One of the most common questions I get asked since having a baby (besides when are you going to have another one) is for recommendations on what to get someone for their baby shower. What did I find most useful? What would I give someone who is expecting a tiny bundle of joy? What do you actually need and use in those early stages of parenthood and beyond? Of course, everyone will have differing opinions based on their own experiences, but since it comes up quite a lot I’ve decided to put everything I usually recommend to people into a blog post, hoping it will be helpful to someone (and at the very least it will help me with not having to retype this every time someone asks!) So, strap yourself in, I’m about go through some of the things I used the most in those first few months (some of which I still use now and Leo is now 12 months old!), to offer a little bit of insight to anyone who, like me pre-Leo, might be struggling for ideas as to what to give to an expecting mum and dad…
A Pram Caddy.
I have been shouting from the rooftops about my pram caddy since I bought it. It didn’t even cross my mind that I would need one/I didn’t even know they existed until a few weeks in. I literally use this every day. It’s a sanity saver. Some prams come with one, others offer them as an add on product when you buy the pram. But I was late to the game on this, and was sick of digging around underneath my pram for my wallet/phone/baby toy/water bottle/keys, so when I found this pram caddy by The Nappy Society I felt like leaving the house became so much easier. It has replaced my handbag when we go for walks (which for me is every day), keeps me organised with easy access to everything I need, is big enough to fit all my necessities in it, and is easy to wipe down when I spill my coffee on it (which happens at least once a day, I’m an actual human mess), it’s just so damn practical. Every new mum needs one.
A Cute Play Mat.
I bought this linen leaf play mat from Monkey N Moo when Leo was born, I wanted something that would be portable and easy to wash, but also cute and could work as a bit of decoration in his room later. I’ve taken this everywhere - to the park, to pilates, on road trips, to the beach, and I’ve had so many people comment on it. It’s great for when the bebs are really little to lay on, great for tummy time because it’s padded so they won’t smash their tiny faces on the floor, and looks super cute as a little rug in their rooms once they’re too old to stay put on a play mat. 10/10 would buy again.
Wraps. Lots of wraps.
You actually can’t have too many. Pre-baby me thought we had heaps. Then Leo was born and I found myself madly buying more. Because babies make messes. They vomit. They pee. They dribble. They are tiny, snuggly, mess makers. And you can end up going through 6 wraps in the one day easily. I personally found a lot of the muslin wraps (especially the cheaper ones) we had ended up shrinking a lot in the wash or didn’t hold their shape well, so those ones all ended up being spew rags or feeding rags. But there were other wraps that held their shape, were nice and big and soft, and I would recommend these to anyone. Below are a few of my favourites:
Snuggle Hunny Kids Muslin Wraps - I loved this bronze wrap, so big, super snuggly. They do packs of 2 & 3 as well which would be a great gift for a baby shower. I ended up buying a few of these and used them A LOT.
Piper Bug Swaddles - These are so damn soft. And come in the cutest designs. This bee one is too cute. If we have a another baby I’m coming back for this guy!
Mama Maya Wraps - Super lightweight and soft, Leo was too little to protest having a pink spotted swaddle so I opted for the super cute salmon spot design.
Flannalette Wraps - Having a winter baby, I found flannelette wraps the best for bedtime. They were warm for chilly evenings, and we were also able to tuck Leo in nice and snug - he seemed to wriggle out of muslin wraps quicker so we often used those in the day time and these at night. We got ours from Big W. They were cheap and amazing.
Bonds Zip Wondersuits.
They may not be the most glam gift. But up until he was around 3 months old, Leo LIVED in his Bonds Wondersuits. The two way zips make it easy to change nappies. They’re comfortable and have little cuffs to cover tiny hands and feet if it’s cold. They’re practical, are a good fit, come in a HUGE range of colours and patterns, and are easy to throw in the wash. Sure, we had some cute little outfits for when we wanted to dress Leo up a bit, but for the most part early on, old mate rocked his Bonds zip suits day in day out. Now he’s nearly 10 months old and he still wears them to bed, so they’ve been a very staple part of his little wardrobe. Oh and Bonds occasionally have awesome 30 - 40% off sales. So keep an eye out for those and snap up a couple of suits when they’re cheap as chips. If you were buying lots of chips. But still. Cheap.
When we were preparing to have Leo I was a little guarded about his room. I wanted to be the one to style it, and planned everything myself. The colour scheme, the toys, the cute artworks, the furniture, the bedding. Everything was carefully curated, down to the cute bedding set up so beautifully in his little cot awaiting his arrival. Then we had Leo and I realised this small ball of love was also a small ball of constant milk vomit. And our perfectly styled cot sheets were on a quick rotation (sometimes 3 or 4 changes a day…) Moral of this story? The more cot sheets you have, the better. Having said that, it doesn’t hurt for them to be cute… so here’s some of my favourites for baby bedding…
Castle & Things - A lot of our household soft furnishings are from Castle & Things. I love everything they do. It’s where happy colours and patterns come to play. Give me alllll the bedding pls. We have a few of the cute cot sheets for Leo from C&T, and also a super cute baby throw. I actually even have the banana single bed quilt cover in storage for when Leo grows into a single bed. Am I obsessed? Yes. Am I ashamed? No.
Sage & Clare - A lot of our household soft furnishings are also from Sage & Clare, and some of Leo’s cot sheets are from here too. Home of the famous Nudie Rudie bath mat (yes we also have that, and actually that would have made a great suggestion so I’ll link that here too…) S&C have a beautiful colourful bohemian luxe vibe about them. I want to live inside their instagram photos. Please adopt me?
Piper Bug - These guys offer a small curation of super cute cot sheets. They only have small runs so you need to pounce when you want something because they do sell out. I also love supporting other Mama businesses. Ruby from Piper Bug is just an actual super woman and her designs are the cutest.
Cuddle + Kind Dolls.
There are SO many cute toys on the market, but special mention goes to Cuddle + Kind. For every doll sold Cuddle + Kind feeds 10 children in need. So not only do you get to gift an adorable artisan hand made knitted toy to a very lucky little babe, but you know its for a great cause.
I love a gift that gives back.
Get that Mum-to-be a massage.
I don’t think you can have too many pregnancy massages. Don’t worry if someone else gets her one too. That lady deserves all the nice oils being rubbed into her sore feet all day. Most spas offer pregnancy massages, and a voucher that lets her decide when to go is the perfect treat for any mum to be!
Cute Baby Outfits. Always.
Seriously how cute are tiny human clothes? The cutest. I now spend more time and money shopping for Leo than for myself. If you’re going this route for a small human, I’d aim for sizes from 3 months onwards. I mentioned earlier that Leo lived in Bonds Wondersuits until about 3 months, until then it felt like so much effort dressing him nicely when he ended up being swaddled in a wrap if we went out anyway. Others might disagree (and may have more patience than me when it comes to dressing their small babes) but I found I got the most use out of the nicer outfits from around 3 months on.
Some of my favourite places to shop for baby clothes are listed below, and I love finding new places so please send any other recommendations my way…
Wilson & Frenchy
Pup The Label
Frankie Jones The Label
Miann & Co.
A Grimms Stackable Rainbow.
I got one of these for Leo after seeing how obsessed he was with one that my friend had for her son. They’re fun, stackable blocks that form a rainbow, but can be used for so much more. Fostering imagination and creativity, there are so many ways little ones can play with these blocks, and when they’re not playing they just look so beautiful as a rainbow on a shelf or window sill. A really great present, they come in a few different colour ways, my fav is the pastel version. I’ve seen them stocked in lots of places, and I bought mine from our local toy shop, but I’ve also bought a few things from Hip Kids so I’ll link them here.
Books. Books. Books.
You can never have too many children’s books. There are the classics, that every kid should own (I’m looking at you Hairy McClary, Possum Magic, and everything by Mem Fox), and then there are the ones that give the grown-ups a giggle too (like A-B to Jay Z, Go the F*ck To Sleep, and My Dad Used to be so Cool). Books are always a winner. I fully support buying new bebs a cute addition to their library. If you accidentally get double ups, you can always regift, and they’re the kind of present that will grow with them - at the moment Leo loves throwing them around. But one day he’ll also love reading them.
And if I can suggest one book for everyone to buy, it’s from a new Children’s author, Erin Donati (cough cough, that’s me!) Yes, I’ve written a children’s book! It’s always been a dream of mine to write a children’s book, so this year while I’ve been on maternity leave I’ve made that dream a reality.
It’s called The Very Silly Sausage, and can be purchased here.
So there you go, that’s my (hopefully) very helpful list of baby shower gift suggestions. I’d love if you could comment with any extra suggestions - what was your favourite baby gift?
Please note: none of these gifts are sponsored, it’s just an honest suggestion of good gifts for small people. Although I am slightly biased about the book I’ve written. But still, you should buy it. Thanks so much.