Everybody loves shopping for baby gifts (otherwise known as the exercise of indulging in your hidden clucky-broody-side) but it’s also easy to forget that many parents-to-be also buy a lot of baby items to celebrate this is special time in their lives … a time filled with at least 9 months of shopping!
Now don’t get me wrong, all gifts are very much appreciated when you’re due to have a baby but sometimes there are just more rewarding gifts and gestures for a new parent…
DRESS BEYOND 0000
The newborn stage is classified as approximately the first 12 weeks after birth but few full term babies will wear a newborn sized outfit (size 0000) for this long; my boy lasted two weeks in newborn sizes!
Don’t risk buying a gift that doesn’t fit the baby in the first place, consider buying the next size up from ‘newborn’ (size 0 – 3 months or 000) for longer wear, and consider the season coming for when the baby will actually fit into the outfit.
No one needs a winter jumpsuit in summer no matter how good the sale was!
CREATE A PAMPER PACK THAT GIVES THE GIFT OF REPAIR
I wish I had the time for a long soak in a bath full of delectable oils and candles burning all around me…. unfortunately that’s not possible when eat-feed-sleep rules the house on a timer!
Don’t be afraid to create a gift pack with really basic but useful personal care items for the new mum because it is guaranteed to be used!
Night creams that you only need to apply once, stretch mark creams that rectify the body, cool gel packs that relieve sore breasts, an eye mask that blocks out light from the baby monitor and light during day sleeps … now that’s what ‘me time’ looked like after having my babies! … and why not throw in a good box of chocolates too.
ADD TO THE SLEEP TOOLKIT
Baby blankets are a staple in any nursery and with so many beautiful designs to choose from these days it’s tempting to go for this gift option, but mark my word, the new parents will probably have far too many blankets to ever really appreciate or use.
I had 17 blankets with my first child and a friend received 40! Yes, 40 baby blankets. She didn’t go on to have 40 children so needless to say these gifts became a cupboard filler.
So it’s baby blankets no more!
Instead of a blanket, try giving a SWADDLE or SLEEP SACK. These sleeping aids can help the new parent work out how to get their baby to sleep better, sleep longer or sleep at all! Priceless.
Few parents will buy multiple types of swaddles to test out so you’ll be doing them a service by giving a unique swaddle or sleep sack to try out (some can substitute as a blanket too!), and in reality, what you’re really giving is the gift of more tools to add to their sleep toolkit!
THEME – IT!
Building on the idea of useful gift packs, try following a theme for your gift: a bath-time box, nappy and changing station needs, pram accessories, feeding time gifts….
Get creative, think multiple small gifts that stick to one baby theme for an impressive and more cost-effective baby gift pack.
Nappy cakes are a great example of this, it’s just nappies after all, but with a little creativity and a fancy ribbon you can impress with even the most basic of gifts.
CHOOSE BOOKS AND TOYS THAT WON’T COLLECT DUST
Giving a gift that is suited to an age-group above the child’s age is a great idea, but the question to ask yourself is, how long is too long to wait to use a gift?
The book that requires long (attention-span) reads with an adult or the toy that requires baby to have fine motor skills is, unfortunately, a time that feels very very far away for a new parent!
Don’t avoid simple baby books and toys because they are cheap or more basic looking, they will better suit the baby’s developmental stage for play and will have more use.
Let your gift be used now and help enrich basic baby development because the newborn stage is a simple but great time for parents to observe in their child.
GIVE THE GIFT OF FOOD AND TIME
The day you have a baby is the day that you learn what 24 hours in a day really means. The eat-sleep-poop-repeat routine consumes 24 hours of a day and not in any kind of equal measure! Yes, the days and nights can be very long for a new parent and many seemingly ‘normal’ activities can very easily fall off the household to-do list.
Consider giving a gift voucher for the local grocery store or restaurant that does home delivery (a must!) or make a meal that can be frozen for use at a later date.
Having easy access to food or meals without having to waste time and energy leaving the house is a truly helpful gesture for any new parent because it buys them time!
GIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING – MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS
Becoming a first time parent is a daunting time as nothing in your world may make sense anymore and caring for a newborn can be down right confusing and scary.
Give new parents a subscription to a parenting magazine so they can read-up on all sorts of useful parenting tricks, tips and devices. This is also one gift that will keep on giving as it arrives in the post month after month.
A great parenting book that be used as a quick reference (remember, no new parent has time to sit and read for too long) can be just as useful too!
OFFER SERVICE HELP
If you have the time and means to help, try offering a service to the new parents.
Do the new parents have a toddler that you could take to the park for an hour or two one day? Do they have pets that need to be washed or walked? Can you mow their lawn or do some gardening one week?
The key to offering a service gift that the recipient might actually accept is to be specific; name the activity, time and place that you can offer to help with.
If you prefer to buy a service gift: Is there a cleaning service that offers one-off cleaning deals that you can get a voucher for?
Basically, think of all the chores that you might do around the house on your day off and then assume that they are no longer getting done at your friends place once baby has arrived!
Whatever type of gift you choose to give a new parent, just follow the rule of cute is nice but simple is better and you will save more money and score well with your new parent friends!
Thanks for reading TWENTY FOUR SEVEN BABY!
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