fine art film photographer

My Top 5 Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Austin baby photographer Heather McKay

Baby shower gifts…. let’s talk! If you are anything like me, I always try give helpful or useful gifts that hopefully will not end up in a landfill. I mean, really, when someone has a baby shower everyone just gives them cute little clothes and shoes (I know, they are SO cute and hard to resist!).

The-problem-with-that is that the baby will most likely be naked for the first 6 months. And the second problem with that is that EVERYONE gives newborn clothes at the showers and also past parents give them bags of never-worn hand me downs. So, let’s all shake it up a bit and give either gifts for the growing child or things to help new parents in tangible ways.

And while I’m ranting… why don’t dudes have to go to baby showers?? Seriously. Not fair!

So, here are my top 5 favorite go-to useful baby shower gift ideas, and why:

One of my past portrait clients bought this for me and WOW. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Three things that make this awesome…

  1.  it folds easily into a portable size
  2.  washable!!!
  3. one side is gray! perfect for photos, since gray is not going to reflect a color onto the subject, but also all cameras meter exposure off of this exact shade of gray. Yes, please!

Baby Shower Gift Ideas


  • Baby survival / owner’s manuals. I’m lucky… I grew up in a house full of babies and babysat a lot. So, my clients call me the baby whisperer. Most people aren’t that lucky. Help them out. How to Con Your Kid has great tips on how to get them to clean their room and do chores. It is hilarious and also helpful! Also, keep in mind that little bundle of joy eventually will be a toddler and teenager, so give gifts for older babies too.
    Baby Shower Gift Ideas How to con your kid bookBaby Shower Gift Ideas Toddler Owner Manual

  • Gift certificate for their favorite photographer!

When Moms are out of work and the couple is dealing with a single income for a while, it breaks my heart when new parents can’t afford to buy photos they hired me to take! Tangible heirlooms are going to be remembered and appreciated much more than a onesie or cute dress. Just be sure you keep in mind their style and not just your style… do they like formal portraits or more candid photos? Check with their close family to see if they liked their wedding photographer…. Most of us do both weddings and families. It’s a great place to start.

candid film child photographerBaby Shower Gift Ideas


  • Pet care. If they are used to taking great care of their fur babies, help them out the first month and walk their dog every day or offer to pay for a pet sitter once a week. When you visit, do the same. These poor little cats and dogs get the short end of the stick when a new baby arrives.

Baby Shower Gift Ideas


  • A cleaning crew! Same as above…. hire a cleaning person to come once a week for the first 2-3 months while the parents are low on sleep and time. It doesn’t cost a lot and will make a world of difference. It’s always hard to find a good spot to take those newborn family photos with a house full of breast pumps, diapers and piles of laundry.

Baby Shower Gift Ideas


That’s it! Those are my very favorite Baby Shower Gift Ideas for a growing family.

What are some of your go-to baby shower gift ideas for new parents??