Great Things People Gave me when I had a Baby

I got a lot of wonderful gifts when I had Thaddeus, but there are a few gifts that really stand out to me. Since I know a few beautiful mamma’s having babies in the not too far off future struggling to pick things for their registries I thought I’d fill you all in on the best things I got. These aren't necessarily the most important things, or even essential things, but they have been some of my favorites. If you know someone having a baby then these gifts are things I would highly recommend and things that I personally use almost every day. Of course this is not an all inclusive list, but these are just the things that I have time and time again been exceedingly thankful for in the past few months. 1. Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers were by far one of the best gifts we got when having a baby. We got a few cloth diapers at my shower, but the majority of our cloth diapers were hand-me-downs from some dear friends of ours and for me that made them even better. I love cloth diapers – they are super easy and I love knowing that I’m not filling up the landfill with disposable diapers. Did you know that by the most recent estimates it takes 200-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose??? Isn’t that crazy?! Anyway, I’m a big fan of cloth diapers and would definitely advocate others using them.

2. Baby Carrier

We have two carriers - a Baby Bjorn that my sister found on sale and bought for us and a Sleepy Wrap that a friend gave me at my shower. When Thaddeus was little he didn’t like the Sleepy Wrap, but loved the Bjorn. Now he loves the Sleepy Wrap and I’m so glad because I personally like it better than the Bjorn although the Bjorn is a great carrier. Really I think every mom needs some sort of baby carrier, whatever kind it is. It makes life so much easier when you can put them in the carrier and have them close and happy being near you while you can still get a few things done.

3. Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag

With the above two things I am not really very brand specific, but with this I totally am. My sister has always loved Petunia Pickle Bottom, but I always thought I don’t really need a diaper bag that is that stylish or expensive. Then my sister gave me her used PPB Diaper Bag as a hand-me-down and I totally fell in love with it! I love this bag! It's a backpack so it divides the weight nicely across my shoulders and doesn't slip down my arm while I’m carrying my son like most shoulder bags do. It’s got pockets in all the right places and a big roomy middle space for putting all the necessary items. But, my favorite feature is that it has a changing pad that is attached to the bag with zippers – you just unzip both sides of one of the pockets and the changing pad folds out. It’s only attached with Velcro at the top so you can still take it off and wash it if needed. This has made changing Thad in public everywhere from airports to restaurants to friends houses so easy. It really is a great design and a great bag.

4. Board books

We only got a few baby books at my showers, but the few that we got are invaluable. The board books (like these ones) have been special favorites because he can’t tear the pages so he can grab at them and suck on them with being too destructive. They have been so helpful for me when I need something to keep Thaddeus entertained. He really loves when we read to him and he will often be happy hearing his stories over and over again. And I love knowing that reading to him at such a young age will help with his language skills and instill in him a love of reading latter on.

5. Bugaboo stroller

This was another thing that my sister raved about and we have been so happy with it. I know that there are a lot of great strollers out there and the bugaboo is just one of them, but I also know that I would definitely recommend this stroller. It looks great and it’s fairly intuitive to adjust and put together. It’s light and really easy to maneuver. It’s got great shocks and big wheels that are great even on the cobblestones of Europe and bouncing up and down stairs. I love carrying Thad in my wrap, but he’s heavy and for walking around the city a good stroller is invaluable. I have been really happy with this stroller and definitely recommend it.

6. Blessings and prayers

Probably the best gift of all, though, was the prayers and blessings that so many gave me as I became a new mom. At my shower in Prague a small group of close friends prayed and blessed me from head to toe. They wrote down their prayers and blessings and I often have gone back to those messages of love and encouragement on the days when I just need a little extra help. Becoming a mom for the first time can be scary and overwhelming and I can’t even say how much it meant to me to feel lifted up by a whole community of women who know and love me. That kind of encouragement was better than any other gift I received.

If you’re a mommy what was your favorite baby shower gift?

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman