Whether the mother-to-be is a first time mom or a mother of eight, there are a few gifts which will serve to please all of them. Thoughtful gifts don't have to be expensive; however, they should be practical. Hormonal, sleep-deprived new mothers have little patience for items which involve thick instruction manuals, require excessive assembly, or feature non-productive bells and whistles which don't meet the needs of baby and mother.
- Disposable diapers - For the eco-conscious mothers, cloth diapers are a constant necessity. From eight or more diaper changes per day for newborns to one or two diaper changes a day for two and three year old toddlers, the need for diapers is almost as important as the need for food. The expense of buying diapers adds up quickly when the requirement is constant. Fortunately, baby diapers don't expire and can be exchanged for larger sizes as needed.
- Bibs - From formula spit-up, to baby food accidents, to slobbering toddlers, bibs are a wardrobe accessory for the average child from birth to three years old. Between food stains, teething toddlers, and washing machine mishaps, bibs can be a quickly diminishing commodity. Three hundred sixty five days in a year multiplied by three years leaves more than one thousand opportunities for the use of a bib. When considering multiple feedings per day, that number triples. The need for a clean, fresh, optionally cute bib is a necessity.
- Treats for the mother - Tired, overworked mothers often opt for new baby shoes over jewelry, perfume, or new items for themselves. When resources are limited, the baby's needs most always come ahead of the mother's needs. Lotions, body wash, earrings, nail polish or something to remind mom that she's still a woman would be a welcomed treat for the mothers who neglect themselves.
- Closely related to number five, the fourth most practical baby gift is film development gift cards. Lots of busy parents have digital camera cards full of photos that need to be printed, while traditional film cameras always seem to need developing. Along with the cost of formula and diapers, capturing that perfect Kodak moment on film can be expensive. A gift card to assist with printing or film developing costs would be ideal.
- Picture frames and photo albums - New moms like to take pictures and often don't have the time to display them. The gift of a nice infant picture frame for the baby's bedroom or the family living room is a thoughtful and practical way to capture a memory.
- Number six on the top ten most practical baby gifts list is toiletries and bath products. Spit-ups, formula spills, and diaper accidents create a constant need for baby bath products. A variety of smaller sized bottles will allow mom to experiment with different brands and smells and textures to break the monotony of what feels like non-stop bathing.
- Dinner gift certificates for the mother - preferrably from restaurants with take out or delivery services. A break in a hectic mother's schedule is invaluable. With the expense of a new baby, nights out aren't always possible; but allowing Mom to provide dinner for the family without taking the time to cook is truly a gift.
- Coming in at number eight are babysitting certificates. Even new mothers who swear they'll never let their new bundle of joy out of their sight reach a point where sleep or a moment of freedom is necessary. A simple card with the offer to babysit for a certain amount of time is invaluable to any mother especially given the going rate of babysitting services currently. Dinner and a movie carry a price, but a couple of hours of freedom are priceless.
- Cute baby blanket - Baby blankets serve a number of purposes from simply keeping baby warm to decorating the crib to keepsakes for future generations. A single use can lead the baby blanket straight to the laundry cycle where it may not look quite as adorable after a few washings. Day care, similar diaper bags, and multiple babysitters often deliver casualties to the baby blanket collection. The constant need for a supply of clean, soft baby blankets make them the ninth most practical baby gift.
- The tenth most practical baby gift is newborn sleeping outfits whether it's Onsies or other comfortable, easy to dress clothing. New mothers often buy lots of cute outfits with which to showcase their beautiful new babies, but often overlook the fact that newborns spend most of their time sleeping. Seasoned mothers always need to sleep outfits to replace formula stained outfits from older brothers and sisters.
The options are as endless as the needs. Babies require love, care, and compassion which can't be bought in stores. The love and support of family and friends provides a timeless gift and lasting memory long after the baby has grown into a college student.
Jason Forthofer is the owner of Cute Baby Blankets which specializes in cute baby blanket gifts and zoo animal baby blankets