really bless a new mom and her family.
All parents are different, and some moms love one product while others don’t. We all have different parenting styles and preferences. Before deciding what you should include in a gift basket, consider the following:
Are the parents-to-be minimalists, or are they the type to want to try all the cool new products that hit the market? If they prefer a more simple and practical approach to everyday life, you’re probably not going to want to fill the basket with a lot of electronic items. If they love the idea of any product that might make life easier, then they might be underwhelmed by a gift basket filled with rash cream and burp cloths. You will want to throw something extra special in there.
These gift basket ideas will contain a mix of simple and practical ideas with some new and trendy items to give you a wealth of ideas to create the best basket for your particular mom or dad-to-be.
Diapers are SUPER practical, though maybe not always the most exciting thing to purchase. However, if your mom-to-be is planning on using cloth diapers, you’re in luck because cloth diapers are SO fun to buy! Accessories for cloth are fun to buy, too. First I will focus on cloth diaper ideas, and then I will touch on disposables.
A Diaper! Cloth diapers have some fabulous prints that will be as fun to pick out and give as they will be to receive. Ask the mom-to-be or a relative or close friend of the mom if they know what style of diaper they think they are going to use. If you’re not sure but really want to purchase a diaper, I recommend a pocket or all in one. The diaper pictured here is a BumGenius Freetime (see my review of this type of diaper here!) in the print called “Strong”. It’s adorable and very trendy.
If you would like to buy a cute diaper at a smaller price tag, the Imagine Baby Pockets are very economically priced and get good reviews. There are several prints from which to choose. This print is called Panda Fold!
If you need to buy disposables, the mama-to-be might be really appreciative of receiving a pack of diapers from an eco- or health-conscious brand. Honest Company is a well-known brand that values sustainability and creates hypo-allergenic diapers. From what I have seen, they also have adorable prints!
Seventh Generation is another hypoallergenic brand of disposables, and what is kind of fun about this brand is that they have some unbleached cotton in their disposables!
One thing I want to add about disposables in a gift basket: resist the urge to do something cute with them that may be a pain in the butt when it comes time to use the diapers. One example is a diaper cake. I received a diaper cake at my work baby shower, and it was super cute! Each diaper was rolled up and tied together with a string, and then the rolled up diapers were put together in a tiered design to make a “cake.” I was planning on using cloth, but I figured I would use those disposables I was given during the first week or two while the baby grows a bit and has the “tarry” poop. Well, it was pretty irritating to have to try to untie knots or find a scissors every time I wanted to use a diaper. If you want to do something cute with them, just make sure it’s easy for the family to access the diapers.
Putting a good quality rash cream in your gift basket is sure to be appreciated. If the family is planning on using cloth diapers, you can find a good list of cloth diaper safe rash creams at this link. If the family is not planning on using cloth, these creams are still excellent choices. I will link to another one of my favorite creams for families using disposables (unfortunately, this one is not safe for cloth):
Triple Paste–this stuff is heavy-duty and it has saved our babies’ butts during teething. Teething rashes are brutal!
You can also put in a jar of coconut oil. Coconut oil can be a great moisturizer for a baby’s bottom, and it can also be an awesome nipple cream for nursing or pumping.
This applies to cloth diapering families, but one of my absolute favorite things to include in a gift basket besides a cloth diaper is a package of upgraded inserts. The inserts that come standard with most pocket cloth diapers aren’t the most absorbent, and it’s so nice to already have some high quality inserts to get you started. Here are my favorite types of inserts.
Baby wipes can easily be added to a gift basket. They are cheap, extremely practical, and there are options for cloth or disposable wipes. If you go the cloth wipe route, you might even consider making them yourself. They are a very easy DIY project and it’s a great way to add a personal touch to your gift basket. People love receiving homemade items–the time people are willing to invest in gifts says a lot more than how much money they spent. If you don’t think they are planning on using cloth wipes, you can follow the same method in the tutorial to make burp cloths–just cut the squares bigger.
Putting in a sweet board book is a great idea. You can go with some classics like Goodnight Moon or The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but sometimes I like to put in a book that is slightly less popular in hopes that it won’t be a duplicate. Some lesser-known books that my kids absolutely LOVED are:
The Babies and Doggies Book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward (this was especially a favorite of my youngest!)
Unique Book Options
If you want to throw in a REALLY unique book, there are these awesome Baby University books– Quantum Physics for Babies, Rocket Science for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, and Newtonian Physics for Babies. You can also get a box set of all four. If you want to appeal more to the right brain parent, there are several BabyLit books–board book versions of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Huckleberry Finn, and Alice in Wonderland. There are several more titles like these in the BabyLit series. Babies are sure to love the graphics on the pages and simplified story content, and parents are sure to love the idea that they are raising little geniuses. 😉
Sophie the Giraffe is a fantastic option for a gift basket. Sophie is a great teether. She is the kind of item most parents aren’t going to buy on their own, but are appreciative when someone else does. Sophie may seem incredibly overrated, but honestly if you gave Sophie a bite, you’d understand. I *may* or may not have tried it… I can definitely see why the kind of rubber Sophie is made of is so satisfying for babies to chew!
Putting in a small baby toy or two can be a great idea. Oballs are an awesome first toy for a baby–they are easy for babies to hold and manipulate and they love to shake them!
Picking up a style or two of pacifiers is also a nice idea. Many babies are very particular about what kind of pacifier they will take, and if you can get a couple different brands, that will help the parent out when they’re desperate at 2 am. I have a friend that after one particularly bad night ordered 10 different types of pacifier to find one her baby would finally accept. Getting them started on the brand experimentation could be extremely helpful! A Wubbanub in particular is another kind of pacifier many parents wouldn’t buy on their own, but find that their babies LOVE them when they get one as a gift. They are also adorable to add to a gift basket.
I don’t typically include a lot of clothing in a gift basket–the reason is that you never know what the person has already received for hand-me-downs or what they already have on hand.
Some people get the idea that they want to purchase clothing in a bigger size, thinking it will be practical because the mama will receive 0-6 month clothing as the bulk of her gifts. But in my experience, I had so many cute outfits I forgot about completely because they were too big to put in the dresser at that time. They got tucked away in the closet for later use, but we didn’t have any other clothes of that size to tuck them with, so they got lost in the shuffle and we would discover them after our kids had already grown out of that size. It was a bummer! Maybe the mom-to-be you’re buying for is more organized than I am, though. 🙂 You’ll have to decide if it makes sense to buy clothes or not.
If you do buy some clothes, I would keep it simple with pairs of stretchy pants or onesies. Lots of parents have the best intentions to dress their kids to the nines…and some succeed for sure! Most of us don’t.
The Perfect Gift Basket
Lastly, I think a really nice touch is a gift card to a restaurant that does delivery near the family, especially if you don’t live close enough to bring a home-cooked meal. Look their address up on Google and see what types of restaurants you can find that will deliver. If you know their favorite restaurant, go for that. If not, try to pick something that can give them a semi-healthy dinner. They might be relying on a lot of convenience foods like frozen pizzas with a new baby at home, and it would be nice to get a semi-healthy meal they didn’t have to cook. Places that deliver sandwiches and salads are great options.
You really can’t go wrong with a gift basket. I mean, even the basket itself is a gift. I can’t believe how many things I use baskets for post-kids! Have fun putting this together. I know your mom-to-be will absolutely adore everything you pick out for her and her bundle of joy!