With the baby industry coming out with new items every year it's hard to keep up on all the latest trends. My girls are only two years apart and I was amazed at the new things on the market when my second daughter was born that I had no clue about when having my first (and I was no stranger to the baby super stores). Capitalizing on the safest and most versatile items will give you the biggest bang for your buck! Check out these must have baby shower gifts that every new mom needs...even if it's not on her registry!
As a first time parent I found myself being so overwhelmed trying to determine what I truly needed versus what the baby industry said I "needed". To be honest, no two babies are identical, no two families are identical, and therefore your needs will vary from that of other families having babies around you (and even from your first baby to your second). You get a lot of input from others about what you need, but this book will help you align your babies needs to your lifestyle. It was truly a necessary lifeline! After reading this book, and knowledgeably researching a handful of items a bit further, I was confident that I registered for everything I needed to bring a little one into the world and provide them all the safety and comfort they deserved (and more) without going totally overboard or completely breaking the bank.
Consider giving this as a "Congratulations on your pregnancy!" gift rather than waiting until the baby shower, because it will be essential and take a lot of the stress and guess work out of knowing what to register for. This book is updated regularly to incorporate all the latest items and models in the baby industry. Ensure you are ordering the most current version when purchasing! (*Side note: I also was gifted Baby 411 and Toddler 411 books by the same company and felt like they really helped me understand the stages my girls were entering and gave really valuable tips on how to navigate each one.)
I received a Boppy Newborn Lounger as a hand-me-down item, but it is truly one of the BEST baby items I own. Prior to being able to roll over on their own, if my girls weren't being held or in their cribs for the night you could bet they were likely in the lounger. Because it is so portable the baby could be near wherever I was without holding them and it was easy to bring to other peoples houses to ensure they had a safe and cozy place to hang out if needed (especially when it was time for Mommy and Daddy to eat). It can also be thrown in the washing machine to clean and comes in a number of trendy colors and patterns. It's a dream! Though it has a shorter use span, I would say it's worth every penny for the time you do use it.
Originating as a chair for babies to play in while learning to sit, this foam seat has been adapted for MANY uses. My favorite use, a high chair on the go! The new Bumbo Multi Seat with tray can be used as a traditional Bumbo Floor Seat or can be strapped onto a chair and used as a high chair for feeding. They are so easy to wipe down, grow with your child, are compact enough to easily store and bring everywhere, they come in a handful of stylish colors AND they are super affordable!
4. Baby Carriers
Most new moms know baby carriers are a MUST! However I would suggest you have multiple carriers, a soft wrap like the K'Tan or sling wrap for more natural baby wearing, as well as a structured carrier for longer wearing or bigger outings (walks, hikes, etc).
As for structured carriers, the great debate is which carrier is better, Catbird Baby's Pikkolo or the Ergo? I personally have the Pikkolo and LOVE it, but many of my friends have the Ergo and swear by it too. Honestly it comes down to preference and I would suggest trying them on, but both are great structurally for both wearer and baby.
My older daughter is 3 and she still finds uses for her receiving blankets. Let me tell you, you can never have enough! Aiden and Anais brand muslin swaddle blankets are my favorite! They are the perfect weight, large in size, and SO soft and stylish!! I used them as nursing covers, car seat covers, swaddles, playtime and cuddling blankets, burp cloths, you name it! I think I registered for 2 packs (3 blankets in each) and received 4 packs. I planned on returning a couple of them but ended up keeping them all because I used them to regularly. They are extremely durable too, I have used them heavily for both of my girls over the past 3+ years and they are still in great condition.
For seasoned parents, what is your favorite baby item? For Mommy's-to-be, what do you find most daunting about registering for baby items? Comment below.