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Baby shower presents new moms will actually want

Adorable outfits, cute onesies, itty-bitty booties, and soft swaddling blankets are all well-received baby shower staples. Unfortunately, for this very reason, many expectant parents end up owning more of these new baby basics than they can ever possibly use.

If you're looking for a special baby shower gift that new moms will love, you'll need to think out of the box. Our advice? Bypass the baby shower bread and butter and take the cake with something that will help make life with a new baby easier.

If you need a little inspiration, we've got some great baby shower gift ideas to get you started. But before we dive in, check out these quick tips first:

Consider the personality and lifestyle of the mom in question. Is she a fashion conscious diva or a down to earth eco-warrior? Does she love to travel? Perhaps fitness is her thing? Choosing a gift that reflects a mom’s personality is a nice touch that's sure to be appreciated.

Scan the baby shower registry before you buy. This can help you get a feel for the type of items she's looking for and will also clue you in on what to avoid if you're trying to surprise her with something different.

When in doubt, choose something practical. They might not be the most exciting baby shower gifts, but things like diapers, diaper rash creams, body washes and lotions rarely go to waste. If you're feeling creative, making up your own baby-essentials gift basket can be a fun and considerate way to personalize your offering.

Our top baby shower gift picks

A stylish diaper bag Just because a bag is designed to hold baby-essentials doesn’t mean it should scream “diaper bag”. If you're looking for a highly functional baby shower gift that will make mom happy at the same time, you can't go wrong with a trendy diaper bag. Our favorite happens to be the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag, but there are loads of options to choose from. Not sure where to start? Check out diaper bag shopping guide.  

Baby sound machines or sleep soothers

In the womb, babies are immersed in white noise, with mom’s heartbeat and the swish-swoosh of fluids creating the ultimate surround-sound experience. In comparison, the world outside can seem jarringly quiet. Baby sound machines and baby soothers emit a variety of sounds that can help little ones relax. Not only can this help babies fall asleep, but it can also help them stay asleep by taking the edge off sudden noises (like a barking dog or a car horn). We love the versatility of the cuddly Cloud b Sleep Sheep On The Go, but you'll find everything from Bluetooth enabled sleep soothers to basic baby sound machines on today’s market.  

Nursing pillows

For breastfeeding moms, the right nursing pillow can be a godsend – but that's not to say they can't be used for bottle feeding, too. By keeping baby elevated and providing a place for mom (or dad) to rest their arms, nursing pillows can make both breast and bottle feeding more comfortable for everyone. A traditional c-shaped nursing pillow like our favorite, the Boppy Nursing Pillow, can even be used to prop up smaller babies or to provide support for little ones who are just learning to sit up. If you’d like to find out more about nursing pillows, take a look at our helpful shopping guide.  

Baby slings

Although every baby is unique, just about all little ones share a common passion for being carried. But while it might make for a happier baby, moms still need to use their hands for at least some of the day. Among the different baby carrier styles, baby slings tend to be the most versatile. Most can be used from birth, are breastfeeding-friendly, and will even double as a postpartum belly wrap.  

Nail trimmers

Cutting a baby's tiny nails is nothing short of nerve-wracking. However, to prevent self-inflicted scratches, moms will need to trim their little ones’ nails at least once a week. Electric baby nail trimmers gently file the nails down, offering moms a safe and stress-free alternative to traditional nail clippers. If you're looking for a gift that will allow a new mom to breathe a much-needed sigh of relief, one of these is a great, oft-overlooked option.  

3-in-1 travel diaper bags

With a novel design that features a fold-out baby bassinet, a portable changing station, and a traditional diaper bag in a single (and ridiculously convenient) product, 3-in-1 travel diaper bags, like the Scuddles 3-in-1 Diaper Bag, are a must for moms on the move. Whether it's a trip to the local park or a drive across the country, these innovative diaper bags can make traveling with a baby so much simpler.  

Baby bath pads

Bath time should be a relaxing and rewarding experience, but for most new parents, it's hardly a barrel of laughs. In reality, many moms end up struggling to hold onto their slippery newborns to a soundtrack of desperate crying caused by discomfort or insecurity. While baby bath tubs invariably make an appearance at every baby shower, a soft and comfortable baby bath pad is likely to earn more appreciation in the long run. Some, like the Leachco Safer Bather, excel at keeping little ones secure and comfortable in the tub, while others, like the Blooming Bath, will easily fit in any sink or basin without compromising comfort.  

Video baby monitors

Want to splurge on a lavish baby shower gift, but have reservations about shelling out on an item that some babies might simply refuse to use? If so, a video baby monitor is a sound choice. Just about every mom feels happier and more relaxed when their precious little ones are safely within sight. Some models — like our top pick from the Infant Optics — even come with night vision and are able to pan, tilt, or zoom in at the press of a button, so parents never miss a moment.  

Erica is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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