It’s hard for me to believe, but Little Man just turned ONE a few weeks ago. Between his first birthday and finding out the gender of Baby #2 (It’s a GIRL!!!), I’ve found myself reflecting on the baby gifts I’ve received along with what I wish someone would have shared with me. While I am grateful for everything I was given, there are some things that stand out as being extra helpful – both in their practicality and the wisdom that came with them from experienced moms. With that being said, here are my top favorite gifts for first time mamas in no particular order.

 

Pajamas & Sleep Gowns. I’m pretty sure Little Man spent the first few months of his life in pajamas or sleep gowns – and my family gave me so much grief about it. With so many outfit changes throughout the day it just wasn’t worth it to me to try to put him in a onesie and pants with socks. It was just too many things to remove and too many things to wash and fold!

Sleep gowns have become one of my favorite things to give mamas-to-be since I really didn’t know about them prior to Little Man’s arrival. When you’re getting up to feed a hungry newborn every couple of hours, these really make it super convenient to change a diaper and quickly re-swaddle so you can get as much sleep as possible between feeds. Plus, if baby wakes up all wet with spit up, it’s a quicker clean up and you don’t have to worry about snaps and zippers in the middle of the night!

 

Swaddle Blankets. These muslin swaddle blankets from Milkbarn are still my go-to blanket a year later. When Little Man was teeny tiny I’d swaddle him up in them during the day (at night I’d use the velcro swaddles which take any thinking out of the process – because who wants to really think at 3am?). They also work great as a nursing cover (just tie two corners together and loop around your neck) and a carseat cover to shield from the sun. Now that Little Man is older, we use them on the floor for blanket time. Once he gets ready to ditch the sleep sack and start trying out a blanket, these will be the first ones I reach for since they are breathable. These blankets are cute, functional, and get softer the more that you wash them!

 

     

Sleep Sacks. Little Man figured out rolling relatively early so we ditched the swaddle by about 7 or 8 weeks old. He loves his sleep sacks! We use cotton or muslin ones for naps during the day and at night we switch to fleece to keep him cozy when the temps get a little cooler in the house. JenJenni’s has really cute lightweight ones in her shop right now!

 

Books. Right after Little Man was born, a friend of mine gave me about 20 books to start his library. As a former teacher, I am emphatic about the importance of literacy throughout a child’s life. This was seriously one of the best gifts we received! For Little Man’s first birthday we asked for books and summer clothes from our family. I really think to give the gift of reading and learning to a child is to give him/her a lifetime of success. We are currently all about books with texture of flaps, but Little Man loves stories of all kinds!

 

        

The Big Things. It was such a blessing to have family members purchase large things off of our baby registry and have friends work together to purchase things that they couldn’t afford on their own. My parents bought our crib and glider. My in-laws contributed our highchair. I had several friends work together to buy us our carrier. My grandparents bought us our stroller – which converts to a double which will come in handy in a few short months! These were the largest purchases we needed to make with a new baby on the way and we are so grateful to those who contributed. Plus, you better believe that we think about the individuals who bought them for us every time we use them! 🙂

 

Meals. One of the nicest things the merchants at The Emporium did for me in the 4th trimester was to organize a meal train. Not having to think about as many groceries or meal prep was such a blessing. Never doubt the power of a warm meal!

 

Things for Mom. I also had friends who were intentional about caring for me. These “gifts” are invaluable and I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for them! The friends who came over and offered to clean my messy kitchen. Or brought homemade bread and wanted to sit and chat about how I was doing – not the baby – me. I had someone give me a gift card to get a massage. Although it took me a few months before I was ready to leave baby for an extended period of time – it was nice to do something for myself.

 

      

Gifts don’t need to be expensive and the pricey ones don’t need to be given by just one individual. Since having Little Man I’ve started giving things that I needed but didn’t receive. Blankets, sleep sacks, nursing care products mom has asked for… Clothes and accessories are cute and really fun to buy, but it’s also nice to shop for them myself and have fun dressing Little Man in things that suit my style. Plus, babies grow so quickly. Little Man had grown out of everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) that we had been given to us by the time he was 4 months old! Hopefully this gets your creativity flowing as we are in the midst of baby shower season.

What’s your favorite go-to gift to give to expectant mamas? What was the best thing you received from a baby shower? I’d love to hear about it below!