My Daughter Is 1 Year Old, And These Are the Baby Shower Gifts We Still Use
When I was pregnant, the most daunting part of the experience for me (aside from, you know, stressing over the whole labor part) was filling out the registry. How is one supposed to know what a tiny human needs when you haven't been around any for more than a few hours? Needless to say, my registry was a bit of a shot in the dark, crowd sourced from the Amazon best seller list and recommendations from my own child-bearing friends.
Now that I'm a year postpartum, a friend with her first on the way recently texted me with the same registry woes. And while I certainly didn't have all the answers-especially since every baby's needs are different-I did tell her the life-saving, time-tested items that got us through the first year and are still going strong. (Because, let's face it, baby clothes and products-even some good ones-tend to have a very short shelf life.) Here are the registry gifts that have kept on giving, and what I'd recommend any bewildered shower guest consider for their soon-to-be mama friends.
Silicone Bib and Plate
While this won't be something little ones will need right away, once the time comes to test out solid foods-usually around six months-a wipeable, dishwasher-safe plate and bib (with a pocket for catching food) will be a constant companion at mealtime. And something that's definitely worthy of owning multiples.
A Changing Clutch
Leave it to a friend with four kids of her own to gift this super-practical (yet stylish!) clutch we've used nearly every day since our daughter was born. Not only do we use this portable changing pad for travel, but it's also been super handy for quick changes anywhere around the house.
BUY IT: JJ Cole Diaper Clutch, $46; amazon.com
A Diaper Fund Donation
It might seem like a lackluster contribution, but considering a baby can go through 2,200 diapers in her first year alone, it's a wholly worthwhile and much appreciated investment. While a diaper fund allows moms to choose their own brands, my fave is The Honest Company, because-what can I say?-I'm a sucker for cute patterns.
BUY IT: The Honest Company 68-Count Diapers, $26; amazon.com
Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick-and-Play Piano Gym
Of all the toys purchased pre-baby, there are maybe a handful that we've gotten significant mileage out of. This $40 impulse add to my registry was one of them. As a baby, it was dynamite for tummy time; for my now-toddler, the five-minute, repeating serenade it delivers is just enough distraction to be able to knock out a chore or two while quietly singing along.
BUY IT: Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick-and-Play Piano Gym, $40; amazon.com
A Diaper Backpack
I didn't really consider myself a "backpack person" until having a baby suddenly required I tote around 30 pounds of who-knows-what daily. I like this one because it doesn't scream "diaper bag," but it still has baby-perfect perks like insulated pockets and a wipes-dispensing pouch. Who needs a purse?
BUY IT: Frank Mully Diaper Backpack, $40; amazon.com
Storytime has been a part of our baby's bedtime routine for as long as I can remember (the last word is key because the first month is a little fuzzy…). And our girl loves books. They're like little compact toys (especially the interactive ones) that'll actually become more interesting as time goes on and baby starts to understand words. A few of our longtime favorites (for Mom and Dad too!): Bear Snores On, Goodnight Moon, and Tails…or basically any of the interactive books by Matthew Van Fleet.
BUY IT: Bear Snores On, $8; amazon.com
A Baby Carrier
A carrier is a must for multitasking moms and, while it's a significant investment, its lifespan makes it well worth it. This one holds babies and toddlers from 7 to 45 pounds and works as both a front- and backpack. And did I mention it's one of the only carrier brands that comes in super cute patterns?
BUY IT: Baby Tula Coast Explore Carrier, $180; amazon.com
Onesies (in Bigger Sizes!)
Adorable baby clothes are irresistible gifts for any mom-to-be. But what I appreciated especially at my shower was that, instead of an overdose of newborn-wear, there was a wide variety in sizes-all the way up to 24 months. It's a practical approach to gift-giving, since babies grow out of (and into) things so quickly. Plus, breaking out a new outfit a year later feels like a sweet little way to relive the shower all over again.
BUY IT: Burt's Bees Footed Sleeper, $14; amazon.com