So, you have a baby shower coming up, but you don't just want to buy clothes or blankets. What should you buy? Here are some things I found helpful:
Mesh bag filled with baby socks. Baby socks disappear so quickly! Give the Mommy-to-be a mesh lingerie bag that she can put socks in when she washes them so nothing gets eaten by the washer.
Jittery Pal. GREAT toy! Entertains little ones while in the car seat or away from home.
A dimmer switch: This would be something you buy for a close friend or someone whose nursery you have been inside. I LOVE having a dimmer switch in my nursery!! It was only $15 at Home Depot and I installed it myself.
A Swaddle Blanket: Swaddling calms almost any baby. It is awesome and it is a way better way to put them to bed than giving them a bottle. Both my blankets are homemade and I can't seem to find any that are big enough in stores.
Workout Videos: Getting back into shape is so hard for new moms, and most workout routines are too intense for moms to do right after birth. Both of these are low impact and work well for women with c-sections or other moms.
Plastic Bibs: Don't waste your time with those cloth bibs. They end up with sweet potatoes, peas, blueberries and everything in between stained onto them. These come in a 2 pack at Wal-Mart for $5. I LOVE THEM!!
No Spill Snack Cup: My little guy loves finger food, but I hate the mess. This cup is awesome. He puts his hand in and grabs his snacks and can be independent but it doesn't spill.
Formula Dispenser: This is great. You pre-measure your formula into the 3 compartments and toss it into the diaper bag. When you need to make a bottle on the run, there's no measuring or spilling of formula.
Hooded Towels: I like this larger towel so much more than the tiny infant ones. This one is different than many I've seen. This one stays on while the others have to be wrapped around.
Carseat Cover: Living in a cold place, this is a MUST! Keeps baby nice and toasty all the time and is so convenient for taking baby in and out.
Bumbo: I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS! My guy wanted to sit up and be a part of everything from the moment he was born. Once he could hold his head up, the Bumbo made my life so much easier.
Mylicon (Gas Relief) Drops: These have given me many more hours of peace! Baby often gets gassy and these calm his stomach so he can sleep.
Nursing Pads: This brand is my favorite. They are so inconvenient to open (because they're individually wrapped) but they are the most absorbent ones I found.
Diaper Rash Cream: This is my favorite brand. It seems to heal rashes much quicker than any other brands.
Book: This is my favorite toy we got. Baby loves to look at the shapes and chew on the handle.
Mesh Feeder: This is essential during teething (see my other post about that) and then helping baby be independent when feeding himself.
Jumparoo: This is baby's favorite toy. Until he got mobile, he would spend so long just jumping around. It helped him not get frustrated with the fact that he couldn't move around. Now that he crawls, he doesn't like it much.
Sassy Diaper Sacks: I never thought I would use these, but I love them when I've visiting people or putting a dirty diaper in someone else's garbage. These come in a handy little dispenser too.
Dishwasher Basket: This is the easiest way to wash bottles and accessories. Even if you plan on breastfeeding, there are tons of little pieces you will need to wash and this is a great way to contain them.
Ice Cube Trays: for making homemade baby food. Go to http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/index.htm for more info on making your own baby food.
Baby Whisperer Books: These are a great gift!! These books solved all my problems! I love her techniques and advice.
Udder Covers: These are great for breastfeeding moms. They allow you to be discreet but the stiff top piece allows you to see your baby. Also, the udder covers website is always running a promotion. I got mine for shipping only ($8).
I usually pick out a few of these items and put them in a reusable canvas bin instead of using a gift bag. That way, the new mom has a great tote to put diapers, bibs, or other supplies in.