Wondering what to buy as a gift for a baby shower? Everyone wants to buy something adorable but you also need to think of practical gifts the new parents will actually use. Using recommendations from our fabulous BabyYumYum community, we’ve put together a list of brilliant ideas for baby shower gifts new parents will love.
The best and most useful baby shower gift ideas for new moms and dads
White noise sound machine
This one is pretty obvious but if baby isn’t sleeping, neither are the parents. A white noise machine can help lull a little one off to dreamland, and keep them asleep for longer.
A baby wearer
One mom explained, “I used mine until my baby was almost a year old. When she was teething and needed lots of attention, I’d pop her in the carrier – it was the only way I could get stuff done.” Enough said.
All kids end up with snotty or blocked noses at some point and the mucus-clearing Nose Frida is a lifesaver. And consider adding some Sterimar nasal spray that can be used alongside it.
A breast pump
“My breast pump was a lifesaver,” explains a new mom. “I didn’t even want one because I imagined I’d have no problem breastfeeding but I got one as a gift and it was a God-send when I struggled to get my baby to latch properly.”
Mobile breathing and movement monitor
These offer peace of mind and an extra layer of protection for anxious parents of preemie babies (although they work just as well on full-term babies). One mom said, “I wouldn’t have slept if I didn’t have this clever gadget. Our family has traveled across the world now and it’s the thing I always packed first – my son actually wore it on a flight once!”
Nobody wants to fiddle with press studs after a midnight feed and change. Zips make everything so much easier – even better if the onesie has a two-way zip.
A bath thermometer
It takes the guesswork out of ‘is the water too hot or cold?’ and gives tired new-parent brains one less thing to worry about at bath time. Yes, please!
Every parent needs a comfortable rocking chair. Bonus points if it’s one that can actually be slept in for extended periods of time (because that will happen at some point).
Nappies and wipes
Nappies and wipes are EXPENSIVE and it’s an expense nobody is ever quite prepared for because you go through them faster than you’d think is even possible. The more packs of nappies and wipes new parents are gifted at their baby shower, the less financial strain their pockets will take in the first few months. Don’t worry that it’s a ‘boring’ gift, nappies and wipes will always get used.
A nappy bag
New moms need a sturdy nappy bag with clips and straps that can attach to baby’s pram, and it’s ideal if it has lots of pockets and compartments to help keep things organised and separated.
Activity mat or gym
It’s not just about entertaining and stimulating the child and giving them a safe space for tummy time, activity mats or gyms also give the parents a chance to sit down and enjoy a quick meal or a cup of tea.
If you can afford to gift someone a few sessions with a therapist, do it. There’s nothing more useful than an impartial professional to help a new parent make sense of their new reality.
Who wouldn’t want a fully-stocked freezer and loads of snacks in the pantry? Foodie gifts are always a great idea because cooking is the last thing you feel like doing when you’re trying to keep a new baby alive.
Car trips in the first few weeks and months can be nerve-wracking and having a backseat mirror so you can keep an eye on baby without having to take your eyes off the road is a big help. Babies should be in rear-facing car seats until they are about two years old so parents will get a lot of use out of it.
This gift is actually for mom (or dad!) rather than baby. It ensures her coffee stays warmer for longer and there’s less chance of spillage – even if she’s not leaving the house. Genius!
Bigger baby clothes
Yes, all babies need clothes but the trick is to buy clothes in bigger sizes (like 6-12 months or 12-18 months) because everyone goes for the cute newborn sizes. Often parents are given so much clothing for the first few weeks that the baby can’t wear them all!
Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that you can never have too many burp cloths – and the bigger, the better because it needs to protect the baby’s clothing and the parents. You could even buy cheap toweling nappies and use those.
How does something so small and immobile – a baby – require so much stuff and make such a mess? Every parent will appreciate having someone come in to clean the house or do the washing. Anything that lessens the burden on mom and dad is infinitely useful.
These are to put dirty nappies, soiled clothes or other messes in when you’re out and about. Is it an exciting baby shower gift? Well, no. But is it useful? Definitely.
Automatic formula maker
These are pricy but are so worth it for formula-feeding parents. Why fuss with boiling a kettle, counting scoops of formula and checking bottle temperatures in the middle of the night if there’s a machine that can do all the hard work for you?
Brilliant for breastfeeding or just as additional comfort for baby (or mom!) when sleeping or sitting. One mom said, “I couldn’t do without my donut pillow. I took it everywhere with me, and my son – who is now two – still sleeps with it.”
These are especially handy once baby is mobile but just because the gift won’t be used immediately, that doesn’t mean it won’t be appreciated. Think security gates, electrical outlet covers, sharp corner cushioning and cupboard locks.
Patience, support and compassion
That’s it – that’s what new parents really need from you!