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When it comes to baby shower gifts, there are definitely some that are a bit more appreciated than others. Sure, packages of plain white one-piece outfits or sweet silver rattles are terrific, but certain presents are worth their weight in gold, be they practical, personal, or just plain pampering.
We asked moms to share the most cherished or helpful gifts they received when they had a little one. Perhaps you'll feel inspired when you're picking out your next shower present – or maybe you'll see something to pick up just for yourself!
From the heart
"My mom gave us a basket filled with memorabilia – clothes I wore as a baby, toys I played with as a child, and even things she had as a child."
"My grandmother crocheted a hat, sweater, booties, and blanket for each of my (much older) brothers, but she passed away 15 years before I was born. My mom gave each piece to a different cousin when they had their children, years before I did. When I got pregnant, my relatives returned them to me. My baby will have a gift from the great-grandmother that neither she nor I ever met!"
"My favorite baby shower gifts are always the handmade blankets and hats and things that were made especially for your baby with love."
"A $100 megastore gift certificate from my co-workers was the best gift I received. This is our second child, so we pretty much had everything we needed. The gift certificate will allow us to purchase diapers, wipes, and other necessities as we need them."
"When we needed something extra or were short on cash, gift cards were the best!"
"I loved the gift certificate I got for a local portrait studio. It was so nice to be able to have those early pictures taken."
Maid to please
"My friends pitched in and bought me a professional, one-time house cleaning. It was perfect! I felt so refreshed and so grateful for the much-needed help and thorough cleaning!"
"I loved the Groupon my friend bought on my behalf entitling me to a few visits from a fabulous housecleaning service."
"A few friends teamed up and came over to clean my house several times during those crazy early days of parenthood."
"A date night for me and my husband to get reacquainted, about a month after our second baby was born. It included dinner for two at the restaurant of our choice and childcare for our two tots. Probably saved our marriage!"
"A friend offered to babysit our kids (for free!) so that we could go out for a few hours – for a walk, for dinner, for whatever we wanted. We really needed that time together and the time 'off duty'."
"My favorite gift was clothes in bigger sizes (12 months, 24 months, even 2T and 3T). At the time I thought it was strange, but I really appreciated it later."
"At the baby shower she hosted, my mother-in-law hung a ton of baby clothes – in sizes ranging from newborn all the way up to 2T – around the room as part of the decorations! I got to pick any and all that I liked. We used those for a long time!"
"When my daughter was born, a friend with a 1-year-old girl (and good taste!) gave me a huge box of very gently used clothes. I rarely had to shop for clothes that first year!"
"My friend got me the best gift ever: a clear vinyl shower curtain, some bath accessories (shower gel, soap, a sponge, etc.), and a battery-operated vibrating bouncy seat for the baby. I thank her every time I take a shower – I never have to take my eyes off my baby!"
"I got an 'uh-oh!' basket packed with infant pain reliever, a thermometer, nail clippers, petroleum jelly, diaper rash cream, and more. My friend told me to just put it in the closet and wait. It wasn't long before we needed something – and we were happy not to have to run to the store at 2 a.m."
Just for Mom
"A Mom basket with bubble bath, wine, scented candles, and a nice book!"
"The best shower present I got was money for a massage and a pedicure."
"A housecoat, fuzzy slippers, and a 'New Mom' coffee mug. Seriously. I lived in that housecoat for weeks after my daughter was born."
"A luxurious day at the spa!"
"A friend and my sister got me a little at-home spa package, including bath salts, lotion, foot scrub. I wasn't able to leave my baby because I was nursing, but I was able to lay her down for a nap or bedtime, open up the package, and indulge in a nice hot bath for a half hour."
"A safekeeping box. We put all of the knickknacks from the hospital, the stocking she fit into. You will always get more Onesies and blankets, but we loved having a lovely box to hold the special things!"
"My cousin gave me a beautiful box that she'd decorated with really lovely stamps and lettering, so I could fill it with all the little mementos from my daughter's childhood, starting with her tiny hospital bracelet!"
All wrapped up
"A package of swaddle blankets. I probably never would have gotten any sleep without them."
"The Velcro sleep sacks I received were lifesavers. They helped me properly wrap up my baby – without harming her hips – but allowed her to sleep soundly."
"My baby slept more comfortably at night while tightly wrapped in the swaddle blankets we got as gifts."
Write from the beginning
"A beautiful blank book where I wrote down all his milestones and the special moments of his life."
"A special journal, just for writing down thoughts and memories about my baby. Time flies by so fast – you have to document it!"
Dinner at your door
"In the early days of having a newborn, prepared meals – delivered straight to your door – are the best gifts."
"Friends stopped by with dinner almost every night of the week for two weeks straight. Which was great, considering we had no energy to prepare meals!"
"Healthy homemade meals helped us keep up our energy and for me, recover from childbirth."
Stocked and ready
"An emergency diaper bag, to leave in the car in case you forget something at home. Things like an undershirt, a bottle, a teething ring, a pacifier, a thermometer, gas relief medicine, an assortment of diapers, diaper cream, a small pack of powder, shampoo, lotion, infant acetaminophen, and a bib."
"The best gift I got at my daughter's shower and now give at all showers – is a small, well-stocked diaper bag. Fill it with the top five things you should never leave home without!"
Diapers, diapers, diapers!
"My favorite shower gift was a month of cloth diaper service!"
"Two family members teamed up to give me plastic tubs full of different essentials – clothes, bottles, diapers – and I had the tubs left over to store baby memorabilia."
"Friends threw us a 'diaper shower.' We had enough diapers and wipes for our son for his first 6 months."
"I've made diaper cakes before and they went over really well. I try to include larger diaper sizes because the baby outgrows newborn and size one diapers so quickly."
"For our baby shower, we registered at our local bookstore. Instead of a bunch of clothes that the baby would outgrow too fast, we got all kinds of books, from classics like Winnie-the-Pooh to really useful parenting guidebooks."
"For our firstborn, we had a book shower. Everyone brought his or her favorite children's books. Our daughter had over a hundred books before she was born, and now she loves to read them."
"Moms need comic relief and there's nothing like a great book to help them laugh their way through moments like bad pregnancy acne or getting bitten while breastfeeding."
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