Anyone who has had a baby will tell you that the vast majority of people give you clothes as a gift for your new baby. While these gifts are incredibly generous, clothes are not always the best or most useful present for new parents. Some babies grow faster than others, so if you buy small sizes the baby might grow out of the size before getting a chance to wear all the beautiful clothes, and if you buy larger clothes it could be the wrong season by the time the baby fits into them – both of these scenarios have happened me and it’s terrible when you feel like someone has spent money on gorgeous clothes that don’t get used, and to be honest there’s enough for new moms to feel guilty about without unused presents being added to that list! Also, different parents do love and use different baby paraphernalia. We, for example, received several hooded baby towels as gifts from parents who said they loved them for bath time, but we’ve always preferred just to use one of our own large, towels as we find them much fluffier, cosier and quicker to dry off baby with. So, whether you’re a parent or not, buying gifts for new parents is tough! To try and make the decisions a little easier, and to hopefully help your gift stand out from the crowd a little, here’s my take on some of the best, and more unusual, baby gifts …
1. A long phone charger cable
This is something I actually bought myself before baby number two arrived. A new mom will usually find herself sitting on the couch a huge amount, especially in the early days, whether it’s nursing or simply holding a sleeping baby, who would rather be held warmly in mama’s arms than snooze in a crib. A smartphone is so great for entertaining yourself and having a little ‘me time’ while still being there for your baby, however many smartphones (ahem, apple) don’t have great battery life and the chargers they come with usually have a short cable, so either your phone dies and you’re sitting there staring at the wall for 30 minutes or you end up with a shoulder creak from sitting in a contorted position trying to use your phone while it’s plugged into the wall. I bought two long cables for my iphone before my second baby was born and put one beside the couch, and one beside my bed, both places that I knew I would be nursing, and they are worth their weight in GOLD! Seriously! I have used them so many times in the last 8 months and they would definitely go on my ‘best gifts’ list.
Check out my previous post 10 Ways To Pass The Time While Breastfeeding (That Don’t Involve Facebook)
2. An iRing
I think it’s safe to say that most people who use smartphones have dropped it at some point, especially if you are lying in bed or on the couch while using it. I know SO many breastfeeding mothers who have dropped their phone on their baby either because the baby flailed unexpectedly and knocked it out of their hands, or it just slipped. I know it sounds terrible, but honestly it happens so easily and then you feel so guilty (yay more guilt!). Anyway, the iRing is a little ring that attaches to the back of your phone and you can pop your finger through it which makes holding your phone much easier and much more secure, especially if you have a larger phone. The iRing also doubles as a stand so you can prop it up easily to watch videos on your screen. It’s so simple, but such a good idea. They are also super cheap and can be bought from as little as £0.99 depending on what colour you go for!
3. A Large Water Bottle
New moms are easily dehydrated thanks to nursing and crazy hormones so a large water bottle is essential to keep hydrated in the early months. I bought this one when pregnant on my first and love it so much that I bought a second one recently. They are only £9.99 and are BPA free. My 4 year old one looks just as good as the new one, despite having been dropped multiple times and run through the dishwasher many, many times. I found it great to just fill it up and have next to me on the couch as it reminded me to sip it throughout the day. They are also a great size for day trips out with the kids. Again, a great present for a new mom and not one many people will think of.
4. Nice Hand Cream
New parents end up washing their hands a LOT, which can lead to very dry hands, very quickly. A nice hand cream is a must, especially if it’s a cold time of year. My husband, who I don’t think used hand cream before in his life, has ended up using it regularly since we’ve had kids. I’ve loved the Liz Earle Hand Repair for years, the scent is very light (but gorgeous) and most importantly the cream sinks into your hands with a matt finish so you can use it and then dive straight back into whatever you were doing without worrying about leaving oily marks on everything you touch … or struggling to open a door handle!
5. Nice Shower Gel
Being mother to a newborn is tough, you’re recovering from birth, trying to figure out this parenting thing, all on very little sleep. There’s not a lot of opportunities to feel ‘pampered’ so a really nice, fancy shower gel can go a long way to making a new mom feel a bit more human, and perk her up, even if the shower is only 30 seconds long. Again, I love the Liz Earle Botanical Body Wash for it’s light scent and general yumminess. It’s been a staple in our bathroom for years and its gentle enough to use on newborns. We’ve use it on both our kids since birth without any issues.
Seriously, ALL THE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! I cannot stress how amazing it is to receive food. Any kind of food. Dinner food. Snack food. Healthy food. Not so healthy food. It can be tough in the early days to juggle food shopping and dinner preparation with everything else that is going on, so someone arriving with food is literally the best thing ever. We were lucky enough to receive quite a few dinners, which was amazingly helpful. I had actually done some batch cooking for the freezer before baby number two arrived, so we weren’t too bad on the dinner front, but I ended up being stuck for lunch quite a few times. It can be hard to prepare lunch between all the feeds and naps, and a lot of the time the quickest things to grab aren’t necessarily the healthiest. I will always remember one of my friends showing up at my door with a bag of delicious, freshly baked brown bread, and salad. She wrapped the baby (big babywearing household here – future blog post for sure!) who happily dozed on my friend’s chest leaving me with two hands to eat. It was so nice to eat something so fresh and healthy. It truly sticks out in my mind as one of the best things someone did for me after the baby arrived, so much so that I’ve tried to make a point of showing up with fresh fruit, salad or homemade baked goods when going to see new parents since then. Even if you can’t get to the shops, or visit the new parents in person, there are fresh food delivery services or even a good old takeout voucher! Sending food is also especially helpful if there are other young kids in the house that need to be fed!
So there you have it, 6 great gifts for new parents, none of which involve a onesie 6-pack!
Let me know in the comments if you bought or received anything unusual which you would add to this list!
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