By Heather Corley. Baby Products Expert
Heather Wootton Corley is a freelance writer and mother with an active interest in new baby products and product safety. Since her daughter was born in 2001, Heather has navigated toy stores, kids clothing shops and baby products aisles in search of the perfect baby items, and now hopes to make those product decisions easier on other parents, friends and relatives of babies from birth to age four.
Buying a baby shower gift isn't always easy, especially if you're not a parent! This quick baby shower gift buying guide will help you choose a baby shower gift that is useful and appropriate, no matter your level of baby products experience. To narrow your baby shower gift choices further, don't forget to check the many baby products reviews and buying guides on this site.
Many parents-to-be register for the baby gifts they want at popular baby products stores, giving you a foolproof way of picking a gift you know they want. Call the parents-to-be or the baby shower host and ask if there is a baby shower gift registry. At the store, ask for a copy of the registry or browse the registry online if possible. The registry sheet tells you exactly which baby products the parents want, how many of each item they want, and whether or not each gift has been purchased yet.
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Babies are awfully picky when it comes to bottles and pacifiers - some babies will only use one particular brand or shape. If the parents-to-be have registered for a particular type of bottles, nipples or pacifiers, it's safe to buy them for a baby shower gift. Otherwise, steer clear of these gifts until you know which type the baby will prefer. Some parents do not ever introduce their baby to pacifiers or bottles because these items can interfere with breastfeeding.
Those Tiny Baby Clothes
Baby clothes are sized by age and sometimes weight. The smallest sizes don't get a lot of wear since newborns grow quickly. Baby clothes in larger sizes will likely be used more. Use the baby's due date to figure out what season it will be when baby reaches a new clothing size, such as 6 months, and buy seasonal clothes in that size. If you don't know the baby's gender,
a gift certificate is a welcome baby shower gift, allowing the parents to choose an outfit in pink or blue after baby arrives.
Knowledge for Baby - Buying Books, DVDs and Music
If you're stumped for a baby shower gift, help boost baby's brain power by choosing a classic baby book, educational DVD or music CD. Studies show that music encourages brain development in babies, so a lullaby CD or some tunes for the car would be a nice gift. Also look for one of the many DVD learning series for infants, such as Brainy Baby or Baby Einstein. Still stumped? A copy of your favorite book from childhood is a meaningful and useful baby shower gift.
The Gift of Fun - Baby Toys
The baby shower gift possibilities are almost endless when you give the gift of baby toys. You can buy toys made for older babies for use later in baby's life, but stick with toys for ages 3 and under to avoid small parts that could choke a young baby. Toys have an age range listed on the package. If you want your gift to be used for a long time, look for a wider age range on the package. Fancy doesn't necessarily mean better when it comes to baby toys, either, babies love simple toys, too.
Lifestyle Gifts for Parents and Babies
If you want to give a baby shower gift that's out of the ordinary, consider the parents' lifestyle. For environmentally active parents, an organic baby gift is a smart choice. Are the parents into travel or outdoors adventures? A baby backpack carrier or baby bike trailer would get baby involved in family activities. Techie parents might enjoy a titanium stroller with an onboard music system. Other lifestyle gifts might include breastfeeding supplies, baby slings or cloth diapers.
Consider Gift Certificates
For busy new parents, gift certificates can make it easy to pick up last-minute items that were forgotten in the preparations for baby's arrival. Gift certificates also give parents-to-be a way to purchase a special item that they really wanted but didn't receive at the baby shower. Baby shower gift certificates don't have to be just for baby products, either. New parents might enjoy gift certificates for dinner delivery, movie rentals, house cleaning, massage, day spas or cloth diaper service.