It's official—someone close to you found out that she's having a boy and now you're looking for the perfect baby shower gift. While baby shower gifts tend to be fairly similar for boys and girls (all babies have similar needs, after all), it can be fun to add a few masculine touches with shades of blue and little-boy motifs like dinosaurs, cars, trucks, animals, and superheroes.
Before buying baby shower gifts for the parents-to-be, be sure to find out what their preferences are regarding things like diapering, methods of transportation, baby sleeping arrangements, and feeding. Your thoughtfulness in asking will show them that you respect their parenting choices and will ensure that your gift will be as helpful as it could possibly be.
For a practical baby shower gift that new parents will actually use, you can't beat a gift box of baby essentials. The best thing about practical baby gifts is that they're things the expecting parents will need for a long time, so even if they already have a few basics, they'll be grateful to find your gift in the closet once their initial stock runs out.
Diaper Gift Box
For a diapering-themed gift box, arrange the following items in a brand-new diaper bag:
- Cloth or disposable diapers (ask the mom-to-be what her preference is)
- Wet wipes
- Butt paste
- Reusable odor-proof baggies for wet and dirty diapers
- A diaper-friendly detergent (if she wants to use cloth)
Bath Time Gift Set
A baby bath set is another variation on the practical baby shower gift theme. Include:
- A baby bath (check whether they already have this)
- A hooded towel
- Baby shampoo (check brands with the mother)
- Baby oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil (check with the mother)
- Q-tips, cotton balls, and baby bath sponges
- Baby hair care items, such as a soft-bristled brush
- One or two bath toys
Feeding Gift Set
Babies poop, bathe, sleep, and... feed. It's easy to create a gift set for feeding. Just check ahead of time whether the mother plans to bottle or breastfeed. For both, include burp cloths and bibs. Then, add these method-specific items.
- A nursing pillow
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- Nursing top, pajamas, and/or nursing cover (if she plans to use one)
- Breast pump, bottles, nipples, storage bags, and cleaning equipment if she plans to pump
- Newborn bottles
- Bottle sterilization set
- The formula of the parents’ choice
New Parent First-Aid Set
Newborns have very specific needs when it comes to first aid. Give the parents-to-be everything they'll need to respond to common issues and complaints.
- A nasal aspirator (check online reviews to make sure you get one that works!)
- Iodine for cleaning the umbilical cord stump
- Coconut oil for cradle cap
- Calamine lotion
- A baby thermometer
- A cold pack
- An infant CPR instruction card with diagrams
- A baby growth chart
- A baby care basics leaflet
- Emergency contact numbers
The parents-to-be might have already purchased a couple of newborn outfits (or a dozen of them!). If they have, give them a fun themed outfit (dinosaurs and superheroes work well) or something their baby boy can wear when he's three or six months old.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Newborn outfits (if needed) complete with a cap, bib, and socks
- Season-appropriate onesies for sleeping
- 3-6-month-old outfits
- 6-9-month-old outfits
- Thicker caps for going out
- Newborn, three, and six-month-old socks (you can never have too many!)
Something for the Nursery
For creative moms, some of the best baby shower gifts are things they can use to decorate the nursery. If you know the new baby will have his own dedicated bedroom, ask the expecting parents what the theme will be and select decor items accordingly.
Nursery signs add a wonderful, personalized touch to a new baby's room and will show him how much he was loved even before he was born.
If the parents have already picked out a name—or the shower is scheduled for after the birth—consider a custom sign featuring the baby boy's name, such as this personalized dinosaur kids room sign or this custom nursery name sign.
If the little one doesn't yet have a name, you can get a sign that features a sentimental quote, like this "I'll love you forever" sign or this "Forever my baby you'll be" sign. A baby shower wall sign to welcome guests to the celebration can also be a great gift for an expecting couple in your immediate circle.
Like baby essentials, baby bedding is something that new parents can't have too much of. Babies frequently wet, soil, and spit up on their blankets, so it's helpful to have a few spare!
If the little man will have his own cot or crib, a set of fitted sheets or a breathable crib mattress could be the perfect gift. For parents who plan to co-sleep (safely, of course), ask them if there's a side sleeper or bassinet that they've picked out and would love to receive as a gift.
Swaddles and Wearable Blankets
However parents plan to put their babies to sleep, wearable blankets and adjustable sleeping swaddles can make a great baby shower gift. Young babies don't generally use loose blankets for safety reasons and older babies and toddlers tend to kick the blankets off!
