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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Pauly

Baby Shower Gifts- OT Style!

I have always loved to give gifts! I have a recurring list in my phone of people and gift ideas, and I have been known to have to give a gift early simply because I am so excited to see the recipient's reaction when they open the present (realistically, it's in a large bag with tissue paper because this OT can never get the wrapping just right, whoops!)


So, when I was invited to my cousin Katie's baby shower (Shoutout to Katie, Landon, and our newest family member baby Millie!) I put a lot of thought into meaningful gifts that I could purchase that had OT application, because once you work in pediatrics, you are always thinking about pediatrics and can never turn it off!


I was so excited to buy these presents for her and share how she can use them, that I thought I would make a blog post about some of my favorite equipment (and of course, the silly items that I simply could not leave behind) and feel free to steal some ideas for your next baby shower (unless I'm there too, in which case, I call dibs!)


TOYS


  1. Baby Wrist and Foot Rattle Socks ($12.99 at Amazon) I absolutely love these as one of baby's first toys- a newborn baby really can only see high contrast colors (think red, blue, black and white) and these toys have good patterns and contrast that will allow the child to see what he or she is doing. They rattle and can be worn as a

bracelet/sock, so any movement the baby makes results in a rattle, which sets the stage to learn cause and effect. Plus, since they're worn on the child, no need to worry about playing fetch with a rogue toy.


2. Classic O Ball ($5.99 at Amazon) This is a pediatric therapist favorite for a lot of reasons! A younger baby can tangle his or

her fingers around the ball to support grasping development, you can hide scarves or tissues inside when they are older to practice container play, and it can even be a first ball to learn to play catch or push a ball with to develop motor planning skills! There are many variations on this toy including rattles, o balls with cars attached to them, balls with rattles inside... they are all great!



3. Baby Crinkle Paper ($6.49 on Amazon) This is a really simple toy, but I love it for the high contrast pattern, big crinkly reward when squeezed and the small size for little hands. Again,

this is a toy that can be used with newborns and babies and provides great sensory input for fine motor skills and play!




FEEDING


  1. ezpz Mini Mat and Tiny Cup ($19.99 and $9.99, respectively, on Amazon)

These are some OT favorites for a reason! Every feeding conference I have been to references the ezpz line. They have different cutlery that is designed for smaller hands and mouths, and they also weight their

products so that they have a "suction" effect, making it harder to throw these items on the floor! The mats are also great for arts and crafts, and come in many different shapes and colors.


2. Num Num Pre-Spoon GOOtensils ($12.99 on Amazon) This spoon, in my opinion, is the

ultimate "first" spoon for feeding. It is super tiny for little hands and mouths, has some texture on the bowl, which is flat instead of curved, and is designed in such as way that your child will be successful with support! Additionally, you can further develop your child's fine motor skills by using the second level tool, which has a cutout in the middle to help catch food as your child learns to scoop.


3. NOOLI Utensils ($8.99 on Amazon) These utensils are great, but are meant for

an older infant or toddler! I love the lip "block" that encourages lip closure and prevents the child from sticking the utensil too far back in the mouth. They have an ergonomic grip that is perfect for little hands, too.


4. Baby food feeder set ($11.99 on Amazon) Giving your baby their first foods can be really scary! While I am also a proponent of providing hard munchables and other foods to explore and develop oral motor skills, these tools can give parents

support in introducing first foods with less fear. I love to put fruits and purees in the feeder pacifiers (pro tip: you can even freeze foods in them for teething kids!) and there are different sized silicon tops to accommodate different size and shapes of mouths, or to target various oral motor skills. The spoon has a dispenser you can load up with a puree and squeeze in to the bowl of the spoon during mealtime! And of course, they're food grade silicon that can be easily sanitized, as opposed to some of the ones made from cloth.


5. Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys ( $3.88 on Amazon) These BPA-free teethers are versatile- they function to relieve pain associated with teething, provide different textures for kiddos to

explore with their mouths, and are a fine motor toy, too! They can be refrigerated to help soothe teething gums, and you can even try putting some puree on them for extra feeding practice.


JUST BECAUSE

  1. Baby burrito ($14.99 on Amazon) Do I really need to explain this one? I saw it and it flew in to my cart!

I hope that you enjoyed this post! Do you have any fun or functional baby shower gifts? Let me know below!












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