Here at Happy Cat Kids I'm pretty pleased with our lovely selection of baby gifts but I was asked this question by someone recently and it really got me thinking...
Baby showers are a slightly more recent tradition here in the UK but are becoming more and more commonplace now. In the States where they originated they can be pretty big business with expectant parents often having a full gift registry, much like you may do for a wedding, where the baby shower guests can purchase gifts already picked out by the expectant parents in advance! At a UK baby shower an expectant Mother may find it extremely useful to set up a wish list too but who in fact are the gifts for? Are you looking to treat your friend/relative to something for themselves that may help in late pregnancy or early motherhood or buy something practical or beautiful for the baby? Perhaps you want the mum-to-be to have something like a pregnancy massage or pedicure as a lovely treat before the chaos of early motherhood is upon them? Which gift is best? Well the simple answer, I believe, is all of the above!!
I think it really has to depend on what your relationship is with the expectant mother and how well you know them! For example, if the Mum-to-be is your oldest and most cherished friend or your sister perhaps then you just need to think about who they really are and what they might like - are they a super-organised person who has already bought everything and anything they could possibly need for the baby? In which case maybe you wish to treat them to something for themselves like a pregnancy massage, or due to current Covid restrictions, maybe some kind of online workshop of a hobby they would love but probably won't have time for once baby is here! Perhaps Mum-to-be has VERY particular taste in things and it would therefore be better to purchase a gift voucher so that she can choose something to her own taste and style.
You could purchase a nice gift set for Mum & baby, like this lovely set that includes some beautiful jewellery that are safe to be worn once the baby is at the 'putting everything in mouth' stage and a matching teether.
Speaking of gift sets, I highly recommend a gift box selection as a baby shower present because it's so nice to receive a lovely keepsake box that can be really useful for something like storing all the lovely new baby cards or mementos from the baby shower and then receiving a selection of lovely goodies inside the box can feel like such a treat! My favourite gift set is this animal themed box that comes complete with super cute baby socks, a handy silicone teether, a lovely little panda rattle and a beautiful fox nightlight.
A practical gift can often be a good idea for a baby shower too as there are no end of items that babies will need over the course of the next couple of years! Maybe think about some of the stages, i.e. teething or weaning.
Perhaps the Mum to be is very focused on the environment and/or looking for more natural products for their baby? In which case you may wish to consider natural rubber baby toys; natural rubber is a wonderful choice for baby toys at is a completely natural product; certified non toxic, fragrance free, BPA free, Phthalate free and PVC free making it a perfectly safe natural teething toy. We have a lovely range of natural rubber toys from Tikiri made in a beautiful family business in Sri Lanka, hand-painted with soy-based ink and including features in 100% organic cotton. Here are a few of my favourites: the dragon and unicorn rattles and bunny squeakers also come in beautifully presented (and fully recyclable) gift boxes.
Classic wooden toys make wonderful gifts for a baby shower as they are long-lasting, attractive toys that look lovely on shelves in nurseries when babies are little ready to be played with as they get a little older. We have such a great selection that it's really hard for me to pick just a few faves but I'll try my best!
If you are thinking about a nice gift for the Mum-to-be (which I think is a fabulous idea as they often get so much for the baby!) then some teething-safe silicone jewellery could be a great idea! That way she gets to still feel like she can add some stylish accessories to her outfit whilst at the same time feeling confident that it's safe for her baby to grab and chew the jewellery too as it is completely BPA and phthalate free and can be kept clean and hygienic in warm, soapy water or can be chucked in the dishwasher or steriliser! We have a large selection of necklaces in every colour of the rainbow and some great bangles too.
Another lovely idea for a baby shower gift is an heirloom/keepsake toy! For example a beautiful rag doll or hand-crocheted toy, it makes a lovely decorative item in baby's room, then becomes a cherished companion that will be loved and then put away to be passed down to the next generation!
A little note here about baby showers during the current Covid restrictions! Obviously right now these kinds of parties can't happen exactly the way we'd like but people have risen to the challenge and got inventive! I have seen some great examples of outdoor, socially-distanced baby showers, beautiful virtual parties held over zoom (or your platform of choice!) and even baby showers where each guest has a time slot to meet with the Mum-to-be so they are never more than one-on-one! Whatever the current restrictions are, people find wonderful ways to work with them! And if you wish to give a gift but cannot meet up in person then it's important to select your present in good time so that it can be sent to the recipient ready for the virtual event.
Here at Happy Cat Kids whilst any Covid restrictions remain I continue to offer free gift-wrapping in environmentally-friendly recyclable wrapping! I'll even hand-write a gift tag and send it directly to the Mum-to-be for you.
So, in summary, in answer to the question - are baby shower gifts for Mum or baby, I truly believe the answer is either, neither or both! A lovely little gift for the baby is always going to be appreciated, but sometimes a Mum-to-be may be may be really chuffed to receive a little treat for herself and maybe you can get a little something for both of them, but let's not not forget that ultimately a baby shower is really just a chance for a Mum-to-be to celebrate her impending motherhood with her closest friends and family so she will cherish you being there to celebrate with her above any gift that you may buy!