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Baby Shower Gift Ideas – Practical and Useful for the Parents-to-Be

If you've ever been to a baby shower, you know that the mother-to-be will get a number of beautiful and expensive outfits for her baby. But if she's lucky, the baby might get to wear them once. These kinds of gifts are lovely, but there are so many more practical things that a baby needs. In these cases, the mother may welcome more practical gifts instead.

If you've never had a baby, you might think practical gifts are boring. But ask any mother – the best gifts she received were likely the things that allowed her to care for her baby and the things she used on a frequent basis.

But fear not – gifts that are practical and useful don’t necessarily have to look utilitarian. For example, every new baby will need receiving blankets. These are available in a variety of colors, sizes and materials that are both stylish and functional. The same goes for practical sleepers and baby socks. Even a pack of stylish baby bibs can serve as a practical and fun baby shower gift.

One particularly useful gift is a pair of lingerie bags. Small baby items like socks have a way of getting lost in loads of laundry. Give the soon-to-be mom two lingerie bags – one can corral dirty socks while the other is in the wash. Include a note letting mom know why she's getting a lingerie bag and she'll think you're terribly clever.

Another useful and practical gift idea is to purchase clothing and supplies for the baby not as a newborn, but as a baby of a few months older. Many people will give mom newborn-size things, but as any mom will tell you, most babies outgrow newborn sizes very quickly – if they even fit at all! Think about what the season will be like six months after baby's arrival and buy some gifts targeted toward that age and size. The new mom will certainly enjoy having some new things for her baby then. You might also think ahead to the time when baby will begin eating baby food and provide the new parents with a baby food cookbook or equipment needed to make their own baby food.

In addition, new parents take lots and lots of pictures of their new baby and family. If the couple doesn't already own a digital camera, consider purchasing one for them. If they do own one, consider purchasing them a gift card to an online photograph printing site, like Snapfish. This will allow the new parents to do a little giving of their own – they’re sure to appreciate this thoughtful gift.

Another practical gift is a u-shaped pillow, which are often marketed as pillows for breastfeeding. Even if the mom to be isn’t planning to breastfeed, she and dad will find that the pillow provides wonderful support for them as they hold the baby for feeding. Later on, the baby can use the pillow when lying on the floor and learning to sit up.

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