I’ve always enjoyed the hunt for the ultimate baby gift. Something unique or a new product on the market is often my choice for expecting parents. But now that I’ve experienced three months of motherhood, I know exactly what to give expecting parents – all those little time-saving must-haves.
With friends Mike and Laura expecting in less than two months, I wanted to provide them with a care package of all the things Craig and I found extra helpful. Some of the items we had purchased ourselves in advance, others had been given to us at our shower and some even brought over after baby was born. Regardless of when we got them, having those items meant we didn’t have to race off to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy them. For things like a spare bottle, or even a bottle brush, I often wondered what we would have done if we didn’t have them on hand for an urgent feeding.
So here is the list of things that really made a difference (and that Mike and Laura received!):
- Wash cloths – You can never have enough of these little cloths. Burp cloths are great, but the small wash cloths give you precision clean-up for spit-up and drool. They won’t protect your outfit, but they will help you easily sponge off that third outfit of the day and the car seat straps.
- Bottle – Even if you intend to exclusively breastfeed, there’s no telling when a crisis might strike and you will need a bottle. We needed one early on and if we didn’t have that little 4 oz AVENT in the cupboard, who knows how many tears would have been shed. Through the advice of a friend, I now lean towards the Playtex VentAire bottle for its great shape, unique venting, and ease of putting together .
- Syringes – In my experience, feeding is a science and not as natural as some make it out to be. So be prepared in case feeding doesn’t go as planned. Having a set of syringes on hand gives you the flexibility to deliver expressed breast milk or formula to your baby (if advised by your practitioner). This medicine set from Safety 1st is ideal.
- Binky (Pacifier/Soother) – We didn’t anticipate using a pacifier, but our friend Amy brought a Playtex Binky as a gift when she came to meet our baby. Thank goodness she did, because a few days later when baby was screaming, we ripped open that package and got instant relief. No matter what brand is in his mouth, it is now affectionately referred to as the “Binky”.
- Travel size wipes – You often receive lots of plastic containers to carry travel amounts of wipes in, but I found they let too much air in and dried the wipes up. The Pampers travel sizes (pouch) run about $2 a pack and are perfect for keeping in the diaper bag. The seal re-seals easily and I’ve never had a dry wipe.
- Bottle cleaner – Remember that spare bottle I mentioned? Having a dedicated Munchkin brand brush that dispenses soap to clean it is a great piece of kitchen equipment, especially if you’re only using a couple of bottles and can’t wait for them to go through the dishwasher. I’d also recommend a sterilizer!
- Plastic spoons – You might need to spoon or cup feed your baby, or give them probiotics. Having a few plastic spoons designed for baby’s small mouth really helps.
- Dish drying mat – For all those bottles you have on the go, an absorbent microfiber dish mat keeps your countertop dry and your equipment organized.
- Newborn or 0-3 outfits – Babies are small, and we actually had to buy sleepers and a few outfits because we didn’t have nearly enough newborn outfits. Keep the tags on them and then if you don’t use them, you can return them. Carter’s sleepers are soft and affordable.
- Sudocrem – Little travel sizes of diaper cream are perfect for the mummy and daddy bags, or if you have multiple change areas in your house.
- Tylenol for infants – Bless our friends who gave us this must-have. When baby had his two month shots, we were spared having to race out to buy this.
What’s your ultimate baby gift?