Whenever I hear a friend or family member’s baby announcement, I am not only super excited for them but I also jump into overdrive on what present I can give to the parents-to-be.
Prior to being a mom, the presents I gave were generally cute, admittedly not very useful, and came with a gift receipt. Eventually, I progressed to making diaper cakes as presents because I thought a handmade present is better. But, I later learned I was buying the wrong sized diapers and the “cake” would sit for more than a year. (I bought size 3 diapers because it made making the cakes easier, what I didn’t clue into is babies don’t usually come out at 16-28 pounds.)
After becoming a mom, before I headed to the mall to buy a present, I would evaluate what the supports the new parents actually have. The two best presents I gave as of date, according to the recipients were: a weeks worth of food from M&M Food Market because cooking should be the last thing on the parent’s mind, and a $100 gift certificate from Superstore because everyone buys blankets and toys but babies need diapers too.
If you recently received a birth announcement and not sure what to gift the new parents, here are some ideas:
IF YOU ARE NOT A MOM YET
Your time. Give the new parent the opportunity to vent about their baby, partner, in-laws, house, their body, etc. Literally, just sit there and listen without offering advice or suggestions. If you are comfortable offering more, give the new parent the gift of a break. Offer to hold their baby while they go to the bathroom, take a shower, have a cup of coffee, or take a nap.
Time away from the home. Give the new parent some time outside of the house with or without you. If they don’t mind the company, take them for a short walk around the block, wander around a craft/farmer’s market, or a short pampering session. Take them out of the house for a little bit to allow them to find themselves again. If they would appreciate some time alone, give them something to do of interest to them. Pretty sure you know what they would enjoy.
Hired help or pre-made/frozen meals. The first couple of days/weeks/months can be chaotic. Keeping the house tidy and feeding the other members of the home can be daunting for new parents. Give something to the new parents that will make their life easier at the moment.
IF YOU ARE A FELLOW MOM
Items they didn’t know existed. You can do all the research in the world before being a parent but because you don’t have first hand experience, you won’t know to search certain things. When I became a mom, I was gifted a snot sucker and boogie wipes. I thought these items were absolutely disgusting and just put them away. It wasn’t until my daughter had her first cold did I realize the importance of these “disgusting” items.
Items they didn’t know they needed. I knew my body wouldn’t bounce back to how it was before but I didn’t think it would fall apart without some help. Two of the best things gifted to me was nipple cream and stool softeners. Nothing more to say after mentioning stool.
Items you know will make their lives easier. After becoming a mom, I knew how often some items are used, washed, and re-used. Sparing new parents from constantly doing the same things over and over again, some times the best things to give are given in multiples. I live a very minimalist lifestyle but I can tell you that I had over 50 wash clothes, over 10 swaddle blankets and at least a dozen of soothers when my daughter was young. There was enough tasks during the day that I didn’t need to do the same things on repeat.
What were some of your best gifts to new parents? I would love to hear your ideas!