When you find out your pregnant, everyone gets in on the excitement. I was so blessed to have a community full of kind people who couldn’t wait to meet the new addition as much as my husband and I were. (A big THANK YOU!!! shout out to everyone again!) Throughout the pregnancy, baby showers, and even after birth, gifts were flooding in from friends and family from all over the country.
Even though I loved every single gift I received (because baby things are so exciting and cute!), this post is a list of what I found to be the most practical gifts, because they actually worked out over a longer period of time/ I used more than once. (I just want to reiterate that if your gift isn’t listed, it is not because I didn’t absolutely LOVE it, because I reassure you I did/do!)
Socks– do not give newborn socks. They are so ity bity and so dang cute, but I’m pretty sure they are made specifically for premature babies… I got a huge collection of super cute socks, but my boy I guess has big feet for a newborn and didn’t ever fit in a dang one… BUT still give socks, but the bigger the better. ** note: get the type of socks with a grip on the bottom (babies get so impressed with themselves when they stand up, it’s nice for them to not have the challenge of fighting the slipping and sliding 🙂 ) Also, try to give tall socks. They don’t slip right off as easily.
Shoes– the seemingly most ridiculous gift to give a baby… IS NOT!! Just make sure to get a pair, again, with some sort of grippy on the bottom of them. Shoes with no grip ARE ridiculous 😉 but super cute still, so don’t be sucked into the cuteness. Oddly enough, baby stuff should be practical, too 🙂
Clothes– so many super cute options!!! But don’t give in to buying newborn clothes. My boy was born at 8lbs 20 1/2 in long (pretty average I think…) and only got to wear those cute outfits maybe once, if that 😦 Again, it was a foot problem on some.. But try buying other sizes, they will be appreciated I guarantee it. They will be able to use it longer, plus you never know how that baby will grow! Gideon is about to turn 7 months and he’s wearing clothes anywhere from 12-24 months! **Note: don’t forget about second hand stores! They have awesome selections and for a fraction of the price!! Brand new baby clothes usually cost the same as big people clothes for some reason- not cool! Your first stop should be The Backwoods Visitors’ Center & Community Shoppe because we always have a great selection at great prices 😉
Stroller– okay, maybe this one is not for everyone, but if you plan to drive that thing over grass, dirt, rocks, down stairs, through the woods, longer distances (running or through the mall)… These are the best 😉 they are so easy to maneuver, and you can push them over anything without getting stuck or whatnot.
HIking Backpack– MY ALLTIME FAVORITE! Not just for hiking. I though slings were going to be great, and I used a few different varieties for different occasions and reasons, but once that babe can hold his head up solid, into the backpack he goes. He sits up high so he can see, gives me the chance to use BOTH of my hands to work, he even falls asleep occasionally in it. The trick is to keep moving and the little one won’t complain because his mind is being occupied by different sights (triple whammy! Get that butt back in shape! 😉 AND get more work done! AND develop that baby mind more 🙂 ) plus it gets rid of the stroller aspect: go to the fair- into the backpack. Go volunteer- into the backpack. Go to work- into the backpack. Play a few rounds of badminton- into the backpack… It’s brilliant. I get more free time to use my arms than anything else I have tried out.
Car Seat– expensive, yet only lasts 5 years when bought new… But neccisary If you plan on driving anywhere with your baby. Luckily I was handed down one with some years left on it, this is the best. Does baby safety in car seats really change that much in five years this day and age?? Amazing…
Baby head support for the car seat– you’ll definitely need one of these until your baby can hold his head by himself very well. I had no idea until I started messing around with the car seat (before I actually needs to use it- smart idea, figure that bad boy out before you need to rush out somewhere and can’t figure something out about it!)
Wipes– enough said I think. Unless you plan on making your own (in that case ask for a bunch of paper towels!) or using reusable cloths (in that case ask for a bunch of your wants in cloth!), an unlimited supply of baby wipes will always be appreciated!!
