Practical ideas for the baby shower list

Do you ever find yourself looking at the pile of gifts at a baby shower and wondering, “How can one baby need so many onesies?” Not to mention the blankets, booties, hats, and mittens. While the majority of the items you see on a baby shower registry certainly have their place in the home of a newborn, there is also a different wish list to consider shopping from before you attend your next party. And if you happen to be the expecting parents, consider asking for one (or all) of these non-traditional baby shower gifts the next time someone asks what you want. You might be surprised how willing friends and family are to purchase gifts just for you! 

  • Meal delivery service and/or homemade meals: Though considered a luxury by many, a subscription to a meal delivery service definitely has its place in the home of new parents. On the other hand, if you would like to prepare a few home cooked meals that can be eaten right away or put in the freezer for a later date, consider making up a week’s worth of meals and delivering them to the new parents’ house. Make sure to provide freezer-safe storage containers and bags.
  • Professional cleaning services: The last thing a new parent has time or energy for is cleaning the house. Gifting one or two sessions with a professional cleaning service that can be used whenever they like, or offering to clean for them yourself can be a great way to offer a break.
  • Pampering package for mom: If you think mom will use it, buy it. Body lotion, dry shampoo, robe, slippers, lip balm, cleansing towelettes, neck pillow, heating pad, gift certificate for a pedicure, and of course lots of dark chocolate.
  • Basket of activities for the older kids: Older kids need something to do when mom is busy nursing, napping, or getting caught up on things around the house. Make a basket of activities for an older child with items such as books, coloring sheets, crayons, puzzles, small building toys, stuffed animals, dolls, cars, and puppets. As an added bonus, most of these items can be used while the child is sitting right next to a parent.
  • Photography session: As new parents, you can never have enough pictures of your baby. And while it’s easy to snap a photo with your phone anytime your little one does anything adorable, what’s often missing from a baby’s keepsake book are shots of the entire family. Consider buying a complete package that includes sitting fees and a few different sized portraits.
  • Date night + babysitting coupons: Many new parents will balk at the idea of leaving their baby with a friend or family member. However, once they get a taste for what a night out alone is like, it’s pretty much a guarantee they will be asking for more. That’s why dinner out with babysitting services included, is one of the best gifts you can give new parents.
  • Postpartum recovery basket: The last thing parents want to do when they get home from the hospital is go shopping for supplies. Especially when those items include giant maxi pads, new underwear, a doughnut to sit on, and an industrial size bottle of ibuprofen. Pick up the diaper bag on her registry and fill it with all of these postpartum recovery supplies. She will be forever grateful for this much needed gift.
  • Notes of encouragement for mom: This might not seem like much of a “gift,” at first, but any mom will tell you those first few months wreck havoc on your self-esteem and confidence, and there’s nothing quite like a few words of encouragement from other moms who have been there. Ask family and friends to write handwritten notes of love and support for mom to read in those first few weeks. Tie a bow around each one and place in a basket she can use later on. Tell her to pick one each day to read, and then tape the notes on the wall as a constant reminder of the love and support that surrounds her.  

About the author:
Sara Lindberg is a freelance writer focusing on parenting, health, and wellness. She is passionate about all things fitness and health and loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and son. 

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