So, everybody is going to have their own opinion on what you need and what you don’t need for a baby. I’ve been thinking about all the things we got at Caroline’s shower and what I actually use most. I have compiled a list of the best baby shower gifts.This post contains affiliate links that if you use, I may make a small profit from, at no extra cost to you. So, I am going to share with you, my top ten favorite items we received from people at the shower. If you’re in need of ideas for what to get a mother to be, check these out. If you are a mom to be and are making a registry, make sure to put these on your list, you’ll thank me later! Enough talk, lets get to it…..in no particular order….
These things are like the best thing since sliced bread according to my husband. They come in many sizes. The most common that we’ve found being 0-9 months. They’re a little big in the first month or so and you have to roll up the sleeves but our daughter loved being in them. They’re great for bedtime. We just put a onesie on underneath and tossed her in one of those and she stayed super warm and could move and kick her legs easily.
A zipper for the sleep sack and a few buttons on the crotch of the onesie is all you need to remove to change a diaper. The only thing was, I wished we had had more of the ones where the zipper starts at the bottom not the top, because then you would only have to expose the bottom half of baby, lowering the chances of completely waking them up. The Halo brand makes one with a zipper configuration that way, but, it doesn’t have sleeves, which we liked having for Caroline. She was born in the winter months, so we liked sleeves for her at night. We tried the snap sleepers but it is such a pain in the booty to deal with at 3 o’clock in the morning when all you want to do is go back to sleep and you keep screwing up the snaps. Dave likes having these around so when we get done giving her a shower, he can quickly dry her off, diaper her and toss her in the sleep sack, ready for bed. We highly recommend these life savers! You can check Amazon for the ones we have from Carters!
Ingenuity Bear Swing
This swing is a little on the pricey side of swings, but, it has multiple features which we thought were cool and convenient. Our swing can sway from left to right and from front to back like most swings do. I know that seems like no big deal but it is to Caroline, she has options to swing direction wise. When she gets tired of swaying one way, I change it up and she’s a happy camper. That buys me some extra time to get bottles cleaned, laundry folded, whatever needs to be done.
The Ingenuity Swing also has a bear mobile at the top that spins around and lights up. Caroline loves watching it. Actually, now that I write this, I bet she probably loves staring at herself in the mirror, that’s in the mobile more than anything. She coos and talks and giggles at herself, now wonder she loves this swing. So, as if that part of the swing is not enough to sell you, the seat part of the swing comes off and acts as a separate bouncy seat. It has a vibration setting to soothe the baby too. So, it’s like a two for one. So, the extra little cost of the swing is slightly more justifiable to me if I know it has a dual function. It also has a function where you can plug your phone into the top nad play other music for the baby. We just never use it. But for those who are into technology and that type of thing, it is another perk. I will link to our swing that we have, if you are willing to pay it, it’s worth it. But feel free to shop around. But for informational purposes, here is the one we have Ingenuity InLighten Cradling Swing & Rocker – Twinkle Twinkle Teddy Bear.
Rectangular burp cloths
We prefer the rectangular ones over the ones that look like they contour to your shoulder or the ones that are like a long oval and are made of Terry material. The ones we like the most are made by Gerber. They’re the most functional for us. Check them out easy to grab and use while burping Caroline. They hold a good amount of spit up (we all know how much she loved to projectile vomit early on due to her reflux and MSPI issues.) Most importantly, they’re the softest ones we have. When you’re going to be wiping their face a million and one times a day from feedings (and then the slobbering and drool stages), you need something that will feel good to their skin. We had the ones that semi contour to your shoulder and have the terry material on the one side. Any time we tried to use them, Caroline would cry because it felt like it was scratching her sensitive skin.
That material looks like it would be more absorbent but, surprisingly, it was not. The oval looking ones that we had were next to useless. They felt semi decent but wouldn’t hold spit up for the life of it. So, next baby, will definitely be getting all rectangular, 100% cotton ones. Our favorites ones were made by Gerber.
Rock and Play Sleeper
This has been a huge help with Caroline’s reflux. She likes hanging out it in while mom puts away the dishes or while mom is in the shower. It is like a mini bassinet that has the head elevated. This has done wonders for her reflux. She will take naps in it too. There is some debate about whether sleeping long amounts of time in it is safe. I’m going to just say, talk to your pediatrician about it if you are considering it. I’ve heard some Peds recommend it and some advise against it. We had her sleep in it over night for the first couple weeks as ours said it was okay. It sat right by the bed and I could lay on my side and see her easily and reach down and touch her at a moments notice if necessary. It’s a great thing to have up until they can start to roll or turn over, by then they’ll likely be too long for it anyway. We are very thankful that one of my best friends gave The Rock and Play Sleeper to us for a shower gift. Highly recommend snagging one, especially if you have a reflux baby. You can find them almost anywhere!
So, there’s a million brands out there. You can even use basic receiving blankets to swaddle with. Personally, we found out that receiving blankets didn’t work out as well for us. They were not big enough to wrap her how we wanted to. Honestly, I liked the feel of the thin Muslin blankets for swaddling better anyway. The Muslin blankets were bigger than the receiving blankets that we had. Plus, we use those Muslin blankets for everything now. We toss one over her feet in the car seat when it is chilly out. Now, before you get all judgey on us, just know that, once she starts grabbing things and call pull them up to her face, we will stop putting them over her feet. We aren’t trying to let her suffocate herself. For the longest time, I even rode in the backseat with her…. you know, to make sure she was still breathing… yes, post partum anxiety is a real thing and I have it for sure. These blankets are great for using as a canopy over the car seat to block the wind when out in the elements too. We use them as a quick burp cloth or spit up grabber when we need one in a pinch too. I’ve even seen moms use them as nursing covers since they’re so light and easy to maneuver- I told you they were big! Oh, on a wimp I used the swaddle blanket as a diaper changing pad in my moms Tahoe while she was at a doctor appointment. Told you these things were versatile! We are definitely keeping them for eventual baby Sharp number two and I know we will find other uses for them before then! My favorite brand by far of these Muslin Blankets is Bebe Au Lait
So, these are one of the new ways to trot your little one around. You can have the classic, old infant car seat and a stroller to lug around and use separately or you can have the infant car seat that snaps right into the stroller. Transitioning from car to stroller to store/restaurant/wherever seamlessly. We use ours all the time. Caroline will be sleeping in the car, we pop out the stroller and snap her in and she’s still in snooze-town. We also opted for the jogging version for many reasons.
