New moms receive ridiculous gifts - and some ridiculously helpful ones.
Moms always appreciate the gifts given during their baby shower or over that first crazy year of motherhood. Motherhood and pregnancy are a lot to take in - beautiful, but a lot. Being given useful items and products to help ease the chaos can be a godsend for a new mom. Being gifted items she may never have thought to purchase can be even helpful as well - especially when her mind is thinking about a million things at once.
However, sometimes a new mom will receive some not-so-helpful items that leave her beyond perplexed. When preparing that registry, moms will often throw absolutely everything onto their list. The thing is, not everything is needed - believe it or not. Sometimes a mom will not believe this until they meet their little one, but sooner or later, she realizes her baby really only needed one swing - not seven.
On top of overloading that registry, a mom may receive some interesting and confusing items that are really unnecessary. Then what? You can't tell Aunt Agnes you didn't like her gift to her face? You can't laugh and point at your second cousin's "beautifully" wrapped basket, right?
All you can do is laugh and make memories - and share those memories with others, of course.
"Waste of time gift: diaper wipe warmer. I returned that sucker, I needed the cold wipes to keep her awake to eat when she was a newborn with jaundice," explains mom of one, Rachel Footen. "And, all little babies cry at diaper changes anyway, it isn't the cold wipes."
While some moms are so set on warm wipes for their little one's bum, other moms believe wipe warmers are completely unnecessary. Of course, each parent is different and each baby is as well. However, when you look at the big picture, babies are born into the world shocked and cold. Yes, they enjoy being wrapped up and hugged to stay warm, but when you change them, their clothes will quickly be coming off then put back on.
They can tough-it-out for those few minutes with a chilly bottom.
Buying little, cute outfits can be something friends and family members cannot stop themselves from doing. They walk up to the racks and grab each and every adorable, teeny-tiny outfit they see. The purchases are always done out of the kindness of their hearts, of course, but sometimes they forget one important thing during their splurges: the time of year.
When a mom starts organizing all the baby clothes, she may realize they have she has rompers and sundresses that are size 6-9 months when it will be the dead of winter. She also may realize the has newborn sized shoes for weather that would be better when her baby is around 3-6 months old. When these little slip-ups are realized, it can be frustrating - especially because the outfits and gifts could have been used.
As sad as it is, babies don't stay tiny forever - especially during their first year of life. Every day, week, and month, a new milestone is recognized. On top of that, with every passing month, a new outfit is outgrown. Even though preemie and newborn outfits are the cutest gosh-darn things you have probably ever seen, stocking up on them may be unnecessary.
However, try telling that to the relatives who gift boxes upon boxes of the teeniest onesies imaginable.
It can be hard not becoming awe-struck when receiving teeny-tiny outfits. However, in the big scheme of things, the smaller the clothes, the smaller the amount of time they will probably be worn.
"I got a hairdryer... to dry her bum to avoid diaper rash," says Michele Graham, mom of two. "Never used." Well, at least it's a useful gift in general, right?
When the specific goal is to gift useful, beneficial products for a new mom or mom-to-be, you need to think creatively. However, purchasing a hairdryer may be a bit beyond the creative line. Maybe a microfiber towel or some rash cream would be a smarter gift if the focus was on rash-free bottoms. But a hairdryer? Probably not the best choice.
Taking a newborn's temperature can sometimes be tricky. Between figuring out which kind of thermometer to use to how exactly to use it (yes, I am suggesting that way), it can be a frustration for new parents. As you fumble to figure out all these gadgets, your little one's fever could be getting worse.
So, why not splurge and buy a thermometer binky - right? Wrong.
"I thought the concept was cool, but it was hard and not suckable - didn't work," admits mom of four, Toni Vadala. The tougher the gadget, the more frustrating and time-consuming it can be.
Pregnancy and postpartum can be times of excitement, but also times of anxiety. With the powerhouse social media has become, new dieting and healthy living products are seen on timelines every time it is scrolled through. It isn't to say these companies and products aren't beneficial, but if someone hasn't personally looked into the company, they probably aren't all that interested.
