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Baby shower gift list: A practical, tested guide

This list is more focused on newborn stuff. This baby shower gift list has been circulating in emails over 2 years then tested and modified by many mums.

  • Car seat: Baby cannot be discharged from the hospital without a car seat. In fact, at the hospital the baby will practice sitting in the car seat with monitors on before discharge.
  • Stroller: Ideally you need a stroller that can fit a car seat. Tip: If you have a car, drive to a baby store where a store assistant can install various car seats into your backseat (ie Albee Baby or Buy Buy Baby). If you don’t have a car (living in NYC?), go to a store and check out car seats, including walking around the store carrying them. You need to use the car seat to see which one you would like.
  • Stroller organizer: This is optional, but useful as extra cup holders (your drink? baby bottle?). I preferred a stroller organizer that can be left on stroller when the stroller is folded. (We had a Britax one.)
strokke stroller for baby shower list with Nuna car seat
Here a Nuna car seat is clicked into a Stokke stroller.

uppababy stroller with Maxicosi adapter and 2 car seats twins Aton cybex for baby shower list
Two Cybex Aton car seats click (via an adaptor) into an Uppababy Vista stroller (which can be for one baby or two babies). Uppababy also sells its own Mesa infant car seat.

  • BLong sleeved sleepers will likely be the most used item of baby clothing. Both footed or non-footed sleepers are useful. The buttoned up sleepers are useful if your baby needs to remain in the NICU, as EKG cables can be fit in between the buttons (then the cables connected to the monitor). The zip up one piece sleepers are easier at night to quickly zip the baby up after a new sleeper is put on. Many brands carry sleepers, including Gerber, Carter, Little Me, Mayoral, Lamaze, Sterling, Old Navy, Children’s Place, Nordstrom’s and Burt’s Bees. Aim for 6-8 sleepers in size 0-3 months (looser is fine, as baby will soon grow) or in newborn size, if a small newborn. There are premie sizes at a few shops (such as Gap). These neutral lamb-themed newborn Gerber footed sleepers (Sleep N Play) were very useful.
  • Hooded baby towels: Get 2 towels. Get extra large (35″ x 35″) baby hooded towels from the start, as bigger towels are easier to dry a moving baby and can use the same towels for toddlers. Nordstrom brand baby towels are thick and dry really well. First Journey hooded baby towels are thicker and extra large. Best to go to the store yourself to touch the towel texture (or buy returnable towels online).

towel larger softer thicker for baby and toddler for baby shower ideas and gift list

First Journey white baby hooded towel is thick enough to absorb water, not rough in texture, but not too smooth (too smooth cannot wipe properly). Because of its larger size, you can use the same towel later for a toddler. This towel is over 2 years old and still very useful!

  • 5 oz bottles x 4 (no point to buy 2-3 oz bottles as in a few weeks you’ll be measuring 3-5 oz). We loved Comotomo bottles. See this post on bottles and bottle warmers for more description.
  • Slow-flow or newborn nipples: Usually, baby bottles come with 3-6 month nipples, whose flow will be too fast for newborns. Keep the medium flow nipples in a zip lock bag for later use. Order the slow flow nipples for immediate use.

  • Bottle warmer to warm your stored milk in the fridge (breast milk or prepared formula), we had Avent.
  • Sterilizer: Just load the bottle, nipples, and pacifiers inside this Avent sterilizer and microwave to sterilize. This microwavable sterilizer is easy to bring if traveling. Later we used this sterilizer as a container for storage.
  • Newborn pacifiers x 4: You will lose pacifiers or drop them a lot. Of all the baby products from Mam, their pacifiers are well-liked by babies. (A NICU nurse told me this.) Mam also has easy to find glow-in-the-dark pacifiers.
  • Container for pacifiers: People don’t tell you this. Where will you keep the pacifiers after you sterilize them? An option can be a plastic topple ware container or a small basin, we kept our container for pacifiers in the baby drawer.
  • Baby washcloths x 10-20 (for both bathing and feeding) such as these thicker Burt’s Bees Baby organic washcloths.
  • Measuring cylinders or formula mixer: This is to measure formula or breast milk. I used Abbott breastmilk storage cylinder bottles, given to me post-partum by the hospital.
  • Breast pump machine: Spectra is the quietest, so your husband can sleep while you pump in the wee hours of the morning. I got the rechargeable one so can use it in at work without plugging it in. My colleague said she used it on the way home driving! See this post on breastfeeding tips.
Spectra breast pump is ultra quiet and great for baby shower gift list
This pink Spectra pump lights up (but not too bright) for evening pumping, but needs to be plugged in at all times. The green Spectra pump is rechargeable, so can use anywhere without being plugged in. I had the pink for home and green for work.
  • Breast milk storage bottles or sacks
  • Diapers newborn size (or size 1 for > 10 lbs), the most common diaper is Pamper Swaddlers
  • Vaseline tubes: Covidien Vaseline tubes or ointment like Aquaphor
  • Diaper organizer basket (for diapers, wipes, Vaseline tube)
  • Diaper bag (I’m a fan of this Tender Kisses diaper bag with its large sturdy bottom and design, but have heard backpack style diaper bag like Banana fish is quite useful.)
Tender Kisses diaper bag for baby shower gift list
Tender Kisses diaper bag is stable on a surface with nice compartments.

