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Baby showers are wonderful opportunities to celebrate with loved ones! They’re filled with silly games, yummy goodies, and lots of fun. However, as a guest, it can be challenging to figure out what to bring to a baby shower.

It isn’t easy picking the perfect gift! Let us help. The registry is always a great place to start, but you want to look for items that are practical, useful, and thoughtful! These might be on the registry (if there even is one), or these might be gifts you surprise a new mom with!

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Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Diapering

When little ones first make their appearance into the world, they can’t do much. But they sure can go through diapers! Choosing something from this category is one of the most practical baby gifts you can bring. Here are the top items to consider:

Diapers. Not surprising, diapers are one of the most useful baby shower gifts. After all, babies go through an average of 2,000 to 2,200 diapers in their first year alone! We suggest bringing a box in different sizes, so the new parents don’t end up with too many of one size.

Baby wipes. These go hand-in-hand with diapers! Plus these are useful for things beyond wiping bottoms which makes them one of the most essential baby shower gifts. Many parents use baby wipes to clean off messy hands, feet, and faces, too.

Diaper pail/disposal. Many parents use a special waste disposal next to the changing table that comes with a deodorizer. This is convenient and helps with any lingering smells. While it may not be the cutest gift to bring, it is definitely one of the more practical and helpful ones!

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Nap & Bedtime

Other than making dirty diapers, newborns spend a lot of time sleeping! In fact, new babies get an average of 14-17 hours of sleep over a 24 hour period. Items from this category are some of the most useful baby shower gifts to consider bringing:

Swaddle blankets. These might be called “swaddle” blankets, but they make practical gifts because they have many uses! When you aren’t swaddling your little one to help them sleep, these blankets can be used as burp cloths, tummy time mats, a regular blanket, and more. Breastfeeding moms can even use swaddle blankets as nursing cover. Explore swaddles at our partners aden + anais.

Sound machine. This is one of the more useful baby gifts because parents will rely on it for months, maybe even years. To mimic the white noise from inside the womb and help babies sleep, a sound machine provides a range of options from shushing noises to crashing waves to help little ones sleep more easily.

Bedside bassinet. While it is not safe for baby to co-sleep with parents, bedside bassinets allow for a close safe sleep for both parents and child. This practical gift saves parents allows parents to see baby throughout the night, effortless access for mid-night feeding times, and reassurance your baby is safe.

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Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Feeding

Babies grow exponentially in their first year of life and have the appetite to prove it! Choosing to bring something to support parents as they feed their little ones is both thoughtful and useful:

Bibs. There’s no way around it--babies are messy! Eating can be an especially messy time which makes bibs one of the more essential baby shower gifts. They’re useful because they catch loose food and spills. Plus, before babies start eating solid foods, parents can use bibs to protect against spit up and drool. Explore burpy bibs at our partners aden + anais.

Bottles. For the first year of life, a baby’s main source of nutrition is breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. For this reason, bottles are a practical gift choice for parents! Even if a mom is nursing, bottles are helpful for when she goes to work or allowing other family members to help with feedings as needed.

Utensils. True, babies rely on breast milk or formula at first, but before long solid foods will become a staple part of their diet. Getting parents utensils, bowls, and/or plates makes it a lot easier for them when the time inevitably comes!

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Breastfeeding Moms

Many women choose to breastfeed for nutritional benefits and bonding experience. However, it’s important to remember that nursing isn’t as “free” as people make it out to be. These are essential gifts to support any breastfeeding mom-to-be:

Nursing Pads

New moms leak. There’s no way to avoid it! While some might leak more than others, most new moms will appreciate nursing pads to help prevent them from having to change shirts every couple of hours!

Nipple Cream

While not the “cutest” gift idea, it can be the most useful (and a lifesaver) for breastfeeding moms struggling with chapped and sore nipples.

Milk storage bags

Many nursing moms chose to pump milk as well. To help them get a jump start on their stockpile, gifting them specific milk storage bags is extremely practical and thoughtful!

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Bath Time

Babies often love bath time which is why it becomes a key part of the bedtime routine for many parents. While many homes come equipped with a bath or sink, here are some useful gift ideas to make bathtime a more smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone:

Portable baby bath. A tub that parents can move around the house and keeps their little ones safe is one of the most useful gifts you can bring! Some portable baths on the market even come with a built-in thermostat to help parents make sure the water isn’t too hot or cold.

Bathtime gift set. With sensitive skin, newborns require special soap. Many brands offer gift sets with all a baby’s bath time needs including shampoo, soap, scrub brush, wash cloths, and more!

