7 shower gifts worth giving (or getting)

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As an editor at a prenatal magazine, I’m typically held to pretty high standards when it comes to shower gifts.
Something about the fact that I spend 40+ hours a week at an office immersed in all things baby leads guests of honor (and their guests) to believe I have some sort of special scoop on what’s hot and what’s not. And I suppose I do. So today, I thought I’d share with you some of my insider knowledge and let you in on my go-to shower gifts.
(Of course, these aren’t the only things I gift. Sometimes I’ll purchase something off the registry and other times I’ll choose something particularly tailored to the mom-to-be’s personality. But the following picks are items I regularly share with and recommend to my new mom friends. So if you’re looking for a guaranteed-two-thumbs-up gift—or if you’re still filling in a few holes in your own registry—read on.)

1. I’ve mentioned Uncle Goose‘s wooden blocks before, and I’ll probably write about them again. The craftsmanship is exceptional, and they’re available in a variety of styles and all sorts of languages. Uncle Goose, $34
2. It may seem unnecessary (and, sure, a mom could definitely live without it), but a diaper and wipes case is a nice extra in achieving ultimate diaper bag organization. I like the prints available from Diapees & Wipees, and the price is perfect if you need a small-ticket gift or plan to wrap up a couple items together. Diapees & Wipees, $15
3. These monthly photo stickers are genius! Mom can dress baby in a white bodysuit, add a sticker, and take advantage of the monthly photo op. (If you’re lucky, this gift will actually benefit you in the form of drool-worthy photos to ooh and aah over over the course of the year.) Again, a super affordable gift that pairs perfectly with legwarmers or packs of Gerber onesies if you want to step it up a notch. Sticky Bellies, $ 15
4. They may be a bit of a splurge for a one-piece, but the snapsuits from Winter Water Factory are seriously super cool. The prints are bold and graphic, the fabrics are organic, and they’re made right here in the USA. Buy a bigger size (say 6 to 12 months) so baby has something to wear after he outgrows all those newborn clothes he gets from other shower attendees.Winter Water Factory, $36
5. I know it’s not much to look at, but a second car seat base is incredibly practical (and, dare I say, a godsend) for families with multiple cars. Having a base for mom’s car and another for dad’s allows for quick and safe car seat installation in seconds and is an extra luxury parents might not think to treat themselves too. Find out what model of car seat the clan will be using, then pick up a second base. Graco, $30
6. I can’t tell you awesome I think the Puj Tub is. It makes bathing tiny, slippery babes a million times less terrifying, provides for some incredibly cute picture-taking opportunities, and is super unobtrusive and easy to store. I think I would give one to every mom I know if I could. (Psst! It now comes in colors, although I still kind of dig the white.) Puj, $40
7. My sweet nieces and nephews have practically lived in these blankets, and if it were socially acceptable, I would too. aden + anais’ swaddle blankets are big and thin and stretchy—seriously, perfect for swaddling—and the bamboo collection is exceptionally soft. As in, really, truly, you-can’t-even-begin-to-imagine soft. They’re not cheap, but these blankets are sure to get loads and loads of use. aden + anais, $40 for set
What’s your go-to shower gift? Or what are you most hoping to get from your registry? I’d love to hear (and I bet our other readers would as well). Do tell!

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