- Family and Parenting
Baby Shower Gift Basket Ideas
This article will give you great gift ideas for the new mother in your life. There are so many options, you can easily do this on a budget.
Being a mother myself, it is easy for me to pick out gifts for a new mother, and so, I am sharing what I know so other people can buy the best gifts possible for the new baby. The biggest mistake everyone makes is buying clothes for the new baby. The baby is not going to need 25 onesies in the same size, nor will he or she need 10 packs of infant socks and this ends up happening because EVERYONE buys clothes. When I had my baby shower, I got so many clothes that my daughter didn't even wear half of them. I saved them anyway, and they were handed down to my second daughter. I STILL have infant clothes with tags on them. Get the picture?
Luckily I can stop this vicious cycle of baby-clothes-buying and show you the exact things a new mother will need and will thank you for in the long run. I normally will buy some of these items, throw them in a basket and VOILA! A great gift with all the essentials and no gift bag needed. Victory.
Buying the right basket is key. I like to buy a big basket that can be re-used to hold baby's books or toys. Placing these items in the diaper bag she has registered for is also a great idea!
1.) Diapers & Wipes
The thing a new mother will use most is diapers & wipes. A newborn baby needs to be changed every 3-4 hours. That's 180 diapers in the first month, and probably over 400 wipes. A normal bag of disposable diapers in size Newborn only have a count of 20 to 36 diapers. This means baby will go through a TON of packs of diapers. Which is the best size to buy? Newborn size is the most common to buy, but some babies grow out of them quickly. Size 1 is the size I normally buy for baby showers, giving mom diapers when she realizes baby is getting bigger.
If the new mother has chosen the re-useable route this can be a big money saver, for her. The financial benefit is out of this world, however, this will also create an enormous laundry pile. This means, mom will need a lot of re-useable diapers so having enough, will never be enough. If you choose to buy re-useable diapers, a bottle of DYE-FREE & FRAGRANCE FREE laundry detergent would be a thoughtful extra gift to throw in your basket!
2.) Formula or Breastfeeding Supplies
Formula is extremely expensive, which is just one of the many reasons women choose to breastfeed these days.
If the new mother in your life has chosen formula, or breastfeeding in just not an option, getting her a can or two is great to add to your gift basket. Each small can can cost upward of $15, and will only last a new mother about 2 days. Helping out by buying a can or two, could be a huge help, and she will be grateful.
Breastfeeding can cut a lot of the cost of feeding an infant. However, she will still need supplies. Nursing pads, so she doesn't ruin her clothes, nipple cream to soothe her achy nipples, and milk storage bags, to hold all the breast milk she pumps. These are just some of the things she will continually need while she is breastfeeding.
Bottles are essential for all new moms, and something she will need to use every single day for the first year of baby's life. Even breastfeeding moms take a night off and let dad take care of feeding the baby. The biggest thing to look for is to make sure the bottle is BPA free (Bisphenol A, a hazardous substance used to make plastic). There's no worries though because practically every plastic bottle is BPA free and says so on the package. Choosing the right bottle can be tricky and it's best to look on her registry to see what brand she prefers. If she has no preference and you have no clue which is the best bottle, here are the different styles:
- Standard bottle ~ This is your plain old plastic baby bottle, and most are the same. Some may say that it reduces air intake for baby, which is good to prevent colic. Some others may say 'orthodontic', to help babies teeth come in properly. Don't let any of this mumbo jumbo fool you, whether you buy the expensive brand name or the cheaper one, they all do exactly the same thing.
- Disposable ~ These are thick plastic bottles that have a thin plastic liner bag that drops into the bottle. This makes sure that no air can get into it and reduces the risk for colic. Drop-In bottles do require buying the plastic liners. Easier clean up is the best benefit of this bottle.
- Glass Bottle ~ These bottles do exactly the same thing as a plastic bottle, but are mainly bought because people are afraid of BPA. When buying a glass bottle, please remember that if they are dropped they will shatter, destroying the bottle and making a big mess.
4.) Infant Medicines
Baby medicines are items that are often over looked when making a baby registry, mostly because all the cute clothes and stylish crib bedding sets can be distracting. There are a few items that I deem absolutely a must for new baby.
- Gripe Water ~ No, that is not a misspelling of "grape water". Gripe water is an all natural liquid baby medicine that is used to treat Colic and hiccups. Colic isn't really definable, most doctors think it's hurtful gas in the infant's stomach. Babies will cry and scream for hours on end making new mom frantic. When nothing works after you have tried changing, feeding, burping, rocking and putting them in the car for a drive around the block, gripe water can help. Gripe water calms your baby and helps them sleep, which means mommy gets to sleep and everyone is happy.
