As an expecting parent, you probably already registered for the basics(Opens in a new window) — plenty of adorable baby clothes, swaddle blankets and a car seat. But once your new addition arrives, you don’t exactly know what to expect (except for plenty of sleepless nights — that’s a given!). You could use all the help you can get from seasoned pros who’ve been there, done that.
According to moms of newborns, these are the gifts they never thought about putting on their registry(Opens in a new window), but ended up finding the most useful for their little one and themselves.
1. Grocery Delivery Service Membership
You’re going to be busy feeding your new baby. But don’t forget to feed yourself, too. For Jenna Coleman, blogger at Particular Pantry(Opens in a new window) and mom of four, a grocery delivery service membership was the best gift she received. A membership gets you free delivery on grocery orders above a certain dollar amount, and your friend can subscribe you for several months or longer.
“I never would have thought to register for something that seems like such a personal luxury, but it was my most treasured gift,” says Coleman, who now realizes why it’s so important to prioritize self-care(Opens in a new window). “It meant that I never had to choose between cuddling on the couch with my newborn or going to the store for much-needed groceries. It was a gift for both of us and the same gift I've given to all of my friends since.”
2. Electric Kettle
As a new parent, the last thing you’ll want to think about every day is cleaning baby accessories. But you’ll need to sterilize all those bottles and breast pump parts regularly. Jacqui Somen, a postnatal fitness specialist and mom to one, was thrilled when she received an electric kettle(Opens in a new window) that boils water quickly, shaving lots of precious time off the sterilizing routine.
You can also use your kettle to make yourself cups of healing, soothing postpartum tea.
3. Bottle Brush Set
One thing that surprised Megan Severs, editor and mom of one, was the number of bottles she actually used when she had her newborn son. She always seemed to have a few bottles at her office and a bunch around the house. Once the bottles finally made their way to the sink, she says, the OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Stand(Opens in a new window) was essential for getting them back in clean shape again.
“This bottle brush is the perfect size for cleaning bottles,” she says. “I also liked that the stand helped me easily store the brush near the sink.”
Adding a few replacement brushes(Opens in a new window), along with a Cleaning Set for Straw and Sippy Cup(Opens in a new window) — since the little one will be drinking from a cup soon enough — makes a surprising and thoughtful gift that says, “You’ve got this!”
4. Drying Rack
A drying rack wasn’t a priority on Leah Hollingsworth’s registry. But the busy retail executive and mom of one says she used it all the time after her son was born.
“The OXO Space Saving Drying Rack(Opens in a new window) was perfect for keeping all our bottles and pumping parts organized and dry after cleaning,” she says. “It also didn’t take up too much space and was the ideal size for our small kitchen.”
5. Baby-Friendly Food Storage Containers
Your mind may be focused on pumping or bottles right now, but your baby will be switching over to solids and trying her first bites(Opens in a new window) before you know it. That’s why Severs, whose baby is now enjoying solids, said she was so happy a friend thought ahead and gifted her with the 12-Piece Baby Blocks Set(Opens in a new window).
“The baby blocks are the perfect size for storing homemade baby food, and the rubber seal keeps the purees from spilling when you’re on the go,” she says. “Once my baby became a toddler, I continued using these for packing lunchbox snacks.”