The Perfect DIY Baby Shower Gift Basket

The Perfect DIY Baby Shower Gift Basket

Baby showers, we’ve all been to one. I’ve planned some, and even had one of my own. We never had one for my little guy because they were so close together (15 months apart), it felt downright rude to expect a bunch of family & friends to gather again so soon and shower us with gifts… Again. Also, we didn’t need anything! I learned something after my first rodeo, most registries look exactly the same. Something you may have learned as well, a lot of that stuff isn’t necessary. I found myself surrounded by friends and family suggesting tons of different registry “must-haves.” Yet it’s filled with stuff you either don’t need right away, or will mostly likely not work and never be used anyway.
It seems the moment you get pregnant everyone has advice for you, but that’s another post for another day.
I found that every time I went to a baby shower I wasn’t sure what to get for the mom-to-be. After learning about the true necessities in early motherhood, I vowed never again to shower someone with useless items whether it’s on their registry or not. There’s no need to feel confined to only buying from the registry by the way. Most of the awesome gifts I received and could not live without, were not on my registry.  So when one of our beloved friends announced they were expecting, I couldn’t wait to shower them with all the pearls of wisdom from my experience. Perhaps that’s what was happening when I was receiving tons of advice, I suppose motherhood is much like anything else, a very personal experience. No two situations are exactly alike. I digress.So I decided to put together a DIY Baby Shower Basket of my own! One that reflected all of the basic necessities and thoughtful gestures I wish I had been privy to in my pregnancy.

Now, these are all ideas that can be used as a single gift for someone who you may not know very well, or as a whole basket for close friends or family that you love.
Either way –  these items are thoughtful and functional all at once! They are perfect gifts for the experienced “Crunchy” mom in your life, or the mom who is interested in a more natural approach to parenting but not quite sure where / how to get started.

 

 

Diapers: Let’s be honest, who doesn’t need diapers? This is ALWAYS a welcomed gift, in fact it’s even requested on some invitations! I’m a cloth diaper advocate, no secret about that if you’ve read my Cloth Diaper Confessional. Cloth diapers are an awesome gift to give, but not quite functional for the mom who doesn’t know how to put them to use. So in this case there are alternatives – Biodegradable Diapers! It’s the next best option next to traditional disposable diapers. The Honest Company has gift bundles online that you can purchase in monthly increments. Obviously the more you buy the better the price. In this case I was able to provide a month’s worth of these stylish diapers with wipes. Indeed, this is gift enough for most showers. If you’re interested in “upping the ante”, then keep reading!

Baby Wrap: I’m pretty passionate about baby wearing, I wish I knew more about it when my oldest was born. I had an Ergo carrier and loved it, although even with the newborn insert it didn’t quite fit right until he was at least 5-6 months old. For this reason wraps work great for smaller babies. The benefits of baby wearing have long been studied and there is plenty of research pointing to the positive hormonal effects it has as well as the increase in lactation for the mother. The Solly Baby Wrap has long been on my radar as one of the most stylish and comfortable baby wraps around. Their adorable patterns and soft lightweight material make it perfect for South Florida weather.

 


 


Nursing Cover
: A good nursing scarf is a great gift for the breastfeeding mom. The Nuroo Baby scarf is by far the most innovative and stylish scarf I’ve come across to date. It’s unique  snap enclosures allow for multiple ways to wear this and make it optimal for discreet nursing in public.

Maternity/Newborn Photo Session: What better way to celebrate a new bundle of joy than giving the gift of memories. A Maternity or Newborn photo session is on the “to do” list for most new parents these days. The miracle of pregnancy and the celebration of life is something we want to look back on and remember with detail. For this basket the highly talented Jennifer Reina Photography offers a unique baby shower gift certificate good for one maternity or newborn session. She presents it beautifully in a complimentary picture frame with details on scheduling and a free print. This is a wonderful gift for anyone who is expecting.

Photo Props: It doesn’t hurt to throw in an adorable little striped crochet elf hat to include in their newborn shoot. Couldn’t help myself!

