Here’s a list of some of the best things I got as gifts when I was pregnant:
My friend that has three kids took them to the book store and had them pick out a bunch of books for my baby. They were bang on with all of them and they were books I wouldn’t have picked myself. Kids have very un-adult taste in books and you can’t always anticipate what will strike a chord so other kids and seasoned mothers can often lend a hand. I put together a list of books on Baby List that my guys really liked and I mean REALLY liked. I’m actually worried that if I ever have a stroke I’ll come out of it reciting Goodnight Moon.
A friend of mine who doesn’t have children apologized that she didn’t know what to give me for a baby gift so she showed up with a box of food for my freezer. Holy crap was this great. I had all these great plans for all the wonderful scrapbooking-home-cooking moments after the baby arrived but little did I realized I would be both tired and slightly pre-occupied. It was such a life saver be able to shuffle to the freezer between hormonal sobbing and charting wet diapers.
Clothes for Down the Road
I got a ton of beautiful 0-3 month clothes that I carefully washed and folded in anticipation of my baby’s arrival but, little did I realize, they live in sleepers and onsies for much of their first three months so half the stuff didn’t get worn. I got a few 6-12 month and 12-month old things that I couldn’t even fathom he would ever be big enough to wear. It was great to come across those wonderful little gems when he was actually wearing clothes and the pickin’s were getting slim. I also got a pair of toddler skates which I thought was a really neat idea too.
I think this is a great little thing but I’m sure there are people that would put it up there with a wipe warmer. When my first son was born we lived in an older house that had floors that creaked (I had no idea they did until after he was born and I was tip toeing out of the bedroom with the stealth care I would normally reserve for land mines). Anyway, it was great to have a consistent noise to cut the unexpected ones like, oh I don’t know, the cat walking in the room to meow, the phone ringing, somebody coming to the door just to “pop in” to see the new baby, some dillhole that can’t haul his fat as out of the car to let his buddy know he’s here so he beeps his effing horn…you know, that kind of thing. Anyway, I’m sure there are ones that are more “baby-like” but this one fit the bill for us.
Baby Bjorn Active
This is kind of a personal one and you really don’t know what kind of carrier is going to be right for you until you test drive them but I lucked out with this gift. I liked the Bjorn because the baby stayed close to me, it had a nice lumbar support so my back didn’t hurt when I’d have to spend an entire day with a fussy kid strapped to me like a spider monkey and it didn’t have velcro which should be illegal on anything a child could fall asleep in (velcro opening hit some kind of strange chord with my children that could wake them from the deepest sleep). I would also recommend accepting any and all hand me downs, no matter how weird or ugly, to see if you and your baby like them. I was all gungho on a sling until my friend loaned me one and my son hated it and I was always scared I was going to bonk him into something when I leaned forward. I know people that swear by them though – I just never got the hang of it.
I didn’t know what these were until I opened them at a shower and all the moms went “Ooo, yes”. They looked like little cute slipper things to me but whatever. Well, these cute little slipper thing defy all logic because they are easy to get on the little fisted up, uncooperative baby feet but it’s impossible for the baby to kick them off. How? I don’t know!? Screw ruby slippers, these are magic shoes.
I love this kind of ergonomic super simple thing that works. This is a great seat that you can use for sitting, feeding or keeping your baby in a holding pattern for 6 seconds while you pee. It’s portable, wipeable and a baby can’t get out of it when they’re wee and toddlers get a kick out of sitting in while their bum still fits (which is amazingly long). They came out with a tray attachment which makes a dandy thing even dandier. There was a kerfuffle about kids falling out of them left unattended so don’t sit your baby on top of the fridge in it then go take a shower.
Vibrating Bouncy Chair
Many will think this is a staple like an exersaucer (or as my friend calls it, the circle of neglect) but this chair was such an unbelievable life saver when I had an infant – it almost makes me weepy – so I had to mention it. You can move them all over the place so when a baby is little and you’re terrified to leave it unattended when you have a shower (ahem, not that I know anyone that was like that) then you can drag it into the bathroom with you. They aren’t that expensive either and they don’t need to be fancy. I loved it. Sniff.