Diapers– if the mom-to-be has decided on cloth diapers, that is the best gift you can give. Unfortunately they can be expensive, but they will be SOOOO APPRECIATED! It’s a hard choice deciding what kind to get, but if you shop on Etsy, you can’t go wrong buying from an artist trying to make it 🙂 my opinion. Plus mom won’t really know what kind she’ll like the best until she tries them all… Seriously. So don’t worry about it. I knew I wanted snaps because I thought the velcro would give out over time. But I later learned it is good to get double leg gussets (brilliant), and also one size (can use on new born and adjust size as he grows!). If the mom-to-be isn’t going that route, then diapers in general are very appreciated. Again with the sizes: most everyone thinks to buy the newborn sizes, so instead, get the next size up, or the next…even maybe the next! Also, my own personal opinion, but try to buy natural/organic. There are some good brands out there available at the supermarkets now, like Seventh Generation etc. More paper, less plastic. I’m pretty sure the earth wept every time I threw out a “disposable” diaper… that’s just how I felt.
Blankets– warm blankets, check. But who thinks about blankets for the summer? I like carrying a blanket around for random spit ups/messes… in any season. Nice lightweight muslin blankets are a must in the summer time, and they come in all sorts of super cute patterns on then. Plus, if they are large enough, they can double as car seat covers when you need to walk through a light rain, into a doctor’s office, or when baby is sleeping and you need to go into the supermarket. HOLY MOLY, it could have saved my life one day… Some random lady caught me at the door one time, being sweet of course and ooing and ahhing at the sleeping baby, and proceeded to (accidentally) WAKE HIM UP!!! I knew I had a limited time to make it through the store before he would wake up, but I got trapped, she stood between us and the door, and I’m too nice I guess… She runs after waking him up, and I couldn’t get him to stop crying the WHOLE time I was in there, UGH!! Worst shopping experience ever! So anyway- if they can’t see a baby, no one will feel the need to talk up your important time. WHEW! Lesson learned.
Baby Walker– you know, those things you slip your baby in where they can touch the floor with their feet, and have a few gadgets in front of them to play with. I recommend one the can wheel around in freely, not the type the go round a center consul of toys… Going forward and backwards is easier than the sideways motion.Bath Seat– I personally like the one that is just a mesh seat that you stick in your own sink/ or bathtub. It folds up flat when not in use. Baby items can get overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the space to store them. We don’t have the space, not the bathtub, so once he couldn’t fit in the sink anymore, we take showers with him 😉 he’s such a water baby!! So much fun to take a shower with him.
Entertainment Seat– a seat that bounces and has thinks for baby to reach/push/pull. So great for mamas wanting to finish taking showers relaxed. If you get everything ready before you get in the shower, when you are done washing baby, you wrap him up in his towel, stick him in the seat, and you have a good 5 minutes to finish (and enjoy) your good shower. That’s a lot of time!!
Cardboard/Hardboard Books– books are great. Especially sweet books, books with great pictures, books with color, black and white books, books with a good moral… Actually read the book before you give it 🙂 even if it’s going to a baby, they will still have it when they start understanding 🙂 Babies love to tear stuff apart, so hard cover books allows them to love books, not the fact that they can rip, crinkle, and destroy a beloved book.
Some sort of multi-faceted crinkle toy– gives baby options in entertainment while he’s not sleeping in the car…
If you don’t know what to get, MONEY is ALWAYS appreciated! Whether they start a savings account for the wee one, or use it for an emergency, or stash it for back up cash, or whatever… it is ALWAYS appreciated! I had good intentions in putting all the money I received into a savings account… But then had to use it for hospital bills for an emergency c-section 😦 SO APPRECIATIVE that I had that back up cash!
Hope this post helps the gift givers wondering what to give and the new mamas out there not knowing what they need! I thought I had an idea of what I needed, turned out I didn’t need some of the things that I thought I might need (i.e. baby bottle, pacifiers) and didn’t think of all I needed (i.e. baby bath chair). Also, some things work for some and don’t work for others, it will mainly depend on the living situation.
What worked best for you other mama’s out there? What do you think you couldn’t have lived without for the first 6 months+?? I’m sure your advice will help the new mamas and gift givers out there come up with some great idea! Write us a comment to get some creative juices flowing! Happy Pregnancy to you or to one you know ❤