By Toni Hammer
The decorations are Pinterest perfect. The snacks are being scarfed down. Games are being played and, at any given moment, at least four hands are on the mom-to-be’s uterus waiting for the baby insider her to kick.
It’s a baby shower!
The new mom may be giddy (“Look at all these people who love me!” or grumpy (“Who are all these people eating my cake?!”), but one thing all guests of honor have in common at these functions is the thought, “What did everyone get me? … I mean, get the baby?”
As a woman in her 30s and a mom of two toddlers, I’ve been to my share of these events and have seen more ruffles and tuxedo onesies than I ever thought possible. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my pregnant self about the real gifts she should register for. The gifts that will save her sanity. The gifts that will keep on giving for years to come. The gifts that will make all other moms think, “Dang! I wish I had thought of that!”
If you’re pregnant—congratulations!—or you’re headed to one of these hormone fests, heed my advice and choose a gift from this handy dandy gift guide I’ve prepared especially for you.
1. 3T Clothes. For the first couple months of a baby’s life, everyone the new parents have ever met buys the kid clothes. When the little baby becomes a big kid, no one’s buying them a new wardrobe. Also, when the child is this age, the mom is going to have her hands full as it is and a loving gesture would be to save them the hassle that is going clothes shopping with a toddler.
2. Costco-sized box of batteries. All different kinds, from AAA to D. Kids will want toys that sing songs, shake, rattle, roll, blink, put on a Broadway musical, and clean their rooms for them. These toys require batteries, and the last thing a mom needs is her kid freaking out because they can’t go to sleep without their Glo-Worm but their Glo-Worm’s batteries died and they are now considered the worst parent in the world.
3. A set of screwdrivers. Installing batteries in irritating toys also requires screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes. Save Mom and Dad a trip to the hardware store and purchase these instead of yet another baby blanket.
4. Coffee, beer, and booze. Because motherhood.
5. Subscription to a media streaming service. It’s not just the newborn stage during which kids don’t sleep. It’s toddlerhood, too. Teething, growth spurts, brains that are learning, skills that are developing—it all means kids will be up at all hours of the night and there’s not always a kid-friendly (or mom-friendly) show on at three in the morning. If she’s left watching infomercials in her sleep-deprived state, it’s quite possible the new mom will order the Chop-O-Matic, Blend-O-Rama and Bing! Bang! Boom! Dish Detergent that she doesn’t need.
6. 700 boxes of macaroni and cheese. Because toddlers.
7. Three months of a housecleaning service. Everything is overwhelming to a new mom. Her baby, her marriage, her armpit hair, her life. Don’t let her housework overwhelm her too.
8. Spa gift certificate. The trick with this one is to tell her that it expires within six months of the child’s birthday. This guarantees that she will get out of the house, get a break from her baby, and pamper herself, which is what every new mom needs.
Take my advice or don’t, but in the name of all that is holy, please heed this one warning: NO MORE BABY BLANKETS. She’s having a kid — not opening a Bed, Bath and Beyond.