Even the words “New Parents” sounds daunting – it is a whole new adventure and one you really and truly cannot prepare for. Having grown up around children and been one of the last of my friends to have a child, I was very used to changing nappies, holding a baby, feeding, burping, attempting to put them to sleep and so naturally I assumed that I’d be okay because I’d had a lot of experience and could handle this…
Of course, I was prepared… physically. However, nothing can prepare you for the often instant and overwhelming rush of love that you feel for this tiny little person whom you spent 9 months growing. Add in the fact that you also want to protect them from any harm which comes with a boat load of anxiety and parent guilt because you don’t end up changing their outfit three times daily and you’ve just become a new parent.
Then come the gifts because everyone will want to share in your joy and excitement and show you how pleased they are for you. Often a gift will include a cuddly toy of some kind (which will ultimately get put onto a shelf or in a box and possibly never used again) or a cute little outfit that comes with several hundred baby buttons, five different pieces and matching shoes! It’s not that we aren’t grateful but actually when you welcome a new baby into the world, practicality is going to win every time and these gifts are cute, a nice thought but anything other than practical. A friend of mine bought me or rather put together one of the best presents I have seen and since receiving it myself, I have done the same for friends of mine and now pass “the baton of good present giving for new parents” on to you.
Firstly, you need to get a box – it can be pretty if you like but it’s important it can be re-used at a later date, so a medium sized plastic tub with a lid is always a good shout and then you need to fill it with baby essentials:
- Cotton wool or new-born wipes – we go through so much of these and it’s always useful to have more. If you aren’t sure which the parents will be using, it’s always safer to go with cotton wool and you can even get organic!
- Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment – Whether a little one has nappy rash or not it is always good to use cream as a protective measure. I was given and used Bepanthen for Alyssa as a new-born and still use it now. Bepanthen protects against the causes of nappy rash and is great to use as part of your bedtime routine. Night time is when the nappy is on for the longest time and can often lead to exposure of your baby’s skin to wee and poo so it’s great to protect your baby’s skin beforehand.
- Nappy Sacks – handy for all sorts of things it’s always useful to send a pack and I always make sure I grab the bio-degradable ones too.
- Thermometer – You can get the flat lay ones that you lie across a child’s forehead or some really good digital ones. I was given a brilliant digital one from Mothercare in its own case that flashes green or red depending on if the temperature is high or low.
- Tummy Troubles – I found popping in a bottle of colic remedy such as Infacol and a bottle of Gripe water is also really useful too. It was late at night when it was first suggested to me that Alyssa might have a touch of colic so having some in my gift box was really handy.
- Socks – So babies are possibly the worst culprits of lost sock syndrome. You know how the tumble dryer eats your socks?? Well, babies lose them even quicker so a couple of packs of socks are always welcome. Did you know they even do baby sock bouquets now?!
- Clothes – By all means include a nice outfit in there for the baby but please remember that baby buttons are the enemy of every parent out there (especially ones that fasten at the back) and poppers are much easier for quick change situations.
- Muslins – You can never have too many Muslins and I know that I had almost a hundred and at peak new-born time there was hardly ever any in the drawer. My favourite ones were the really big ones that could be used as a cover for breastfeeding, swaddling and pretty much everything!
- Food – No, this isn’t for the baby this is for the new parents. Either make them a lasagne they can just whack in the oven or include some gift vouchers for Just Eat or Hungry House in the box so they can enjoy an easy and delicious take-away.
- Memories – Finally, I like to include a little mini photo frame, album or box for the new parents to use
Any gift we receive as new parents is appreciated whether we show that well or not in those first few sleep deprived weeks but having been both the giver and receiver I can tell you that it is such a great feeling to give or receive a gift that has been so useful. New parents are just that… new and add in sleepless nights and baby brain and they’re likely to forget one or two things but your perfect gift for new-born parents will definitely be a shining light at 2am in the morning. Oh… and don’t forget a card and bottle of vino too!
This is a collaborative post