Surprise! Best Places for Baby Shower Gifts

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Babies are unique, and these days, so are the baby showers that celebrate them. Expecting moms and dads come to parenthood from a wide range of paths, and a baby shower is your chance to celebrate this milestone with gifts to support both baby and parent. Whether they’re seasoned parents or expecting for the first time, give them just the right gift from one of these local spots. Read on for all of the details.

Photo: Babywearing via Flickr

Baby Boutiques
For something new and different, head to one of Portland’s many specialty boutiques for parents and babies. We love Sellwood’s The Bull & the Bee for ultra-soft muslin swaddles and organic onesies, or NE Portland’s Milagros Boutique for one-of-a-kind wraps and soft carriers. In the Pearl, stop by Posh Baby for the latest in high-tech baby gear as well as smaller baby items from popular brands. And don’t forget Seahorses, a retailer and community space created just for dads, with great gear as well as a calendar of father/child classes and events. Note: Seahorses is shifting gears away from retail to become a non-profit community space in 2018, so now is the time to shop.

Have fun picking out a new toy for the baby-to-be at one of several remarkable local toy shops. Friendly staff at Kids at Heart Toys can help you choose something geared toward babies’ developmental needs, with a great selection of toys in each age group. Locally-owned Hammer + Jacks, Spielwerk Toys, and Oodles4Kids are just a few of Portland’s many other great options. On the westside, check out Thinker Toys and Child’s Play.


Photo: Beanstalk via Yelp

Consignment stores
No need to break the bank. Portland parents are known for their eco-consciousness, and we’ve got a plethora of children’s consignment stores to prove it. On the east side, you can hit up Beanstalk, Piccolina, Smallfry, and Sweetpea’s for everything from used baby carriers and onesies, to high-end strollers and handmade headbands. Over on the other side of the river, try Hoot-n-Annie and Baby & Me. Most baby items are used for such a brief window of time, you’ll find like-new options for many of the items on your friends’ wish list. Read more here.

Self-care for parents
Sometimes a baby shower leaves a new parent with eleven teeny-tiny pairs of pajamas and nothing to support the parents’ needs in the demanding first weeks of a baby’s life. Give the gift of self-care and support with a gift certificate for a postpartum massage, pilates, or yoga. Try Zenana Spa, the Bhaktishop or Mamalates. Don’t forget to check out these local mama spas as well.Local doulas also offer postpartum packages for weary new parents: you can give the gift of extra sleep or light housework with Doula Love and Mother Tree. Finally, help them eat healthy without doing the cooking. Portland’s new vegan meal delivery service Fancyplants offers gift certificates for home-delivered, delicious plant-based meals.

Photo: Baby Shower via Flickr

Outside the Box
Babywit is a Portland-based online retailer of unique clothing for babies and their families—heavy on the snark. Check out their selection of T-shirts geared toward new moms and dads. Or pick up one of their trademark Wondersuits for baby, featuring an easy pull-down panel in the back.

The usual suspects
While all of these local stores are likely to supply the most-frequently requested registry items (Sophie la Girafe, anyone?), we’d be remiss not to state the obvious. Shop the registry! It might not be super exciting to give your friend the first aid kit or basic blue bathtub on their registry, but parents put these lists together for a reason. Pair one small practical item from the registry with a special gift from a local shop. Or give the gift of food: a gift certificate to your friend’s favorite grocery store, a homemade frozen lasagne, or a jar of homemade soup can be a lifesaver during a new parent’s first few weeks.

What are your go-to spots for great baby shower gifts? Share your ideas in the comments.

—Melissa Poulin

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