Banana fish diaper bag is like a backpack for baby shower gift list
This Banana fish diaper bag has backpack straps to free up your hands to push a stroller or carry a baby.
  • Diaper sacks: Any scented diaper sack, common brands are Nuby, Sassy, Controlled Life or Munchkin. At home we used diaper sacks with a mini trash can. Stash a few diaper sacks in your diaper bag when changing diapers outside your home. The best brand for you is the brand where you can open the diaper sack quickly (especially when in a hurry).
  • Mini garbage can (with lid or not) that fits Sassy scented diaper sacks…We tied the sack up after each poo diaper and threw it out. This mini trash can is so useful and can be rinsed also. I couldn’t find the actual one I have, but this countertop trash can is similar. A friend swears by Dekor diaper pail.
  • Changing pad: Keekaroo Peanut changing pad is water-resistant, so can be rinsed when the diaper leaks, the pad is well cushioned and large enough for even toddlers. A less expensive alternative is the Skip Hop changing pad that is wipeable but shorter. I ran into a neighbor carrying a Skip Hop changing pad and asked why that pad. He replied, “Because it fits with our changing table, the Peanut pad was too long. But for my first baby, the Peanut worked with our old changing table.”
bathroom set up with Keekarro peanut changing pad, sassy diaper scented sacks, Pamper Swaddlers diapers for baby shower list
Keekaroo Peanut changing pad (can rinse if pee or poo leaks) is cushioned for the changing table or floor, can keep using even for a 3 year old toddler.
diaper changing pad Keekaroo Peanut on a changing table with Aveeno Baby cream for baby shower list
Keekaroo changing pad on a changing table, see diapers organized on the left.
  • Wipes (We love Target’s Up & Up cucumber wipes, but I confess we also use it to wipe toys, mats, cribs.) This cucumber scent is very light and non-irritating and can order online in big boxes to ship to your home.
  • Wipe warmer machine: Who would like to be wiped by a cold wipe especially in the middle of the night? (We had the Munchkin wipe warmer.) Tip: Regularly add half a cup of tap water to the wipe warmer or the wipes may dry up.
  • Newborn bath lounger or cushion pillow like Leachco or Cuddles:
    Can place a bath pillow in the bathtub and rinse the baby with a handheld shower or a basin to scoop water. It has a loop to hang in the bathroom, although it won’t drain all the water out, even an hour later. Tip: Before lying baby on it, wet it with warm water.
  • Bath mat for slightly older baby, especially Boon bath mat ( comes in blue or grey, but it is the best one I’ve used, rubbery and soft but easy to wash and sticks to the bathroom wall with suction cups) support or tub.
  • Handheld shower from any brand: We like Delta handheld shower to rinse the baby. Tip: If the hose leaks, purchase a replacement hose online.

bath tub set up with Boon baby bathmat, handheld shower, Weleda baby wash for baby shower gift list
Delta handheld shower and Weleda calendula 2 in 1 baby wash (and Boon bath mat for older babies with a blue spa pillow) in a bathtub.

  • Baby wash: After trying a few baby washes (on ourselves and babies), the winner was the Weleda Calendula Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. Weleda baby wash (made in Germany) is non-drying even in the winter, soothing (with calendula), and a great hair shampoo that helps with cradle cap. Target and amazon and other stores sell this. Others like Aveeno baby wash, especially for ezcema.

  • Baby hair brush (such as Safety baby hair brush)
  • Piyo piyo baby nail scissors (or Safety 1st nail clipper with light)

piyo nail scissors for baby's nails for baby shower gift list
Piyo curved baby nail scissors are ergonomic to use, more precise due to its curve and ability to get underneath the nail to trim (vs regular nail clippers I once cut skin and it bled).

  • Newborn lounger, such as Bobby lounger (This lounger can be placed on the floor, the sofa, or the bed).
boppy pillows for twins on the floor for baby shower gift list
Babies lying on Boppy grey elephant loungers in the background.

boppy pillows for babies on the bed for baby shower gift list
Bobby loungers are for babies…can be placed on floor, bed. Can even buy washable covers over Boppy pillows.

  • Playgym x 1 (Babies outgrow this quickly.)
  • Toy mobile for the crib like Tiny Love
  • Bright Starts beaming buggie (This is a must have! They first stare at it, then play with it in the crib, then serves as a night light.)
beaming buggie carseat baby in car for baby shower list
The number one toy for young babies! Bright Starts Beaming Buggie is great for an awake baby (colorful lights) or for a super baby (waves sound). You can hang it in the crib or in the car. (Tip: Buy plastic baby rings to hang the beaming buggie.

  • Glider or rocking chair for an adult to sit (to feed baby and rock baby)
  • Baby mat for the nursery
  • Liquid soap dispenser: You will be washing your hands a lot! After diaper changes, before feeding, after a spit up or mess…I also bought St Ives body wash or any liquid hand soap to refill the soap dispenser.
  • Hand towels (to dry your hands after you wash your hands, can rotate with 1-3 hand towels)
  • Froggie Sit me up chair to learn how to sit, also good for post-feeding to minimize acid reflux
baby sit me up seat froggie chair by Fisher Price for baby shower gift list
Open seat to put baby in and fold up seat for easy storage. Fisher-Price Sit me up floor seat is very low and stable on the floor and provides your baby a different view.

Baby Bjorn baby carrier in grey for baby shower gift list
Out shopping with the Baby Bjorn multi-position mini baby carrier.

See this post on setting up your baby room for inspirational ideas for choosing a crib, baby mat, rocker, or adult chair. For setting up a diaper changing area, read this diaper area post. See this post for organizing baby drawers.

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