Baby Shower Essentials — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

Baby Shower Essentials

A lot of us are having baby showers in the coming weeks.  Any questions about "essential" items?  I'm sure STMs will be happy to share... :)  Every baby is different, of course, but there are certain things pretty much all babies need...

Re: Baby Shower Essentials

  • So helpful!  Thanks, @MyNamesTaken and @Souptin
  • Both of these lists are really good. A few smaller items that I found really helpful were nightgowns with the open bottom that close with a drawstring or whatever, this made nighttime changes so easy. You can find these at Carters and I am sure other stores as well. Lots of wash cloths, hooded towels, bibbs, and burp cloths are a necessity because you won't always have time for laundry. 

    Having a two story house I found the pack n' play with the changing table/infant sleeper attachments really helpful those first first months. Most also give you some underneath storage for diapers, wipes and extra clothes. 
  • When are people planning on sending out invites? e.g. how many weeks before the shower? 
  • @jena333-2 My aunts are sending out the invites this week for a shower in early July. SIL is doing a local shower in August and just wants to do an e-vite and call people. She said she would pick up invitations for those that can't handle technology. I think she plans to do that 3 weeks or so in advance.


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  • Most showers I get invited to I get the invitation 3-4 weeks out. But in the summer people will probably have more plans for vacations and stuff so more time might be helpful. I wouldn't send more than 6 weeks out though
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  • That was my thought - less time than a wedding for example, but plenty of time to work it into summer plans if they want to attend. Shower is July 30th, so I'm thinking 4-5 weeks beforehand.
  • @jena333-2 my sister is planning to send out a month in advance for my shower.
  • @jena333-2 I've heard what everyone else had basically confirmed. 4-6 weeks before. 

    I told my sister to mail them out around 6 weeks, which in her time means 4 weeks. Maybe even 3... Now that I think of it I'll be shocked if anyone comes because she will probably forget. 
  • My best friend was planning on sending them out 2 weeks ago for a 7/29 shower! I'm glad she ran it by me.  I told her 6 weeks out is plenty of time and if she's really antsy, at least wait til June.  Haha.
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  • I would say to just make sure to register for the right amount of stuff. It sucks when your registry gets cleared out because "you didn't need much" and then people buy you all kinds of crap you don't really want because there was nothing left.

    For DD, the following things were essential:
    Rock and Play
    Pack and Play
    Changing pad (and yes, get more than 1 cover)
    Muslin blankets
    Play mat
    A few small toys 
    A few onesies- she was over 9 pounds when she was born, so never wore newborn sizes. Basically any newborn stuff we got was useless
    If you live somewhere cold, the accessories for your chosen stroller (the sleeping bag things that attach to the seat, etc)

    Other than that, she was remarkably not dependent on stuff, so all the "necessary" soothing things and sleep aids were useless to us and we ended up with a bunch of random stuff. Maybe this baby will need it, who knows?

    If you are looking for registry fillers- 
    Extra pump parts (hoses, bottles, milk storage bags, the steamer sanitizer bags)
    Breast pads
    Lotions, shampoos, etc
    Cute book ends or little decor for the nursery, maybe some cute picture frames that are actually your style
    Nursing pillows
    A small high chair (we use the $20 Fisher Price one that attaches to a regular dining chair. It is much better than the big, freestanding one- we also recently bought a 2nd one for when friends with babies come over for dinner)
  • Oh, also- the cloth diaper inserts make the best burp rags
  • Seriously, the best thing is diapers.  You literally have no idea how many diapers a newborn can go through until you experience it first hand.  Pampers/ Google will say at least 10 a day, and they're not joking.  Also, gift cards!  We got a ton of gift cards from family that lived further away, and it was awesome to be able to use them to get the last minute essentials still left on the registry (like bottle nipples and a crib mattress).

    We lived in a small apt when DS was born, so we literally kept the registry to essentials, big and small.  Don't forget that whatever people don't buy (maybe the crib or a car seat/ stroller set), you should get a registry completion discount, depending on what company the registry is with. some of the stuff is obvious, but we had them on the registry anyway.

