The best baby shower gifts are ones that help make the transition to parenthood a little easier. That means baby gear, clothes, diaper bags, strollers, high chairs and more are all on the table. Of course, you don’t want to show up with any old baby item—you want to gift something that nails that perfect combination of function and wow factor to help show you care.
Before you do anything, it’s best to see if the parents are registered for baby gifts, says Julie Lamppa, a certified nurse midwife at Mayo Clinic and co-author of Obstetricks. This helps you avoid duplicate gifts and also allows you to ensure needed items are taken care of.
Keep this in mind, too, per Lamppa: Parents tend to zero in on newborn items, but often don’t think about gear they’ll need beyond that like plates, bowls, sippy cups, bibs, bath toys and clothes beyond the first 6 months. “These gifts will certainly be appreciated and used in the months and years ahead,” she says.
Jennifer Cattaui, founder and owner of Babesta children’s boutique says there are a few things that are consistent winners, including travel strollers, baby books, feeding accessories, swaddles and sleep sacks. “Also, baby carriers and bouncers—Baby Bjorn is our go-to—are popular for showers,” she says.
As for choosing clothes, Jean Polsky, co-founder of New York City-based children’s boutique Estella suggests buying 3 to 6 month sizes. “New parents generally get a lot of 3-month clothes and are stocked for that first quarter, so it’s nice to get them something for when they outgrow most of the newborn gifts,” she says. “Second, the baby might be so big that they get little to no use out of the 3-month items. I say go big, but not so big that it’s out of season or is forgotten.”
There are a lot of potential gifts to consider when shopping for a baby shower, and it can get overwhelming quickly. Consider these best baby shower gifts while you shop.
How We Chose The Best Baby Shower Gifts
To choose the best baby shower gifts, I consulted boutique owners and a midwife for their input on items new parents need and love in those first few months. I also got their input on the products that are most popular among their patients and customers, and spoke to real moms about gifts they loved from their own baby showers. As a mom of four young children myself, I have years of experience with new baby gear—including most of the products on this list—and know which baby products tend to be used regularly, along with which are easily forgotten.