Along with the five weddings we have this year (yes, five), a lot of our friends are also starting to have their first or second babies.
I typically like to do a themed gift or something special that is off of the registry with something from the registry (hey, they asked for those things for a reason).
For my friend Kate’s first child, I gave her a set of monthly onesies and a scrapbook so she could take a monthly photo throughout Emily’s first year and have a place to put them.
My Favorite Gifts (I’ve Received and Given)
A gift card to diapers.com
Diapers! Okay, so no one gifted this to me exactly, but what I wouldn’t have given for a supply of diapers (big or small). You may not think they make a glamorous gift, but boy do you go through a ton of them.
A family heirloom – something that has been passed down (and is still safe for today’s babies) that means something to your family.
Anything handmade – my grandma and aunt both made me beautiful quilts for H
A gift basket for mom – everyone seems to forget about the mom-to-be during showers. I love giving a basket full of lotions, creams, magazines, books, etc. that she can enjoy before and after the baby is born.
A box full of all the little things that were left on my registry. I had two showers and there were a lot of little things we still needed, and one of my friends bought them all. It was so much fun to open everything and some of those things we use still to this day.
A piece of furniture for the nursery – Ryan’s grandma bought us H’s crib and my mom bought us a rocker, but you could go in with a group to do the same and make it more cost-effective. But what a wonderful gesture, and one less (big) thing the parents have to worry about.
A nice frame (or two) – my friend Darcy gave us a beautiful Kate Spade silver frame that says “…And Baby Makes Three” and I just love it. You have so many photos taken of you and the new little one, you need somewhere to display them, right?
There are also some great gift ideas for baby here on homemadesimple.com that I think are fab.
More Themed Ideas
Feeding frenzy – get a basket or better yet, a cooler, and pack it with bibs, spoons, bottles, formula (if they’re using it), bottle brushes, nipples in all different sizes, bowls, etc. Everything mom, and baby will need to fatten up.
Toys for every stage – Buy one or two small toys for every stage during their first year. Teething toys, rattles, books, cause and effect toys, balls, blocks, etc.
Baby’s first library – All of your favorite books for the little one. Take it one step further and include a special note inside each one with your name and the date you gave the gift.
Nighty night – PJs, baby’s first bear, a blanket, a night time story, and a night light should do the trick. Maybe even a lullaby CD.
For the sports lover – great for a boy or girl, find out what teams the family follows and give them gear to route them on with mommy and daddy. This could include bibs, a jersey or t-shirt, baby toys that are geared towards the sport (we have a small football for H as well as a small baseball glove that’s a rattle), a pennant for their nursery, and a hat.
Packaging Makes Perfect
I feel the way you package the gifts is just as important as what the gift is. For instance my sister-in-law had a jungle-themed shower so the gift wrap matched that theme. And for my friend Kate, I modified this gift topper to say “Baby Jantzen” instead of “Happy Birthday.”
And I always believe in using grosgrain or other fabric ribbons as opposed to the stuff you buy at the drugstore. I just think it gives it a special touch and makes it stand out.