Who doesn’t love a baby, with their those tiny fingers and toes; the sweet scent of cotton soft heads and warm breaths curling into your neck – not to mention all the adorable miniature newborn gifts! There is something magical about holding a new life in your arms. We commemorate it as a monumental moment in our lives. A new beginning we cannot wait to celebrate. We shower babies and their parents with gifts and wishes for a bright future to share in their joy.
The act of gift-giving is a fundamental behavior that dates beyond the existence of humanity. Long before humans walked the earth, animals have been giving gifts in exchange for potential mating, receiving favors, and also to welcome new arrivals to the pack. However, the way we view and take part in gift-giving in the modern-day only really began in the 19th century, when technological evolution made it easier to give a wider range of gifts. While cavemen gave gifts of teeth and stones, we twenty-first-century humans know the best gifts for new parents are those that make their lives a little easier. This is traditionally done at a baby shower.
Why Give Newborn Gifts At All?
Giving gifts is a way to feel connected, and stay connected. A gift can brighten moods, and express things when words fail you. The saying “It’s the thought that counts” exists for a reason! While lavish gifts are certainly a treat, it’s the act of simply giving that means the most.
How Did Baby Showers Start?
Baby Showers are a special event held to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. While the term itself is relatively new, a baby shower is thought to be an age-old practice that can be traced way back to ancient civilizations, yet some believe that the traditional Baby Shower we know today first occurred during the 1940s and 1950s. However, one thing remains the same: each shower is as unique as the baby itself.
The general principle for most baby showers is one to two months before the baby’s due date. That way, the mother is unlikely to give birth before it happens and can still enjoy it.
When invited to a baby shower, it’s customary to bring a gift. Whether shopping from a registry or going rogue, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember the needs of the parents and not get swept away by all the adorable baby clothes begging to be purchased. While booties and ruffled diaper covers are no doubt precious, the best gifts for new families are both practical and fun.
What are the Best Newborn Gifts & Baby Showers?
As a new mom, my favorite gifts were the ones my baby could play in, sleep in, or poop in. My kids adored the swing or vibrating baby bouncer, and both of them were obsessed with their crib aquarium toys, using them well into toddlerhood to lull them to sleep at night.
But that’s just me.
Other useful cost-effective gifts include a diaper bag (or, let’s be honest, diapers. You can never have too many!), a shopping cart cover (because, ew germs!), and swaddle blankets, while bigger ticket items could be a stroller, high-chair, car seat, or baby monitor.
However, the baby isn’t the only one who would benefit from a little TLC. Between mid-night feedings and never-ending dirty diapers, the last thing a new mom wants is to worry about dinner. Restaurant gift cards are a thoughtful gift. Helping expectant parents out with dinner delivery will always be a hit! A temperature control smart mug will keep her forgotten coffee or tea hot for hours. Or, if you really want to get on her good side, hire a temporary cleaning service and mom will be forever in your debt.
What About Baby Showers in the Workplace?
While traditional baby showers are usually a collection of family and friends, Workplace showers have also been a way for people to get together and celebrate with their coworkers. These gatherings are generally held in a breakroom, office, or another small venue so that it doesn’t disturb the work day.
Gifts are never mandatory, but if attendees ask about what to give the mother-to-be, consider how you want to handle gifts. You could have everyone bring in their own, using a registry for ideas. Or, you could appoint someone to collect contributions and go in together on a larger big-ticket item as a gift from the whole office.
A baby shower is a fun way to honor new parents and their impending arrival, but searching for the best baby gift can be tough, especially with so many options on the market today. If you need more inspiration, here’s a list to get you started!
- Bath Items
- Spa Set
- Spa Certificate
- Children’s Books
- Stuffed Animals
- Baby Bag
- Magazine or Book Subscription
- Cleaning Service
- Food Delivery
- Coupons to Babysit (But only if you’ll really let them cash them in!)
- Care Package
Our final, and best, piece of advice: ask the parent’s how you can best help them prepare for their newest addition. Everyone prepares differently, and they might already be fully stocked on all of the baby essentials like a crib, stroller, formula, diapers, toys, and more. A quick conversation is sure to help you spot something they’ve missed out on so you can surprise them in a way you know they’ll appreciate!