So when you receive a dieting package as a gift when you haven't mentioned it, it may become a little uncomfortable.
Moms know it takes a little while before that pre-baby body and mindset return. Often, it doesn't truly return but comes back as a new body to love and appreciate. It isn't always easy embracing your constantly changing physical features, but when you want to make a change, you will make that change.
Though newborn mittens seem like a smart way to avoid those razer-sharp newborn nails, they don't always work as well as hoped. Newborns have teeny, tiny fingers and wrists and sometimes those little mitten openings will never be as tight as you hoped. They easily fall off and easily get lost - just like newborn socks (and toddler, children, and adult socks).
Instead of purchasing tons of newborn mittens, an easy solution is to use those newborn you were gifted packages and packages of. Strangely enough, those socks will often stay on better than the mittens would. Save the money and kick the mittens to the curb.
"Pee-Pee Tee-Pee... you’re getting peed on one way or another," admits Stephanie Newman, mom of two. "No little cone hat for the wee-wee necessary."
Pee-Pee Tee-Pee, Wee-Wee Wigwam - whatever you want to call them, they usually don't work and aren't needed. They're funny and they're cute, but they're a little ridiculous. Of course, this is only the opinion of some (or many) and believe it or not - girls too will occasionally go to the bathroom when getting their diaper changed. So, why isn't there a universal "pee-pee catcher?"
Oh, wait, that's called a diaper.
Oh, the beloved rattles. The noisemakers that make parents absolutely bonkers. Babies and toddlers absolutely love making noise and sensory play is definitely important when it comes to appropriate growth. However, is spending tons of money on plastic rattles absolutely necessary?
You can easily save money and make your own creative noise-makers at home from empty plastic bottles, tissue boxes, and Puff containers. Just find some rice or noodles, pour them into one of those containers before you throw them away, safely seal the lids and voila - a DIY rattle.
Newborn and infant shoes are insanely adorable. Truly, they are probably the cutest gosh-darn things you will ever see - aside form the baby, that is. Friends and family love to purchase cute little moccasins or the teeniest of sandals because - why not? Who wouldn't love a cute pair of teeny-tiny shoes?
Well, the sad truth of it all is that newborns and infants rarely fit into those cute little shoes. Their feet and toes are so small that the shoes fall right off, even when you put two to three pairs of socks on in hopes of the shoes staying on. Most of a baby's first several months, they are struggling to keep socks on their feet. So attempting to keep shoes on can be an even tougher battle to win.
"We got this bathtub as a hand-me-down from a friend. I thought it was kind of stupid at first, but as soon as I used it I appreciated the temperature sensor," says Kira Literalee, mom of one. "I would have used water that was way too warm for him. It's also nice to have the reservoir fill up with warm rinse water while I drain the main tub of the dirty water. It fits nicely across our two bay kitchen sink, and seven months in I'm still standing comfortably to bathe him."
Finding a bathtub that works well for everyone, including the mama, is important. When it is a hand-me-down that was free - even better!
While some people despise Boogie Wipes, some people live off of them. Every parent is different, which is an important truth to remember when it comes to reading any motherhood-related article. However, many moms also relate to the thoughts of others when it comes to certain topics - such as solving the stuffy, drippy, snotty nose crisis.
"Surprisingly useful: Boogie Wipes!" I was skeptical of a "special wipe", but my little girl has had a constant runny nose for weeks thanks to daycare germs, and her nose has never been red or chapped.
"My best friend came in clutch with a humidifier. Best thing ever," says Cherie Bealer, mom of one. "Works miracles when she's sick or stuffy."
A humidifier is definitely a product many moms forget to put on their registry and later wish they had. No one really thinks of humidifiers as being cute or extremely necessary when prepping for the big arrival. In truth, humidifiers come in different designs such as pigs and monkeys and unicorns. There are also some that specifically support essential oils or Vicks products. When your little one is stuffy or sick, having a humidifier handy can be extremely beneficial.