Blankie Pillow: This cuddle pillow was featured in my MOABS Recap, and for good reason! If your babies suffer from acid reflux or silent reflux, then you know what a necessity a pillow like Blankie Pillow is. This comfortable pillow is ideal for propping baby up after feeding to avoid any spit up. It also converts into a toddler pillow as your baby grows! I wish I had one of these in my early days of motherhood! It comes stuffed in this awesome little sack. As a rule I pass this one along to all expecting mommy’s I know!





Onesies: What new mom doesn’t need onesies? These aren’t just any onesies, The Little Boss has the cutest selection of newborn / infant and toddler necessities for your new “little boss in training”.

Rattle: This montessori inspired hand crafted wooden baby rattle from Essential Montessori is an awesome addition to this basket. Baby’s first rattle is sealed with a custom beeswax/olive oil blend and tinted with all natural homemade dye that’s safe to the touch. Perfect for baby’s first grip and safe for teething.

Baby Moccasins: These are just plain adorable! Although they do serve a purpose as they are great for keeping those teeny toes clean and comfy while they take their first steps. They are also thin and very natural to the touch  so as to keep babies feet firmly planted on the ground.

Gift Cards: Gift Certificates to be redeemed at a later date are an awesome shower gift for expecting parents. It gives them a gift to be excited about after the baby has arrived. In this case I presented them with a gift certificate to Budsies, one of my new favorite companies. I first featured this company in my Ultimate Mom’s Night Out article, for their ability to foster creativity and bring it to life. They will print a physical doll from your baby’s first drawings!

 

Protection: Once the baby arrives, there will be no shortage of well meaning family members wanting to come and meet the newest addition to the family. Unfortunately, they bring with them a host of germs, allergens or any outside carcinogens that are picked up by the average adult in every day life. However, the new little bundle is not yet equipped to fight off such pathogens. The Kuddle Coat is the perfect gift for the overprotective parents or germophobe in your life! It keeps any harmful chemicals or harsh perfumes from coming in direct contact with the adorable bundle of joy.

Relief: I first learned about Motherlove all natural organic salve with my second son. This absolutely saved my life! It really helps aid in healing and is completely safe for ingestion so there is no need to wash in between nursing.

Books: Books are a wonderful gift for any occasion, especially baby showers! This particular shower requested a book on the invitation, this is a growing trend. It’s a great way to get a good start on a wide reading selection and encourage a love for reading. You can never start reading to your children too soon, I started at about 3 months old and I have two boys who would rather sit and listen to me read a book than watch television. I first got this idea from my friend and fellow blogger Lindsay from You Are The Roots, she bought this book for her son Ethan and decided to have all the teachers he has over the years sign the book at the end of each term. This way he has wonderful memories to look back on highlighting his educational career and how far he’s come. It’s a sweet tradition and makes for an amazing gift!

I decided to deliver these gifts in a canvas basket instead of gift bags or wrapping the presents separately, ensuring they could also use as storage or a baby hamper. I hope that this DIY Gift Basket has given you some helpful suggestions on some functional necessities for a new “mommy-in-training.” It sure made this mom to be happy!

Essentially Yours,
 
Erika

 

Baby Shower Gifts You Can Actually Use

Baby Shower Gifts You Can Actually Use

It’s tough deciding what to give at a baby shower. There aren’t any real rules (that I know of), and if so, it could be as antiquated as not wearing white after Labor Day. Even though, I still can’t bring myself to do it (wear white, that is). Although there is “winter white,” but I’m getting off track here. I’m a simple gal, but my first go-round with baby-making we had a large elaborate shower with more gifts than we ever could have needed. We had no clue what we were doing, and while we were thankful for all of the gifts, they certainly weren’t necessary.

