THE BLOG
08/01/2013 05:24 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2013

7 No-Fail Baby Shower Gifts

I love baby showers. And I love shopping for them even more. Moms-to-be are gifted so many unnecessary whosits and whatsits at their showers that picking out a gift they'll actually like becomes an exciting challenge. Are you up for the task? If you're not now, you certainly will be after reading this. I've put together a few ideas for some baby shower gifts you absolutely can't go wrong with. Happy shopping!

Snap Suits aka Onesies
Every mom I know says you can't have enough of these from sizes newborn through 24 months. Many shower guests might head straight for the newborn goodies alone, but I have a friend who had a 10 pound baby and couldn't even use all of the cute newborn clothes she'd gotten at her shower. Infants grow fast and having these on hand in multiple sizes will make life a lot easier for mom and baby in the coming months.

Children's Books
I always give my new mom friends a copy of The Giving Tree because it was one of my favorite books as a child. Yes, I was pretty emo. If you haven't read it in a while I guarantee you'll get teary eyed by the end. New moms will need lots of material from books about colors and shapes to ones by Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak. A shower where everyone gives their favorite childhood book could be the perfect thing.

Diapers
Boring! I know. But, with approximately eight-12 changes per day, this is pretty much the best gift ever. Find out what type of diapering she wants to do whether it's disposable, cloth, or hybrid and chip in for a whole boatload in a variety of sizes. Diapers, no matter what kind, can get expensive quickly so you'll really be doing them a favor.

Meal Plan
A friend suggested this to me and I think it's genius! Many people's idea of helping the new mom after the baby arrives is bringing food. But it can be disastrous and frustrating to coordinate visits and food drops. There are quite a few websites that make it super easy to help loved ones get this organized. Remember that new parents are frazzled for months after the baby is born, so if a drop is scheduled for month three, it could be even more appreciated than a drop in month one.

Chip In For Something Big
A crib is always a safe group gift idea. It's an across the board necessity and usually too expensive for one person to get on their own. But an unexpected and extremely welcome option is to chip in on a nanny, babysitter, or housekeeper. As much as you can all afford to stockpile is fine. New moms find themselves constantly maxed out and exhausted. Any extra help will be a huge deal to her.

Swaddle Blankets
I was recently visiting a friend and her newborn when I noticed a beautiful new scarf on practically every surface of their apartment. Soon I learned they weren't scarves at all, they were swaddle blankets. And boy did they come in handy. She used one to set her baby down on while we chatted, and she wrapped him up like a burrito in another when it was time for his nap. What makes a good gift for the baby now is also a good gift for mom down the road!

Bath Products
Another baby gift that could double as one for mom too is bath products. I got my sister-in-law a mommy and baby bubble bath set when my niece was first born, and when I was back a few days later the bottle was gone. Babies need lots of baths and moms need lots of baths so that they can relax. Look for bath products that are organic, made for babies of course, and in soothing scents like lavender, mint, and chamomile. This way, mom can feel good knowing that what's on her skin is safe for the baby that will be cuddling up to her.

So, next time you get invited to a baby shower, squash the urge to get gummy fetuses or baby high heels (I kid you not!) and choose something from this list instead. The mom-to-be in your life will be eternally grateful.

Dana Holmes is a lifestyle, gift and etiquette expert who acts as Editor in Chief of Gifts.com and the Gift Rap Blog. She has been working in trend forecasting and gift recommendations for the past decade. Dana loves making occasions special with her unique gift ideas, tips and touches. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, Associated Press, Fox & Friends, TODAY in NY and many more.