Hi friends! I thought I’d write a post on what to buy an expecting mom and a baby based on my experience. Since baby William is almost two months old, I’ve gotten a feel for what I’ve used and what I haven’t, and I thought it may be helpful to share. Obviously this is my personal opinion, but I hope you find it helpful next time you’re shopping for a baby shower present or a gift for a new mom and baby.
Gifts for Baby
- Anything from the registry: Us ladies make registries for a reason! If you do choose to stray, heed my advice below. Either way, attach a gift receipt. It makes it a lot easier on moms during a time in their life when nothing feels easy.
- Board books: I love setting these up in the baby’s crib or on his play mat for him to look at and be visually stimulated. Babies get bored easily, so I change them often.
- Cloth books: These are good when babies start moving more and wanting to touch. Anything with various texture will be most appealing.
- Any books: Clearly I’m a teacher and think you can never have too many books! But itz true and books never go out of style or get old.
- Rompers: All babies, boys or girls, look adorable in rompers. I received tons of onesies, but wanted something that resembled more of an outfit when I started taking William out. Rompers were perfect because they’re easy to get on and off, and they have easy access for frequent diaper changes (make sure that area does have easy access with snaps or zippers!). Also, I recommend sizes 0-3 months or 3-6 months because William only wore newborn sleepers and onesies at first.
- Sleepers: If you’re going to buy clothes, buy sleepers (or rompers, depending on the season). Sleepers that snap or zip are the easiest, especially for those middle of the night diaper changes. Buttons are cute, but a real pain and not very practical. I prefer cotton as I think itz the softest and most comfortable for babies new skin.
- Activity Gym: (Check registry to see if they have a specific one they want!) Babies can lay on these right away, and eventually have tummy time on them, as well (with supervision, of course).
- Toys: Toys that don’t require batteries, that is. Toys that are colorful and have contrasting patterns are best for newborns. Some brands that I’ve grown to love are Whoozit, Lamaze, Taggies, and Sassy. I’m sure there are several others; those are just the one I’ve become familiar with over the last two months.
- Sophie Giraffe: Itz a classic and itz adorable. Yes, itz a bit overpriced for what it is, but every baby must have one.
- Wubbanub Pacifier: Not a necessity; I just think they’re super cute. I don’t let William sleep with his, but I do use it while he’s in his carseat as it stays in his mouth better as there’s a little weight on it with the stuffed animal.
- Diapers and Wipes: I know itz not the cutest gift, but let’s be real – every baby needs a plethora of these and you can never have too many. For diapers, I would go with Huggies or Pampers as those are the only brands I’ve tried. For wipes, I would go with WaterWipes as you can use them right when you get home from the hospital as they’re completely chemical-free.
- Monogrammed / Personalized Gifts: I personally love all of these, but obviously it would depend on if the couple is sharing the baby’s name prior to birth. Items we received that I love are a stool, mini-chair, towel, backpack, and duffle bag. I received a tervis tumbler cup that read, “Itz William’s Momma” which I absolutely LOVE. Another fun unique gift I received was a personalized piggy bank, and the card had $5 of quarters taped inside to start him off.
- Anything Homemade: Itz always special when someone you love puts their time into making something for the baby.
Gifts for Expecting Moms
New moms don’t need much (besides lots of love and support!) in terms of materialistic items, so these are some breastfeeding essentials. Most of them I learned about only after I started nursing and needed to start pumping. Check with the expecting mother to see if she’s planning on breastfeeding, and definitely attach a gift receipt in case breastfeeding doesn’t go as planned or she doesn’t end up needing one of the items.
- Milk Storage Bags: I used the Medela ones at first which were great because they were smaller in size when I wasn’t producing quite as much. Once my milk really came in (and I became a true cow), I’ve been using the Lansinoh bags. They’re larger in size and less expensive.
- Quick Clean Sterilizing Bags: These are for the breastpump parts and bottles. I have the Medela brand, but there are others available.
- Hands-Free Pumping Bra: Since I had to pump so much at the beginning, this was a must as pumping is not very fun. At least this holds the suctions in place and gives you access to your hands. I have the Medela brand and like it.
So, yes, itz all related to breastfeeding and pumping, but itz something I didn’t anticipate needing right away, so my mom had to go out and buy them for me. If you give them as a gift with a gift receipt, the new mom can always return them if they’re not needed.
Don’t be offended by my next list. Any gift is very much appreciated, so I don’t want anyone to think I’m being ungrateful for something we received. However, I’m looking at it from more of a practicality standpoint and what we really needed prior to baby William’s arrival. If you gave us one of the items on the next list, thank you. Itz the thought that counts, and your love and generosity is appreciated.
The following items are on the list due to the excess amount of them that we received. If they are listed on the registry, by all means purchase it.
What NOT to Buy an Expecting Mom or Baby
- Stuffed animals
- Towels and washcloths
- Anything for babies older than one year
As adorable as some hooded towels, onesies, stuffed animals, blankets, and bibs are… a baby only needs so many. Plus, I do William’s wash very often as I don’t like to let his soiled items sit, so I could really get by with way fewer of the items than we have. Anything for babies older than one year just gets put in storage and who knows if I’ll remember to take it out when itz time. I’d rather have my essentials for a newborn first, and purchase items needed for older babies later. Plus, there’s always birthdays and holidays for that!
photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography
What would you add to any of the lists?