First of all, you should always check to see if the Mother-to-be has registered. Nothing is more frustrating to a pregnant lady than filling out a baby registry only to have no one purchase anything off of it. The real fun comes when a) Mama’s registry is completed, or b) Mama only registered for big stuff like a stroller and crib because she likes surprises.
The best baby gifts are useful and cute. My personal rule for gift giving is to buy presents that the recipient would never buy for themselves. That’s what makes a gift special. So no nursing bras, or baby wipes – got it?
Let’s get down to business:
- The Gift of Entertainment
Baby Books – It’s never too early to start reading to your child, and a great book is one that can entertain your babe and not get old after you read it for the umpteenth time. There are several publishing companies that responsibly produce books, but the most eco-friendly option may be re-gifting books that you loved when you were a child. If you aren’t willing to part with your childhood favorites, you can find vintage copies of your beloved children’s books online.
Some of our favorite children’s books are the ones about conservation and the environment. Classics like The Little House by Virgina Lee Burton, The Lorax by Dr Seuss, and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein will never go out of style, and help teach kids the importance of nature at a young age.
- The Gift of Bootie
What is it about those little feet (that don’t even touch the ground) that look so darn cute in a pair of teeny tiny shoes? Even though the practice of bronzing went out of style (thank God), it’s still fun to look back on your child’s tiniest pair of shoes – and think, ‘Your feet were this small!’ Luckily for us, there are tons of eco-friendly options for infant footwear. Whether you are looking for striped booties or soft soled slip-on shoes, there are organic and vegan options that are just as cute as conventional brands.
- The Gift of Sentiment
Although the most eco option is email, certain things just call for the sentimentality of paper. There are several pieces of stationary that a new Mother will find use for. Thank you notes are an obvious choice, but personalized baby stationary and New Mom calling cards are also very useful. Look for companies that use 100% post consumer recycled paper, are FSC certified, and are Green Seal certified. A gift certificate is a thoughtful alternative if the name or gender is a surprise.
- The Gift of Sleep
The one thing that new parents crave the most is a little rest. A basket containing lavender scented baby bath products, a homemade (or store bought) lullaby cd, or even a small sound machine will be most appreciated around 3am. Even though sometimes you just want your baby to go to sleep, safety is always the main concern. An adorable baby sleep sack, or an organic swaddling blanket will help the new baby slumber safely.
- The Gift of Nutrition
Nursing can be challenging, so any items that support breastfeeding will surely be appreciated. Gifting a new mom with your personal favorite nursing balm, milk-friendly tea, or a pretty nursing cover will not only help your friend, but also help the new baby receive perfect nutrition in the form of breast milk and cuddle time!
- The Gift of Mobility
I would say that most babies like to be held. Problem is, sometimes your arms are needed to do other things (like making yourself a sandwich because you just realized you forgot to eat, or sipping on that hard-to-find caffeine-free coca cola), and that’s where it gets tricky. A baby carrier allows the baby to snuggle in happily to Mom or Dad while freeing up your puny, aching arm muscles to do whatever they please. Functioning arms is a great baby shower gift, don’t you think?
- The Gift of Go
There are so many extras that you can throw into a diaper bag to make your life as a new Mom a little easier, and they all make great baby shower gifts. A cute pacifier or teether holder will help keep those necessary soothers close by. A luxe wipes case with reusable wipes paired with a multi-purpose organic spray would surely be used over and over. If you want to pull out the big guns, you could spoil your friend with the gift of an organic designer diaper bag.
- The Gift of Time
While you can’t gift your friend with more time in the day, you can help them squeeze in a few extra minutes with a monthly box subscription. A box filled with deluxe organic product samples for newborn and Mother will help her find new favorites in the comfort of home, while a children’s activity box subscription could be a Godsend for keeping older siblings busy while Mommy is busy with the newborn.