I’ve spent the last couple of years of my life caring for babies, toddlers, and now growing boys. I’ve got a good grasp on what is necessary, and what is a consumerist load of malarkey (excuse my candor). There are so many things that our sweet and unassuming relatives spend money on, albeit with giving hearts (that’s what matters anyway right?). But hindsight is 20/20, and if I had it my way I wouldn’t accept gifts at all. I would donate all gifts to organizations like Baby2Baby and make sure other moms who are unable to provide for their child is cared for.

However, there are a few things that are necessary, especially for all natural mama’s like myself, and I’m sharing them with you!

Nursing

Nursing Bra

Nursing mama’s need all the help they can get. If you’ve read my post of the Wellness Mama Lactation Basket, then you know I am an advocate for breastfeeding. I joined the La Leche League after having my second son (my first never did latch), it changed my life. It opened my eyes to a wealth of knowledge that I had no idea existed. This is integral to a struggling mom who doesn’t know what she is doing and just wants to feed her baby breast milk. The right nursing bra can make all of the difference. I remember working my way through the nursing rack at Target thinking, “this can’t be it.” The selection was so limited, I ended up with a hot pink leopard nursing bra. Hooray if that works for you, but my entire closet is currently “Greige.” The Cake Maternity nursing bras are not only sleek and stylish, but incredibly comfortable. This is the perfect gift for the nursing mama-to-be, I only wish I had known about it when I was knee-deep in breast milk. I love the lace detail in the Flexi-wire bra, and how cute is the packaging? It almost feels like gift to yourself!

Another great gift for the nursing mama, is a great nursing cover. While I am of the belief we should nurse anywhere, anytime without any reservation, unfortunately the rest of the western world hasn’t quite caught on yet. I’ve always been discreet, but hated using hot nursing covers in the blaring South Florida sun. A full nursing cover is great to have when you’re on-the-go. Why not be stylish as well? I found these incredibly soft and light-weight covers by Jasemet. I was even able to find this great print to match our tribal themed shower. This nursing scarf doubles as a fall (or winter in Florida) fashion accessory. I’m in love with these and can’t wait to get some for all of my pregnant friends.

Baby Shower Gifts

 

Swaddle Time

Aden & Anais

Ahhh, the swaddle cloth. Since the beginning of time (well it feels like it), mothers have swaddled their babies. While neither of my boys took to the swaddle (they always found a way to break the arms free), the benefits are widely praised. However, there are reports that a tight swaddle can hinder hip development. So a comfortable swaddle using a breathable muslin cloth is preferred. The Aden & Anais swaddle cloths are the hottest (and for good reason) cloths on the market right now. Not only is the breathable fabric soft to the baby’s touch, it’s also incredibly cute with all of the different prints they offer. These gorgeous limited edition Petunia Picklebottom swaddle blankets were also in line with our tribal theme, and I can’t wait to wrap our new little chief in them. His mama was very happy when she saw these in her gift tee pee.

 

Diaper Duty

If you follow me on Pinterest, then you know I am pretty much obsessed with bags. Especially well-made bags, like the Timi & Leslie Diaper bags. When I first had my son, and expensive over-the-top diaper bags were all the rage, I decided on a Timi & Leslie Boho Bag because it was practical and a really good quality hand-bag. I loved the different take on the style, it looked like my current purse, and all of the different compartments. It also came with the changing pad (a lifesaver), and plenty of hooks in different places so it was easy to hang from my stroller or change the look of the bag. The newest line is completely adorable and I was happy to gift one to my sister-in-law in her favorite style, the Soho Quilted Tote. She is so excited to use it!

Timi & Leslie

 

Safety First

Body Armor

Practicing safety is always a concern of mine, and you can never start too early. Your talking about a lady who made her relatives wash their hands and change their shirts when visiting our newborn babies. There are plenty of studies, even the American Academy of Pediatrics, noting the danger of radiation (wi-fi) around a developing human brain (especially babies). The AAP has recommended staying away from this type of radiation until the age of nine! Which is why I fell in love with Belly Armor, a radiation free material that magically protects your child, even in the womb! These blankets are specially formulated to block any radiation protecting your unborn baby from any developmental harm. Sort of like those protective body armor suits you wear while getting an x-ray, except way cuter and a lot less heavy. I gifted this beauty to my sister-in-law early on so she can reap the rewards, and a special newborn cap to protect him when he gets here. There are lots of color combos and different styles to choose from.

