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Save money by asking friends and family for these 10 practical essentials at your baby shower

It can be tough to know what to buy for a baby shower, and while fluffy babygros with bunny ears may be cute, there’s a limit to how many one baby needs. To save friends and family doubling up on fun gifts, why not let them know about the practical things you need? They don’t have to stick to your wishlist but every item you get is another step closer to being ready for your little one’s arrival.

1. Moses basket or a crib

It’s quite an investment but buying a Moses basket or crib is something a special friend or close relative will relish. There’s something very endearing about these little beds and they’re invaluable in the early days. A Moses basket is small and you can easily transfer your baby around the house in it. A crib is less portable but can be swung from side to side which can help soothe a crying newborn.

2. Changing mat

It might be a bit practical but a changing mat is a necessary gift and guests can have fun with colours and patterns to match your nursery. If a friend or relative is feeling generous a changing station is a useful option but a simple mat you can slide out when you need it could be more sensible if you’re short on space. And don’t worry if you end up with more than one – it’s good to have a couple of mats so you can keep one in the nursery and another elsewhere (downstairs, or at grandma and granddad’s) so you always have one to hand.

3. Bath support

For a friend that wants to lend support in a literal sense, a bath support helps little ones feel safe and secure in the water and means you have both hands free to wash your baby and comfort them as they get used to all the new sensations.

4. Monitor

Today’s baby monitors are increasingly high tech and can give you peace of mind while your baby is sleeping or napping. Some models come with a built-in nightlight, room thermometer and even a function to play nursery rhymes, and for extra peace of mind opt for a video monitor so you can see as well as hear what’s going on. A great gift you’ll use for years.

5. Sleepsuits

Plain or patterned, with spots or stripes, a pack of cotton sleepsuits is an easy, purse-friendly pressie – and fun to shop for too! Ask for a range of sizes as babies tend to grow out of the newborn ones pretty quickly.

6. Nappies and wipes

Ok, so nappies and wipes aren’t the most exciting of gifts but they’re probably the things you’ll use the most. Ask each guest to buy you a pack of nappies in a different size so you’ll have a stock as your baby grows. You’ll also need a large supply of wipes or a big bag of cotton wall for cleaning baby up at each nappy change so make sure they’re on your list too.

7. Changing bag

These needn’t be plain and boring or covered in cartoons – unless that’s what you want. Fingers crossed your most stylish friend will get you a roomy bag to stash all baby’s bits and bobs when you’re out and about – something with lots of pockets is handy so you can find everything with one hand.

8. Muslins

These squares of soft fabric are invaluable for mopping up most things – you’ll always want a clean one to hand and a pile of others ready and waiting nearby! Your guest can be safe in the knowledge theirs is one you’ll use every day.

9. Sleeping bag or swaddle blankets

Bedding is a popular baby shower gift as friends will love to buy something soft and cosy to keep your little one snug and warm while they sleep. Using a swaddle blanket or sleeping bag will mean your baby is less likely to kick off the covers.

10. Travel system

The king of all gifts if someone really wants to splash out – or maybe a few of your baby shower guests will club together? Travel systems are essential and usually include a car seat (Group 0+) and a pram with options for lie flat and upright positions. Most work in combination with each other so you only need one base and can swap the seats according to your need – this is a good option. It’s best to test ride a few options before you buy, so a voucher could be handy here. Time to stock up on some thank you cards!

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