Featuring silly mum-to-be games, good food and gifts for the baby, baby showers are a great way for friends and family to celebrate an impending birth.
|A delicious baby shower buffet is a must! - Photo provided by author.|
Babies need so much paraphernalia that baby showers are brilliant for helping parents collect the essentials. A baby registry is a fabulous idea so that gifts are not duplicated. Friends can pool cash together to get pricey items like cots, sterilisers or a beautiful toy chest.
First time parents tend to buy every piece of baby equipment available – and find that they don’t use more than half of them. More experienced parents know that the list of actual essentials is a lot smaller.
If you’re headed to a baby shower, here’s a selection of wonderful gifts that will always be appreciated.
1. A diaper cake
You can never have too many nappies – especially in the first few weeks. Diaper cakes are a fun way to help new parents stock up on nappies. You can decorate them with ribbons, baby blankets or a soft toy. You can easily learn how to create one on the internet.
|A diaper cake is a useful gift and doubles as a decor element. - Photo courtesy: www.diapercakesmall.com|
Reading to your baby is great for bonding and is brilliant for their development. The following five books are brilliant, much-loved classics that babies will enjoy from as young as six months:
- The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carl
- Dear Zoo by Ros Campbell
- Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson
- Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
- Peek a Who by Nina Laden
3. On-the-go changing kit
It’s a boon to have this ready to grab whenever you’re headed out with your baby. It includes a portable changing mat, a change of clothing, nappies and wipes. The kit can be tucked into a larger bag if you’re out for long or used on its own for quick trips.
|These zip up to keep all your essentials together. - Photo courtesy: www.babyography.net|
4. Video baby monitor
These are pricey but are one of the best modern pieces of baby equipment. You can buy one that links to your smart phone or the type that has its own viewing monitor. Most have infra-red monitors so you can see your baby even when the room is dark. They tell you the temperature of the nursery and let you talk remotely to the baby. Perfect for letting parents keep an eye on their sleeping babies.
|This baby monitor by Motorola has a room temperature sensor, LED sound alerts, night vision, and five built-in lullabies. - Photo courtesy: www.babycenter.com|
5. A baby gym
This is one toy a baby will use for months. Most babies will happily lie in one from birth, and they’re great for giving babies tummy time or a chance to stretch.
|Reaching out for toys stimulates a baby's development of hand-eye coordination. - Photo courtesy: www.affraschools.com|
6. A professional photo session with a photographer who will come home
Not having enough photos of new babies is never an issue in the era of smartphones, but there’s nothing like a professional photograph. The new generation of photographers like Samiah Hamdani are sympathetic and creative – they’ll come home and help parents take a shot that they’ll treasure forever.
Karachi Snob features a list of baby photographers in the city.
|Capture the moments in which you wish time would stand still. - Photo courtesy: www.photoventure.com|
7. Zip up baby nest
This is something that’s used more locally than it is abroad but it’s really brilliant for newborns. The tiny babies feel snug and secure and the nest makes it easy for anyone to hold the baby, no matter how inexperienced or nervous they are.
|Baby nests keep infants feeling snug. - Photo courtesy: www.chidrensalon.com|
8. A knitted blanket
Nothing beats something made with love. If you can knit, taking the time to make something for the new baby is a gesture that won’t be forgotten.
|A knitted blanket is a present that the mother and the baby will appreciate. - Photo courtesy: www.pixgood.com|
9. A beautiful picture frame
It’s marvellous to have a lovely frame ready for your first pictures of the new baby.
|You could also get creative and give a picture of the sonogram, which makes for a memorable gift. - Photo courtesy: www.fabdiy.com|
10. Pre baby salon session
The last days of a pregnancy are uncomfortable and exhausting. Book mum-to-be in for a spa day or a salon session including a manicure, pedicure and head massage. Make sure you choose a place that is calm and luxurious so that she has a truly relaxing experience.
|A mum-to-be would really appreciate a day of relaxation. - Photo courtesy: www.emirateswomen.com|
This ecclectic list doesn’t include many of the basics like bottles, a baby bath, bedding or clothes. If you want to buy these, do ask first or give a gift receipt so parents can change duplicates. If you give clothes, buy clothes in the 6-12 month age group. New babies tend to live in onesies and invariably never manage to wear all those cute newborn outfits.
Having a baby is a magical but exhausting experience – a new mum needs plenty of support from family and friends in those tough first few months. Apart from material gifts, there are many useful things you can give an expectant mum: the number of a brilliant post-partum massage lady, positive stories about childbirth and offers to babysit. Those may end up being the best gifts of all.