A baby shower gift buying guide
by Sheila Allee
the Baby with Everything
Let's face it. Babies are consumers, just like the rest of us. They go through
clothing, booties, toys,
and dozens of other items with abandon. And that makes it a challenge for mom
and dad to keep their little consumers supplied with all they need.
That's why, long ago, someone invented baby showers--and now they're an
indispensable tradition. Your sister has her first baby, so you throw a shower
because she needs everything! After outfitting her newborn son, you find
out she's having another baby. This one's a girl. Sis needs everything
There's intense debate about whether baby showers are necessary or
appropriate for baby number two, baby number three, and any subsequent children.
But when you ask the moms, the response is nearly always the same--showers are
appreciated for all babies.
In some cases, a baby shower is actually a necessity. Perhaps it's been 10
years since the last addition to the family or maybe there have been so many
babies (and so many hand-me-downs) that the revolving collection of baby clothes
has just plain worn out.
Whatever the circumstances, moms (and dads) like the attention and they want
each child to be welcomed as special and unique. Following are some baby gift
ideas that lean toward the practical.
Think useful, not cutesy. Crib
are always appreciated. If you know the room décor, matching pictures and cloth
hangings are also appropriate. Try crib
or car-seat toys or soothing lullaby
CDs to help baby drift off to sleep. Breastfeeding moms will also appreciate
accessories and a nursing
Make a splash with a sweet and practical bath time gift. From the basics to fun
extras, you can really put together a fun bath "kit" with a little
creativity. Start with skin
and hair care products--shampoo, soap, baby oil, lotion,
powder. Baby will also appreciate a water-friendly
toy or two, because after all, bath time is fun time! Also consider a bath
seat to hold baby up in the water, a soft robe or hooded towel, and (why
not?) the bathtub
the Baby with Everything
Sometimes parents don't really need a shower. They've already been to the baby
store and stocked up on everything imaginable. But you still want to honor the
new little one. Photograph
albums and baby
books with pockets for keepsakes--such as that first lock of hair or the
first tooth for the tooth fairy--might fit the bill.
frame is always a welcome gift, especially since parents will be snapping
photos nonstop for some time to come. Other ideas for the baby with everything
are a porcelain cereal bowl or silver-plated keepsake
Not to be forgotten is the durable goods section (or shall we say, "semi durable,"
since baby items tend to get heavy use): strollers,
seats, and infant
carriers and baby slings. Nearly all mothers will give you a thumbs up if
you present a baby
swing, which is perfect for soothing and occupying baby while mom is doing
Some baby shower hostesses take the practical route and furnish mom with a
brand-new--and fully stocked-- diaper
bag. A battle-ready diaper bag comes pre-equipped with baby
wipes, diapers, changing
soft toys, lotions
and powders, and sealable disposal bags for used diapers.
Pregnancy is tough on mom, so she'll appreciate a little pampering. Your gift
might be to cook dinner in the first week after the new baby arrives home. Or
you might give a gift certificate for free baby-sitting, to be redeemed when mom
and dad are ready for a night out. Hiring a cleaning service so that the new
parents can spend more time with the little one is another nice gesture.
Mom might also like personal items such as nightgowns for the hospital, skin
care products, and certificates for a manicure or pedicure. And she certainly
would appreciate a sampler of vitamins, especially if she'll be nursing her
Finally, shopping from a Babiesrus.com/Amazon.com Baby
Registry makes it easy to give your favorite parents-to-be exactly what they
want. You can search
for their registry by name, state, or code. If you live far away or won't be
able to make it to the shower, you can even have the gift wrapped and shipped!
Sheila Allee is a writer based in Austin, Texas. A former
Associated Press correspondent, she specializes in speechwriting and business
communications, and writes articles for consumer magazines. She likes to swim,
read, and cook for her friends.
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