Ever notice how the same old stuff keeps resurfacing at baby showers? Booties, rompers, onesies, receivers, bathtubs…
Covering the basics is fine, but most expectant parents end up with more outfits and booties than thier baby can wear before growing out of.
Here are 15 of the best baby shower gifts that new parents will actually use (and silently thank you for it each time they do).
- How To Choose A Great Baby Shower Gift
- 15 Best Baby Shower Gifts for New Parents
- #1. A Diaper Bag (That Doesn't Suck)
- #2. Portable Changing Station
- #3. Baby Sound Machine
- #4. Bath Pad
- #5. Electric Nail Trimmer
- #6. Nursing Pillow
- #7. Baby Swing
- #8. Nasal Aspirator
- #9. A Portable Baby Monitor
- #10. A Baby Sling Or Carrier
- #11. A Maternity Band
- #12. A Portable Bassinet
- #13. A Wet Bag
- #14. Swaddle Sleep Sacks
- #15. Homemade Gift Baskets
How To Choose A Great Baby Shower Gift
Grabbing the usual go-to baby shower gifts is easy. Finding one that a new parents will seriously appreciate? That takes a little more thought and effort.
The best thing you can do is buy off of a registry. I know that’s not nearly as fun as choosing something “special”, but the registry exists for a reason: those are items that the parents have identified that they need, will use, and don’t already have.
But, if you’re attending a baby shower for parents that didn’t register anywhere, pick up something that will help make life with a newborn a little easier.
Before you buy, check out these tips.
Is the mom-to-be a stylista? Opt for a trendy diaper bag.
Sporty? Gift her with a great belly band or splurge on jogging stroller.
Utility Over Cuteness Factor
This means choosing something useful rather than something that is cute but won't have a place in everyday life. This is especially important for first time parents.
And by useful, I mean “make mom and dad's life easier” useful. Items that make bath time less stressful, give the parents a break, or help soothe fussy babies are always welcome.
Opt for Essentials
Baby essentials aren't the most exciting gifts, but at least you can count on the fact that diapers, wipes, diaper rash creams, and teethers will be used. Word to the wise: if you’re gifting a month's supply of diapers, go for one size up — babies grow at an astonishing rate and chances are parents will already have loads of newborn diapers.
With that in mind, here are the best baby shower gifts, in no particular order.
15 Best Baby Shower Gifts for New Parents
#1. A Diaper Bag (That Doesn't Suck)
Not be the most original baby shower gifts, but a diaper bag that's both fashionable and functional will be used.
Parenting demands sacrifices, but style doesn't have to be one of them. Fill it up, gift basket-style, with diapers, wipes, receivers, and whatever else you can think of.
Consider a backpack diaper bag in a gender neutral design and color so the parents can both use it.
One of my all time favorite diaper bags for gifting is the SoHo Grand Central Station 7 Piece Diaper Bag Set. It looks amazing, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and comes with loads of accessories.
Want something mom and dad can both use? Then a backpack diaper bag might be a better fit.
#2. Portable Changing Station
Finding a sanitary place to change a baby when you're out can be a challenge. Although most diaper bags come with a changing mat, these tend to be small, thin, and flimsy.
Portable changing stations have a fold out design for extra surface coverage. Many also have built-in head cushions and pockets for diaper changing essentials Most look just like a stylish clutch and won't broadcast the fact that you're toting butt-wiping essentials.
#3. Baby Sound Machine
In the womb, babies are surrounded by the steady rhythm of mom's heartbeat and the constant swishing of fluids. In comparison, the world outside can seem deafeningly quiet. Baby sound machines mimic familiar sounds to help babies drift off.
More importantly, though, having white noise playing in the background can keep littles asleep for longer by blocking out noises. Our baby isn’t a baby anymore and she still has her white noise machine on every night.
The Big Red Rooster is an affordable option that offers great value for money with a range of sounds, variable volume settings, and an optional timer. It can be plugged into an outlet or used with batteries, so it works at home or on the go.
Looking for something that will thrill both kids and parents? The popular Cloud b Sleep Sheep Sound Soother pulls double duty as a soft and snuggly cuddle buddy and a sound machine in one.
#4. Bath Pad
Trying to hold onto a slippery, wriggly baby is tough — and even more so when they're crying blue murder. What most parents don't realize is that much of a newborn's deafening complaints stem from discomfort or cold.
