We recently had our daughters baby shower A.K.A. a “Sprinkle.” It’s not as elaborate as a baby shower but a smaller celebration to welcome the new baby. We didn’t create a registry for her as we already had the necessities from when her brother was born. Other than girlie things and itty bitty diapers we really didn’t need much since our son is still very young (2YO). And yes, we’re now part of the “2 Under 2” crew, (insert terrified and panicked look).
So after the sprinkle it got me thinking… New parents are about to embark on one of the most challenging yet rewarding journeys of their lives, whether its their first baby or fifth so what are some ways we can show them support other than going off of a gift registry, which honestly only half of the stuff on the registry gets used. As parents to a new baby (or in general) we tend to put ourselves last. We struggle get shower daily, to eat a hot meal and just feel, well, human. In the early days it’s all about survival but I truly believe that
“We can’t take care of others until we take care of ourselves”
I’ve realized that self-love and appreciation is something parents desperately need. We need to feel connected to ourselves and to each other as a couple. I know I have the hardest time taking care of my kids when I haven’t eaten, or slept, or showered. So how can we support this idea of “taking care of ourselves to take care of others”? What gifts will truly help the family out or are the most meaningful?
Top 10 Meaningful (and Unexpected) Gifts
Newborn photos- By the time a family has adjusted to having a new baby in the house the thought of newborn photos may have completely slipped their minds. I didn’t do photos for my son and I’m kicking myself to this day. Most newborn photographers like to take the photos within the first 3 weeks so coordinate with the family as far as baby’s arrival and booking a date.
Give the Gift of a Spa Day- It may take some time for Mama to get out of the house alone, but she will love the opportunity to focus on herself for a little bit. Try to keep it short vs a full spa day- “Mom Guilt” is a real thing so you want to make sure she doesn’t feel bad for leaving the little one for a long time. Think 1 hour Massage, mani/pedi, haircut.
At Home Love- Nail polish, lotion, candles, face mask. Anything for a pick me up for the new parents that they can sneak in during nap time.
Clothing- Mama probably won’t going to the mall anytime soon to buy any new clothes (no time) but remember, her body size might be changing after having the baby. If she is breastfeeding grab her something she can easily nurse in. New comfy clothes are always a hit! Robes? Slippers? Yes please!
Gift Cards for Online Stores- On second thought, a gift card for online clothing shopping would also be pretty amazing. As sleep deprived zombies rocking/nursing/comforting/feeding a new baby, parents still need something to occupy their mind at 4 in the morning. Welcome to the world of ONLINE SHOPPING! I never was much of an online shopper UNTIL I had my son and nursed him in the middle of the night. For me, online shopping is addictive- ask my husband…actually please don’t. I can’t tell you how many times the baby had fallen asleep and I was still up trying to fill my online shopping card to hit free shipping. All too real.
Baby’s Birthstone- I love the idea of giving the new parents an item with the baby’s birthstone. Maybe a necklace or a ring, even a picture frame. If the family already has children and is adding a new member be sure to include all the children’s stones in the gift. My grandmother received a ring with all her childrens birthstones and it was gorgeous. I will always remember her delicate hands with her childrens birthstones on it (4 amethysts and 1 emerald). So sentimental and special.
Subscription boxes– I LOVE subscription boxes! It’s like it’s your birthday every month- that excitement of getting package on your doorstep..a SURPRISE package that you don’t know what’s in it! There are many types of subscription boxes out there but one I love is Cratejoy.com It’s a one stop shop for subscription boxes- choose from parenting boxes, baby, clothing, books, beauty to gaming, fitness, etc. and it ranges in prices too.
Baby mommy yoga classes- I LOVED going to baby/mommy yoga with Cruz. He was 3 MO when we went and the babies in the class were of all ages- from new borns up to crawlers (there were classes for each age group). And the amazing thing?! We were all messes together! No one had makeup on, we all stumbled in with diaper bags/car seats/yoga mats/toys and everything else we could carry. Babies were giggling, some were crying, moms would nurse. It wasn’t relaxing but I learned some great postpartum poses and it got me out of the house and able to bond more with Cruz. We sang songs, played and afterwards we all sat in a circle and asked any questions we had about our babies/parenting. I still broke a sweat- probably a combo of nerves and physical exertion but man I felt amazing afterwards and Cruz loved it! He would hold hands with the baby next to him and giggle and watch. It was so fun! The biggest takeaway- the sense of community. I knew I had resources and my “village” expanded that much more.
Personalized Jewelry- A necklace with the baby’s name on it, or even a piece of jewelry with an engraved “mama” on it. Check out Tinytags.com they have the cutests jewlery for new parent.
