For showers, I like to stick the registry but create a “themed” gift while I’m at it. My favorite is to give “Our Favorite Sleep Things” which includes a marpac dohm sound machine, swaddleme swaddle, aden+anais sleep sack, kickee pants pajamas, and 2 board books. For my local friends, I love Chicago-themed books to mix it up a bit.
If I’m close to the mom and will visit during the first couple weeks, I like to bring a homemade dinner, a bottle of wine – and as a bonus, a box of alcohol test strips for breastmilk. I’ve done that twice now and it’s been really appreciated!