So you’re a parent of older kids, whose new-baby days are long since a mental blur. Or the “fun aunt/uncle”-to-be who’s never been a parent. Or you’ve been invited to the shower for a friend’s soon-to-arrive grandbaby. You want to honor the pending arrival with THE BEST baby shower gift ever.
Now, if only you knew what the best baby shower gift is.
This post has you covered, whether you’re shopping for first-time parents or those who’ve been there, done that at least once before.
This post comes straight from my own experiences as well as those of friends and family. So without further ado, here are our votes for
The Best Baby Shower Gift Ever
1. Best Baby Shower Gift for First-Time Parents
Winner: Little Remedies New Baby Kit (Formerly Little Remedies New Parents’ Survival Kit)
The clear winner in Best Baby Shower Gift for First-Time Parents has never appeared on any baby registries I’ve seen. Including my own. But it should be the first thing expectant parents add to their registry, far as I’m concerned.
It’s the Little Remedies New Baby Essentials Kit, the updated version of their former product (called New Parents’ Survival Kit, and sold at a now-defunct chain of baby superstore).
I first stumbled across the Little Remedies New Parents’ Survival Kit on a sleep-deprived emergency trip to former Local Baby Superstore, back in the early months of Kimmie’s existence. When I discovered it, I thought, “Duh! Why didn’t I think to get/request this sooner?”
The beautiful thing about the Little Remedies kit is it covers every over-the-counter “why-didn’t-I-know-I’d-need-this?” for the first year or so of Baby’s life. (Except perhaps Vitamin D drops for breastfed babies.) Rather than have to go out and buy, for example, a bottle of gripe water in a moment of desperation, you’ve got some on hand. Ditto for saline drops or gas drops. Or that first bottle of fever reducer that the pediatrician tells you your sick little one needs at some point.
Ever since then, I’ve given one of these as a baby shower gift. The parents-to-be often give me a puzzled, “what’s this?” look. “Trust me, you’ll use it,” I assure them. Within a few months of Baby’s arrival, I usually get a grateful call or note to say how very right I was.
What other moms think of the Little Remedies Survival/Baby Essentials Kit
If you’re not yet convinced, check out what reviewers have said:
- “Purchased for an expectant mother on the recommendation of a recent mother. The recent mother couldn’t say enough about how helpful it was and the expectant mother was so excited because these items are things she would have never thought of.”
- “A must have. I buy this for every shower I attend. Its a lifesaver!!! Plus it has the safer gripe water without the sodium bicarbonate. Best stuff ever!!!”
- “I [love] this survival kit and have given it as gifts several times to newbie parents and they all have loved and repurchased it as well.”
- “One of the best buys to get as a parent. It’s been a life saver.”
Runner-up: Prepared home-cooked meals OR gift cards
More on these below.
2. Best Baby Shower Gift For Veteran Parents
Winner: Prepared home-cooked meals
Unless someone is expecting a new baby after a long gap, they probably already have all the gear they need. (And know what they prefer, from brand of diapers and wipes to types of clothing.) But what they WILL be short on is time. Especially if they still have other kiddos age five and younger.
The best thing you can offer them is a hand with their daily load. One of the easiest ways to do this is by bringing over a home-cooked meal, whether hot and ready-to-eat or frozen-for-the-future.
Many churches and moms’ groups offer this as a service to their members. Other times, doulas have been known to call a new parent’s friends and twist arms as needed. If you’d like to organize a sign-up along these lines, Take Them A Meal is a super, free online tool that will make this process easier. All while making life easier for the expecting parents.
If you have a coworker or friend expecting a second, third, or fourth child, see if they already have a meal exchange set up through one of these other venues, and ask to participate. Or offer to set one up.
If you go the home-cooked-meal route
- Check ahead of time on food allergies or other dietary restrictions.
- Scan through the online meal signup, and try to think outside the box. If your turn follows three meals involving pasta-and-red-sauce, you might want to reconsider bringing a pan of lasagna. (I finally put my family’s fried rice recipe online because all the new parents from my church kept raving about it. Yes, it IS delicious, but it was also something different from all the pasta and chicken they’d been eating.)
- If possible, see if your “meal” can include enough leftovers to last for several days. Especially if you know the family is getting meals delivered only two or three times a week.
- Don’t forget the “extras,” like a bag of fresh salad mix, or a pan of brownies for dessert. These extra touches – especially the brownies! – really hit the spot for me as a new mama.
- If you’re planning to cook ahead, check available freezer space before you try to load up someone’s freezer.
Runner-up: Gift cards
Let’s face it, you don’t know their favorite diaper brand. Or which sizes they might have leftover from previous offspring. You may not even know if they’ve already got a lifetime supply of cloth diapers on hand. But you can be pretty sure they’ll make good use of a gift card.
However, double-check whether it’s a store they’ll actually use BEFORE you buy the card. I could have sworn my brother Evan and his wife had mentioned registering at a certain unnamed baby retail chain. Which seemed strange to me, given that said chain had no physical presence within hundreds of miles of where they lived.
I figured maybe they planned to use the online version of this particular baby store, and bought them a nice gift card. Only to learn that no, they had ZERO interest in said baby chain! Though I managed to return the gift card and get one for their preferred retailer, it wasn’t easy.
For those of you who’ve been the lucky guest-of-honor at a baby shower or two: what was the best gift YOU received (or wish you’d received)? Let us know in the comments!
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