15 Best Baby Shower Gifts for the Natural Mom-to-Be


I was looking through lists of "Top Baby Registry Items" recently and found myself saying over and over, "I wouldn't want that," or "Wow, I'm glad no one gave me that." Not that I don't appreciate gifts of any variety, but I'd hate for people to waste their money on things I'll never use.

My friends that parent similarly have discussed how they don't always like baby showers being thrown for them because then they're faced with the dilemma of having tons of things they don't want and will never use.

So, I decided that there needed to be a list of top registry items for the natural or Attachment Parenting mom. Of course, some of these items are great for moms who parent differently as well.

#1. Diapers!

Almost every single baby wears diapers ... well, unless you plan on practicing elimination communication. The natural/AP mom may go to go the cloth route. In that case, the Cloth Diaper System Sampler ($78.99 from thanksmama) that has eight different cloth diapers, in all different styles, so she can figure out what she likes best. If the mom-to-be doesn't know what kind of diapers she plans to use, buy her an Amazon.com or Diapers.com gift card.

If she does know what she wants, buy her some, or make a diaper cake. While you're at it, grab a wet bag ($10.99 for a 2-pack on Amazon) for her to put the dirty diapers in, too.

#2. A jar of cold-pressed coconut oil.

Think I'm crazy? I'm not! (Okay, well not when it comes to this.) Coconut oil is often more effective to treat diaper rash than any cream out there; it also doubles as a body lotion for the entire family -- all WITHOUT being toxic. It feels oily for a second, but within a couple minutes, it's totally absorbed.

#3. A nursing pillow.

A Boppy pillow ($34.70 at Amazon) or a My Brest Friend pillow ($29 on Amazon) are amazing for breastfeeding moms. Once the baby's bigger and she's got the hang of nursing, they still get tons of use for other things, making them a great gift. Buy her a spare cover too, for when baby pukes, poops, or pees (the Three Gross P-Words) all over it.

#4. A sling or wrap.

Go for a Moby Wrap ($39 at Amazon), Sleepy Wrap ($39.95 at Amazon), Cuddly Wrap ($84 at Amazon) (all almost exactly the same thing), a Mei Tei ($79 at Amazon), or an Ergo ($105 at Amazon). Or maybe that Amazon gift card to at least help offset the cost. Ouch.

#5. Non-toxic baby soap.

Look into something like California Baby Starter Tote ($25.65 at 6pm) or Dr. Bronner's Baby Super Mild Liquid Castile Organic Soap ($3.08 at purespadirect). Generally speaking, if it's in the organic aisle, it's usually okay, but run it through the cosmetics database first just to be sure.

#6. Soft-bottomed baby shoes.

Robeez ($13.20 at 6pm) and Pedipeds ($19 at 6pm) are some of the leaders in soft-infant shoes (though the latter can be too stiff for brand-new, wobbly walkers). Buy them bigger, since babies don't need shoes until they can walk anyway.

#7. Baby clothes.

No matter how you parent, the baby needs clothes (unless there's some weird movement I'm not aware of). And let's face it, clothes are the most fun thing to buy anyway, right?

#8. Glass bottles.

Dr. Brown's glass bottles ($18.19 for the gift set at Amazon.com), with the long nipple, are actually considered to be less confusing to breastfed babies, and still require the baby to work to eat. However, do not buy bottles unless you know the mom is going to go back to work or plans on pumping or bottle-feeding.

#9. Gentle parenting books.

Pretty much anything by Dr. Sears is going to be a safe bet, such as The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know From Birth to Age Two ($8.78 on Amazon). The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding ($2 at textbooks.com) is a great breastfeeding guide, and so is The Nursing Mother's Companion ($6 on Amazon).

#10. Amber teething necklace.

Amber is a natural resin, and the effects of the resin when warmed against the skin are said to be analgesic -- that is, a natural numbing agent or pain killer. Natural mommies often put amber necklaces on teething babies to help them deal with the pain. The ones from Inspired By Finn are fantastic, and there's a knot between each bead so that if it breaks, you don't have beads spill everywhere.

#11. Washable breast pads.

The disposable ones often feel really crinkly and icky, and are wasteful. Grab her some washable cloth breast pads ($6.99 for a 6-pack on Amazon), or even the Milk Saver breastpads ($25.95 at mymilkies.com) that save that leaked milk in a way that you can actually use it.

#12. High-quality, non-toxic toys.

Every baby needs things to play with, and they need to be safe. Check out the Vulli brand teethers, like Sophie the Giraffe ($16.95 at Amazon). The absolutely adorable Dandelion Pink Organic Toy Baby Doll ($13.99 on Amazon) would be great for a little baby girl, and these Wooden Animal Nesting Blocks ($16.99 on Amazon) are just adorable.

#13. A nursing cover.

