Baby Shower Gifts New Moms Don’t Know They Need

I have been to my share of baby showers over the years.  Inevitably, the question of what to get the mom to be always comes up.  Do you get her something off of the registry?  Sure, you could go that route.  However, many first time mothers are baffled as to what they actually NEED.

When I was pregnant with Big Bud, I couldn’t wait to register.  I went into Babies R’ Us when the time finally came around.  I had my mind set on ONLY registering for what I needed – stroller, car seat, and the little necessities every new mom thinks she has to have.  Truth be told, all that flew out the window as soon as I walked down that first aisle.

Armed with my handy dandy scanner, my impulsive nature took over.  I zapped away at every single cutsie little outfit and accessory my dazzled eyes saw.  Wipes warmer?   My precious bundle’s bottom absolutely couldn’t live without that! – beep.  Microwave bottle sterilizer? A must have!  – beep.  And the list went on and on….

Now I look back on that day and cringe in embarrassment.  The wipes warmer lasted about 3 days before I got tired of trying to wipe his poopy butt with dry wipes and threw it out.  The bottle sterilizer is still gathering dust in the corner of my garage where useless baby items go to die.  So the question is, what do you get a first time mother who has no clue what she will and will not use?

Now that I’m a mom of two with numerous baby showers under my belt, I feel confident enough to just put it out there, so here goes.    Ladies and gentlemen, you will not use ¾ of the useless things you register for.  This is the honest truth!  I say this as the self proclaimed queen of impulse baby spending.  Ever wonder who is actually dumb enough to drop their hard earned dollars on those lame infomercial gadgets?

Well, wonder no more because here I am.  Hello, my name is Veronika, and I’m addicted to infomercials.  The birth of Little Bud has awoken a need within me to possess every single “miraculous” baby invention known to man.  I whip out my debit card without a second thought.  The buyer’s remorse I will inevitably be struck with once I realize the products are useless isn’t even enough to deter me from this mission.

Oh how I would have LOVED for someone to stop my registry insanity.  The worst part about the whole thing was that my well meaning guests actually purchased the horribly useless gifts I wanted.  I know I know.  We all want to get the new mom the things she is just dying to have.  The next time you receive an invitation to a baby shower, don’t just run out and grab any old thing from the registry.  Oftentimes, the best gifts you can give a new mommy are the ones she doesn’t even realize that she will need………

Medicine Kit

No one ever expects their children to get sick.  It just happens.  I know that almost everyone gets diaper rash cream and Tylenol from at least one person. However, let me take this concept a step further.  I got down on my knees and thanked my lucky stars that I never had to run to the drugstore in the middle of the night, frantically running up and down the aisles searching for medicine.  Some kind soul thoughtfully gifted me a huge basket overflowing with a veritable baby pharmacy.  All the old standbys were there…Tylenol, Mylicon drops, and Orajel.  However, there were a few lifesavers stashed in there that came in sooooo handy.  Infants Advil, teething tablets, and gripe water were soon to be my new best friends.  A small tub of baby Vapor Rub is absolutely indispensable for anyone whose baby will be in daycare where the only thing being shared is the common cold.

Starter Library

OK.  So maybe this isn’t a need, but it sure is nice to have.  Great books are one of those things you know you are going to need, but hardly anyone ever registers for them.  A few savvy shoppers might bypass the diapers and opt for books, but chances are they will be in slim supply.  Give the mom-to-be a selection of classics from Dr Seuss and other notable authors and you can be sure the gift will be a hit.  I always imagined myself reading bedtime stories to my boys, but I didn’t end up with a single book at any of my showers.

Formula Dispenser

This is possibly one of the least expensive baby items of all time, but don’t let that stop you.  New moms will be so focused on registering for the big stuff that they forget the little things.  This formula dispenser from Green to Grow is fantastic for moms who opt to bottle feed.  It allows you to portion out a bottle’s worth of powder for those on-the-go feedings.  And don’t worry.  If the mommy has her heart set on nursing, these containers also make fantastic snack cups.

Baby Bath Seat

Ditch those hard plastic baby tubs of yesteryear.   All moms think they need one, but just say NO!  Not only do they not fold up for storage, they can be pain to clean.  Instead, shower the new mommy with a tub she will love.  This infant bath seat from Primo is a dream.  It keeps the baby elevated and prevents her from slouching down dangerously low into the water.  At around $10, this bath is affordable enough for any budget. Fill it with some essential bath time toiletries for a gift that keeps on giving. 

Diaper Caddy

Diaper what?  That’s what I said until I got one.  Trust me.  She will think she doesn’t need one, but she does.  Most parents end up lugging the baby’s diapering supplies from room to room, opting to change the baby on the floor, couch, etc.  This little gem is a must-have for any mom.  Big enough to hold several diapers with pockets enough for a pack of wipes, her favorite diaper ointment, and several other things, this diaper caddy will save the day and her sanity.  It is especially helpful for mommies with a multi-level home, keeping her from having to run up and down the stairs when she’s still sore from delivery.  Adorable and functional? It just doesn’t get any better. 

Pacifier Case

Yes, she will get pacifiers in every shape and size, even if she is adamant her baby is not going to use a binky.  Kids either love them or hate them.  Just in case her baby is the paci-lovin kind, get her a couple pacifier pods from JJ Cole.  These are fantastic to hang from the side of the diaper bag.  Who wants to be rummaging around in the black hole of the diaper bag with one hand while trying to calm a screaming baby with the other?  Never let that happen to her.  Even if the Nuk ends up being a no-no, these little pouches can be used to keep any small essential right at her fingertips.   

Baby Legs

Need I say more?  Anyone who reads knows how much we adore these!  These are possibly the greatest, most inexpensive gift you can give.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways………I could write a novel on how many moms I’ve turned on to these great little leg warmers! Some might say this is a want, but when we’re talking about Baby Legs, they definitely fall into my “needs” category.  *If you need a gift now (or maybe you want to stock up for the next shower), BabyLegs is having a fab sale right now.  Save 50% off an order $50 or more with the coupon code “TAXBREAK” .  Deal is valid April 13-15, 2011.  SHOP Sale HERE.

Temporal Artery Thermometer

Of course a thermometer is up there on every new mom’s list of must haves.  To be perfectly accurate, most pediatricians will tell you to take a temperature rectally.  What about when the baby is napping and her new-mother radar detects a slight 1/2 degree temperature variation?  If you give her this useful item, she can whip it out and take the baby’s temperature in a couple of seconds.  It’s much less traumatic than waking the baby and stripping her down to her skivvies, just to realize the temperature is normal.  This thermometer is by far one of the best gifts I have ever received.  It can even be used when the “big kid” (AKA Daddy) is feeling under the whether. 

Post Pregnancy Survival Kit

Definitely not something any moms register for, it is nonetheless appreciated.  Stock a basket with things she is sure to need post-baby.  This may be TMI, but any new mom knows that you need lots of “feminine hygiene” products those first few weeks.  If she runs out and the baby is still too young to safely make a trip to the store, don’t leave it in daddy’s hands to pick the right kind.  Add in a canister of Tucks Pad and a tube of Preparation H and her bum will thank you.  Last but not least, throw in some nursing pads.  Even the ladies who opt to bottle feed will need these once the milk starts a ‘flowin. 

OK.  That was definitely not a typical baby shower gift list.  But trust me, new moms don’t know that they are going to need these things.  So let’s hear it guys and gals. 

What’s on your list of things you never knew you’d need?