20 Baby Shower Gifts That Are Actually Worth the Money
The mommy bloggers have spoken, and these products are the ones you should really be gifting the mommy-to-be.
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Amanda Rueter of Messy Motherhood puts this baby-wearing wrap at the top of her "can’t live without" list. "I loved the comfort of the Moby Wrap to carry my baby," Rueter says. "It was great, especially when I had my youngest, to have my hands free but still have my baby close. I used it for everything from grocery shopping to soothing a crying baby at home in the dark of night."
Buy It: Amazon, $49 - $55
"When I first saw the Otteroo," says Amy Morrison of Pregnant Chicken, "I thought it looked like a torture device!" However, this inflatable ring is anything but. It's a specially-made, comfortable floatation device to support your baby’s head in the bath or pool. "Essentially, it keeps their heavy head afloat while they groove out in the water, and babies love it," Morrison says. "A number of occupational and physical therapists have even incorporated the Otteroo into their aquatic therapy sessions."
Buy It: Otteroo, $26.95
"Kids get sick—it's unavoidable—and this thermometer is awesome," Morrison says of this helpful, high-tech health aid. "It syncs to your phone and keeps track of symptoms. It also takes one second (literally!) to get a temperature read. It's a total game changer."
Buy It: Target, $39.99
Breastfeeding Subscription Box
"I think subscription boxes are an incredible idea," says Morrison. "Gifts, like visitors, often come in a flurry in the beginning but peter out when you are really feeling the toll of parenthood, so these are such a beautiful idea to keep the good times rolling!" Perhaps best of all, "you don’t have to be up on your baby stuff to send them—these guys do all the work for you."
Buy It: The Boobie Box, $24.50/month
“My friend that has three kids took them to the bookstore and had them pick out a bunch of books for my baby,” Morrison says. “They were bang-on with all of them, and they were books I wouldn’t have picked myself. Kids have very un-adult taste in books, and you can’t always anticipate what will strike a chord, so other kids and seasoned mothers can often lend a hand.”
Buy It: Anthropologie, $11.99 (Set of 4)
"These basics are perfect for new babies," says Sarah Nau of WeeSpring, "especially when your little one has a diaper blow-out and you're stuck trying to figure out how to pull a gross (bottom-snap) onesie over their head!"
Buy It: Amazon, $14 - $40 (Set of 3)
"Here’s a crazy-looking contraption you don't know you need until your little one gets a cold," says Nau. "Much more effective than the traditional bulb syringe (and more hygienic, too!), this is a must-have for your sick-kid arsenal."
Buy It: Amazon, $20.00
"For parents, products that can serve multiple purposes are awesome," Nau says. "A yoga ball is great for helping stretch and ease aching joints during pregnancy, it can help laboring mamas get (somewhat!) comfortable during contractions, and it works for bouncing fussy babies."
Buy It: Amazon, $15.95 - $24.95
"Fun fact: a newborn goes through an average of 10 diapers a day in their first month of life. That's a lot of diapers," Nau of WeeSpring says. "Having a diaper subscription takes one very important thing off a new parent's to-do list, and that convenience is priceless."
Buy It: The Honest Co., $79.95/month
"This deluxe lounging pod has taken over the baby sleep space with its sleek Swedish design, comfiness, portability and versatility," says Natalie Gordon of Babylist. This lightweight pod gets parents’ praise for safe use at tummy time, for changing, traveling and more.
Buy It: Amazon, $175.00
"This is a vibrating mat you can take anywhere to soothe baby," says Meg Collins of Lucie’s List. "Since babies are used to constant motion and noise in the womb, this was designed to mimic those same conditions and actually works quite beautifully."
Buy It: Buy Buy Baby, $84.99 - $99.99
This cuddly, cute sack "is slightly weighted in the chest, providing a sense of security as if Mom's hand were there for comfort," Collins says. "Parents love it and report longer sleep periods when using weighted sacks."
Buy It: Amazon, $32.99
"I love these swaddles because they serve so many purposes," says Janessa Solem of Thrifty Nifty Mommy. "You can use them as blankets, burp rags, shade from the sun when draped over a stroller, nursing covers, even as backdrops for adorable newborn photos!"
Buy It: Amazon, $49.95 (Set of 4)
Baby Wipe Warmer
"I never expected to use a wipes warmer, but someone purchased me one for my baby shower," says Solem. "I hadn't considered how cold those wipes would feel on a newborn's bottom! I could tell that my baby was much happier when I used the wipes from the warmer."
Buy It: Amazon, $22.99
"The Snoogle is the best pregnancy pillow out there, and it made my third pregnancy much more comfortable at night," says Katie Joiner of Happily Ever Mom. "The best part? You can use it as a breastfeeding pillow (or to bottle feed) when your baby is born."
Buy It: Amazon, $59.99
Measured Water Bottle
"It's insane the amount of water that we need to drink daily for baby," Joiner says. "And after the birth? You'll need even more! Make it easy on yourself with this time-trackable water bottle. This 32-ounce beast helps you to keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout the day by giving you hourly goals. Each goal is written on the side of the bottle. And, yes, you've got to drink this twice a day!"
Buy It: Amazon, $17.99
Photography Gift Certificate
“There are so many local photographers now who will come to you and take adorable photographs of the newborn,” Solem says. “This is an unexpected gift for moms (and dads!) that will be treasured for years to come!”
Many of our pros agree: Delicious ready-made meals are a super-appreciated gift after coming home from the hospital. “Stock her freezer ahead of time with some great meals, or bring them to the shower packed in an ice cooler,” says Alida Quittschreiber of The Realistic Mama. Says Dirt and Boogers’ Amanda Rueter, “I lived far away from family and friends when my second was born, so my good friend hired a local caterer to bring us a week's worth of home-cooked meals for my family and me. It was wonderful to have fantastic meals that I didn't have to cook!”
For a gift they’ll hold near-and-dear, “Moms love handmade items from grandparents (and other loved ones). Quilted or knitted blankets seem to be among the most cherished gifts a new parent can receive,” says LaDonna Dennis of Mom Blog Society.
For a little levity—and perspective—Lenore Skenazy, founder of the book, blog and movement Free-Range Kids suggests, “Give a parenting advice book from some long-ago era to remind that advice is always changing, so you don't have to take any of it that seriously.” Example? One such book from the 1920s advised never to hug or kiss your children and to shake hands with them in the morning instead!