If you’re like me, you’ve probably had to grab more than your share of last minute baby shower gifts
…on the way to a shower.
It’s not that I don’t want to get a thoughtful gift off the baby registry, or even to make one myself, it’s just that I am literally always working through a to-do list of 107 things, and shopping for baby gifts some how always gets to the bottom of that list.
To make matters worse, I don’t live anywhere NEAR a Babies-r-us, Target, Walmart etc. My last minute gifts have to come from the few stores I have available to me – a drug store, a grocery store, a hardware store, Amazon… you know – small town life and all, with pretty slim pickings when it comes to baby gifts.
Fortunately, I’ve become the queen of finding the last-minute baby shower gift that doesn’t suck at all – and even my best friend wouldn’t be able to tell that I hadn’t scoured the internet for weeks in advance looking for the most unique baby shower gifts.
Last minute baby shower gifts when big box stores aren’t an option and it’s too late for overnight shipping:
I’ve been in this situation more times than I want to admit – literally on the way to the shower later that day, with no gift and no place that sells baby stuff nearby.
I’ve gotten really creative over the years lol.
You can grab these last minute gifts on the way to the shower in any small town / without a stop at a big box store, with not much time to spare, and no one will know you waited until the last minute.
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1) A gift card to a local restaurant and a homemade gift certificate for baby-sitting
In a real pinch, and especially useful when there are no baby things available nearby, grab a gift certificate to a local restaurant and make a baby sitting voucher to go with it.
Gift the new parents a date night with a built in sitter!
If mom isn’t feeling up to leaving the baby in those early months, she can always use the gift card for take-out, and that alone will be appreciated.
2) A diaper cake
You can get baby diapers at the gas station if you’re really stuck for a gift. (You’ll pay a lot for them, but last minute gifts are just not always the cheapest gifts. Planning in advance saves money – but this isn’t about saving money. It’s about being out of time. lol.)
Diapers are a useful gift that WILL get used, and it’s something a new mom will have to buy if she doesn’t get them given to her. (Unless she’s planning on using cloth diapers, but honestly, even in that situation there are times when it’s just great to have some disposables on hand or in the car.)
Don’t buy too many newborn diapers – use more larger sizes as newborn diapers only fit for such a short while and she may gave already grabbed a box of those herself.
Make a boring diaper gift cute and fun by turning it into a diaper cake. When you walk in with a diaper cake, no one will even guess it was a last minute baby gift!
This is a great tutorial to follow if you’ve never built one yourself before.
3) Freezer meals
If you’re absolutely NOT ABLE to get to the store, but you do have groceries on hand, freezer meals are a wildly practical gift that moms with a new baby will love.
Throw in a bag of paper plates and some plastic cutlery and you will be the STAR of the shower, since this gift comes with such a personal touch. There’s nothing like a homemade meal that YOU didn’t have to make when you’re exhausted!
4) A coffee basket with a cute travel mug
New mom is TIRED. If new mom drinks coffee, she will love this!
You can grab most of the essentials to make a coffee basket in a small town grocery store. Our grocery store doesn’t carry cute travel mugs but the hardware store does (it’s actually a great place to get last minute shower gifts because they also carry baby toys)!
If you can’t find a “new mom” specific mug, and cute mug will do! I got a really nice one for my baby shower and I still use it (5 years later). It actually may be the single baby gift I received that’s gotten the MOST use!
5) “Milestone” Champagne
If there’s anything that says celebrate, it’s champagne, and a new baby is a fantastic reason to celebrate! (Not to mention, she hasn’t been able to have a drink for ages, so she’s probably looking forward to one)!
Dress it up with a pacifier instead of a bow, and it doesn’t even need to be wrapped!
You can get three or four bottles of champagne and give them “milestone” labels – for example. baby slept through the night, mom’s first day back at work etc. – this is such a cute memorable gift, and a fun way to remind mom that she can still enjoy grown up things herself even though she has baby now.
6) A subscription to Disney+ (or whatever streaming app she uses)
You can get this without even leaving the house! If mom has older kids, she is going to LOVE THIS – and if she doesn’t have older kids, she’ll probably use it for herself while she’s up with the baby all hours of the night!
7) Baby first aid kit
You can get all the essentials for a baby first aid kit at the drug store (or even most grocery stores). Pack it all into a cute basket and it makes one of the most practical gifts that doesn’t SEEM remotely last minute!
I was gifted one of these, and I LOVED it – because she saved me from running to the store at midnight the first time my baby was sick.
You can include:
- A baby nose snot sucker (the first thing I reach for when my babies are sick!)
- Infant Tylenol
- Boogie Wipes
- Baby Vicks Rub (make sure you get the one that’s for babies!)
- Baby nail clippers
8) A “teething survival” kit
Similarly to the above idea, you can fill a cute basket with a “teething survival kit” for mom and baby – again, most drug stores or grocery stores have a baby isle with teething supplies on hand!
My top picks for baby are an amber anklet (safer imo than a necklace, and my two year old wore his for over a year and a half), a freezable teether, and this banana toothbrush, and a bottle of baby Tylenol.
9) A framed newspaper from the day baby was born
Honestly, if you’re in enough of a pinch (like, you don’t even have enough time to buy a frame) you can take a nice frame off your own wall to make this happen – and replace it later. (It only sounds desperate and crazy until you don’t have a thoughtful baby shower gift for your best mom friend and the shower is starting in an hour.)
This gift can really seem like you went the extra mile – you never have to tell anyone about the picture of a sail boat that’s no longer hanging in your guest room.
10) A gift certificate for a massage or newborn photo session
Gift certificates really are an ideal last minute gift! I would have given anything for a massage in those last months BEFORE I became a mom and also the first months after – my back was always sore from pregnancy and then it was sore from breastfeeding / carrying the baby around.
And every new mom wants baby photos… so you really can’t go wrong with a gift certificate for either of these.
Last minute baby shower gifts you can order online
Amazon prime / next day delivery is a LIFE SAVER if you have 24 hours before the baby shower – there’s a TON of the best baby shower gifts you could ever ask for available there! Order any of these things, pop them in a gift bag, and you’ll have the perfect baby shower gift.
11) Really nice swaddle blankets
aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddling Blankets are my absolute favorite muslin blankets.
I love these ones because they are BIG and breathable, and gorgeous. They are great for swaddling, for covering the car seat or stroller, and also light enough to be used in hotter temperatures – and you can double them up in colder weather. These make such an amazing gift because they are so useful and yet they feel so luxurious.
Related: How Many Swaddle Blankets Do I Need?
12) A white noise machine
But not just any white noise machine. Get her a Rohm travel sound machine… it’s more expensive than a regular one, about 5x louder, and about 10x more useful.
I have one of these and three of the regular sized sound machines. Guess which one I use more?
I have used this thing over and over and over – in places where there was no plug-in, in hotels, in the camper, in friends houses, IN THE CAR – in any and all situations where we just needed to drown out all. the. noise. so the baby could sleep. I love my travel sound machine with true love, and any other new mom lucky enough to get one will likely love it too.
(This thing actually makes my list of the top ten best baby shower gifts ever!)
13) A monthly milestone blanket
Not only is a monthly milestone baby blanket thoughtful and unique, but you are also giving the gift of some of the most precious memories she will have while taking photos of her baby laying on it.
It’s incredible how fast a new baby grows in the first year, so documenting every month helps you really notice the changes (sniff). There are many choices available out there, but there are also some really cute ones available on Amazon with next day shipping.
14) Board books
You can get so many fantastic board books for babies these days – and I never honestly appreciated them until I HAD babies and saw how awesome they were.
An absolute favorite board book for both my kids was That’s Not My Lamb… but really anything in the That’s Not My Animal series by Fiona Watts and anything with lift-the-flaps was a hit.
As far as last minute baby shower gifts go, board books are a gift that will be appreciated for years even though it didn’t take more than minutes to pick them out!
15) Cute baby clothes
I have to admit that baby clothes are not my personal favorite gift of choice, but when it comes to last minute baby gifts, clothes are a great option. There’s so many cute baby outfits available online, and obviously the baby WILL need clothes so they do make a useful baby shower gift.
If you’re buying sleepers, consider getting some with zippers, instead of snaps, for easy access diaper changes in the middle of the night.
16) A Jelly Cat brand stuffy
There are plush toys you set on a shelf for a while and then donate, and then there are the plush toys that your children love until they are bedraggled scraggly things that you have to sew the ear back on.
Jelly Cat brand stuffed animals are these plush toys.
I don’t know what it is about them, but they are just TRULY amazing – they’re the softest stuffed things I’ve ever felt (but they don’t shed, unlike some stuffies) they’re really well put together and they’re so freakin’ cute on top of it.
Word of warning – don’t get a white one. (I got my niece a white one, because she was born before I had kids of my own – and it’s so gross and grey now 8 years later…)
17) A footprint / handprint kit
this is such a beautiful gift to help mamma document those itty bitty sweet baby feet before they get big. I had one of these and I LOVE looking at those tiny foot prints… I’m not sure I would have thought to take foot prints if I hadn’t been given the footprint kit. You can get them at any craft store, and they make such a fun gift.
18) A cute “sleeping baby” sign for the door
The last thing you want someone to do is to show up and knock loudly or ring the doorbell when you just got the baby to sleep. Place a cute sign on your front door, and guests will figure it out pretty quickly. This is one of those unique baby shower gifts that will be a gift that keeps giving.
Unlike me, mom won’t have to make her own sort of trashy looking cardboard sign. (Which also does totally work, I would know, because I did this. But a cute non-trashy sign would have been the perfect gift LOL.)
19) A portable diaper changing station
Having a changing table is always a nice thing, but sometimes it’s easier to change a dirty diaper sitting on the floor. (Actually, to this day, we still change 9/10 diapers on the floor.) Or if the new mama is traveling, she can quickly change the babies diaper in the car or a rest stop.
Plus, anything that is portable will make the new mom’s life so much easier. She will be sending you a silent thank you every time she reaches for the portable changing station.
20) A video baby monitor
Surprise the new mommy with a little bit of peace of mind. These can be on the more expensive end, so you might want to go in on this baby shower gift with a friend! However, this is a gift that will be LOVED and USED. Mom can keep tabs on baby while she’s in any room of the house.
21) A handmade baby blanket
I’d never have guessed that a handmade baby blanket could go on a list of last minute shower gifts, but here’s instructions for a DIY blanket that can be sewn in just 30 minutes if you’re crafty!
What are your go-to last minute shower gifts for a mom to be?
IS there anything else that’s easy to find at the last moment that expectant moms would love to have for their new bundle of joy?