A couple of weeks ago over at Rants from Mommyland, my good friend and part-time collaborator Claire Goss (also known as Guru Louise), came up with this great post about wildly inappropriate baby shower gifts she wanted to give her best friend. After we published our list, our readers left us some really good suggestions of things we’d forgotten about.
Here’s the thing about this list; at first glance you will think that I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. Also, if you show up at a baby shower with this stuff, someone is going to give you the stink eye. But you know what? Your friend the new mom is actually going to need all this crap. And for every women who gives you the righteous sniff for giving something practical instead of a $90 embroidered toy bin from Pottery Barn Kids, there will be a wise mom in the corner, nodding in approval and giving you a mental high five.
And we already know that your friend the new mom is about to find out some stuff. And she will remember your gift with gratitude. And at next year’s baby shower, she’ll be the one handing out Panda Express gift cards and True Blood Seasons 1-4 on DVD. Mark my words.
1. Several bottles of Febreeze.
You might think it’s a little rude or presumptuous to assume someone’s house is going to be smelly. But really? You’re presuming that it’s going to be filled with dirty diapers and exhausted adults. It’s not much of a stretch. So, one for the baby’s room. One for the room where she feeds the baby because we all know the nursing chair is going to get a little funky. And of course, one for the hallway by the front door so she can frantically spray it before guests walk in as to make the house seem slightly less dirty.
2. Frozen maxi pads.
This is not even a joke and YOU KNOW IT. Tell her to pour a little witch hazel on them, throw them in the freezer when her contractions start and when she gets home a few days later from the hospital, WOW, do they feel good. Just warn Grandpa that they’re in there before he goes looking for ice cubes for his celebratory whiskey. Also, a lovely Rants from Mommyland commenter informed us that Labor & Delivery nurses call these frozen wonders “twatsicles”
3. One handed foods.
Because you never think about it until you’re trying to awkwardly hold a baby while attempting to eat spaghetti and not splatter it on them. You have no idea how important this is not just for your new mom friend, but her husband too. Lest he hand her a scalding hot cup of coffee and be all: “Why are you glaring at me, honey? Oh hey! Don’t spill that on the baby!”
4. All of the Purell.
Trust us. People will want to touch the new baby and you don’t know where those dirty bastards have been. It’s perfectly OK for a new mom to stare at someone trying to touch their newborn with dirty hands like a crazy ass killer until they use it, and only then allow them access to your precious, mewling critter. That’s totally normal, you guys. Keep one in the diaper bag and one in the car, too.
5. A programmable coffee maker.
You know how nice it is to wake up after a long, exhausting baby-filled night to a fresh, hot cup of coffee made for you by a magical machine? It is beautiful. It’s like an imaginary monkey butler made it for you. It’s that special. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.
6. Batteries in bulk.
For the swing and the bouncy chair, because that was the only place my baby slept for about 6 months and if the batteries wore out, I would’ve been willing to do anything to get those batteries changed as fast as possible so the kid WOULD JUST SLEEP. When I discovered that I had no batteries at 3am, I would have gladly traded favors behind the bowling alley to get my hands on some Duracells.
7. A swing with a plug.
You could also just find a swing or bouncy chair that plugs into the wall. AAaaaaawwwww Yeah. It’s crazy that I never bought one of those swings. I easily spent $500 on batteries because my 3 kids were in that thing a total of eleventy thousand hours.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why a new mom would need this one. But you have to agree with me that 1) she will need this and 2) if you give it to her at her baby shower, you would get probably pelted in the head with a peepee teepee by another guest for being an a-hole. Because that’s not something any pregnant woman needs to think about. Shh shh. No no. Let’s pretend I never said anything.
9. Nursing tank tops.
I know, you’re thinking of the traditional tank top that unclasps at the top to reveal a boob. Those are super convenient and practical once you get the hang of nursing. But my boobs were so insanely sore I just wanted to walk around topless for like 10 days straight. Super hot, I know. That’s why I think new moms should just skip the nursing bras and tanks and wear a shirt like Rachel McAdams in the movie Mean Girls. You know what I’m talking about? Just cut out the whole are, not as hot as it sounds.
10. Her favorite show on DVD.
Your new mom friend is going to be spending a lot of time sitting and feeding the baby. Your gift will be very much appreciated. What’s better during a 3AM feeding? Season 2 of Downton Abbey or an infomercial for Slushee Magic
11. Dinner gift cards.
A new mom, especially one who is nursing, will probably not want to cook but almost definitely will want to eat. Make sure that the place you choose has plenty of one handed food options.
12. Hospital grade baby nail clippers.
If you could also teach her how to use them, that would be awesome. You’d think I’d be good at cutting baby nails after three babies but no… I ended up accidentally hurting them and then we both cried hysterically. I usually waited for one of my (competent) mom friends to do it for me or for a trip to the pediatrician. I know.
13. Helping with the dog.
Here’s the thing, I love my dog. But my relationship with my dog underwent a severe transformation after my first kid was born. Plus, walking the dog in bad weather or when you have a fussy newborn is just a pain the ass. Then factor in the guilt from knowing that you’re neglecting your beloved hound. It can be kind of a suckfest. So taking the dog to the park or for a long, happy walk is really a pretty awesome thing for you to do.
14. Dry shampoo.
She’ll thank you later. When she’s averaging 3 showers a week and each one lasts about 5 minutes.
15. Three new laundry hampers.
Trust me, you’ll need them. After two months you’ll be like – what are those things in that thing over there? Aaahhh yes. They are called drawers and they open and shut inside of a dresser. How quaint. We just use the hampers now and no one says anything. Or they get a pinch.
16. Tiny flashlights.
You know what sucks? A diaper change in the middle of the night that causes the baby to go from “ready to go back to sleep” to “ready to party like Amanda Bynes”. Sometimes keeping the lights dim help, speeding the sleeping process.
17. Carpet cleaner.
I favor Nature’s Miracle which is technically for animals. But really? Babies are critters. Critters make messes. This gets bizarre poo stains out of white carpet. Trust me, I know.
18. Nipple cream.
Just…well. You know.
19. Pajamas that look like clothes.
Meet your new wardrobe for the next 8 weeks 6 months. Sad but true. I may or may not still be wearing my Old Navy roll-over yoga pants from 2008.
I don’t have one of these things. But I want one so badly. A weekly housekeeper would also work, but I mean let’s be honest not going to happen. If I could swing a housekeeper, it would be for MY HOUSE. But maybe you can find a cheap Roomba on Overstock or something. I hear they’re life changingly awesome.
21. A Peri bottle.
Don’t let her throw it away. My oldest kid is 9 and I still have mine. And I occasionally still use it. You never know when you might need that thing, ok? And good luck trying to find one at Walmart.