Hope this list helps you decide on what to give at your next baby shower!

Essentially yours,

Erika


 What useless gift did you receive at your baby shower? Share more in the comments section below!


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Holiday Gift Ideas for New Moms

Holiday Gift Ideas for New Moms

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AmopeForTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

The holidays are in full swing and gift ideas are everywhere. I do most of my shopping online to avoid crowds, but there are a few items I like to personalize, so I pick them out myself. Gift baskets are a wonderful way to show someone you care and put a little extra effort into understanding what it is you think they may need.

Holiday Gift Ideas for New Moms

Since a few of my friends have recently given birth, we have quite a few new moms in my circle. I thought back to what I needed in my first few weeks of being a first-time mom, and put together some gift ideas for the postpartum mama’s in your tribe.

Food

Food is always a good idea. Around the holidays there are plenty of festive cheese platters, baked goods, and even meat platters to choose from. Any and all food is acceptable for a new mom. It takes the pressure off of her to cook and really allows her more time to relax and bond with her new family. There are also some pretty cool meal delivery companies that can provide meals for an extended period of time. Even if you would like to prepare food to freeze and drop by with a sweet note and a gift tag, food is always appreciated. I’ve even put together a basket of all of my friend’s favorite guilty pleasures and dropped it off. The holiday season is a wonderful way to get creative with this thoughtful gift. Plus, who doesn’t love wrapping a big ol’ basket of love? Restaurant gift cards for establishments that offer delivery services, or pick-up window options are also ideal.

Self-Care

Amope

 

One of the things I missed most after giving birth, was my self-care routine. I would get a manicure / pedicure, touch up my hair, and make an afternoon of it. The ritual allowed me some free space to decompress and gather my thoughts. This little self-care habit was sorely missed after giving birth when I could no longer make my way to the salon. A happy and healthy mom is a good mom, that is a fact. This was a need, not a luxury. Creating a self-care wellness basket for a new mom is a great way to show her you care about her well-being. I like to include the Amope Pedi Perfect™ Extra Coarse Electronic Foot File and the Amope Pedi Perfect™ Electronic Nail File along with some cozy items. It gives moms the gift of soft, beautiful feet and naturally shiny nails, who doesn’t want that? I always include a favorite shade of polish, or some festive slippers, or even an ornament that includes baby. Any comfort you can provide to a new mom is appreciated. She is at a point in her life where she is giving more of herself than she ever imagined. Why not show her you care, by taking care of her for a change.

Amope

Amope

You can find the Amope Pedi Perfect™ products in the Women’s Health aisle at your local Target. Right now you can head on over and get 10% of all Amope gadgets, valid until the end of the year (so act fast)!

Amope

Time

Finally, time is the ultimate gift. We no longer live in small villages and help raise each other’s children. A sense of community had died in our culture, and new moms can often feel isolated and alone. While sleep schedules are upside down and life is more unpredictable, it’s nice to stop by  or plan to meet every so often to help keep her included on everything that’s happening outside of her four walls. Bring a little bit of the outside world to her with some of her favorite coffee, or magazines. Catching up without having to waste the energy of fitting back in is helpful in and of itself. Also, donate your time. Whether it’s babysitting other children she has, or offering to just sit with the baby while she showers or naps is a great help. As a new mom I wasn’t really ready to leave my baby at home for a date night, but it would have been great to just get in a nap, or eat lunch while someone else rocked him to sleep. It may not be accepted at first, but you can write a coupon and decorate it for your friend or family member letting them know they can cash in on it any time day or night. Sometimes just knowing the offer is there is enough to make anyone feel loved.

Essentially yours,

Erika


Amope

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