Unlike hard, traditional plastic baby bathtubs, bath mats are soft and supportive. This allows parents to place their nuggets directly onto the mat, taking some serious strain off the back and arms.
When it comes to bathing a newborn in a sink, the ultra-soft (and adorable) Blooming Bath Baby Pad is a winner.
The Leachco Safer Bather Infant Bath Pad is another great choice. It’s not as cute as the Blooming Bath Pad, but is more affordable and with an elevated headrest, this option works great in the tub too.
#5. Electric Nail Trimmer
Aside from being ridiculously tiny, newborn hands have a tendency to move at the most unexpected moments. Given the fact that baby nails grow at a freakish rate, finding a safe way to trim those claws is essential.
Although many parents wait for their babies to fall asleep before whipping out the nail clipper, there's always a chance that doing so will rouse the beast — ahem — disturb the sweet darling.
Electric nail trimmers gently file nails down, eliminating the possibility of accidentally cutting the skin. In terms of reducing grooming stress, electric nail trimmers are hands-down one of the most useful tools around.
The Little Martin's Drawer Electric Baby Nail File is one of the gentlest options out there with extra cushioning to keep little fingers safe. It's also ultra quiet, so it won't alarm little ones and it comes with three extra attachments for adult use — score!
#6. Nursing Pillow
Breastfeeding puts strain on mom’s shoulders, back, and neck (not to mention arms), right when she’s still recovering from birth or surgery.
Nursing pillows provide extra support by keeping little ones propped up and providing an armrest for moms. They’re useful for bottle-feeding too. Both moms and dads will be more comfortable having someplace to rest their elbows during bottle feeds. Traditional C-shaped nursing pillows are multi-taskers too. Moms-to-be can use them for lumbar support even before baby arrives and they also make a great post-feed prop for babies who suffer with reflux.
The Boppy Nursing Pillow is the most popular nursing pillow — and with its super comfy design and excellent versatility, it isn't hard to see why. This option works as a back support for moms, a supportive cushion for feeds, and makes a great prop for baby too.
#7. Baby Swing
Baby swings are big ticket items, but if you’re looking to spoil a special couple, they’re dubbed as a “lifesaver” by parents across the globe. Baby swings can soothe fussy babies, help them fall asleep, and keep them asleep for longer periods.
This offers exhausted parents an opportunity to take a bit of a breather, a shower, or catch up on a couple of household chores.
When it comes to comfort, the super plush, ever-popular Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle ‘n Swing is an undisputed favorite among babies.
For all night use, though, the flat recline of the Graco DreamGlider Swing and Sleeper is a more suitable option that delivers both a swing and a bassinet in single package.
#8. Nasal Aspirator
A Nasal Aspirator (That Actually Works). A stuffy nose equals an unhappy baby — and severely sleep deprived parents. A good nasal aspirator can help clear sinuses as quickly and painlessly as possible.
They're also incredibly useful beyond the first few weeks, working to alleviate congestion caused by colds and flu. Not all nasal aspirators are created equal, though, so be sure to choose one that actually works.
The OCCObaby Nasal Aspirator is a super convenient battery-powered nasal aspirator in a versatile package that includes three tips for every nostril size and a manual bulb aspirator so you'll never be left empty-handed should the batteries die.
In terms of manual aspirators, the Fridababy Nose Frida Snot Sucker with 10 Filters is a tried and tested option that delivers fast results and unrivaled efficacy.
#9. A Portable Baby Monitor
There’s no better opportunity to have a shower, catch some ZZZ's, or grab something to eat than when babies are taking a nap.
Checking in on them is always an option, but it also comes with the risk of accidentally disturbing a peacefully sleeping baby. Baby monitors provide a convenient way for parents to keep an eye (or an ear) on their nugget from a distance.
Video monitors have an edge over audio-only varieties by allowing parents to watch and hear their babies at the same time, but if you’re on a budget, a quality audio baby monitor can be every bit as useful.
If only the best will do, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is simply unbeatable. Boasting pan, tilt, and zoom options, parents get a comprehensive view. It also features a two-way talk function for soothing from a distance.
Need something more affordable? Then the V-Tech DM221-2 Audio Baby Monitor is a solid audio option.
