I smiled as genuinely as I could. “Thank you! These are adorable!” I stacked the plastic bibs with “Thank Heaven For Baby Girls” on top of the six “Princess” bibs from the last package.
I’ve maybe used 2 of the 16 baby bibs I received at my baby shower.
I’ve used even less of the 6 sets of nail clippers, and I’ve never even opened the nursing covers. (Four of them. Four people felt like I would want to wear a tent for 15 out of every 60 minutes.)
And let’s not even talk about the “shopping cart cover” that supposedly doubles as a scarf, because we all want to wrap the germs that we are “covering” around our necks and then lay them on our baby’s face when they breastfeed.
“Multi-function” should be defined as “germ transfer pro”.
I don’t want to relay that I felt or was or am ungrateful for all those who thoughtfully gifted me and my girl with beautiful things! It’s just made me shop a little differently for other moms to have been on the receiving end!
So if you have a baby shower coming up, or if you’re wondering what to get an expectant mommy for Christmas…
…then check out this list of awesome 2017 roundup of trendy accessories and gadgets that won’t end up in the back of the closet, and that will be a unique gift!
1. Dreamscape and Photo Frame Sheets
She knows she wants those gorgeous shots of her sleeping baby surrounded by picture-perfect props, but very few new moms (especially if it isn’t their first child) have time to arrange those shots, so they miss out on them. Enter: dreamscape sheets.
This new trend is so cool that most people don’t know it exists yet, but the Instagram mommy you know will geek out of these gorgeous sheets that make their baby pictures instant like machines.
Instead of spending hours aching over lemon branches and carefully sliced wedges to place them in a perfect floral frame, just swaddle baby in the middle of a design that’s already picture perfect!
You don’t need to twist branches into perfect heart shaped arcs for baby’s head to be framed in lovely colors as she lays sleeping … it’s already on the sheet.
In fact, you don’t need to worry about posing, because from now until your toddler grows into a full-size bed, you can snap a picture here and a picture there and your sleeping baby will be art in every shot.
Rookie Humans has the edge on Amazon right now, with 3 fuh-reaking adorable options already available, and as the product idea takes off I have no doubt that they will become easier to find.
But at the moment, with this newborn trend (catch my double meaning?) you will be a hero for making that perfect picture a possibility, regardless of how exhausted and out of time the mommy is.
But don’t stop there — if you’re not seeing one that you adore by Rookie Sheets, Check out TealBee Baby hot air balloon crib sheet for a gentler design.
2. Reusable Baby Food Pouches
While baby food pouches weren’t necessarily designed for kids to suck food out of, the truth is that every mommy has handed her kiddo a pouch and been thrilled that they can feed themselves with a minimal mess at a very young age.
The practicality of pouches means that it’s been years since I bought a container of baby food that wasn’t in a pouch. I make my own baby foods at home, and buy pouches for on the go situations.
But pre-packaged pouches come with concerns like mold, and overusing them as a food source is bad for the muscles in your kid’s mouth.
And they aren’t cheap.
The benefits of making your own baby food span far and wide, but you don’t have to make baby food to want and use reusable food pouches.
Reusable pouches mean that the on-the-go-practicality can blend with the home-made benefits.
Because you can use them for yogurts and applesauces, they are practical regardless of your puree making skills.
So any mom would be glad to have some of these dishwasher safe, easy to use, eco-friendly pouches in her kitchen. And the next time she’s running out the door she can dump some yogurt in and zip it up and not worry about where her baby’s snack is gonna come from.
We recommend the ChewMee pouches because of the size, and the durability, but mostly because of the super easy filling and washing methods. They unzip and you put them in the dishwasher. Then you dump food into them and zip them back up. They’re that easy.
And the animals are adorable. (My almost 4 year old adores the zebra.)
3. The Coolest Baby Thermometer Ever Invented: The iProven DMT-489
This miracle thing.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve wrestled more than enough sobbing 18-month-olds to get a read on their fever with an underarm or under tongue thermometer.
It ain’t pretty.
All it takes is one flushed, weeping child who you want to comfort and coddle but have to torture with one of those nasty, metal sticks for you to realize that “normal” isn’t ok. The “normal” thermometers aren’t an option around here anymore.
Because what’s the point of progress and tech if they don’t help with issues like sick babies?
And this tech has fixed it.
2 Functions: Head or ear. 1 second read time. Recalls 20 last readings.
It’s a dream tool, but you won’t even realize it til you’ve used it and then you’re missing it.
This is a professional healthcare grade tool. I found it because our Nurse Practitioner used it when my twins had ear infections. (Yes. They both had ear infection at the same time when they were 8 months old. That wasn’t pretty at. all.) I was blown away. I had spent 4 days struggling with the twins and trying to chart their temperatures, and then I walked in and she had an accurate reading before she could finish saying “Let’s check for fevers first!”
Literally, thousands of parents and care providers are in love with this electronic thermometer. You could buy it as a gift, and then buy another one as a back up and gift both of them to the same person, and by the time their kids were in grade school they would be bringing you offerings of gratitude for the way you revolutionized their parenthood journey.
The forehead function is my favorite, but the ear reading is a better option for a super accurate core temperature reading.
4. The Munchkin Miracle Insulated Spill-Proof Thermos Sippee
Parenting Problems This Cup Solves:
- Lukewarm milk in a sippee in the car – monitoring the temperature of your toddler’ milk to make sure that they either finish it or it gets dumped before getting ooky is a problem that parents hate. Seriously. Like we have nothing better to do than to feel a sippee cup 14 times in 3 hours. This cup keeps milk cold for 15 hours, so that you know that when you get home late at night and find your kid finishing off the drops you poured at 7 am, they are’t gonna throw up from spoiled milk.
