Gift guide for new parents: practical and heartfelt gifts for baby showers and newborns
You’re about to become an auntie/uncle/grandparent/honorary godparent/insert other title here to a newborn baby! And because you’re a lovely person, you are looking for a thoughtful gift for a baby shower or a newborn baby. If you’re here looking for tips of where to find luxury soaps and handmade baby grows, you’re in the wrong place - instead you will find practical and heartfelt gifting advice from a mama of two WHO KNOWS. I know - trust me, I KNOW - what your mum-to-be pal needs. And it isn’t a bunch of flowers. Read on to find out how to be there for your friends as they enter the world of parenthood…
N.B No affiliate links here or kick backs for me for mentioning businesses or people… simply things I have used and loved myself and can recommend :)
What do new parents need the most? To be able to look after themselves well. What are they least able to do in those early days? Look after themselves well! You probably can’t do much to help the sleeping situation, but you can help make sure they are eating nutritious meals and feeding themselves properly. A supermarket delivery works well, or I can recommend COOK for easy cook meals - I have sent food parcels to friends from their website, and recently I teamed up with pals so we could give a voucher to keep some other friends going for a few weeks. If you do order fresh food, make sure you book a delivery slot for when your friend(s) are at home, for obvious reasons! And if you go round to visit, always - ALWAYS - take food :)
When you become a parent, time takes on this magical form where it can stretch endlessly yet also completely disappear. What should be a quick trip out of the house to pick up milk can become a three hour expedition involving multiple outfit changes, meals and low level disasters such as thinking you’ve left your phone on a park bench but actually it was in the buggy all along. In other words - simple daily life tasks can suddenly become hard, and this is usually compounded by a lack of sleep. The best gift a friend can give at times like this? Time. Give a gift of time so your friend can rest or do something for themselves. If you want to make a gesture of time, consider making some time gift vouchers for your friend that they can cash in when they need to. Think things like ‘two hours of babysitting so you can nap’ or ‘an hour’s cleaning’ or ‘a morning entertaining your toddler out of the house so you can focus on yourself/baby’. You will be forever loved, trust me!
When I had my first baby, my sister gave me the best present - she had her first baby eight years before me, and SHE KNEW what I actually needed. Her present was a basket stuffed full of essentials that I giggled at when I received it but raided from day one. Breast pads. Cotton wool balls. Nipple cream (the good stuff, not in a gift pack from a soap company). Disposable post birth pants. The biggest pads I’d ever seen. The tiniest nappies I’d ever seen. The tiniest nail scissors I’d ever seen (asking any parent about babies and nails). Scratch mitts. A cellular blanket. Muslins. So many muslins. Not a cuddly toy in sight… practical, thoughtful, rescued me in painful moments in the middle of the night when the pharmacy wasn’t open.
If baby is already here and you’re looking for a naming day or christening gift, I cannot recommend this idea enough. I was lucky enough to come across Carl during lockdown, when we won a prize for a personalised poem during an online bingo game (yes I know, not an activity I would usually partake in either!) He emailed a few questions which I answered in detail, and he sent back the most incredible poem about my husband and our lockdown experience that I could ever have imagined. We’ve since commissioned him to write poems for both our boys on their naming day, and I sobbed when they were read out in front of family and friends. Another friend hand illustrated a print of the poems and they live on their bedroom walls, a daily reminder for them of how special they are to us.
Yes yes, I know - of course I am going to say this… but think about it - photography is the only gift you can give that will increase in value over time. Both the pregnancy and the newborn days might feel like they last FOREVER sometimes when you’re in it, but in reality both fly by. One minute you have a blooming bump, the next a babe is in your arms. That babe is tiny for a short while and then all of a sudden they are starting school. Pregnancy photos and newborn pictures are the gift that keep on giving, not just now in the moment, but for generations to come. You can read about my gift voucher offer here.
I truly believe the gift of photography may be the best thing you can give a new family - a special treat they might not have thought of for themselves during a busy time of preparing for big changes! Get in touch to start the conversation about gifting a photography session by clicking here and give the gift of memories.