September 14th, 2013

Non-traditional Baby Gifts

Obviously babies come when THEY feel like it, but today I’m “celebrating” one month until baby girl’s due date!

More thoughts about my pregnancy this week will be posted in my bump update on Monday, including info from my chiropractic and OB appointments. Based on them, I’m conflicted about if I will go early, or go late, or be one of the few who are right on time. There’s absolutely no way to correctly guess. I do know that my pain level makes me almost hope for anytime after I hit full term. Almost.

Pregnancy is a hard time to blog. It’s ALL CONSUMING- every moment I’m preparing for little girl to be here. We’re on her schedule, not ours. But it’s also an ever-changing process, constantly in flux. I can’t write any kind of reflection on pregnancy because it’s not over, and it’s still changing, and I have no idea when it will be over.

I plan to write about things like pregnancy must-have items, and prenatal chiropractics and how they helped me. But I’m not quite ready to write them yet. Since I’m not quite done being pregnant!

Something I HAVE thought a lot about are the thoughtful gifts I’ve received myself, or plan to give to future pregnant friends and family. Not the usual clothes/registry items you give for showers- gifts you give when you find out a friend is pregnant, or right before/after they deliver. Gifts off the registry are AMAZING since you know they’re needed, and you can’t beat sweet homemade items. But sometimes early or late in pregnancy something else is appropriate, or you want to “pad” a smaller registry gift with something else. Some people also really want to buy something unexpected that isn’t on the registry, but might not be able to make something themselves. Or, they want to buy a gift that’s truly useful.

Kind gifts from friends and family have made us even more excited, knowing how loved baby girl already is. And obviously, there is no such thing as a bad gift! I thought I’d share some of these less traditional ideas with you, and open it up to hear what non-registry gifts you liked best.

Baby Bargains Book


I had a bunch of people recommend this book to me, and am so glad I bought it. I would buy it for any family member or close friend, but EARLY in their pregnancy, since later on they’ll probably have bought it already, or registered and not really need it anymore. The price on Amazon fluctuates but it’s around $10-12 usually. A great small item to share your excitement, and it is SUCH a useful book. It helped us in our registering process and I still refer back to it.

The Honest Company


This is something I plan to try eventually- Honest products like diapers, wipes, and baby bathing product and household cleansers. They have a bunch of sets of items, or subscriptions to them. If you live far from someone and want to send them something before they register (or if they don’t register, or a second child, etc) this might be a good idea. It’s stuff every mom will need at some point, and no one can find fault with their stance of being eco-friendly and reducing chemicals in products for baby!

Diapers in general



Strangely, no one bought us any diapers. Not even one! I think if our works had thrown baby showers we probably would have received a bunch- that seems to be the way people stock up. I think even a small pack of diapers is a fail-proof gift (unless you know someone will cloth diaper) because then they can have a few brands to try, assuming they receive/buy other brands as well. Or maybe send a friend your favorite diapers and wipes from when your child used them. I’m still lobbying for someone to make a “trial” pack of diapers, featuring a bunch of brands in the same size, but clearly that would never happen. From what I’ve heard though, it’s better to have too many diapers than not enough!




I know it sounds weird, but early in a pregnancy this is a nicer non-traditional, thoughtful gift! (At least to me.) We had lots of thank you notes to write and send from all the wonderful shower/registry gifts we received. And of course we’ll be sending baby announcements (I think we’re combining it with our Christmas cards this year.) There are never enough stamps!

Thank You Notes


Another one that people may disagree with, but I think early in a pregnancy this is a sweet gift. You’ll have lots of thank you notes to send! A non-baby themed thank you note is a great idea so if they had already bought some baby ones, they can still get lots of use. Let’s be honest, moms have a LOT to be thankful for, and much of that involves sending a card!

Pampering Items



Now we’ve reached great late-pregnancy gifts. Late pregnancy you have more time to yourself but for some of us, it’s miserable. (Twinner… I envy you and your lack of hip pain!) A gift card for a massage or pedicure would likely be appreciated by any pregnant woman. Especially since towards the end of pregnancy, spending money on yourself (when your little baby has SO MANY EXPENSIVE NEEDS OH MY GOSH) feels like something “bad,” it’s nice to be told “you HAVE to use this on yourself.”




I think this one is pretty well known and vastly appreciated for after baby is born. From what I’ve heard… you don’t feel like cooking. Seeing that I don’t feel like cooking NOW, I can imagine! I know I’ve seen friends do meal train sign-ups for friends post-baby before, and that’s a great and thoughtful way to make sure your friends have fresh meals- AND you can get to see the baby! For people like us- where most of our friends/family are out of state- gift cards seem like a great substitute!



When I asked my mom friends what non-traditional gifts they found the most useful/thoughtful, I was surprised that many mentioned alcohol. Wine in most cases, but of course it would be beer in mine. I’ve been DREAMING of the first beer I’ll drink post-baby. And I’m sure new dads could use a brew or two in those first stressful weeks (and subsequent 18 years.) This seems like the perfect fun gift to bring a friend – whose favorite drink you know by heart! – when going to visit their new bundle of joy.

Citrus Lane


I’ve been really intrigued by these monthly subscription boxes for kids. I LOVED when I got a Birchbox subscription as a gift two years ago, so I assume this would be a fun and welcome gift for a mom whose child has already been born. They ask for your child’s age and gender when you subscribe so you get properly personalized boxes. This would be a fun thing to get a friend/their kid for a holiday, etc. Plus there are multiple plans for different budgets.

I hope this helped you think up some non-traditional / non-registry gift ideas if you needed them! I will definitely update you all after baby girl has been on the outside for a while.

What were the best gifts you received that weren’t typical registry items? Or the most unexpected gift that you enjoyed?

5 comments to Non-traditional Baby Gifts

  • Alyssa

    I’m going to assume you chose the picture with the bee backpack just for me :)

  • Kelly J

    OH MY GOSH!! I had no idea there was such a thing as Citrus Lane for kids!! (cue me going to their website RIGHT NOW..) Thanks!

  • My mom was the only one to get us diapers and she got them in bigger sizes which I appreciate! I honestly didn’t think we’d get diapers at my baby shower so I was surprised that we got a HUGE box of them even if it will be awhile before we use them. My sister had thank you cards that went along with the shower invites so I didn’t have to worry about them. It was such a sweet thing and I appreciated it so much!

  • OMG, stamps are a great idea!!! And diapers ALWAYS.

  • Good list! I have to agree with them, especially the dinner gift cards. If anything everyone does take out these days and being able to get Olive Garden or a nice ‘take out’ meal is so great! You can stay comfy in PJs and eat a good meal!
    I want to try citrus lane. Also we get Honest Co bath/body care stuff. The home essential box. It’s great and it works wonders on Mackenzie’s skin since she has eczema.

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