Yes, I know, I know. We’ve all been there. One of your favourite people is pregnant. There’s a baby shower on the cards and the world is full of things that are cute and tiny. There are cute and tiny shoes, cute and tiny hats, cute and tiny clothes, and did I mention cute and tiny shoes?
By all means, go for the cute and tiny things – I mean, that’s why parents have kids anyway, right? Because they’re cute and tiny. But, if you want some other practical and fun things to take along to a Baby Shower, I’ve put together some ideas for you. Or actually, what I should say as a non-parent, I asked Big Sis for some present ideas for impending parenthood, and she gave me a great list. It was so great, I got a text message off a lovely new mum, saying her baby shower present was, and I quote, ‘the best present I have ever had.’ So, there it is, this list is tried and tested, and has a five star rating.
So, what to take to a baby shower-
1. Something for the new Mum
Not only is this a brilliant way to curry favour, should you want to be first, or indeed last, in the new-baby-holding duties, but getting something for the new Mum is pretty useful too. She’s unlikely to be spending much of her time, for the first few weeks at least, in outdoor clothes, so think about some lovely new nightclothes. Perhaps a new robe, slippers, some gorgeous soft PJs, or other comfy, easy to wear and easy to sleep-in clothes. In terms of fit, quality and softness, spending a bit more on these clothes does seem to make a difference, so it’s worth buying her something as a treat, if she hasn’t already invested herself. It’s always worth keeping in mind the need for stretch, as well as ease of washing and ease of breastfeeding, so perhaps leave the dainty silk numbers for another time. Also consider the season – a crisp, cool cotton robe will be lovely in the summer, and a thick cosy fleecy robe will be perfect in the winter.
2. Something for Dad
Don’t leave him out – he’s a parent too! While baby showers are excellent celebration and bonding time for a group of women, chatting, talking, guzzling tea or wine, the Dad is still expecting his baby too. If you know the family and Dad well enough, you could look at practical presents, like slings or carriers. Keep an eye out for apps and books designed to help Dads help their partners through birth. Think about memento presents, such as baby or family portrait vouchers, or just fun T Shirts or mugs that acknowledge his new Dad status.
3. Clothes for the Baby, when it gets older
If you can’t resist the tiny clothes with amazing patterns – and I certainly can’t – then think about buying something for a baby 6-9 or 9-12 months old, or beyond! I’ve heard tales of parents desperately trying to fit their babies into all the 0-3 month clothes, as they grow bigger and bigger, so that each gift-giver can see a photo of it being worn. Try and spread the size of the clothes out, so that, not only can they be worn, but the new parents have a stash of clothing in supply, once the little one has passed the three month mark.
I think I used to be a bit of an occasion sceptic – not that interested in graduations, big birthdays or marking other events, but I’ve changed my mind. It’s so important to mark occasions and events as they happen. One of the ways to mark a Baby Shower as different from a meet up, or an afternoon tea, is the pregnancy specific games. Now, if you’re thinking of strange, gross-out nappy games, then this is not the place – but the internet is full of them – do go ahead. As games that produce actual laughter, without evoking vomit or poo (seriously, the internet selection of baby shower games is a scary place!), I have two favourites – both simple and surprisingly funny. I love the string/ribbon game, where each guest must estimate the size of the bump with a piece of string or ribbon without putting it around the Mum or themselves. The winner is the closest match. Secondly, try printing out and cutting up photos of the Mum and Dad – which seems a bit morbid while you’re doing it – and then encourage guests to move the features around, guessing the possible face of their future child. Made more fun if either of them have impressive facial hair or eyebrows.
5. Drinking Vessels
So, this is what I chose to give a recent new mum, and the present that received the feedback of being the best present the she had ever had. While I assume that was a teeny tiny exaggeration, it still seems pretty damn successful as a present. I bought a ceramic mug with a lid – basically a travel mug, and also a couple of stainless steel straws. A mug with a lid – pretty magical, eh? Well it is if you want a hot drink warmer for longer, the extra safety of lid, and a straw there for all those times you’re unable to move, held hostage under a sleeping or breastfeeding baby. Just remember, it’s important to drink a lot if breastfeeding, but there’s nothing I can do to help out when you’re hostaged under the baby and need the toilet.
6. Something Fun!
It is a party afterall! As I mentioned above with the games, mark the occasion. Whether it’s huge amounts of cake, balloons, party poppers or temporary tattoos, make sure the Baby Shower looks like a proper party. Temporary Tattoos are a great way of getting everyone involved, and included, not just the lady with the bump. Celebrate those who will have roles in the baby’s life beyond their parents.
7. Food For Their Freezer
Caring for a new born, cooking is not high on the priority list, whereas consuming a lot of calories to get through sleepless nights and/or breastfeeding should be. Pick some dishes you know the parents like, and portion them out, so they can be easily pulled out of the freezer and into the oven or microwave. They will love you forever for it.
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Have I missed anything? Any new mums with other ideas for their perfect baby shower?