Tips For The Best Baby Shower Gifts For First Time Moms

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As a second time mom, there are a few things I wish I had been gifted at my first baby shower. Don’t get me wrong, I received amazing gifts! But there are a few items from my registry that I used over and over and some others that needed replacing because…well all babies are different (and there are many brands and types of a lot of products).

What I am not going to do is get into the nitty gritty of everything you should register for! These are just some items to think about if you are creating a registry or shopping for a mom-to-be. If you want to see a couple of my lists for more details, I have recommendations for items for sleeping and feeding.

Make sure you read through to the end! I’ve listed some very common, non-baby items that will make your life easier!


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Diaper Trial Packs

With different body types, I went through quite a few brands before I found what worked for my baby. With huge boxes of brands that just wouldn’t fit right after my shower, I would have loved to have a small sample of a bunch of different brands to try before breaking open boxes with hundreds inside (so no chance of exchange).

There is a service called Diaper Dabbler that will send you a great starter pack of diapers with 6-10 different diapers to try in newborn, size 1 or size 2 (number depends on the bundle you purchase). And, the bundle is sometimes less than buying a single box of diapers!

Clothes In Many Sizes

My first son never fit newborn size clothes (he was 9lb 7oz at birth!) and was in 6 month clothes at 4 months old. In my need to prepare, I washed and folded all of the new clothes before he was even born. Looking back, I would suggest waiting for most moms until you are sure how many of each piece of clothes you need. After washing, there is no chance of exchange or return.

Also keep in mind the time of year as much as you can when buying or registering for clothes. My collection of clothes included tons of short sleeve tops and onesies but very few warmer clothes.

If you have a shower coming up, get clothes in many sizes (not just the adorable newborn size). At my first shower, I did get some larger sizes up to 6 month, but my son grew so fast that I barely had enough clothes to make it to 5-months-old!

Many Bottle Types

Lots of people (myself included) only shop directly from a registry. Since I only registered for one type of bottle, I only received one type. My first son refused those bottles and it took buying a few other brands to find one he liked. My second son refuses any type of bottle (and I tried 9 types!). Ask for bottle recommendations from your friends (or see my favorites below) and add a couple to your registry!

Lots Of Binkies

If you decide to use binkies with your baby, make sure to register for or buy a few different types. Thankfully, I received ones I didn’t register for…the ones on my registry were denied by my first baby (and my second also won’t take one!). My first son refused the soothies (below) but so many moms I know say it’s the only one that their baby would take – the second were my son’s favorites:

Baby Car Seat

Sure, this is a “big ticket item,” but my family got together and got me a stroller and baby bucket car seat combo. It was an amazing gift! But, as I’ve said before, my first boy was large. He outgrew the baby bucket seat by 8 months old! If I could go back, I would have registered for a seat that can handle birth to booster seat (which we purchased for my first when he outgrew the bucket seat).

I will say that having the bucket seat to carry around is very convenient (though insanely heavy). With two kids, I find it very useful to put my youngest in the seat in the house so I can wrangle my toddler into the car without a baby in my arms.

With my second son, we are likely going to be able to use the bucket seat from my first a tad longer. But, we will definitely be getting a long-lasting seat in the next few months. We may end up purchasing the same carseat we have for my oldest (goes from newborn and toddler rear facing to forward facing, then converts to a booster seat with a 120lb max!):

Different Diaper Bags

This one is a tough one. Most first time moms won’t know what will work until their baby arrives. Every baby and every mom is different. Whether a mom prefers something that can hold everything or a simple day pack, there are tons of options out there.

I wish I had gotten a different bag than what was on my registry (a basic backpack, no frills). While I enjoy compartments, I hoped that I would be able to slim down what I needed to take with me and not have to sling a giant bag around. But, I later tried a few different bags and wish I had them from the beginning!

If you are a first time mom and don’t want to register for more than one bag, try to find a local store to check out different types before registering. And keep in mind that what you think you will need may not be the right one in the end. Plus, your diaper bag does NOT need to be an actual diaper bag, just something that works for you. I prefer something like a backpack so I don’t have to juggle it on my shoulder:


Yes, yes, we all know that “breast is best” but, really, fed is best. I swore I would exclusively breast feed any kids I had. When it came time to finally call it and start formula with my first, my heart was utterly broken. I still exclusively pumped for a year, but I was only ever able to produce half the milk my first son needed.

With my second, I barely make enough (but he refuses bottles…). It’s been a challenge. But, with the experience of my firstborn, I made sure to have at least a small container of formula on-hand just in case. I add a bit of formula to my baby’s solids now for more calories. Personally, I wanted something with as little synthetic contents as possible so I went with this (note that this is not the cheapest option by far, but it made me feel a little better that it was organic):

Items for MOM

When the baby first arrives, there won’t be much time for shopping and taking care of one’s self (at least initially). Here are some helpful items:

  • Disposable plates, cups and silverware: Plan for maybe a week of not having to do the dishes when baby first comes home! Maybe friends and family will bring freezer meals as well – no cooking? Awesome!
  • Comfortable pillows: Sleep is precious. It’s time to be as cozy as possible for the time spent in bed.
  • Instant Coffee: If mom can have caffeine, get some instant coffee to make a quick cup without waiting for a whole pot (which may go cold or burn before drinking with so many distractions).
  • Blackout Drapes: Again, get good sleep! While I personally was not able to sleep when the baby sleeps during the day (I exclusively pumped), maybe others can!
  • Sound Machine: This is not only helpful for baby but also for moms! When able to lie down, drown out the street noise, TV sounds or anything else that can disturb moments of calm. Just make sure the baby can still be heard in the other room.
  • Extra towels: To help mom stay clean and do laundry less often. Get ones that are soft that to enjoy after a hot shower (whenever possible).

Do you have any items you wish were on YOUR registry with your first child? Comment below!

Whether you are creating a baby registry or buying gifts for a first time mom, here are some tips on common items from a second time mom on This isn't just a long list of items you should buy. Just a few thoughts on gifts or items to register for I wish I had known my first time around.

Whether you are creating a baby registry or buying gifts for a first time mom, here are some tips on common items from a second time mom on This isn't just a long list of items you should buy. Just a few thoughts on gifts or items to register for I wish I had known my first time around.

21 thoughts on “Tips For The Best Baby Shower Gifts For First Time Moms”

  1. Great tips! The one thing I really with I did with my first born was wait before I washed all his clothes because there was certain sizes that we ended up not using much of since he grew so fast. Now I have my second baby and I made the same mistake whoops! Haha

  2. Great tips! I never had a baby shower because my little one came 2.5 months early, and since she was in the hospital for so long, many of the *things* we got for her, we were never able to use because she outgrew/wrong season etc before she even came home. We did get a lot of binkies from the hospital, but we had never planned to use them, and luckily my daughter never took to them so I’d probably ask a mom what her thoughts are on things like binkies before buying them for a shower. That said, we have that carseat and we love it!

  3. The best gift I received was a sound machine. It helped them fall asleep and stay asleep longer
    My kids still use them to this day!

    1. We have used the same one for our first for 3 years! It’s a nice part of the routine – he knows it’s time to sleep when the sound machine is turned on. We got a second one for our baby!

  4. Thank you for the diaper dabbler tip!! I work in NICU and have seen a few babies have reactions to the diapers we use. I haven’t registered for diapers for this exact reason – no idea how my son will tolerate them! Same goes for the bottles – some of our babies take a loooong time to find the right bottle.

  5. These are all good ones. Another one, especially for nursing moms, is a Boppy. It helps prop the baby up and even allows mom to go handsfree while nursing.

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