Maybe I’m just a rebel. I don’t always like to go with the crowd. I’m the one at weddings who tends to buy “off-liste”. It’s the same with new babies. I rarely hit Mothercare when a friend has a baby. Instead I go for one of these unique and useful baby gifts. Out with the endless babygros. Here are some meaningful alternatives.
A tub of handcream
This is the best handcream I’ve ever found, recommended by my mother-in-law who was a nurse. It’s not expensive but works brilliantly and is really soothing.
Why give it? Babies are definitely worth celebrating but they’ll be getting dozens of onesies and teddies anyway. The best gift you can give a baby is a happy Mummy. Her hands will be raw from all the handwashing and I’ve had new Mums tear up at this simple gift. “How did you know?” they say. I’ve been there, sister. Everything hurts after a birth. And unless it’s a very close friend who’s showing off her newborn, you’re not going to be getting cream for any other bits!
A pot of honey
Why honey ? Well, it was always what my Mum gave new Mums (including me). Spread on toast it gives you energy, it’s supposed to have healing properties (especially the Manuka type) and it’s a simple, cheering gift. I once gave a gift basket to a friend with this and the handcream plus another couple of goodies in it.
A garden kneeler
A kneeler? Really?!? Absolutely! It’s not so that your friend can start weeding two days after birth. It’s for the bathroom. I use ours constantly.
If you’re a parent you’ll know that you spend literally hundreds of hours a year bathing babies and toddlers, getting tiny people into pjs and potentially changing nappies on the floor. Unless your bathroom is carpeted (and, after the first round of potty-training or Noro virus, you’ll wish it wasn’t!), your knees take a hammering. So cheer their day and their knees with a fun kneeler.
The dream machine
If you’re really determined to get something for baby then this teddy bear was a life-saver for us.
The unit in the middle makes a range of soothing sounds which you can choose from including womb sound effects which are supposed to sooth baby to sleep. Cleverly, if baby stirs, the sound unit which plays for about 5 minutes, detects motion and restarts for another 5 minutes or so.
Our daughter loved this bear, it really did help her sleep and it was nice and firm so we put it behind her back (she was a side sleeper) to help her feel secure. It’s a beautifully-made bear and one I would have been delighted to receive as a gift. This one is cream but the bear also comes in blue or Pink
Dinner. Or, even better, a co-ordinated dinner service
Whether it’s your first or ninth baby, the days after birth are chaotic and exhausting and everyone is still hungry (especially Mum!) so ask if you can bring around a dinner they can just pop in the oven. Even better, bring it over hot at the time they usually eat. In disposable containers.
Our church usually provides hot meals to families with new babies for the first two weeks after they get home from hospital. It was such a welcome gift I can still remember most of the meals we were cooked over 5 years ago!
If you can coordinate a group of friends to cook, the free-to-use site takethemameal.com is an amazing resource to provide an unforgettable gift. I’ve used it extensively and have been really impressed. As coordinator, you can set up a schedule in about 3 minutes including directions to the house (there’s even a link to Google maps!), any details about what the family can and can’t eat and spaces for each date you want to cover. You can see what other people have signed up to take so the chances of getting sausage casserole 3 days in a row are low. It’s genius and makes getting a community together to help so easy!
So, never again will you wonder what to give a family with a new baby. Here’s to happy Mums!
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