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Choosing a baby shower gift can be difficult, especially if you have not been a new parent yourself, or if it’s a very long time since you had a baby. If you’re lucky, your baby shower hosts will have some ideas about baby shower gifts that the new mum would like – so if you are stuck for gift ideas, phone one of the shower hosts or perhaps another close friend of the guest of honour.
If you are not a parent and haven’t had a lot to do with babies, it can be quite daunting to choose a present for a new baby!
Fear not, our baby shower gift list will give you some ideas. There are also plenty of specialist baby shops which offer a wide range of baby products. Set a budget for the gift before you start looking, so that you don’t get persuaded into buying something you can’t afford.
Have you been told the baby’s gender? If so, you might decide on an outfit or other gift in traditional pink or blue. But if you don’t know the gender, something in white, in rainbow colours or a neutral pastel (green or yellow) is a safe choice.
If you’re stuck for ideas, many retailers offer gift baskets with a collection of small toys and toiletries which can make a lovely gift.
Some gifts are so useful that it’s not going to matter if a few people give the same thing.
A box of Huggies Newborn Nappies can be a very practical gift. It saves mum from having to go out and buy them in the first few weeks after birth.
A nappy service is a very helpful gift for new parents who use cloth nappies. A week (or more) of access to a pick-up and drop-off nappy washing service can be a boon in the early months with a new baby. There are also services that deliver packages of disposable nappies; do check with the mother-to-be before arranging something, because some parents have quite strong preferences about the type of nappies they will use.
Some newborn babies are very ‘chucky,’ and throw up half their feed; others are neat little feeders until they start solid food at around 6 months old. There’s lots of very absorbent, large soft bibs around that are perfect for both kinds of baby. A few bibs make a lovely gift on their own or wrapped up with a rattle or other
A cute little outfit in size 00, 0 or 1 is always good. If you’re not sure about sizes, go for a bigger size; you can be pretty sure that baby will grow bigger, not smaller! The one thing you need to check is that the size you buy will match the season that the baby will wear the outfit. For example, don’t buy a winter outfit for a 6 month size if the baby will turn 6 months in summer.
Pyjamas and ‘gro-bags’ are good for older babies at night time, though newborn babies often wear ‘onesies’ to bed and many parents swaddle their babies in the early months. (Avoid synthetic flammable fabrics for nightwear.) Most babies will need a few sunhats, or a warm hat in winter time. A warm winter coat or even a rain jacket might be useful in colder weather. In summer, a baby might need a waterproof hat for the swimming pool, an all-in-one sunsafe swimsuit, and perhaps a baby flotation device. Even a bucket and spade will come in handy eventually (though not until baby is much older!)
There are so many useful bits and pieces that you can buy for new parents; just make sure that the gift you choose can be returned in case they get more than one of the same thing!
Baby bath thermometer; soft hair brush and comb; baby cup and plate for starting solid foods; baby towel and wash cloth; night-light; baby monitor; ‘nappy bag’ with portable change mat, nappy soak bucket with close-fitting lid, baby rockers, baby chairs, baby sleep CDs, baby photo albums or frames, parenting books, car window shade, children’s picture books.
These are expensive items that a close relative or friend might purchase, or a group of people could purchase together. It’s best to check with the new parents first as they may already have a good idea about what they would like. Always make sure that the items you purchase conform to the latest New Zealand safety standards. See Ministry of Consumer Affairs for more information.
Pram; car seat or capsule; change table; bassinette or cradle; cot; stroller; portable cot; baby safety gates.
For more information see stroller safety and baby car safety.
Soft toys, linen and wall hangings can make lovely gifts, particularly if you are able to find a unique hand-made or unusual gift. Small rattles, shaking toys, mobiles and musical toys are very popular. Do be careful that the gift is not going to have small parts or be unsafe around a small child.