Customized name blanket– This was one of my absolute favorite gifts from when I had my son! It was so thoughtful and we used it ALL the time! It was Cruz’s baby blanket and we saved it as a keepsake for him when he’s older. The blanket we received was from Bocobaby.com and the quality was amazing- it has a nice cozy thickness (not too heavy) and had a great texture on the back that you can see in the picture. It also came with a cute little beanie!
Top 5 Most Helpful Gifts
Tv/Movie Subscription– A Netflix or Hulu Subscription– While nursing/rocking/feeding in the middle of the night you need some way to stay entertained without losing your mind..and you can only Insta-creep or Facebook-stalk for so long…it’s so true though. Netflix or any other movie site to the rescue!
Snacks on Snacks on Snacks– Sitting down and eating a meal with a new baby is as rare as a Jackalope sighting. Let’s just say it just doesn’t happen. A big basket full of snacks will be a lifesaver for the new parents. Cooking a meal isn’t likely, but inhaling a protein bar in 2 bites is totally doable. Not to mention, breastfeeding mothers tend to have insatiable appetites so having snacks on hand is crucial, just be aware that breastfeeding mothers tend to shy away from certain items like alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, garlic, onions or dairy based products.
Household Services- Keeping the house clean is hard enough, let alone with a new born. A cleaning service for new parents so they can focus on their little. Another thought is a laundry service- most laundry services will pick up and drop off your laundry with a 24hr turnaround and the price is usually based on weight. Shoot even if you don’t have a newborn these are great ideas for parents…hmm Mother’s Day???!!
Food Delivery Service- like HelloFresh or Blue Apron They’ll send you the ingredients for delicious meals- and they’ll cater to your individual preferences or dietary needs i.e. Whole 30. Super easy for a new family and eliminates having to go to the grocery store. If you’re feeling extra generous you can even cook the meal for them! Click here for $50 Off with Blue Apron!
Not what you’re looking for? How about bringing over a hot meal or some meals that can be frozen.
Amazon Prime Membership: Amazon is the most amazing thing ever. There are many additional services available other than the standard shopping. If you haven’t tried Amazon Prime I highly recommend it, especially for new parents. It’s a service that is $119/year or $59/year for a Prime Student membership- you can also Try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial and you’ll receive free 1 or 2 day shipping. Plus you’ll have access to Prime Day which gives members exclusive access to some amazing deals on Amazon! To give the gift of Amazon Prime, click below!
Another one of Amazon’s services is fresh produce and grocery delivery straight to your door! Awesome for the new parents! Try AmazonFresh Free Trial
Other Random and Totally Useful Ideas
Baby Carrier- If this wasn’t included on their registry then you need to immediately go pick up a baby carrier for them. Baby carriers are total lifesavers- they allow you to keep your baby close to you (both of my kids LOVED to be held all the time, I’m totally not complaining!) and gives you the capability of having both of your hands free. For me, especially having two little ones, being hands-free is essential but also its 1000x easier than lugging a stroller around.
My husband Matt and I have both used the Ergobaby 360, which is comfortable, gives ample back support, holds baby really well, easy to put on and comes with an newborn/infant insert (I’m literally wearing ours right now as I type this). Click here to receive 25% off the newborn baby Ergobaby bundle!
I also totally love the Boba wrap, which is essential one massively long piece of stretchy fabric that you tie, or wrap, in a certain way to carry the baby. Totally safe, totally secure and extremely comfortable. Once baby has enough neck strength you can also breastfeed in it which I love. I like the Boba for around the house since its so cozy. Total lifesavers for parents with more than 1 child or for first time parents. I totally underutilized the carrier when I first had my oldest, but now I can’t imagine my life without babywearing!
Gift cards for the WIN!- Always a great idea for growing families. Sometimes you just don’t know what you need until you’re in the thick of it. Also gift cards for restaurants would be nice, but make sure the restaurant has delivery/curbside pickup. Taking everyone to a restaurant might be a big struggle in the beginning and more stressful than helpful. Door Dash, anyone?
Um, BABYSITTING! Give the opportunity to go to dinner/movie together, or go to Starbucks without the baby. Sometimes I seriously need to go to Target and wander the aisles aimlessly alone. Parents choice.
Extra Hands/House Helper– When you come over to visit the baby do their laundry, wash the dishes, sweep the floors. They’ll probably say no to having help but if you’re already there do a little something to get them ahead.
Errand Runner- offer to run to the store for the parents after the baby is born- Target, BuyBuy Baby for baby necessities, or grocery shopping. Also, wherever you go ask if the parents need anything while you’re out.
Diapers, Diapers, Diapers! Wipes, Wipes, Wipes! Can’t go wrong by getting new parents diapers and wipes. I never buy the Newborn size (N) for babies- sometimes they baby is too big to fit into them! Start with size 1, or size 2s are good. They’ll need them no matter what!
And the last piece of advice:
Always include a gift receipt, no matter what!
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