Some of the most common presents are sometimes the most useless. Yes they are cute, yes some of these have their place, but they aren't want a parent of a newborn really wants, what they really need! Here's my favorite, or should I say least favorite, presents people get for newborns.
- Baby blankets. They are so beautiful, have gorgeous colours and textures. But my girl kicks a blanket off in 5 minutes or wiggles underneath it. They come in handy for the pram or on the floor. A better alternative are sleeping bags or convertible swaddles like the Love to Dream or Ergo Cocoon. Most parents will inevitably move to these pretty quickly when they realise how much easier they are than swaddling!
- Mittens. Like I said, my girl can pull those babies off quick smart. Baby suits with fold over cuffs are much better and they cant pull them off.
- Beanies. They are so cute, but my bub was born in warm weather and never wore them.
- Baby pillows and cot bumpers. Seriously, I don't know why (or legally can) they even sell these things! They are dangerous and completely against SIDS guidelines. Airwraps might not be as pretty but if your bub rolls into them they can still breathe and they stop little baby legs being caught in the bars.
Now I've told you what aren't the most useful gifts, I suppose I should tell you some gift ideas that a new parent really wants but just doesn't know it!
- Sleep! Ok, so you can't give someone sleep but you can come around and do some housework or watch bub while mum takes some desperately needed zzz's.
- Cooked dinners. When we first took our little koala home, I had neither time nor energy to cook. Luckily I had stocked the freezer with pre-made meals. But little did I know, I hadn't made enough. Better yet, come over a cook something! A new mother will appreciate the company and would probably love a freshly cooked meal.
- A cleaner. This is a great idea! I would have been over the moon at my baby shower if someone had given me some vouchers for a cleaner for a few sessions. Having someone come over and clean my house every couple of weeks for the first few months would have just taken a little bit of pressure off looking after bub without having to find time to keep the house clean!
- First Aid training. Having experienced a couple of medical emergencies, calling an ambulance and trips to hospital, I now know how vital knowing First Aid is! If my husband hadn't been trained up, I am not sure our girl would still be here. Some providers have courses where you can bring your baby along. KidzAid and Kids First Aid are just a couple. This gift could quite literally be a life saver.
- An in-house massage and babysitter. Man, I could still use this! Most new mother's wouldn't feel comfortable with a stranger looking after their newborn and trying to leave the house is often an 2 hour epic journey. However, they might be happy for a friend or relative to come over and watch over their baby for an hour. In the meantime, a mobile masseuse can help mum with that aching back from all the baby carrying and post-pregnancy pain. A mobile hairdresser would go down just as well!
- Practical. Ok, so you want physical present but one they will actually use. No new mum can have too many baby wipes, nappy bin bags, nappies, bibs, wash cloths and the like. Also baby clothes in a range of sizes, not just 0000 or 000 will come in handy. Many new parents don't think of all those bigger sizes before they get to them, but some bubs will be a size 0 sooner than others!
Have a baby shower coming up or expecting a new niece or nephew? Think outside the box and get the parents something they really need!
Happy baby showering!