If you haven't had kids (or haven't had babies at home in years) it may be difficult to know (or remember) what a new parent really wants and needs. Here are our favorite tips to picking out a winning baby shower gift for the new parents in your life.
Buy larger sized clothes
It seems natural to buy newborn sized clothes so the baby can wear them now, right? There are a few reasons why this isn't the best idea.
1. Not all babies will even fit into newborn sized clothes. Some babies are born large enough to start wearing 3-6 month sizes right away.
2. Babies grow fast. Even a small baby won't be wearing newborn size for long. There may be only a few weeks the outfit will even fit.
3. Most of the clothing a new mom receives will be in the really small sizes. Often times, a parent will receive so many newborn and 3-6 month items that they won't even end up wearing all of them.
Our advice: Buy big! By the time the baby is wearing 12 and 18 month clothing, they may not have as many outfits and parents will be grateful for the variety in sizes. We suggest buying 12 month, 18 month, and even up to 2T. Yeah, you won't get to see the baby wearing your outfit for a while, but the parents will appreciate it and that is really the point, right?
If buying clothes, keep seasons and baby age in mind.
If a baby is born in the fall, buying summer clothing in newborn or 6 month sizes means the baby won't be able to wear it if they live in a colder climate. If buying something that is seasonal or weather specific, estimate the size the baby will be when it will be wearing it. If you are unsure, keep it to something the baby can wear all year.
Find gifts that appeal to the parent's unique interests
Do the parent have a favorite band or movie? Do they participate in a sport or hobbie? Do they play an instrument or have a favorite vacation destination? Do they have a clever inside joke? Do the parents tend to dress in a particular style such as punk, goth, or rockabilly? Find a cool outfit with a logo of their favorite band or show. Find a fun toy that features a sport or activity they are into. You can even get something custom printed with a unique saying or graphic.
See baby band merch
If you are unsure of the sex of the baby keep things neutral
Sometimes parents like to keep the sex of the baby a surprise. Many parents also like to keep things more neutral instead of overdoing it on the stereotypical pastel pinks and princesses for girls or baby blue and trucks for boys. If the parents haven't revealed the sex just stick with neutral items to be on the safe side.
Diapers, wipes, etc
This may not seem like the most exciting gift, but this is one parents will definitely appreciate. This is something they will need to buy over and over again. You can ask the parent their preferred diaper/wipe brand if you are unsure what to purchase. Put it in a cute basket and add a bow.
Helping a parent build a child's library is a fun way to give a gift that will be with the child for years to come. Pick fun books with vibrant pictures that the parent can read with the child.
Give a gift from the heart
Homemade gifts are a special way to give something unique and heartfelt. If you are craft you can sew a blanket, knit a hat, or paint a picture for the nursery.
Bibs, burp cloths, and other accessories
Babies make a mess. Bibs and burp cloths are something a parent can't have too much of.
Chose easy and purchase gifts from the gift registry
If the parents have a gift registry, that is a fail-proof way to get things the parents actually want/need. While it is fun to give gifts that are unique and a surprise, if you are struggling to come up with a gift idea on your own, this is a guaranteed way to make sure the parents will appreciate the gift.
Something for Mom
The baby shower isn't just about the baby. Give mom a special gift so she feels loved and pampered as well. Maybe a spa or a maternity massage gift certificate so she can have some time to treat herself before or after the baby arrives.
Another one that seems generic, but parents don't always know exactly what they will need until after the baby arrives. This way they can pick up any items they need that they hadn't already purchased or didn't include on their gift registry. Gift certificates for things like newborn photography, house cleaning services, or food delivery will be a much appreciated gift after the baby has arrived.