    - The BIG muslin blankets for swaddling, they're something like 40" x 40".  There are much smaller ones, and they're great for spitup, not so much for swaddling.  
    - Crib/ mattress
    - Infant car seat/ stroller frame (we didn't use a larger stroller until after DS was out of the infant car seat).
    -Baby carrier
    - Vibrating chair/ just something to hold the baby
    - Pack n play
    - High chair
    -Bottles/ nipples
    - Crib sheets
    - Newborn/ infant sensory toys
    - Infant bath tub/ water thermometer (ours isn't electronic, just green/ red/ blue color if it's good, hot or cold) and tub spigot cover.
    -Play mat, especially if you only have hardwoods in the main areas you will be with baby.  I put a blanket underneath it for softness, too.
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  • winerenwineren
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    I've read, and it might have been on here, that it was a good idea to register for clothes (even if you don't care about the style of what you might get) that were no smaller than 6-9 months as people will usually buy smaller because it's "cuter" so you end up with a bigger range. We haven't even put clothes on the registry because we're getting so many hand me downs* (yay generous friends with older children!), but I'm sure people will end up getting some anyway... Anyone have thoughts on that one way or the other?

    *Note that the things I know we're getting have not​ stopped baby clothes from spontaneously jumping into my cart at the store and accidently being purchased.
  • @wineren in my experience, which may be exclusive to me, it didn't matter what size we registered for. Guests usually like to buy clothes in store and love buying small clothes, because of the cute factor.  We received newborn and 0-3 months. If you register on Amazon, you might have better luck with that. 
  • JNR6510JNR6510
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    People will buy whatever size they like, not just the sizes listed on the registry. You can always exchange sizes at the store if you need to. We did register for a few of the Gerber grow with me packs or the other indie collection in a range of sizes from newborn to twelve months. I plan to buy those myself even if no one purchases them off the registry just for the convenience of having a set in all the sizes I will need.
  • @wineren I had my mom mention (not on invites, just in casual conversation) that we wanted clothes for all different sizes.  It was a good idea, because we got more clothes in the larger sizes than we did in the newborn/ 3m ones.  You will probably end up with duplicates, but if it's in different sizes, it honestly doesn't matter.  
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  • Then on the far end of the showers: hostess gifts. MIL, my aunt, and my bf are doing the planning, and we're having it at SIL/BIL's house. That's a lot of people to buy TY gifts for. I'm thinking a set number of things for each TY bag, and then slight variation for the actual contents? Eg, maybe an umbrella (for "showers"), a bottle of favorite booze/wine, and......?
  • Hey guys I had a question about everyone's opinion. My cousin sent out baby shower invites. she's doing my shower and I'm really grateful but I'm not involved at all (which is fine I hate planning things) but she requested that guests bring a book instead to a card (said it could be used/new/hand me down). I know she did this because I love to read and she meant it to be thoughtful. However, I'm just concerned I've never heard of this before, is it rude? 
  • @wineren registering for bigger sizes sounds like a good idea. I dont know if you have older children but do you (or any one else) know if babies typically Run true to size? This is such a rookie question haha I just can't figure out sizes verses seasons.
  • IdleFancyIdleFancy
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited May 2017
    @Breath_Easy92 I've actually found the books in lieu of cards trend to be the norm among my friends, in the past few years! A lot of times, the invitation also includes a matching little book plate to put inside the cover. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a really cool, but unconventional idea. Now I've seen it so many times that I consider it totally normal and definitely not rude at all. They always specificy used or hand-me-down books, which keeps it from being a cost issue. Chances are, any of your guests who have also been to baby showers lately may have already done this and think it's fun! 

    ETA: Also, +1 on the babies running true to size question. I have wondered the exact same thing and was just assuming they tend to be bigger than the age that clothes are sized for. I'd love to hear other people's experiences! 
  • I think the only issue people might have is that some people buy books as the gift so it runs them the wrong way to say no, a book is a substitute for a card not a main gift in itself.

