Overlooked Baby Shower Gifts: Part 1

Group of women at baby shower, smiling, portraitEveryone gets the same typical things for baby showers: diapers, bibs, cute onesies, a diaper bag, binkies, etc. There’s no problem with that–babies need the typical things. But there are some items that people overlook (or parents forget to ask for) that come in really handy in the first year. Here are some gift ideas that, in my experience, are some of the best and most useful items to receive:

Slings and Baby Carriers

I’m not talking about one of those front packs people find in big name stores (even though some parents do like them), I’m referring to ring slings, wraps and soft-structured carriers. A sling may appear to be a simple piece of fabric, but it’s a life saver. They’re lightweight, pretty inexpensive and so useful. Slings keep your baby close while allowing you to walk around town or just around the house. Pouch or ring slings are best for newborns.


Music CDs are often overlooked as a shower gift but are a great way to bring melody and rhythm into your baby’s life. Plus, a CD you and your newborn frequently listened to will be a goldmine of memories when your child is older and you give the CD a spin. There are many world music compilations geared directly toward babies or you can request classical or new- age music, or a CD of white noise and clicking sounds, which is a favorite for newborns.

Swaddling Blankets

Wrapping babies in a swaddling blanket gives them the feeling of a constant, secure hug and it disables their startling reflex. Even more–it may reduce colic. (Anything that may reduce colic is a winner in my book!)

Wipes Warmer

Is it useful or useless? Parents seem to be split on their love/hate of the wipes warmer. As for me, I loved it. And I’m sure my newborn son did, too. A winter baby living in the northern US needs a wipes warmer. Period.

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About Sarah Valek

Sarah Valek is a freelance writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She has written numerous articles on alternative parenting and the challenges of raising a vegan child in a meat-eating world. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and art from Ithaca College. She spends her days drinking soy lattes and taking her son bird-watching.

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