Not all moms want one, but most first-time, new breastfeeders will feel more comfortable learning how to latch on in public with a nursing cover. Ones with a plastic piece that holds the collar stiff are a must, so the mom can actually see what she's doing. Tip: Sign up for the mailing list at UdderCovers and you'll soon get a code for a free nursing cover -- you just pay shipping. For a tiny bit more, you can get the gift set, which has washable nursing pads and a bracelet to help keep track of which side you nursed on last.

#14. Nipple ointment.

As you're getting used to breastfeeding, sometimes it can hurt. Even when you're seasoned, sometimes you can get sore. I used to get chapped and bleed when I'd go from my humid home to my parents' house in arid Colorado. Most people know about Lansinoh Breast Creme ($9.99 at Target), but there's also Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter ($12.82 on Amazon).

#15. A BPA-free water bottle.

To keep up your milk supply, nursing moms need to stay hydrated. Buy the mom a BPA-free, reusable water bottle, like the CamelBak bottles on Amazon for $15, or the beautiful 13-ounce eco-friendly bottles with gorgeous designs for $16 at Earth Lust (I want one of those for myself!).

Natural and AP moms, is there something else you would have loved to have gotten as a gift?


Image via litlnemo/Flickr

baby prep, baby showers


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Daynaof3 Daynaof3

Love it Christie! I would add a nursing bracelet to keep track of breast last fed, lol. Also, easy snacks for eating while nursing and a big water bottle.

I got my nephew's g/f a birthing ball($10 at Target) too because she was planning a natural childbirth. I totally second the slings(Target also sells Moby wraps now for 
$39) and cloth diapers! I would have loved to get those at my shower. 

charm... charmelin

I would have loved to get cloth diapers at my shower too. Personally I hated my brest friend pillow and wish I had gotten the boppy instead.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I LOVED my boppy. It was the best mothering investment ever. :-)

Overall, the list looks good... I can't think of anything you're missing off the top of my head.

Amyin... AmyinMotown

I always thought, if you know someone is planning to nurse, a nursing gift basket would be awesome: breast pads, nipple cream, and even those hot-or-cold packs to ease engorgement at the beginning, but also some good magazines that reflect their interests (I couldn't balance a book when nursing, but magazines worked), a few funny or interesting DVDs, and I LOVED the Nursing Mother's Companion a lot when I was getting the hang of it both times; just thoughtful things you found essential. Anything that came to me along with the voice of experience was really welcomed.

I would suggest maybe not getting someone a sling, but a gift card for one of their choice instead (or a store that sells a variety). I liked one of the two I had, but the right sling seems to be a matter of the best fit with mom's and baby's build; it might be better for her to be able to experiment with what works for her and the baby. I'd add if the mom is bigger, and you can operate a sewing machine or know someone who can, making them a made-to-measure "tube" sling (I cannot for the life of me remember the name --mine was a Hotsling) would be a really nice gift. Most commercial slings end at XL.

RanaA... RanaAurora

AmyinMotown, soothing breast pads!  That's what I forgot!  Thank you!

A gift card for a sling is a good idea. Everyone has different preferences, for sure.

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

This is great!  I definitely got some stuff that I would never use from well meaning friends like a made in China plastic bottle (with my fav baseball team's logo on it) when I was going to exclusively breastfeed my son.  My favorite baby presentswere from my mom and my nana!  They each got me 12 Fuzzi Bunz diapers!  Another great thing to get for a mom who plans on cloth diapering is a diaper sprayer.  When baby is exclusively breastfed you don't need it, but once you introduce solids you'll want to rinse the poo off the diapers.  This is like a sink sprayer you have in your kitchen, but it attaches to your toilet.  It sprays the poo right off in to the toilet, so you never have to touch it.  My mother in law got me one for Christmas and everyone laughed, but it was the best gift!  Made life much easier!

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

Oh, and nursing tank tops!  I have a few from Glamour Mom, but the most comfortable for me were the ones I have from Target.  I've been wearing one (I have several) to bed every night since my son was born, 2 1/2 years ago! 

tigge... tigger2477

Great list!

Nix #9 & 13. Also surprised that #14 has Lansinoh (not rated 0 on EWG's Skin Deep) and #7 should recommend bamboo/organic clothing. Lastly #1 should recommend cloth wipes.

evwsq... evwsquared

I always recommend a SwaddleMe or something like that, because many parents think that they can just swaddle the kid with a receiving blanket---to which I laugh uproariously. My child was TOO BIG to swaddle with one of those, even as a newborn. Seriously, I think the best presents I got were for swaddling, and sleep sacks too. My MIL made me extra large blankets for swaddling.

(Christie: Dr. Sears is not a kind book to give to someone who's going to be a working mother, just FYI. Oh dear, what a can of worms I've just opened up.)

RanaA... RanaAurora

Thanks for the suggestions!

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