- No mildewy crevices in the spouts – with a 3 piece, 360 degree part system with no weird assembly or tiny pieces, you’re not gonna miss that one clear piece of rubber that keeps it from leaking or have mildew growing in the tiny edge where the valve connects to the thingymajig. It’s a very real struggle.
- No dentists freaking out about spouts – dentists don’t like sippee spouts for mouth and teeth developement. The shape of the mouth is wrong when sucking on a spout, they say. This design lets them drink with the same muscles and mouth shape as a regular cup, meaning no more lectures about the 3 or 4 year old needing to transition to a real cup.
Munchkin recommends that you occasionally disassemble the cup and soak it in warm vinegar and soap water to make sure that any spots the dishwasher isn’t getting are fully cleaned.
Also, this cup is NOT designed for warm drinks, since the steam would prevent it from sealing and cause it to leak. Only use it for cool/cold drinks!
5. The Project Nursery Sight And Sound Sleep Soother Projector WITH BLUETOOTH
This excited me so much when I first saw it at a friend’s house. We are constantly moving bluetooth speakers and nightlights all over the house so we can play soothing sounds for whichever kid is having a restless night.
This gadget, though, solves everything.
With the projector option, you can have beautiful designs waltzing around the room.
The nightlight option means no more plug-in lights getting lost, and no more bathroom doors open with lights on to “make do”.
The whole thing can be put on a timer, ranging from continuous non stop playing to 15 minutes.
Preloaded nature sounds (ocean waves, forest, heartbeat, and rain) are super soothing if you don’t want to use your tablet or phone to bluetooth, there’s still an awesome audio option.
The sound and the projector can run independently of each other, so if one feature isn’t loved the other is still able to be used!
A perk I can’t deny is that this comes from Project Nursery. I love PN. I love their Instagram, I love their customer service, I love their Amazon listings, I love everything about them. They are a fantastic company, and I’m excited to have a few of their products to highlight!
6. EzPz Suction One-piece Silicone Placemat + Plate
Granted, they have some drawbacks — they don’t work well on wood, and you have to have a very flat surface for them to suction properly, but if you have larger high chair tray or want these for use at the diningroom table, they’re genius.
The EzPz (Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy. 😉 ) dishes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, as well as an assortment of gorgeously vivid colors. The portions are nice for little children, and it makes meal prep very simple.
These silicone dishes are BPA and phthalate free, also, which is another thing I appreciate. So many kid dishes force you to choose between quality, harmful chemicals, or convinience, and this line marries the best of all worlds into one set of cheerful products.
It blew my mind that I could heat up leftovers in the oven IN THE KIDS’S PLATES. The moment I realize that I could warm individual portions without extra dishes to wash and without zapping the life out of the food in the nuke box was a moment that my life changed.
I know that the version of me in an alternate reality that still fights the mental lunch war of how much and how to heat the food is lagging behind on all meaningful areas of her life because of that hangup.
So be free. Stop thinking about it.
And while you’re at it, don’t worry about dishes breaking on the floor, spills, entire bowls full of food being dumped during a tantrum, or an innocent elbow knocking a sibling’s lunch to the ground.
Because these sticky soft plates don’t slide or knock or break.
7. The Summer Infant Pop N Sit Portable Booster
I’m one of those, and let me tell you, keeping babies contained while adventuring in wild places is practically magic-level-pro-mom stuff.
One of the basics that you have to remember is compact containment tools. Things like infant carriers, umbrella strollers, and play yards are the obvious ones, but a portable booster seat is something that everyone (myself included) overlooks until they are handed one.
This “camp high chair” folds like a lawn chair, has an adorable tiny carrying bag, and weighs next to nothing.
Because it straps your kiddo in close to the ground it is safe to use on a picnic blanket or the ground, but wait, there’s more!
Straps come with the booster that allow you to strap it to a dining chair, which means that this isn’t just your new camping booster, it’s also the high chair for Gramma’s house, that crowded little cafe you love, or the church potluck that always runs out of high chairs.
And let’s keep talking function.
It fits in a suitcase.
At 17″ by 7″ by 6″, you can pack this sucker into a carry-on sized bag and use it in the airport.
Have I8. given you enough reasons to be excited about treating your favorite new mom to this baby chair? Because I’m excited. I’m never traveling without one again.
8. The Baby Tula Ring Sling
It’s very difficult to buy an infant carrier for a new parent. You don’t know what size they need, what brand they like, what pattern they want… but a safe bet for a starter for baby wearing is the delicious Baby Tula ring sling.
Baby Tula is a quality brand that celebrities and rock stars are as happy to use as the midwife next door.
With a reputation that is impeccable for their quality and comfort, they are my favorite baby carrier brand.
And now they offer a cotton ring sling that is buttery soft and gorgeously bright, with multiple color and print options to keep things fun and exciting.
And ring slings are so easy to use — they are the most simple and quick form of baby carrier and work for newborns and toddlers alike.
While there are two size options, it’s safe to go with the large unless you are buying for an extremely petite person. I know several very small people who have purchased the large because they love the extra long hanging “tail” and how pretty it is.
So don’t be afraid to invest in one of these beautiful pieces as a gift — it’s the ultimate wrap carrier, and even if the parents go to buy a soft structured carrier or a more simple knit stretch carrier, I can almost garuntee that there will be a point when this one will be used almost daily!
So happy shopping! I hope these outside the box gift ideas make your search easier!