Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A First-time Mom's Top 10 Practical #Baby Gifts #ad #Tips #giftideas

Disclaimer: The National Geographic product/s mentioned below have been provided for the purposes of this review. No other form of compensation was received. Opinions expressed belong to Whirlwind of Surprises and are NOT influenced in any way. Please view my full disclosure, TOS, and privacy policy. Please take the time to enter my other giveaways while you're here.

As you might have guessed, we have a new baby! Time flies by in the blink of an eye. Our precious baby boy was born late January and well, I have had delusions about what I would have accomplished during my maternity leave. I have to say I will sorely miss him when I start my day job again shortly. If there is anything I've learned...being a first-time mother is rough, even when you think you know it all already. There is so much to learn and do that there is really little to no time for yourself to recuperate after the birthing process and the 9 months of pregnancy. This is why I have put together A First-Time Mom's Top Practical Baby Gift Tips. Yes, people are generally happy for you and have generously gifted you with something for the baby. Is it callous that I'm making a list of the best gifts? I don't think so, I appreciate the kindness, but really, this is just a simplification of baby registries. We didn't do a baby registry because we felt like it meant we expected gifts from our friends and family. However, we still received lots of goodies and though we appreciate it all, yes, there are some things that are more appreciated than others. So here goes...the top 10 Practical Gifts that a First-Time Mommy wants...but may not tell you at risk of sounding unappreciative.

What first-time moms want for their baby shower
Top 10 Practical Baby Gifts that a First-Time Mommy Wants

1) Diapers -Yes, I said it...diapers. They are insanely practical and our son went through about 12-13 diapers a day at the beginning! Diapers are also expensive. I did consider cloth diapers for money-saving reasons, however with my work and lifestyle, it unfortunately wouldn't work. Doesn't mean I won't try it though. I get this is a bit difficult if you don't know what brand of diapers a family prefers but honestly, I love a good diaper that does not allow blow outs. Unfortunately, you'll still have an occasional blow out regardless of the diaper.

2) A Keepsake Baby Book -There are so many versions of these out there and truthfully, you only need one though you can always save extras for future children. I recently received the National Geographic Welcome Little One to review. I love the cover art, adorable polar bears and colorful dots adorn the cover. Created by Kristin Baird Rattini, this keepsake baby book is similar to the other keepsake books out there. It features the sections "You're Here", "Your First Year", and "Memories sand Milestones". Of course, being Nat Geo, you can expect lots of adorable animal  baby and parent pictures as well. I love the quotes that are scattered throughout the books and the various notes that a parent can jot down to record a special moment, like the first prenatal ultrasound, the homecoming, and of course, milestone stickers to help commemorate various events in a child's first year. Parents can also jot down what a typical day is like. For my one month old, it was essentially, eat, sleep, poop, cry. For my two month old now, it's eat, sleep, poop, cry and update, lots of smiles and some dancing! Ah, the joys of a proud mama. Now, a fundamentally good keepsake baby book will have the crucial elements of baby and the ability to record his or her development along with lots of pictures and a cute design. I believe National Geographic's Welcome Little One has these elements. It also incorporates others that may have been involved in baby's early life, which I find adorable. Find it in bookstores near you with a MRSP of $24USD. Ours came with an adorable plush baby seal as well for baby to cozy up to. See below for your chance to own it too.
Newborn Gifts Parents Want
3) Baby Blankets/Wraps -I feel one can never have enough of these. Whether to swaddle baby or give them a space to play on when you go out, these are great in all shapes and sizes. Plus, when baby spits up, you always have a replacement blanket.

4) Baby Clothes -Okay, so this one has a plus/minus. Baby clothes are great if they follow the recommendations below:
-Please avoid newborn clothing. Babies are born at all different sizes, some may not even fit in newborn clothing. Go for a few sizes up so that baby can grow into the clothing.
-Avoid too many buttons. Zippers are so much easier.
-Onesies are adorable but not the only thing there is. Pants, jumpsuits/rompers, outerwear are always helpful, especially in winter time. Take this from the first time mommy who found herself with only onesies in the dead of winter. Yes, I am a fantastic mother...or will be eventually.

5)Bibs/Soft baby towels -Another essential that you can never have enough of. If I had a dollar for every towel/bib I went through in a day, I'd be rich! Babies spit up, burp, and make messes. Just the laundry itself keeps me busy.

6) Books -Books in general are a great gift. Early childhood learning and development programs recommend reading to your child at least 20 minutes a day to help with vocabulary and brain development. Baby books don't take very long to go through. Even if you're creative and drag things out, it may be 1-2 minutes tops per book. You can never have too many books. After all, baby may not get sick of the same book over and over again at this age, but as the parent, you can only take reading the same book over and over again so many times. Yes, there are books geared for various ages and some books may be more age appropriate than others. However, as long as you're enjoying what you're reading to your child, that's great! For that purpose, I love National Geographic's Hey, Baby! This is a book we'll be able to return to time after time and even as our son grows older. Hey, Baby! (MRSP $24.99) is a fun and educational book about the various baby animals. Right now, it's more listening and learning the word sounds. Later on, he'll actually be learning about various animals from nature's nursery. It is absolutely perfect for animal lovers anywhere.
Newborn gift ideas
7) Baby Sling/Wrap -This is as much for the mommy as it is for baby. Very quickly, I realized I never had my hands free and it would take me 5-6 trips to bring anything upstairs/downstairs. Finally, I caved and invested in a baby wrap. The baby sling/wrap creates a sense of security and warmth for your baby. Most days, he sleeps comfortably in it. The bonus...it frees up both my hands! Happy dance!

8) Baby Bottles -These are always helpful and useful whether you're pumping breastmilk or using formula. They inevitably get dirty and need to be washed so it's nice to have extras.

9) Gift cards -The age old debate of "Are gift cards too impersonal?" Honestly, I don't think so. Gift cards are a great option for parents because they can go out and get what they need.

10) Sleep/Childcare -Totally unorthodox unless the giver is a close friend or family. However, I can only tell you how much sleep would be appreciated. Sleep is a rare and valuable commodity these days. Most nights now, I am getting anywhere from 3-5 hours of sleep between the hours of 10PM to 9AM. It makes for a pretty grumpy and sleepy mommy...who luckily is always cheered up by a sweet baby smile. However, having a close family member or friend offer to watch baby for a few hours while mom catches on a little rest is not only helpful but a downright godsend. Even if it's only one day, it makes a huge difference.

What practical baby gifts did you wish you received as a first-time mother? Do you still crave these things even when you're no longer a first-time mother?

Enter to win a baby prize pack including National Geographic's Welcome Little One: A Keepsake Baby Book, Plush baby seal, and Hey, Baby! (MRSP $70). Open to US, 18+, until Apr 27, 2018 11:59PM EST. Good luck!
Nat Geo

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