It’s true: everybody really does like to buy baby gifts. Perhaps we are drawn in by the tiny sizes, the adorable prints that we can no longer wear as adults, or the cute, cute cuteness of it all. But despite the cute baby items out there, some of the greatest gifts A and I received as we prepared for E’s birth and after were items that were not the typical cute baby outfits (although we LOVED those too!). Even my friends that never want to have kids seemed to enjoy the challenge of finding baby gifts that weren’t too “baby.”
Since so many people it seems are expecting in the next year, here are some unique gift ideas your expecting friends or friends who have recently given birth will love:
- Basket of organic fruits delivered to new parents’ door (thanks ML & CL!). New parents don’t have time to cook, much less eat anything that requires even being taken out of a box that needs to be opened. Having fresh organic fruits in the fridge which newbie parents can just grab and eat is a godsend.
- Wine of the month clubs (thanks EG!). This is truly a great gift for the newbie parents. We loved getting two new bottles of wine in the mail each month, because honestly, we never had time to go to the store and when we did, we definitely did not have time to even look at more than one wine label to make any sort of decision about which wine to get. Which brings me to…
- Grocery delivery service or personally buying groceries for newbie parents (thanks mom & dad!). Trips to the grocery store take on a whole new meaning with a baby, especially in those first couple of months. No matter how prepared new parents are, they will always need more… more diapers, receiving blankets, wipes, food, etc.
- Receiving blankets. Newborns need tons of them in which to be swaddled (unless the newborn doesn’t like to be swaddled).
- Frozen homemade meals, take out meals brought in to newbie parents, any meals at all. Again, new parents need to eat (especially nursing moms!) and won’t have time to even think about it. Get together with friends and start a rotations list to last the first couple of weeks…or better yet, a month!
- Diapers and wipes, or a diaper service for cloth diaper folks. New parents need several boxes of both Newborn sized diapers and Size 1 diapers. Several packages/boxes.
- Photo albums (thanks AS & ES, MS & CS!). Newbie parents will need a lot of them.
- Baby Journal/Time Tracker (thanks JQ!). I’m talking about the kind where new parents can keep track of exactly when their newborn eats, has a wet or poopy diaper, and naps/sleeps. This was a great gift – so much so that after we ran out of pages at 3 months we bought another. This helped us so much to learn about E’s habits, and to also see in the early days why he may have been fussy and if he was getting enough to eat (is it time again to eat? when was his last nap? did he have enough wet/poopy diapers today?)
Perhaps the greatest gift we received is the gift of ultimate friendship and family. Even with nine (ten! It’s really ten!) months to prepare, new parents enter a very strange new world very suddenly and they need to be able to talk about it with other new parents (is this normal? how often and how long does your baby cry?) and also with parents who’ve been there (when does this weird cradle cap stuff end? what bedtime routine worked best for you?). Even if you can’t relate, just allowing a new parent or expecting parent to talk openly and honestly is a great gift.
Just know that whatever gift you give, new parents will appreciate it. We tend to have a new appreciation for everything in life now. Especially for the little things :)