Artwork By: Neesha Hudson
Gift cards were always my go-to option for baby shower gifts. Especially as a mom of two energetic girls, they were just so easy to grab right before a baby shower. Moms-to-be always appreciated the extra funds, especially when my gift allowed them to buy cute clothes, accessories, or toys they normally wouldn’t splurge on. However, I always felt slightly awkward handing over the envelope. I wanted to give creatively. More than that, I wanted my gift to inspire creativity in the new baby’s life as they grew… but I couldn’t very well suggest the new mom not buy diapers with her new cash.
One pregnancy ago, after being generously showered with creative and unique gifts for my own little one, I started looking for ways to give thoughtfully (without spending hours on the project). Pretty soon I collected five top-notch baby shower gift ideas. These are the gifts that I throw into rotation for every single baby shower I attend, and they’re always well received. Each of these gifts can be as involved as you like, allowing you to be as creative as time allows—while giving you an easy, quick, and thoughtful present for the next little baby in your life. I sincerely hope you get as much use out of these ideas as I have!
Nothing sparks creativity more than a fantastic children’s storybook. To make your baby shower gift unique, steer clear of the infant books and instead purchase a handful of your favorite classics in board book form. Think The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Harold and the Purple Crayon, or anything by Dr. Seuss. The hefty pages of your board books will hold up against grabbing fingers, and the engaging stories will help entertain parents who are oh-so-bored of infant lit. After all, there are only so many times you can read Baby’s First 100 Words before you fall asleep! I sometimes wrap my gift up in a cozy Sherpa blanket, perfect for storytime, naptime, or snuggles. Your gift will help inspire a lifetime love of reading—which is the best source of imagination in the world.
It might seem forward to purchase decor for a new baby’s nursery, but it’s likely that expecting parents (especially for second and third children) don’t have the time to select wall art for their little one’s sleeping space. When you give a premium quality children’s art print, you’ll be providing a unique baby shower gift that grows with the child, inspiring wonder from the crib to their first big kid room. I always love sharing prints from my favorite children’s illustrators, including Paola Zakimi. Her “Backyard Treehouse,” pictured above, is one of my favorite gifts for little girls. Not sure what the new nursery theme will be? Consider making your selection based on the theme of the baby shower!
Behind the sliding doors of every Babies ‘R’ Us, you can purchase enough receiving blankets, bibs, and washcloths to fill a dump truck. However, before you break the bank on a baby shower gift, you might enjoy trying your hand at a surprisingly easy DIY. Using my personal favorite easy-to-follow online tutorial, delightfully soft fabric, and a sewing machine (or fabric glue, if you’re not the crafty type), create a gorgeous set of handmade burp cloths that are as cute as they are functional. One of my favorite past-times is wandering the aisles of my local craft store, browsing all the adorable nursery fabric, and dreaming of new baby nursery themes. This DIY makes this an afternoon well spent! For presentation, roll up your handmade burp cloths like a diaper cake and adorn with a length of corresponding ribbon. No further wrapping needed. Every new mom appreciates additional burp cloths, especially when they’re created by hand with love!
You could give a standard toy like a stuffed animal, crib mobile , or car seat dangler. But instead, try looking for more exploratory, development-based toys that inspire creativity and engagement. Things like soft blocks, plastic links, wrist rattles, activity mats (with dangling attachments the new parents can add later for more stimulation), and different-sized balls are just a few great options. Basically, you’re looking for seemingly-simple toys made from simple materials and shapes that don’t have a single, specific play function. As explained beautifully in Bright Horizons’ guide to developmentally-appropriate infant exploration, these types of toys help children explore their immediate surroundings in an open-ended way—helping to literally broaden their horizons and lay the groundwork for creative thinking.
There’s nothing like a good gift basket—and with a little creativity, you can easily pull together a bathtime basket that the little one (and their parents) will love. First, choose a whimsical hooded bath towel to line your gifting container. Include a unique child-inspired shower curtain, and bottles of your favorite baby soap and body lotion. Top it all off with a few water toys that include waterfalls, rain-like spray, squirting, or chain reaction effects. Water play is always fun, especially for new babies. A thoughtfully curated basket like this makes bath time even more special!
Baby showers are joyous, laughter-filled occasions where we get to dote on new parents and fill their home with love, both material and immaterial. Adding a touch of creativity to your baby shower gift will not only make for a great gift-giving experience on your end—your gift will bring joy and inspiration to the new family every time they see it.
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