It can be hard to know what to give a friend for her baby shower, or what kind of gift new parents will actually use. The stores are filled with tiny caps and jackets, baby jeans and adorable matching two-piece outfits on hangers; but what will actually prove useful?
After two babies, two baby showers and a few years of experience, here is my quick roundup of baby clothing items that will get a lot of use.
Why not start with the basics? Babies go through new socks like nobody’s business, so really the more pairs the better. Shop for baby socks with quality elastic around the ankles, or go for thicker baby booties that won’t fall off easily. Baby socks can even be used as hand mitts to protect newborns from their own little nails.
Onesies are also indispensable during the first year, and in fact some can be worn well past the one year mark. They have the benefit of being a top, a warm layer under a top, or just a one-piece item of clothing if it’s hot where you live. New parents of summer babies find that their little ones more or less live in their onesies. Buy them in packs of 3 or 5, and don’t worry if you can’t go for the highest quality. They will inevitably get stained.
Soft Cotton Sleepers
These one-piece items are also staples in a baby’s wardrobe. You can bundle them into them for at least the first few months, and they will always be comfortable. Layer them over a onesie, cotton pants and socks, and/or under a warmer jacket and thicker pants.
Today’s baby bibs have come a long way since the standard pink, white and blue classic designs; look for practical bandana bibs with fun designs. They allow you to stray away from the norm and give hipper parents something a little more edgy for their child. They also have much better design in terms of functionality, keeping spills and drool from reaching baby’s neck and chest.
Paired with a onesie, cotton pants make for the ultimate comfortable baby outfit. Shy away from jeans or corduroys, or any other fabric that could be a hassle to take on and off. Cotton pants are breathable and comfortable, taking baby through their first kicks to scooting, crawling and walking.
New babies do need one extra layer of clothing to keep them warm, and when they are tiny they should still tolerate wearing a hat or cap. Choose lightweight fabrics that allow baby’s head to breathe.
Burp Cloths and Blankets
Not technically clothing, but very important nonetheless, burp cloths and blankets are virtually guaranteed to be used. Burp cloths can be slung over the shoulder to protect from spit up, and babies always need extra blankets. Pick up a luxurious soft blanket (bigger is better) or make one yourself. Baby blankets are something many parents hold on to as keepsakes, and you’ll be contributing something that will bring back memories of this special time.
Use this list of baby clothes to help you find a clothing gift for new parents that they’ll really get good use out of. Avoid the trends and novelty items in favor of practical things that will make life easier.