One of my favorite gifts I received at my baby shower wasn’t on my registry. It wasn’t adorable, or baby-sized, or cute and cuddly, or even something you’d find in the baby section of a store. It was a folder. And it was the best baby shower gift ever!
A folder with a place for every piece of paper that had been accumulating on my desk related to a baby that hadn’t even been born yet…and with places for very important pieces of paper we’d be receiving in those exhausting hours, days, and sleep-deprived weeks following the birth of our little one. For someone like me that loves organization but isn’t very good at implementing or maintaining it even on my best days, this was a perfect gift. It was a wonderful way to ensure that all those pieces of paper had a home without even having to think about it…and in a small but significant way, it helped to bring my stress level down before and after our baby was born, knowing where to put and where to find all those very important pieces of paper (and there are so many!).
I have now put together three of these folders to gift to friends and plan to make one for every baby shower I ever attend! All you need is: 12 pretty file folders (I found them at Staples and at Target for about $8-10) and an accordion file with 12 pockets (Walmart or Target for $5-8). You could also put the file folders in a small hanging file box (they had some really cute ones at Target and I was tempted)…but I found it really helpful for the folder to be easily portable in those first weeks, to take to the hospital and to doctor’s appointments. I’ve now transferred a lot of the folders to our filing cabinet.
If you want to print labels to put on the folders instead of handwriting them, make sure you buy ones that come with labels or purchase the labels separately. (The folders I got from Target actually came with labels to print on – the ones from Staples did not.) Since labels are ridiculously expensive (and an entire package would be much more than you need), you could use a label maker instead, or print on any size labels you have and trim them to fit the file folders.
(The accordion file & file folders above are from Target)
(The accordion file above is from Walmart, and the file folders are from Staples)
Decide what you want to label your folders. You can customize them to specific needs, i.e. mothers of multiples, etc. Or, if you want to get really ambitious, find some online resources to print and place in some folders ahead of time to help the mama-to-be get started! (You could include the free printable PDFs from my Baby Checklist Series for even more helpful pre-baby organization!)
Here are the 12 categories I used:
- Birth Certificate & Social Security Card
- Pediatrician Visits
- Immunization Records
- Other Health Records
- Insurance Paperwork
- Nursing/Feeding Info
- Parenting Articles/Pamphlets
Assemble your folder, and you’re good to go!
I hope this idea will help you bless a new-mom-to-be!
Here are some more great baby ideas…gifts for showers, helpful checklists, nursery decor, and others – just click each thumbnail image to be taken to that blog post!