    That being said, the hosts of my shower did it and we got a lot of great books! I've been to a couple that did it and found it fun to pick out a couple of DS' favourites (but I always include a book in a baby gift regardless if it's for a shower or just because).
    Lilypie Maternity tickers
  • I have found that this book idea has also become the norm and I really love the idea. I

    n regards to sizing it truly does depend on the baby. My daughter is 13 months and still wearing 9 month clothing, but all of my nephews have run about a size bigger than their age. With that being said I would not buy too far ahead until you know where your baby will fall. Now that I know my daughter runs smaller or right on with her age/size I am able to buy clothes for the next season from the previous years leftovers so it is cheaper. 
  • Breath_Easy92Breath_Easy92
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    edited May 2017
    Awesome thank you everyone for the input on both the cards/books and the sizing questions! It helped a lot :)
  • winerenwineren
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    @Breath_Easy92 I basically second what everyone said. My hostess is also doing the books instead of a card and I've been to several like that. Cards are expensive! I'd much rather have a book than a card I'll feel guilty about throwing away but will just clutter some area of my house. 
    I don't have any kids I had as a baby (I have a stepson but wasn't in his life until he was 5.) however, I know it depends on the kid. 
  • I would love to get a single small book from everyone :) I've never heard of that, but I think it's cute and not rude @Breath_Easy92. If I ever gifted books, it was multiple or a series i.e. Curious George collection. I didn't call a 3 dollar book my baby shower gift.

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  • @Breath_Easy92 my friends are doing the book instead of a card thing for my shower too. My only concern was getting multiples of the same book. What do you do then?! Lol one of my friends suggested I make an Amazon list of books we don't have...but idk, is that weird??
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  • @LaceyC1020 well, if I get multiples my plan was to return it if it was a new book and if they are both old then I mean just keep them in different places? I'm not sure, since they can bring them old or new to mine I don't think that I can use a registry really.  
  • They also say your baby is supposed to hear something like 10,000 spoken words a day. I always felt like an idiot talking to an infant but reading those more advanced books early on helped. I used to read him Winnie the Pooh until he was big enough to start grabbing at the paper pages, then we switched back to board books and by then I felt less silly having one-sided conversations.  :D
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  • @Breath_Easy92
    we are doing the books instead of cards, it's pretty popular around here.  Just an FYI many people will probably write personal notes in the books because it's  supposed to replace the card, so you wouldn't be able to return those.

    I figured if we get multiples, a few books could go to my parents or my in laws.
  • I did the book instead of a card idea and everyone thought that was awesome! I also did not get any repeats somehow. If I would have I would have just put one upstairs, one down stairs or something like that. Every one write little notes and I love going back to see them. 
  • Innocent question:
    What is the point of the book vs the card idea? I feel like asking someone to buy a book on top of a gift is .... $$ ( I know books can be found cheap and what not, but generally $10+ ). I always thought book(s) were in lieu of gifts basically to say "You don't have to worry about getting us a gift, but if you insist we would love to start a library for baby"  
    Also it is not popular here and I have only heard of it online but didn't realize the book(s) were only replacing the card and not the whole gift.

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  • Innocent question:
    What is the point of the book vs the card idea? I feel like asking someone to buy a book on top of a gift is .... $$ ( I know books can be found cheap and what not, but generally $10+ ). I always thought book(s) were in lieu of gifts basically to say "You don't have to worry about getting us a gift, but if you insist we would love to start a library for baby"  
    Also it is not popular here and I have only heard of it online but didn't realize the book(s) were only replacing the card and not the whole gift.
    Most people treat the book like a card and write notes inside. But unlike a card, which usually gets thrown out, the books are something the family keeps for years. And, in many cases, the books aren't usually any more expensive than a card.
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • Breath_Easy92Breath_Easy92
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2017
    @kaylaakosua well I requested that the invitation specify that the book can be one that they already had/ be used. So technically it could even save them money since cards are about 4-5$ many times. Then a book they already had would be free or if they got it at a garage sale it would be at most 1$.
  • Baby shower "etiquette" question... 

    soneone on our floor had a baby last December... although I only met her around then (she and her husband moved to a bigger apt on our floor right before having the baby), I've given her a couple of presents and swooned over their adorable baby (who really is adorable!). That said, I don't see her that often, even though we live really close to each other. My baby shower is next Saturday in the common room of our building. Do you think I should invite her? I want to reach out and be friendly (the more the merrier, and she's already in the building!) but I don't want her to think I just want a present from her... haha.

    Any strong feelings on this? I'm just not sure...

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