- Infant Pain Relief ~ Every time baby spikes a fever or goes to the doctor for a shot or teeth start coming in, they will need a pain reliever. Whether it's ibuprofen or acetaminophen, make sure you get the "DYE FREE" drops. Baby and mom will both thank you.
- Teething Tablets ~ While we are on the subject, teething tablets are also great at relieving pain for those tiny teeth poking through. They are all natural and help baby get to sleep when the pain is keeping him or her awake. These tablets can get a bit pricey, but a sound sleep and a happy baby is priceless.
- Diaper Rash Cream & Baby Powder ~ Every baby will get diaper rash at one point or another, preventing it and healing it are most important. Using baby power regularly to prevent extra moisture will help to keep diaper rash at bay. This doesn't always work and sometimes baby needs cream to soothe the rash and get rid of it. Everyone will have their own opinion on this, but the best diaper rash cream I have ever used was Triple Paste. This stuff is expensive, but I found it gets rid of rashes in record time. Since I can't always afford to buy it, Bordeaux's Butt Paste in the red tube (maximum strength) is my second choice.
5.) Lotion and Soap
Buying infant soaps and lotions are something mom will use for a long time. Giving baby a bath every day, (and let's face it, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day) will use up a lot of soap. Infant soaps and shampoos are something mom will use for probably the first 2 or 3 years of her new child's life, so there is never a risk of her having too much of it. Baby lotion is also a great item to buy as it will be used every day after bath time. My favorite is the lavender scented soap and lotion, as it is calming and helps baby sleep better at night.
Do you normally resort to buying baby clothes for a baby shower?
6.) Infant T-shirt
Alright, don't start throwing stones, I know I said no clothes but the infant t-shirt is not something most people know about (maybe not even the new mommy) and it's completely necessary. After the baby has been born he or she will be put in one. New babies should not wear onesies until their belly button falls off, this could mean a week or more of wearing just infant t-shirts. With the amount of spit-up and milk/formula spillage, new baby will probably need a few of these. They come in long sleeve and short sleeve and you should buy according to the season.
7.) Infant Car Seat Accessories
Car seats are of the utmost importance when a new baby comes around. Car seats are also one of the many pricey items baby will need. If buying a car seat is out of price range for you here are a couple of items that will still help when taking baby in the car.
- Car seat seat-belt covers ~ These are an amazing invention and one that I consider completely needed. They wrap around the seat-belt straps in baby's car seat to prevent the belt hurting the baby's neck. Seat belt straps can leave a "rug-burn" type mark on baby's neck, even if they just fall asleep in the car. These covers are cushy and soft and will protect baby from any marks or cuts.
- Car seat covers ~ Another great item for new babies, especially those born in the colder months. This cover wraps all the way around the car seat and has a flap that can cover baby's face when going from the house to the car, car to the doctor's office, etc. These usually have a warm fleece inside to keep baby nice and cozy, and protect from the harsh cold, snow and rain.
8.) Cleaning Supplies
With a new baby, your mind feels like someone put it in the blender, ran over it with a car and then beat it with a hammer. Buying cleaning supplies is not the first thing a new mom will think of, until she needs it. The first time you need to clean a baby's toy that has slobber and boogers on it, you kind of freak out. "What do I use? Is it going to hurt my baby? Maybe I should just throw it out."
Buying some Lysol or green cleaning supplies will stop the mini heart attack mom will get. It's a simple and thoughtful gift that can easily be appreciated.
9.) Photo Shoot Gift Certificate
It seems these days everyone takes a million pictures of their children, including me. Its the best way to document your child as they grow. Giving the new mother-to-be a gift certificate to have baby's picture taken is a most thoughtful present. This can get a little pricey, depending on where you go. However, coupling this with some nice frames or a photo album would make a perfect gift.
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10.) Gift Card or "Coupons" for Mom
"Having a baby changes everything." We have all heard this popular phrase, and if you do not yet have kids, you have no idea how true this statement is. Having a newborn doesn't leave any time for mommy to sleep, eat or think because the new baby takes every ounce of your concentration. "Mommy-time" is probably one of the best gifts you can give! Whether it's a trip to her favorite salon for a pedicure, or a meal at her favorite restaurant with her husband, she will definitely appreciate this gift! The best part about giving a gift card along with your other gifts, is that it shows you are not only thinking about the baby, but about mom too.
If you are tight on money and can't afford getting a gift card, give "coupons". You can make your own babysitting coupons. Offer up a night of mom's choosing to babysit the new bundle of joy while mommy gets some alone time with daddy for a night out. Maybe give both a gift card and babysitting coupons! The ultimate present to a new mom!