When you’re invited to a baby shower, do you always buy a gift off the registry? I know that’s the safe bet—you’re confident the recipient will like it, it’s sure to be the right size, color, etc.—but the truth is, I rarely do it. I know that for the aforementioned reasons I should; it’s just that I like gifting something a little more sentimental than nursing pads, you know? Plus, I often think that if my friend/sister/college roommate knew the item I’m getting her existed, she would have registered for it in the first place. (A bold assumption? Sure. But who wouldn’t love the cutest/smartest/prettiest baby product ever?)Besides, as the executive editor of Pregnancy & Newborn, there’s a bit of an expectation that my gift of choice will be highly functional, aesthetically on point and something at least 60 percent of the partygoers haven’t seen before. (Such pressure!)
So, what do I count on to never disappoint? Here are the gifts I find myself turning to time and again …
1. Uncle Goose Foreign Language Blocks.
I’ve bought so many of these blocks, you guys! Lots of my friends are raising their babies to be bilingual, so they adore these beautifully crafted blocks in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, younameit. They’re a super sweet gift for families who are adopting internationally, too.
2. Solly Wrap.
I buy three or four of these at a time (especially when there’s a sale), so I have them on
hand whenever the need arises. I stock a variety of colors, so I can pick one to match the mom I’m giving it to, but I have found the navy shibori and yellow-hue-of-the-season
(currently firefly) are both gender-neutral and universally loved.
3. Puj Tub.
I don’t care what tub she has on her registry, buy this for your friend this instead. (That
may be poor advice, but I seriously love this little guy!) It makes bathing a wobbly wee
one so easy, even for nervous new moms and dads. And it hangs flat on the back of the
bathroom door or in the shower for the most convenient out-of-the-way storage ever.
4. Lucy Darling Monthly Photo Stickers.
Anymore, a monthly photo shoot is mandatory, and it’s a trend I fully support. It’s so fun
to see the squishy newbies transform into chunky tots! Lucy Darling’s stickers have the
best designs by a mile (they didn’t even ask me to say that!), which make a lovely gift on
their own. Or you can pair them with four bodysuits (in 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 months)
to make the year’s worth of shoots extra easy on mama.
5. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
This isn’t actually the best gift to wrap up for a shower, but it is the best thing to send
right to the new mom’s home after the baby is born. The ice cream is ultra creamy, the
flavors are genius, and it’s just a really nice thing to dig into when you’re sleep-deprived
and hungry and don’t want put on a bra on to make a trip to the store.
6. Blabla Knit Dolls.
I know stuffed animals tend to accumulate as quickly as dirty laundry, but these dolls
are beautifully crafted, and I like to think they have at least a 75 percent greater chance
of becoming baby’s best friend than other run-of-the-mill stuffed animals. (Also, the
flagship store is located in Atlanta—like me!—and I love any excuse to pop inside the
Another after-baby-arrives gift: a parade of homemade meals delivered to their
doorstep. This handy website/app makes it super simple to invite friends and family to
sign up to bring a meal. You can even include notes about what the family likes/dislikes
and what you’re bringing, so they don’t end up with tuna noodle casserole four nights in
a row (which they surely don’t like anyway).
What do you think, friends? Would you like to give (or receive!) any of the above? I’m curious to hear what your go-to gifts are.
Thanks for having me, Lucy Darling! xx