I think it’s fair to say that most people like to give a gift to new parents when a baby is born. It’s usually a cute item of clothing, a cuddly toy, baby books, toiletries or maybe even a new photo album or frame. Gifts are always appreciated, because babies are so expensive!
However, it is always nice for new parents to receive something a little different – something aimed at the parents rather than the baby. Something to help them get through those first few tough days/weeks/months.
I’ve made this list for those who are finding it hard to think of something that would be truly appreciated – those who aren’t parents themselves, or haven’t been new parents in a while.
This is a list of things that helped us as parents the first time round – a list which I’m hoping might be repeated this time! (hint hint)
For new parents, or indeed any parents, time is a true commodity. It is hard to find, and even harder to keep hold of – every time you think you’ve got a quick five minutes to yourself, it tends to be snatched away by a badly timed phone call, an errand you’ve forgotten to run, or some other kind of slap in the face.
Time is precious to us all. If you want to help out a new parent, then give them your time. Hold baby so they can eat or finally have a hot drink whilst it’s still actually hot. Sit with baby so that they can have their own much needed nap. Spend time with any older siblings, or look after baby so that they can get in their own quality time.
Time will always be appreciated.
Few people actually like to ask for help, or even feel comfortable enough to accept it when offered. If you pop round to visit Mum and Dad or the new addition, help out by doing a chore or two. If there’s a floor to hoover or some washing up to do, don’t ask – they are more likely to say no, because they’ll feel guilty. Instead, just do it. Hunt down the vacuum cleaner; pop the kettle on whilst you tackle the washing up. Fold up the laundry that has started to pile on the chair in the corner. Just tell them to put their feet up whilst you get on with it.
Do they have an older child? If so, why don’t you offer to do the nursery run or pick the older kids up from school? It is one less thing for Mum and Dad to rush around for.
Food! We all love food. We all need food. Food is life.
Food is also a lot harder to come by when you have a new baby in the house. Or at least, nutritional food is. A gift that always goes down well is a pre-prepared meal that they can either heat up for a quick meal or store in the freezer for later. Nutritional snacks are also great, so they don’t end up surviving on crisps and chocolate (although they also go down a treat!). If they live near by and you’re heading to the supermarket, give them a quick ring to see if there is anything you can pick up for them. The likelihood is they will have run out of something – most likely milk due to all the caffeinated drinks they are getting through!
There are all sorts of vouchers you can give people, all depending on their wants and needs. A babysitting voucher often goes down well – new parents will be glad of a child free date night later down the line! Vouchers for pamper sessions to help with relaxation, or clothes vouchers for Mum to update her post pregnancy wardrobe. Bonus points go to those who buy vouchers for shops which don’t have a kids section!
Last but by no means least, subscriptions. There are so many things you can subscribe to nowadays – magazines, movies, TV, food etc etc etc. You can subscribe to monthly/quarterly boxes of new books, toiletries, clothes, toys, different types of tea, alcohol…you name it, there’s likely a box for it. So have a browse, and see what takes your fancy! Or rather, see what you think will take Mum and Dad’s fancy…
What was the best gift you received as a new parent?
Let us know in the comments below!