There are two kinds of baby shower gift givers: Those who stick to the registry and those who like to go off the beaten path. I’ll admit that I fall in the former: I am a stickler for registries. After having two children of my own, I have come to appreciate the necessities. That being said, I still loved receiving the occasional unexpected baby shower gift. As much as I desperately needed swaddling blankets and onesies, it was nice to have a few items that I would not have picked out for myself. Sometimes my practicality gets the best of me, and I forget to have a little fun.
If you find yourself wanting to stray off a baby shower registry, but don’t know where to start, here are some unique and thoughtful gift ideas that are sure to be a hit with any expectant mother:
Oopsie Daisy Growth Charts: The growth charts are printed on stretch canvas that can also be rolled up for easy storing. A growth chart is a cherished keepsake that also doubles as a family heirloom.
Gaiam Organic Cotton Convertible Wrap Cardigan: I got one of these after the birth of my second baby and I wore it to death. It was perfect to throw over my PJs or to pair with yoga pants. It was loose enough to camouflage my post-baby belly and easy to open up for nursing sessions. Every new mom needs something comfortable and flattering that she can wear right after the birth of her baby.
Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies: This is an item that many new moms don’t even think about. Not too long into a baby’s first year they start eating solids, and transporting food becomes a daily part of life. I bought one of these when my oldest was six months old, and three years later it is still has a permanent spot in my diaper bag.
Sabrina Metallic Ballet Flats: I’ll admit that I do not like putting shoes on my babies. BUT….. I do own these and they did grace my youngest’s feet when she was only a few months old. I couldn’t help it! They are gorgeous! They now reside in a keepsake box I have for her and I know that she will love having this token from her childhood. Plus, shoes this beautiful make fabulous room decor: You can hang them on a hook or display them on a shelf.
Serena and Lily Zodiac Wall Art: This is a really unique way to personalize a baby’s room and any mother will enjoy the fun and playful description of her child’s zodiac sign.
Personalized Wooden Blocks: These personalized blocks are made to order and can be customized to go with any theme. They can also be modified to hang on a wall. I bought a similar set of these for my best friend and hung them in her son’s room while she was recovering in the hospital. This is truly a unique gift that you won’t find in stores.
Canon PowerShot S95: There is something about having kids that brings out the budding photographer in me. This camera was recommended to me by a professional photographer. The Canon S95 has all the serious photographer’s must-haves (manual controls, a wide-angle lens, awesome low-light performance, and it even shoots HD video), but without the bulk of your traditional digital SLR camera. It’s a professional quality camera that is compact enough to fit in a purse or diaper bag. It’s pricey though, so this would make an awesome group gift. I would seriously return my double stroller in exchange for one of these bad boys.
Baltic Amber Teething Necklace: Ok, I’ll admit that I was skeptical of this trend. But then I kept seeing all these babies wearing baltic amber teething necklaces and I had to ask, “Does this really work?” I got a unanimous YES from everyone I asked. I also have to say that putting a necklace on my baby seems dangerous. Well, I spoke to a woman who designs these and she had some great advice: Make sure that the baltic amber necklace is knotted between each bead, which prevents the beads from coming off if the clasp breaks. She also recommends only using the necklace when you are directly supervising your child. The necklace should fit close to the skin and close with a screw on clasp, not a claw. FYI: These necklaces are NOT for a baby to chew on. The essential oils in the amber are released by the warmth of the skin and provide natural pain relief to teething babies. If you’re shopping for an expecting mama with hippie roots, then this would probably be the perfect gift.
Captured Heart Necklace by Lisa Leonard: This necklace one of Lisa Leonard’s most popular keepsake jewelry pieces. It’s been featured in Parenting Magazine and is a favorite of Josie Bissett. What a fabulous way to keep a mother’s children close to her heart! PS: This also makes a great “push present” for all the expecting fathers out there. *hint, hint*
Personalized Thank You Cards from Tiny Prints: You get 1,000 bonus points if you stamp and address the envelopes for the mom to be. It takes some coordination with the baby shower hostess, but this is a gift that every new mom needs. Between preparing for a new baby and recovering from the birth, writing and addressing thank you cards is a daunting task. Make it easier on her by doing half of the work for her. Plus, it’s safe to say that Tiny Prints has some of the cutest and most affordable custom stationary on the market.