The main reason was because it turns much easier and can navigate through crowds easier. We used Disney as an example in our mind. We knew we needed something easy enough to push and maneuver around the busy parks. Now, our combo is pretty neat. It is made by Graco and has like 5 different modes or ways it can be used. You can keep baby in infant seat and it clicks in so baby is facing you. You can swap it so it clicks in and baby faces out. You can take out the actual toddler seating area and have just the infant seat hook to the frame of the stroller for a more sleek feel. Once baby is old enough to be out of the infant seat, you can have the stroller seat face you or face away from you. So many options. We love our stroller for many reasons. You can push it with just one finger. You can open and close it with just one hand! It is a little pricey but TOTALLY worth it in our minds. We’ve navigated the crazy aisles of Home Depot and Target with it and will certainly post about how her first Disney trip in it goes. If you want to see the kind that we have, check it out Modes Jogger Travel System – Admiral
THIS IS A MUST HAVE FOR ME! I can’t imagine not having one of these things. First off, as you can imagine they are great for reflux babies. Keeping them upright as much as possible helps minimize reflux flare ups. But, every time I wear Caroline around the house, I am hands free to do as I please. She loves sleeping on me this way and has had many naps in this thing while I cleaned the house, cooked or did whatever chores needed to be done. I’ve taken it to the grocery store and the store run goes so much smoother. I don’t have to take her stroller in, although I love it, see previous number, but, her stroller doesn’t give me much “cart space” that I need while grocery shopping. I don’t have to push a cart with her in her infant seat in the cart taking up 90% of the available space. She doesn’t have to wake up from her nap while I walk the store….anddddd I’m hands free to grab what I need and not worry about her in the cart. I am just going to make a little note to say please make sure you wear your baby properly. We don’t need any hip dysplasia all because you wanted to see how awesome it is to have your arms back. Also, I’ve read that wearing them in a sling isn’t very safe either. Be smart, do your research before you pick a carrier.
I’ve shared our thoughts on a couple carriers that you should check out. I think my all time favorite is the LilleBaby carrier. I also am a huge fan of our Ergobaby Omni360. Both are very versatile and you can baby wear in many positions. If you get a carrier, make sure to check out these accessories as well!
Aveeno bath gift set
So, this is very interesting situation as to why I ranked this as a top gift. We chose Aveeno for Caroline’s baby wash. It is great for sensitive skin and is a stress relief soap as well. In the gift set that we received, it also had a mommy version of the soap. I didn’t use it in the beginning because I already had enough of my own soap to use. All of that changed one afternoon when I had just finished nursing Caroline and I saw she had a rash all over her face and neck that only appeared after I fed her. I freaked out and called my mom. We went through everything that I had done that day to see what could have been the cause. This must have happened during the first two weeks of her life when she seemed like a normal baby….before we dealt with the milk and soy intolerance….we came to the conclusion that it must’ve been the soap that I used that was harsh on her sensitive skin. Without realizing it or even putting any thought into it, I had switched soaps that morning in the shower and it seemed she broke out in a rash on all the places that touched my skin while she was eating. So, I took a quick rinse off shower with the mommy Aveeno and all was well. Her rash went away and I found a new body wash that I really liked. Win, win.
Bundle Me for the infant car seat.
So this was a gift from my mother in law that we are forever thankful for since Caroline was born in the winter months. I guess it wouldn’t be as helpful for those who have summer babies but for us it was an essential. This is a Sherpa liner that bands to the car seat. It is nice and cozy warm, feels great on their skin and has a cover you pull over them to shield them from the wind, rain or snow. It has been an awesome thing for Caroline. if you’re having a baby during the cold months, don’t miss the JJ Cole Jj Cole Original Bundleme, Infant Graphite
The lawn bottle drying mat
So, I always thought they were a bit unnecessary. Why not just save the money and use a kitchen towel….because, Victoria, this thing is so helpful. The little “grass” pieces hold the bottles up on their own, where a kitchen towel wouldn’t do that. It comes with many accessories you can put in the “lawn”. We just opted for the basic tree looking thing. This holds the nipples so they can dry efficiently. We have the Dr. Brown bottles that help eliminate air in the bottle. These air eliminating tubes can be placed over a blade of grass and stand up to dry on their own. The little vent cover for these tubes sticks right in the grass to be held up to drain efficiently too. The caps that hold the nipples on the bottles fit right into the lawn. The grass can be removed so the excess water can be drained from the pan. The grass and the pan can be washed with soap and water to avoid mold or other stinky issues. We fill our lawn up almost daily and we just leave the bottles in the lawn most of the time so they are easily accessible when you need to make a bottle next. It’s a very simple concept to use and extremely practical. If you’re looking to pick one up, check out Boon Grass Drying Rack White
So, those are my top ten must haves for any new mom. Check them out anywhere you can buy baby items! If you have some items that you think are helpful and are a must have, please share them below. This post can be a little community of helpful gifts for mama’s out there! Support each other ☺️