#10. A Baby Sling Or Carrier
As lightweight as newborns are, holding a tiny bundle all day and night can still cause some serious arm, shoulder, and back strain. Discomfort aside, constantly carrying a baby makes it impossible for parents to do anything else.
A wrap-style baby sling or a newborn-friendly solid carrier allows parents to carry their babies hands-free while still satisfying their baby’s need to be held.
Ideal for newborns and babies up to the age three months, the Boba Baby Wrap Carrier is soft, comfy, and perfect for nursing on the sly.
Want something that parents can use beyond the first three months? The Ergobaby 360 is a top choice that will see little ones through infancy and toddlerhood.
Also Read: Ergobaby 360 Review
The only drawback? You have to purchase the newborn insert separately.
#11. A Maternity Band
Being pregnant is tough. As if morning sickness, swollen feet, and feisty kicks to the abdomen aren't enough, the added weight and pressure of expanding bellies can be painful.
If you're looking for something just for mom, a maternity band will provide extra abdominal support, taking strain off the lower back and hips. Many can also be used post partum to help organs and muscles return their original positions.
The Belly Bandit Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band is one of the most popular maternity bands around. It's supportive, comfy, and even comes a hot/cold pack that can be slipped in a built-in sleeve for postpartum pain relief.
#12. A Portable Bassinet
Missed naps can lead to meltdowns and cranky babies. Portable bassinets offer a comfortable spot for babies to rest, both at home or on-the-go.
While larger, sturdier portable bassinets tend to work best at home or on vacation, varieties that fold out can be ideal for day trips or visiting friends and family. Some models even double as a diaper bag with a bassinet that folds out for naps, diaper changes, or a clean play area.
My personal favorite portable bassinet is the Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet. This option doesn't rock, but it does have some other features (like Bluetooth connectivity) that are worth checking out.
As far as short trips out of the house go, the sheer convenience of the Warming Wings SmartNest is hard to beat. More than just a bassinet, this option also doubles as a diaper bag (complete with compartments and an insulated bottle pocket) and a portable changing station. It's also one of the few models that has a zip down end to grow with babies.
#13. A Wet Bag
Every cloth-diapering parent knows that a wet bag is essential for stashing soiled diapers between washes.
But even parents who plan to use disposables will benefit from having a wet bag on hand at all times. Spit up, vomiting, blow-outs, and spills are par for the course when you have a baby and having a waterproof bag to stash damp, smelly clothes in can be a godsend. Most wet bags easily fit into a diaper bag and will keep other items from getting damp or dirty. Some wet bags (wet/dry bags) even come with a separate pocket for items like wipes, diapers, or a change of clothes.
We love the odor and moisture locking performance of the Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag and the fact that it comes with a separate dry compartment, but you can find plenty of other great options here as well.
#14. Swaddle Sleep Sacks
Newborns have a natural startle reflex which can lead to more frequent nighttime waking and shorter naps.
Swaddling provides an added sense of security while preventing wildly flailing arms from prematurely waking babies up. Unfortunately, though, perfecting the art of the swaddle takes time and practice, and many determined babies will find a way to escape if they're not perfectly wrapped. Swaddle sleep sacks are specially shaped to take the guesswork out of correct swaddling form and also have fasteners to help keep them in place.
For quick and easy swaddling, the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle has wings with Velcro fasteners, and with three in a pack, this option delivers great bang for your buck.
Want to give babies the opportunity to self soothe while still keeping them securely wrapped? The Love to Dream Swaddle Up has a unique design that allows little hands to reach mouths without the possibility of escape.
#15. Homemade Gift Baskets
For something extra special with a personal touch, consider putting together your own gift basket. You could make one up for baby with essentials like a travel grooming kit, diaper rash creams, mini bath time sets, a stuffed animal, and teethers (pro tip: Sophie the Giraffe is a universal favorite for itchy, achy gums). Alternatively, you could opt to spoil mom with her very own gift set filled with postpartum items like nipple creams, peri bottles, postpartum belly bands, and vitamin E oils, or spoil her with skincare products, bubble baths, soothing aromatherapy essential oils, and chocolates. Feeling extra generous? Why not make one for both mom and baby?
There you have it — 15 freakin' fabulous baby shower gifts that new parents will actually want.