I love buying gifts for expectant friends. It usually means a shameless shopping trip oo-ing and ahh-ing over tiny shoes and outfits and trying not to get sprung testing the ‘snuggle’ factor of soft toys. But inevitably, after a while I start guessing my purchases. Will they actually use this? Do they have one? Is this considered SIDS safe? Why did I just buy baby shoes, the baby can’t walk?
So nowadays I try and get something I know the new parents will actually use. Something that will stand out from the mountain of muslin wraps and onesies.
If you really wanna spoil mum to be, think about one of these non-baby, baby gifts.
1. A meals service or voucher
Once that baby comes home, the last thing new mumma is going to feel like doing is cooking up a storm. She’ll be exhausted, she’ll be attending to a new baby, her body will have been through a hell of a lot. Make life easier for her and the family by sorting out a home cooked meal service to take care of dinner.
2. Bath products
I know this one sounds simple but the impact can be huge. Once you’ve had a baby, your body has truly been through the ringer. You walk in to the hospital clutching a small shred of dignity and walk out with none, none.
Strangers have had their hands in places you don’t want to talk about, you might even be recovering from surgery. Amongst the sterile, clinical environment it can be nice to have some pretty smelling shower gels, or powder to help make you feel human again. I was given some gorgeous soap and powder when each of my babies was born and smelling the fragrances now reminds me of when I was in hospital with them, in that gorgeous newborn bubble.
If mum has other children, offering to mind them is hands down the greatest gift you can give. Taking an energetic toddler to the park for a hour so mum can have a sleep or a shower will move you up the friend list- quick smart.
Even if this is baby number one, it’s likely that mum isn’t getting much time to herself so take her new bundle for a walk in the pram so she can wash the baby puke out of her hair. If mum isn’t comfortable being away from her baby just yet, offer to mind them in house and promise to wake her if baby needs anything.
Either grab your scrubbing gloves or find someone that will. Arranging to have the house cleaned for new parents is heaven. Trust me, between recovering from birth, feeding and all stuff baby, they haven’t had the time or energy to clean properly (my youngest is seven months and I still haven’t found the time) Plus, if she’s house proud, mum probably hates the fact that people are visiting constantly and things are not the way she would like.
Next time you go over, take their dirty washing with you. Return it washed dried and folded and you’ve scored some major brownie points.
6. iTunes voucher, netflix or movies
Mum and dad will likely be spending a lot of time at home so think about arranging some movies or a series for them to enjoy together. Mum will appreciate it while she’s sitting up all night feeding. I watched some of my best TV during that time.
7. A journal
Each of my kids has a baby book. As the grow, I’ve updated it and sometimes I sit back and read them. It’s a nice way of recording all the information they might forget during the crazy few months.
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8. An email address
It might sound silly but set up and email address for the baby and give it to mum and dad. Over the years people can send emails, thoughts, pictures, whatever to the address and when the child is old enough, mum and dad can hand over the password.
9. A photography session
Get a voucher for a professional photography shoot so that mum and dad can capture some beautiful pics of their new family (when they’re ready)