Friday, October 2, 2009

An easy baby shower gift you can make yourself

A few weeks ago, when I was stumped about what to get my brother and sister-in-law for a baby-shower gift, I asked my readers at what they thought new babies really needed.

So, what did I end up getting? Nothing from the registery (I just couldn't bring myself to buy a wipe warmer -- sorry, guys). Instead, I went to Target and Babies R Us and put together a practical present: A diaper-changing station that they could easily take with them from room to room.

At Work It, Mom!, I've whipped together a cool little slideshow about the items that went into it. If you want to make your own, print out this post, determine your budget, and start shopping.

You'll need:
  1. A basket to put everything in. I chose a powder-blue plastic shower caddy at Target, because it was inexpensive, roomy, easy to carry, and easy to clean; there are plenty of fancier options out there (like the SaraBear Diaper Caddy, pictured above left, also at Target). Pick out a pretty receiving blanket to wrap it all up in.
  2. Newborn-size diapers. My youngest is nearly 3-years-old -- I forgot how tiny newborn diapers are! This is one thing new parents sometimes forget until the last minute, and when you're coming home from the hospital, the last thing you really want to do is stop off at the drug store for supplies. If you're uber-organized, you can keep an eye out for coupons in your local paper, and sign the mom-to-be up for coupons at and/or (If you know for sure that the new parents will be using cloth instead of disposables, tuck a stack of pre-folded cloth diapers in the basket instead.)
  3. Baby wipes. No warmer required. Go for the "natural" or "sensitive skin" versions, just in case.
  4. Baby gowns. It's so much easier to manage those midnight (and 2 a.m., and 4 a.m.) diaper changes if you don't have to deal with snaps or zippers. These gowns are open at the bottom (see the picture, second from left); if you're worried about tiny cold feet, throw in a pair of botties or small socks.
  5. Lotions and potions. Burt Bees has an excellent line of baby products; you can even pick up a package of trial-sizes. I chose Boudreaux's Butt Paste instead, because a.) it works well and b.) I knew my brother would laugh at the name.
  6. A changing pad. There was a good selection of no-frills changing pads at Babies R Us, but a changing wallet from Skip Hop has everything you need to change diapers on the go, all folded together in a handy, small package.
  7. A funny parenting book. I should probably write a separate post about the great parenting books out there. Two funny-yet-practical choices that appeal to both moms and dads are Jenna McCarthy's Cheers to the New Mom/Cheers to the New Dad and Christopher Healy's Pop Culture: The Sane Man’s Guide to the Insane World of New Fatherhood.
  8. Hand sanitizing gel. This kind of goes without saying, doesn't it?
  9. A swaddling blanket. It can take a while to get the hang of swaddling your newborn; the SwaddleMe blanket (second from right, above) makes it easy to do right away. Fasteners keep the blanket snug, and the bottom flips up for easy diaper changes.
  10. Peepee Teepees. If the bundle of joy is a boy, these little cones (pictured above, far right) are great for avoiding getting soaked while changing the diaper.

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