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The Best Baby Shower Gifts They'll Be Grateful For Later

From bibs to bath items, these gifts will come in handy now—and in the future.

8 min read

Baby showers are a rite of passage for new parents, with family and friends coming together and exchanging wisdom and gifts in honor of the new arrival. Often, these gifts are focused on newborn needs, like baby blankets, tiny onesies and heirloom-quality sterling silver rattles—items a little one will quickly outgrow. If you’re looking for a baby gift, consider options that will get parents through six months and beyond, where major changes like eating solids and heading to daycare may occur, opening up a whole new set of baby needs. What to choose? Start with these 16 gift ideas.

1. Silicone Bibs

At around five to six months, most babies will start exploring solids. A good, easy-to-clean silicone bib set will be a parent’s best friend for keeping mess off their child during feedings. Look for ones that roll up to tuck into a diaper bag so parents can feed on the go.

2. Transitional Cups and Sippy Cups

While formula or breastmilk will be a baby’s main source of nutrition and hydration, water can be introduced to children around six months or so. Cup styles with removable handles help a child work on the motor skills needed to grasp tight surfaces like handles as well as the larger cup frame. Another option is a spill-proof 360 cup that allows little ones to tip the cup up to drink. Both options will stay with children through at least 18 months of age.

3. High Chair

A high chair is essential for feeding. Options are available for all budgets, and some even grow with babies into their toddler years. Looks for one with a footrest which can help put a child in an optimal flat-footed position to limit fidgeting while feeding.

4. Plates and Bowls

Suction bowls and suction plates secure to a high chair tray to prevent babies from tossing full plates of food on the floor or across the room. Made from food-grade silicone, they’re dishwasher- and microwave-safe, cutting down on prep and cleaning time as well.

5. Utensils

While an infant won’t have the motor skills to grasp utensils until around 10 to 12 months, some parents introduce them earlier to help a child to associate utensils with mealtime. Fork and spoon sets that have stainless steel tips and plastic or silicone handles will help a child master spearing and scooping food better than fully plastic ones.

6. Kitchen Tools

Here’s an idea for busy Moms and Dads: A baby food mill will make quick work of pureeing food and individual storage cubes are the perfect solution for storing baby meals in the fridge or freezer, and provide a handy on-the-go option. And you can make snack time a little easier and safer with this grape cutter—an essential cutting tool for feeding one-year-olds smaller fruit portions to prevent choking.

7. Booster Seats

Some tots move out of a high chair and into booster seats around 15 months of age. Look for models that can be wiped down easily and have safety straps, preferably with three-point harnesses to keep youngsters securely seated. If living space is at a premium, consider one that folds down for easy storage.

8. Teethers

A good food-grade silicone teether can help a baby relieve gum pain, especially when popped in the freezer. Grab a two-for-one item in a self-feeder that can double as a teether for children who are older than six months. Parents can place frozen fruit or ice into it to soothe aching gums.

9. Toothbrushes

Dental experts recommend brushing a baby’s tooth as soon as it shows itself, often around six months. A soft bristle or silicone toothbrush and water can help keep the tooth clean and prevent dental cavities while also providing some relief for sore gums.

10. Bath Items

A baby bath with the proper neck support will help parents bathe a newborn safely, but soon enough, children will be sitting up and playing with toys in the tub. For that, parents need essentials like storage bins and spout covers. These items will prove useful beyond the infant stage and well into toddlerhood, too.

11. Potty Training Supplies

Potty training happens on a spectrum, with some children beginning to explore ditching diapers as early as 18 months (the average is around age two). Set a new parent up for success down the line with essentials like on-the-go potty seats and potty chairs.

12. Childproofing Supplies

Once tots start crawling (around seven to 12 months) and walking (around eight to 15 months), new parents will need to childproof their homes with baby gates, cabinet locks, toilet locks and more to prevent accidents. Give them a head start with any of these items (or bundle them together into a single gift).

13. Floor Seats

As babies start to gain control of their head and neck movements around four to six months, a floor seat can be a good way for them to practice holding their heads up in the correct position for short periods.

14. Activity Centers

Activity centers are big-ticket items that babies will use from the time they can sit up on their own until about 12 months. They are usually circular and have activities around them to keep a baby busy, such as light-up toys, teethers, rattles, musical instruments and more.

15. Books

All babies benefit from the bonding that comes with bedtime stories, even before they know they’re being read to. Some parents like to establish a bedtime routine as early as the newborn phase, including books. Look for age-appropriate soft books and board books for infants and toddlers.

16. Developmental Toys

Age-appropriate developmental toys are available for newborns on up through toddler years and beyond. High-contrast cards, play gyms for tummy time, toys that promote sensory play and skills like stacking, sorting, pushing and pulling—options are veritably endless.

Looking for more gift ideas? These practical baby shower gifts are things parents will actually use!

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