I have always enjoyed shopping for baby gifts. Everything is so cute and little! Pre-mommyhood, I’d go to a baby superstore, pick out my favorite scented baby lotion, a super cute super tiny outfit and those packs of blankets that are no bigger than a Kleenex.
Now, as a mom outside of the baby stages, I have an ENTIRELY different perspective. I like to consider myself fairly practical, but if you invite me to a shower, you can pretty much expect the least-cute gift from me. But well into your kid’s toddlerhood and perhaps beyond, you will be thanking me. And if you’re shopping for a baby gift, you can also thank me for this list.
What to get (or be excited about if you do get) –
• A temporal thermometer. Swipe it across the forehead. No insertion, no struggling kid, no disposable little pieces. This thing is awesome and we have found that it works very well (on the kids AND the parents). You don’t even have to wake you sleeping sick kid to use it.
• Diaper pail. I never went fancy with this. They all stink no matter what, so I prefer one (like this) that I can stick my plastic Target bags in and toss after a couple days over a one that makes expensive sausage links out of poopy pants.
• Outlet covers, gates and other baby-proofing items. They just become part of your home decor. And it’s still nice years later when your 7-year-old isn’t able to plug something in.
• Outfits size 9 months and up. That new baby gravy train dries up really quickly. Your newborn will have an outfit for every occasion from picnic at grandma’s to the Kentucky Derby. But as you start to pack away all those precious teeny tiny maybe-worn-once ensembles, you’ll wish you’d had some foresight beyond 0-3 months. Someone bought me a 3T shirt. I thought it odd at the time, but at the rate kids outgrow clothes, it’s always nice to have a stash started in the back of the closet (just don’t forget about it!).
• Books. Books are never a bad idea for kiddos – especially the classics. And even after they’re reading on their own, they still may pull Little Blue Truck off the shelf, and you’ll have to see if you can get through it without choking up.
So while, yeah, there are plenty of waste your time baby gifts (I’m looking at you, wipes warmer), there are still plenty of adorable and very much necessary items for the early days. And by no means am I disparaging anyone who wants to buy a baby fedora (I mean, come on – who can’t appreciate a baby dressed like a gentleman?)! But know that down the road, there is still some life left to be lived from some baby gifts after the baby years.