I copped my best baby shower gift idea ever from a present given to me when I was pregnant with my firstborn. I got it from a childhood friend of mine; it looked like a mini drug store in a basket—full of all kinds of things I neither had nor knew I needed. There was an assortment of infant medicine for fever and stuffy noses, thermometers, those bulbous snot-sucker thingies, medicine dispensers, baby fingernail clippers, pacifiers, lotions and lavender, a bottle scrubber and Lasinoh and breast pads and super maxi-pads and gripe water. It is fair to say that I had no idea I’d need breast pads. Or maxi pads. And I hadn’t a clue what in the hell gripe water was. Not. One.
Until I needed it. And then, all of a sudden, that basket of baby goodness was magical. If Mari had scratches on her face, all I had to do was fish out the baby mittens and the fingernail clippers to handle that. There was no need to run to the drugstore in the middle of the night; when she got a fever, I had that Infant Tylenol and Motrin on deck. Getting mucus out of her nose was a breeze with that bulb thing. Who knew my boobs would leak milk every second of the day? Or that there was magical stuff to slather on my sore, cracked nipples in those first days of breastfeeding? Or that I’d need those pads for all that bleeding for damn near a week after giving birth? And why didn’t What to Expect When You’re Expecting tell me about this gripe water? This magical, mystical bottle of stomach-settling awesomeness?
I didn’t get it when my friend handed it to me, but that new baby basket was EV. VER. REE. THING. to me. And now, when I give baby shower gifts to my friends, that basket full of baby goodness is my go-to gift. Bump the onesies and the blankets and the monogrammed diaper cloths and stuffed teddy bears: I’m here for the basket. The same side-eye I gave my childhood friend when she gave me that gift is the one I get from my friends, too. Until, that is, it’s 2:37 a.m. on their first night home with the baby and they gotta reach for the snot bulb, the maxi pad and that gripe water. Yup.
How about you? What was the best baby shower gift you got when you were pregnant with your babies? And what’s your go-to baby shower gift idea? Holla in the comments section.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.