Bath toys. These might not get used right away, but they still make great baby shower gifts! It’s a practical gift that will save busy parents the trouble of having to buy themselves down the road. There are a ton of fun options out there to choose from, too!

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Around the House

At first, moms and babies spend a lot of time around the house. Taking this into consideration makes these items some of the more thoughtful baby shower gift ideas:

Diaper caddy. The worst thing for a parent is to have a screaming baby who needs a diaper change, but all the supplies are in another room or another level of the house. This is why a diaper caddy is useful! It allows parents to stash diaper changing supplies at different places for convenient use.

Boppy pillow/lounger. These pillows and loungers are typically in a moon shape and can be used throughout a variety of stages! From helping support babies while nursing to supporting them as they learn to sit up, a boppy pillow is a practical gift for parents.

Slings/carriers. This is an essential gift most moms don’t realize how much they will use! With a baby sling or carrier, parents are able to get stuff done around the house while keeping their little one comfy and close.

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Clothes

Baby clothes are a popular item when it comes to gifts because it is so much fun to pick out cute outfits! If you want to get some useful clothes gifts, here are some things to consider:

Gender neutral. Unless you know for sure the mom-to-be is in love with the color pink or blue, it’s best to keep clothing gender neutral. There are more and more options on the market for clothing that doesn’t fall into a stereotypical category of either gender. Plus, gender neutral is more useful because it can be passed down to siblings who might be a different gender.

Booties. Outfits are fun, but oftentimes footwear for newborns gets overlooked! Because of their circulation, babies feet run cooler than the rest of their body. This makes baby booties a practical gift for a baby shower!

Stick to the basics. While everyone loves dressing a little baby up, the reality is that most of the time those outfits aren’t practical. It is more useful for parents to have a solid stock of basic clothing such as plain white onesies.

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Playtime

Playing is a crucial part of a child’s development, and it starts young! Choosing age appropriate toys that stimulate a baby’s mental and physical development are especially thoughtful gift ideas:

Activity mat/gym. These are great gifts as they are often able to grow with babies from tummy time to sitting up. Finding a mat that is easy to transport or store is especially useful.

Books. Research shows that reading to babies from an early age has long-term benefits! This makes books a practical gift to help parents get a jump start on the reading game. There are even books written specifically for newborns!

Noisemakers. Also known as “rattles.” These have been staple gifts for babies for generations! This is because infants respond to the noise, and it helps to encourage them to make connections in the world. Finding a noisemaker that is a plush material or that can double as a teething object makes it an even more practical choice!

Practical Baby Shower Gifts for Outside the House

As mom and dad get more comfortable, families will start to venture outside the home as the baby gets older! Keeping this in mind, you might want to think about these practical gift ideas when choosing a baby shower gift:

Car seat cover. When it comes to taking their little one out and about, moms will be so grateful for this car seat cover! The stretchy cotton fabric protects babies from the elements. Plus it is especially useful for keeping babies asleep during car rides!

Diaper bag. Getting out the door with a baby in tow is no joke, which is why a quality diaper dag can make all of the difference! There are many options on the market, so you can get a bag that’s stylish and practical.

Portable sound machine. When life gets busy, sometimes naptime happens on the go. If that’s the case, parents will be grateful to have a portable sound machine to take with them. This means they can provide soothing, comfort to little ones in the car or walking around.

Most Practical Gifts for New Moms

The reality is--nothing can prepare a new mom for the reality of a newborn. Especially for the first time moms, the experience can be overwhelming. Everyone focuses on providing for the baby that we often forget about the mom. Here are some thoughtful baby shower gift ideas that keep mom in mind first:

Gift cards. This is especially useful if it’s for generic places like Amazon where she can buy whatever she needs whenever she needs it! It’s also good to consider getting new moms gift cards to restaurants that deliver to help with food in those chaotic early weeks and months. Also, a HALO gift card to help mom sleep better at night knowing her baby is sleeping safely.

Help with chores. This can come in the form of hiring an outside person to come clean or offering to do it yourself once the baby arrives! It’s a practical gift while also keeping in mind that most new moms want to soak up as much time as possible with their little ones.

A nap. Other times, new moms need a break (and often some much needed rest!). While this may not be a gift you officially give the mom-to-be until after the baby is born, it is a useful gift to consider. Offering to hold or watch the little one while she naps, or showers or eats uninterrupted is kind and considerate!

A baby shower is a time to show a soon-to-be mom that you love and care for them! One way to do that is with a perfect gift. If you’ve found yourself stuck wondering what to bring to a baby shower, we hope this list was helpful in finding the perfect (and practical) gift for your loved one!

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