While newborns might not use blankets in their beds, baby blankets are indispensable for taking the new baby out in the cold. For warmer weather, a light muslin blanket is generally sufficient. For baby boys born in winter, consider a heavier chenille blanket instead.
Furniture and Decor
The costs of purchasing nursery furniture can quickly add up, and if there is something the expecting parents have on their wish list, purchasing it for them could be the best baby shower gift you could give.
- A crib, convertible crib/bed, porta cot, or side-sleeper
- A mobile or musical mobile to hang over the baby boy's bed
- A diaper change table to save the new parents' backs
- A rocking chair where the mother can comfortably feed, burp, and soothe her child
- A stroller, stretch wrap, newborn carry pack, or similar
- A diaper cake for storing and displaying diapers (and keeping them easily within arm's reach)
- A sound soother or white noise generator to simulate the noise in the womb
- A brand-new, compliant car seat that the baby can use from birth through the toddler years
In all of these cases, it's essential to consult with the parents before purchasing furniture items for their new baby. Every family is different, and what might be right for one family could look quite different from the kinds of items you used with your own kids (or the items that your parents used when raising you).
Something to Play With
For the first few days, babies are only just starting to open their eyes, so they don't need a lot of visual stimulation beyond their adoring parents' faces. However, soon enough, the new little one will be keen to take in his surroundings and explore his world from the ground up.
For optimal stimulation and hours of fun, consider baby toys that stimulate all of the senses:
- Rattles to stimulate motor coordination and hearing
- Animal baby socks to stimulate baby's curiosity and help him develop hand-eye coordination
- Touchy-feely toys and mats for tummy time
- Cloth books that the little one can leaf through himself
- Bath books and squeakers for bathtime fun
- A baby play gym to keep baby occupied for 10 minutes while mom gets a few things done
- A plush toy for baby to cuddle and love
For new parents who already have everything, a sentimental item could be the perfect gift. While the days might seem long at first, babyhood passes by so quickly and memory-making gifts will help them capture every moment.
For something sentimental, consider:
- A memory book with a page for every month and space to record their baby's milestones
- A newborn photo shoot, which is something many parents might not budget for themselves but will be sure to appreciate!
Something for the New Parents
The ultimate baby shower gift is practical help once the new baby arrives. The first few weeks can be intense—the new parents probably won't get much sleep and there will be body fluids to clean up left, right, and center.
Add to that the need to keep the house running, older children who need to be cared for, and the postpartum health needs of the mother, and it's a workload that would challenge even the most resilient adult.
You can help out (and make the new parents' day) with:
- Meals that they can freeze and reheat
- A subscription to a meal-delivery service
- Cleaning services (you or a professional)
- School-run services for older children
- Babysitting services for older children
- Nighttime nanny or doula services for the new mom
- Laundering baby clothes
- Laundering cloth diapers (believe us, a new mom who dearly wants an eco-friendly home will love you forever for doing this!)
If you don't personally have time to help around the house, a gift card for housekeeping, babysitting, or postpartum doula services will go a long way—however large or small. Every bit of help a new mother receives is time she can spend bonding with her baby boy, sleeping, or taking a shower and washing her hair!
Baby Showers for Adoptive Parents
Here, we’ve mostly focused on baby shower gifts for biological parents giving birth to a biological child. However, baby showers for adoptive parents are becoming more common, too. Not only do adoption showers provide a great way to celebrate the arrival of a new family member, but they also help to offset some of the costs of getting set up, which can be a few hundred to several thousand dollars for a baby and at least a few hundred dollars for an older child.
Gifts for an adoptive son would obviously depend on the age of the child and whether he has any favorite superheroes, TV shows, animals, etc. (for an older child, the theme for the shower or adoption day party might provide some clues). For a newborn, any of the gift ideas on this list would be fine. If the parents-to-be in your life are expecting multiples or adopting a sibling group, plan on at least one gift for each child.
Your Thoughtful Gift Could Make a New Parent's Day
Whether you give new parents a gift at a pre-birth baby shower, post-birth baby shower, or at any time during the newborn period, your thoughtfulness, effort, and care will go a long way to making this time as magical as it should be.
If you're ever in doubt about colors, patterns, or the kinds of items that would best fit the new parents' preferences, don't hesitate to reach out and ask. Your expectant friend will most likely be overcome with gratitude that you checked with her first and will be able to get excellent use from your gift throughout the newborn phase and beyond.