The baby shower. A time to prepare the friend in your life with all they will need to raise a small person. But, what do they really need? I remember my mother and her friends laughing at my baby shower about all the “stuff” and commenting and sarcastically questioning how they ever raised my friends and I without a wipe warmer!? As much as I love new baby gear, I agree that some of it in probably unnecessary. If you fill up a home with gadgets, gear, and too many toys to count, how will you have time or space to fully appreciate the incredible miracle that is a tiny newborn baby?
As early intervention therapists and mothers, we are often asked for recommendations for gifts for new babies and growing families. So we decided to share some of those suggestions with you in our blog today. These, of course aren’t inclusive (there are others that we love), but here is our Top 10 Baby Shower Gifts:
1) Nesting Blocks: An awesome “grow with me” toy, these can be progressed from early gazing, to hide and seek games, to stacking, counting, and sorting by color, to kicking, to pretend play homes! A great bang for your buck!
2) Basket of Classic Books: With a personal message to the child from you, a basket of classic books will foster bonding and literacy. I love reading books given to me at my baby shower to my daughters. And at 6 and 7 years old now, they enjoy reading the messages written to them from family and friends!
3) A Simple Ball: It shocks me how many houses I work in don’t have a ball for play! A simple and inexpensive gift, a toy ball can be used early on to help babies gain postural strength and later on for turn taking and coordination. Every child needs a ball.
4) Baby Carrier: I remember an early realization as a new mom. The baby carrier (otherwise known as my new best friend) was the only way I could grocery shop (ummm, the car seat fills the entire shopping cart!), get anything done around the house, or calm a fussy baby suffering from acid reflux. As a mom, I couldn’t have lived without it. As a physical therapist, I love the chest to chest bonding, neutral growth fostered by the close, warm contact, and postural strengthening these provide.
5) Black And White/Geometric Mobile: My initial response when armed with the powerful “registry gun”was to go for the matchy cute pastel mobile. I’m glad my “therapy brain” overpowered that urge and we went for an awesome black and white geometric option. Simply put, new babies see and recognize these colors and shapes easily and they enjoy them much more.
6) Baby Mirror: So many functional purposes for the baby mirror! These encourage early head control, body awareness, and social and language development and keep baby occupied gazing at their amazing selves!
7) Bumbo Seat: I’m generally not a fan of what I like to call “the baby container.” You’ve heard it over and over – floor time is best! But, I also understand that sometimes the floor just doesn’t cut it! When that’s the case, and when the baby is strong enough, The Bumbo Seat is my favorite as it supports while allowing movement and strengthening.
8) Links: Cheap. Easy to clean. Easy to transport. And most importantly, easy to hold. These are my first choice of an object to place in an infants hand. A great choice for encouraging early fine motor and hand-eye coordination. And there are so many uses for these — dangling as a mobile on the go, counting or sorting by color as baby turns into toddler… And if you are better and not losing things than I, you could even keep these for early addition practice with an older toddler.
9) Gift Certificate for Photography: Baby comes. Money is short, but memories are precious. Especially, with a second, third, or fourth child, a gift of photography will be a much appreciated gift. The darling newborn photo below is graciously shared on our website by Bellies To Earth Photography (http://www.bellies2earthphotography.com/).
10) 1-2-3 Just Play With Me! At Milestones & Miracles, we believe the most important thing your baby needs is YOU! With over 22 combines years of home based intervention, we have lots of practice being creative with what is in each family’s home. We combined those creative ideas with what we know about early development and authored a product that is perfect as a shower gift for new families. 75 beautiful cards and housed in a boutique style box and are easily sorted by color (one for each developmental domain) and placed in order from birth to three. The front of each card lists milestones for specific ages and the back pairs each with suggestions for simple play using simple objects like those listed above along with household items (Tupperware, egg cartons, and the shiniest spoon in your kitchen among a few). Gift a friend or yourself with 3 years worth of knowledge and fun today. Check out milestonesandmiracles.com to view a sample pdf card or purchase today! We ship for FREE! Happy shopping!