Baby showers. Interesting thing here in New York. In the south, I would’ve already been to at least twenty of these things by now, I mean heck, I’m already lagging behind with only one child under my belt. I think we can safely say I’d be the queen of a killer double-decker diaper cake the size of Texas. But here in Brooklyn, this was one of the first baby showers for most of my friends. Slightly uncharted territory for us city folk.
If I’ve learned something from being the headlining act at a couple of baby showers myself recently, it’s a few observations about what you want and what you need. What you want? Oh, easy. You want the all the cute, stylish baby clothes to dress them up in.... immediately. You want the most tricked out and souped up baby gear that, not only looks slick and comes with hydraulics, but promises to lull your precious new nugget into the magical unicorn baby that never cries. You want the trendy organic ____ (fill in the blank - mattress/pacifier/sheets/diapers) that will be sure everyone knows your eco-chic. You want all the things that convince you into thinking this whole motherhood shindig is going to make you look like the Beyonce and Blue Ivy of your block. Yep, me too.
On the flip side, I always want to be the giver of the gift that everyone oohhh’s and ahhh’s over as it’s deemed ‘the best gift of the shower’ and a round of applause is given your direction. Admit it.... don’t we all?
But, don’t read this wrong (that means you, if you recently attended one of my baby showers!).... I want everything I got. I am loving.... I mean.... Baby A is going to love sleeping and laying on the - softest thing I've ever laid my hands on - sheepskin fur throw straight from the Alps. But, I got to thinking, what are the other key things soon-to-be mothers need, but we aren't aware of since we still live in the land of blissful, baby-less and sleep-filled nights? I've been taking notes on 'practical' gifts that all my mom friends have been sending my way and figured they were super practical and needed to be shared. Note, my definition of 'practical' may be a tad different than yours. In my world, a sheepskin fur throw is absolutely practical over, say, any sort of basic life necessity.... but we all have priorities.
PRACTICAL + UNCONVENTIONAL GIFTS THE EXPECTANT MAMA WILL THANK YOU FOR ::
- Dry shampoo (in bulk) :: Because a new mom won’t get more than five uninterrupted minutes a week to take a shower. But who are we kidding.... I only wash my hair once a week now anyways.
- Candles :: The long lasting and highly potent kind. If you live in an open loft setup like myself, you have to face the fact that it’s going to smell like a dirty baby diaper practically all the time. Yes, we got that fancy diaper pail that ‘seals in odor’..... but I’m not naive.
- Nip Cream :: Us first-timers don’t really know what all goes into this department (and I’ve purposefully left off the other mortifying necessities). And trust me, don’t go Googling it. So do us a favor, just use the this link to the one with the most well designed packaging and call it a day. Our ladies will thank you later.
- Pajamas that can be disguised as clothes :: Remember, you used to wear them all the time in college. It’s like the ‘bedhead chic’ look..... but with clothes. Think Mary-Kate and Ashley.... but less ‘heroin chic’. These clothes are also used to trick yourself into thinking you actually got dressed for the day and aid in your appearance as a functioning human being to any one who drops by your home to visit the baby.
- Jug Of Wine :: You can also substitute this with vodka/whiskey/sangria/tequila. Whatever the former vice used to be that has been abstained from for the past ten months.... just get it in bulk.
- Gift Certificate for a Pedicure :: Stuff a basketball in your shirt and then try to bend down and paint your toenails. Yep, that was fun... wasn’t it?
- iTunes Gift Card :: And don’t take the easy road and give the bare minimum.... new parents will be spending a ton of time awake at ungodly hours on baby meltdown patrol and nursing with nothing else to do but catch up on every rom-com movie (mom's will always win the ‘what to watch’ fight during these months).
- Batteries :: Think Sam’s Club/hoarder portions. Apparently, baby products are still the last things on earth that solely operate on batteries. I don’t know about you, but if the rocking device that keeps my baby from crying runs out of juice at 3:00am and I have no batteries on reserve...... the witching hour tables will turn.
- Baby Mopping Outfit :: It’s best they earn their keep sooner than later, and with all the chores you'll stop doing as a new parent, it’s helpful to know your baby is burning off all those milk calories and saving you money on a maid.
While we’re on the subject, here’s a few shockingly inappropriate things NOT to give. Oh, the horror of the internet. I couldn't help myself!
- Baby High Heels :: You knew someone would make them.
- Fetus Cookie Cutter :: Nope, it’s never ok.
- Snoozie :: I'd rather my child use a leaf.
- Butt Fan :: Guaranteed to turn your child into a helpless diva.
- Daddy Horse :: Where to being??
- Crumb Cap :: The before and after pictures are riveting.
Any seasoned baby mamas out there want to share other practical and necessary gifts that we new mamas will thank you for? List 'em out below! Our survival depends on you, no pressure.