I had no idea what to buy when I was invited to my first ever baby shower, I cringe now at the impractical gift I bought (it was a suitcase tag which said “jetsetter” on it, what the hell was I thinking?!) Anyway, since having a baby myself, I know exactly what every mother needs and the best gifts to buy them. A survival kit if you like rather than a cute baby hamper, those first few weeks are tough. When you’ve had a baby, the last thing you want to do is leave your house, you need everything around you within easy reach and plenty of whatever that is. I have compiled a list of my top 10 items that really helped me in those first few weeks and what I REALLY appreciated from friends and family. I would not have appreciated a luggage tag however, let me tell you.
1 – Nappies – Sounds like a boring present I agree, but it also extremely necessary! I was so grateful that I was bought a large supply of nappies and not having to worry about buying anymore in a hurry. Its amazing how many times you change a newborns nappy and throughout the night too (ahh those night wakings) that they will be gone before you know it.
2 – Wipes – Also boring but a major necessity! Wipes aren’t just for babies bums, they are for milk moustaches, sticky surfaces and milk spills. Why do you think that everyone recommends taking them to festivals? They are for mucky situations and new mums have plenty of those! They are a perfect gift for any expectant mum.
3 – Lotions and Potions – Obviously when babies are first born you can’t throw a load of potions at them because their skin is still quite sensitive. I know that I was extremely grateful for sudocrem, talcum powder, baby bath wash and baby lotion though. I think I bought my first bottle of talcum powder when my baby turned 1! You can buy all those items relatively cheap from supermarkets and chemists and can make them look all nice and pretty by putting them in a gift box or hamper if you like.
4 – Gift for Mummy – This is so important and not something I realised until I had my daughter. Being a mum is the hardest job in the world and when you’ve gone through every kind of pain you could ever imagine, you deserve a little reward for your hard work. A little pick me up is definitely appreciated, for example: gift cards, chocolate, WINE, pamper day etc, whatever suits the mum to be. We bloody well need it (wine).
5 – Meals – I’ve never been so happy to see a shepherds pie in all my life until my mum turned up with one when my daughter was a week old. The last thing you want to do is cook a meal, you can barely get dressed, let alone turn the oven on. Nice home cooked food that fills you up and leaves you feeling warm inside is perfect for any new mum. Think casseroles, shepherd pie, spaghetti bolognese, chocolate cookies etc. (now i’m starving)
6 – Baby Grows and Vests – I took three of each to the hospital with me when I gave birth and my baby was sick on all three within an hour. My partner had to go home and get me three more and even then I used them all up before I was sent home. Babies can be sick ALOT and have poo explosions and other bodily fluid leaks so you must always be prepared. You can’t have too many babygrows or vests, the more you have, the less reason you have to turn the washing machine on so that’s great in itself.
7 – Thermometer – When you start freaking out because your baby has a cough or they feel colder than usual, a thermometer is always a good item to have on you. It’s a great “go to” when you start panicking about colds and bugs that they may have caught. Even if you think the new mum would have already bought a thermometer, I can almost guarantee that they won’t be able to find the one they have at 3am so having a few around the house is ideal. Most new mums will worry at some point so a thermometer is a great gift to give to ease their worries or let them know whether their baby needs further medical attention.
8 – Muslins – Muslins are a saviour for milk spills, baby sick and are soft enough to keep on your shoulder for babies to rest their heads on. You can get so many cute and crazy designs as well as simple colours too so they are a fun gift to give as well as being highly practical. Shop around and look at all the lovely designs they have out there to make your gift slightly more unique!
9 – Comforter – It must be bloody scary for babies when they leave the warm and comfy womb of their mother and are expected to be okay with the big wide world with all these different kinds of smells and things going on. Besides their mothers comfort, a lot of babies love having comforters with them to snuggle into and cosy up with. You can get so many different designs in these also, different colours with different characters on them, the options are endless! A baby can never have too many!
10 – Keepsake – It’s a lovely idea to get a little keepsake for said baby, this could be a bangle, a cushion with their name on it or a frame with their birth details in it. Just googling “baby gifts” will bring up a ton of ideas on what you can buy a newborn baby to celebrate their birth. It’s lovely for the mum as well to have a keepsake of their child and something that they could maybe give to them later on in life. A keepsake is a lovely unique touch you can give that will be in their hearts forever.
So at the end of that, I now feel incredibly broody! I hope some of these tips have helped and you don’t go to your next baby shower with a luggage tag like I did. Becoming a mum is hard and we need all the help we can get, for us and for our babies. I see these tips as more of a survival kit but you can dress it up as a baby hamper if you like 🙂
I’d love to know what you appreciated most when you had a baby or the best gift you have ever given to an expectant mum, please let me know in the comments below!