How To : Be the Best at Baby Showers

I have to admit, I am not a huge lover of showers of any sort… bridal, baby, engagement, regular (we can come back to that). I am, however, a huge lover of heartfelt gifts. So when the baby shower comes along, though I love any excuse for a good party, the gift part always feels a little weird. Opening up the obligatory gifts in front of everyone, while the crowd oohs and aahs at the seventeenth pack of overpriced onesies is really not something I enjoy, as the gift giver or the gift receiver.

Some of my favorite moments of my own baby shower was when the few people pulled me aside, before or after, to give me their gifts in private. Those moments are engrained in my memory, and to this day, I pull out the bibs or the books or the bottles that were in those gift bags, simply because they remind me of that moment.

I do understand, however, that isn’t always possible. Baby showers hold so much more significance than just the gifts, and the gathering of the people there is the part that matters. Whether you play games or do ice breakers or simply sip Virgin Marys while chatting with your tribe on a Sunday morning, it’s the company that counts.

So if you are going to do the gift thing, however you do it, I have a few tips.

  • If you have had a baby recently, rather than consulting a new mom’s registry, go ahead and take the initiative and buy some things that helped you out. First time mommas, and we’ve all been there, don’t always know what they might need, so their registry will be full of the obligatory bottle warmers and swaddles and crib sheets. And though important, there are things they might not realize they need, in which now, you are an expert on. Share your wealth, my friend.
  • Handmade is great, and keep their style in mind. Coming from a monotone and neutral lover, though I ADORE the handmade things I received, I don’t use them as much as I’d like to, simply because they don’t go with the other things I love. So if you want to do something handmade, keep her style in mind, and try to make something she will for sure use!
  • They are only newborn for like, one minute. Newborn sized goodies are so needed, but remember that they will probably be used one whole time. Instead, opt for sizing up in things, so they can be used a little longer and later. 3-6 month is fab, but the 9-12 month is even more fun, as we get to pull them out later and enjoy the gift for so much longer.

Now that I’m in a season of “friends having babies all the time,” I have got a nice little gift-giving routine down. There are some things that I absolutely must share with my friends, as they were life-savers for me, and then I like to throw something in there that I know they will love, and though I am not really a hand-made type, if possible, I see if I can pull something together (that honestly never happens, but hey, I try).

So here I’m sharing just a small snippet of my favorite baby shower gifts, in hopes it will help another new momma or two out there. God knows it takes a village, I’m just glad to be a part of it!

  • These knotted gowns from Candy Kirby.
    It’s no secret I love these, and I gift them to every new baby momma.
  • Momosas book
    Adam got me this book when we first found out we were pregnant, and it was really fun to be able to feel like I was enjoying a cocktail with everyone else. Especially with the heat of summer towards the end. When a glass of bubble water won’t do the trick, it’s great to be able to experiment with a “cocktail.”
  • Gripe water
    Don’t skip this one. It seems like so many still don’t know about “magic water,” as we called it. It solves hiccups and colic and gas and fussiness. And it’s ultra safe, totally natural and made by mommas. Really, it’s magic.
  • BabyWise
    At first, I hated this book. And I usually put that disclaimer in my card to the new momma before she dives in to read it. It wasn’t until after the first few months that I realized that BabyWise was my lifesaver. It was a fantastic solution for us, and Joey is now one of the best sleepers I know. Even if they don’t want to get “parenting” advice, this book is great for all sorts of advice. We really enjoyed it. (I will do a full review on BabyWise come Joey turning one year old).
  • One of these wooden teething rings
    Remember my comment about matching the momma’s style? Most teething toys are bright and obnoxious looking, but the wooden teething toy trend appeals to everyone, is mighty safe for baby and can work for anyone. We have at least 6 of these in all different sizes and types and colors and they are super easy to throw in the purse for on-the-go. And cute. That helps.
  • Gift card to the app store for this baby monitor app
    This is a new addition to my arsenal, and I realize I should have used it sooner. Now that the weather is nice, I don’t really want to carry around the baby monitor outside while we do things while baby naps. This app goes device to device, so my music playing iPad in Joey’s room transmits to my phone. Has video too, if you are so inclined.
  • This phone case with an easy-hold back
    She will need it. She doesn’t know it yet, but she will.
  • A stack of these washcloths/burp rags a mile high
    Again, no surprise I love these. I give them to everyone. Softest, most portable, durable and high quality out there. Seriously.
  • This snot sucker, nail clippers, thermometer kit from Target
    For some reason, we didn’t have these things before baby came, and someone dropped this gift off on our front porch shortly after. It’s those little things you don’t realize you need until the moment you need them.
  • Gift certificate for one month of diaper service
    Can’t go wrong. Because even though they might be stocked up for the first month or two, that sizing up challenge is real, and Costco is just not feasible on month number two.