The Baby Brezza is a formula-feeding mother's dream. For those who are addicted to their Keurig, the Baby Brezza is exactly that but for babies. With the click of a button, specific ounces of formula are prepared at different temperatures within a minute.
Some may call it lazy - many call it pure genius.
This product makes waking up in the middle of the night a much easier process. Instead of waking up, groggily measuring out formula, and waiting for the water to heat up, you can push the button on the Baby Brezza and BAM - the formula is ready to serve. This makes for less high-pitched wails to listen to as a bottle is being prepared which means fewer headaches - which means a happier mama.
"With my first one, the thing I got that I didn’t expect was a couch basket ready to go," explains mom of two, Renee' Saraceni. "A small basket with wipes, diapers, cream, and a few foldable changing pads. It was awesome - especially when we first got home not having to walk to her room to change her each time."
Having a prepared basket or bag in main living spaces can be the gift that saves your sanity in the end. You wouldn't expect a little ready-to-go bin or basket of baby essentials to be an exciting gift. However, when there is a blow-out and the couch is closest, you will be more than thankful.
Socks have a tendency of getting lost. So imagine how easily a teeny-tiny pair of newborn socks could get lost - especially in the washer and dryer? Easily, that's how. When you throw in those little socks with the rest of the laundry, they can easily get caught inside the machine, causing a system problem that can turn into an unsafe situation.
The answer: a mesh net.
I was gifted a mesh net along with some other gifts at my baby shower and it has been a very helpful gift. At first, I was unsure if I would even remember to use it. However, after searching everywhere for that mysteriously missing sock, I started using it - and I am so thankful I did.
"Honestly, something I would have never thought of but was seriously so thankful for were all the medicines, saline drops, probiotics, gas relief, gripe water, nose Frida.. stuff like that," says Cherie Bealer. "The first time Brynn got sick, I had everything already and knew what worked and didn't without rushing out and being clueless and spending tons of money."
No one likes seeing their little one feeling sick - that's a given. When your baby isn't feeling well, it makes the situation even tougher if you aren't fully stocked and prepared and they have to wait while you race to the store. Having those items stocked and ready makes the stuffy nose and congestion a little less frantic.
Even though every baby is different and every parenting style is unique, there are certain go-to items that most new moms are thankful to have. These items help with everyday activities during the newborn and infant stage - which usually include sleeping and eating. When the baby is able to feel comfortable, mom is able to take a second to take a deep breath of relief.
"Great gift? Boppy," says Toni Vadala. "Pack 'n' play, sleep sacks, the snugli, front pack carrier, and so much more." Having those necessary essentials on your list will often be beneficial in the end for both the mama and little one.
"We got a battery powered nasal aspirator and it was awesome," says Lacey Deiter, mom of one. "Bulb syringes are nice, but the battery power made it go a lot easier! We still use it!"
The use of any kind of "snot sucker" is not an exciting activity for most moms or babies. However, if you have a product that makes the process an easier one - use it! If you put a battery powered nasal aspirator on your registry and someone purchases it for you, it could make those crazy congested days a little easier to handle.
And no one likes days like that.
Caffeine. Most moms thrive off of it. Without it, they simply force themselves through the motions each and every day. Coffee has become quite the staple in many moms households - well, many adults households. However, after a while, the price of those k-cups and coffee packages add up.
So, why not add coffee to the registry or your birthday list?
There are many different companies that specialize in coffee for moms. Mommee Coffee and Mama Java are just a couple that focus on making a product that will wake moms up and taste good even when forgotten about. We know lukewarm coffee happens - especially when you have a million things to do at once. So, make sure you have good coffee ready (and never forget to make it a priority on your registry, birthday, or holiday list).
References: Statements from “real-life” moms who gave consent to use direct quotes (via Momhood Mayhem on FB and the.write.mama