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zina's avatar

What are great, imaginative, helpful gifts for a newborn or new parents?

Asked by zina (1638 points ) March 30th, 2008

I’m visiting one of my best friends immediately after she gives birth for a few days. I don’t want to give her another onesie – and I don’t have kids myself but I bet there’s some really useful things that new parents would like. I already gave a her a cute coat for the baby, a sling to carry him/her on her back, and a children’s book—- and I plan to cook for them like crazy while I’m visiting. Creative ideas for other things to bring or do?

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14 Answers

mdy's avatar

If she’s scheduled for a C-Section, this book or others like it will be helpful:
Essential C-Section Guide

If she’s a new mom, this book will be good: What to Expect the First Year

A breastfeeding book may also be good.

I know “books” are not very creative suggestions, but after observing many first-time moms (and dads) dealing with the uncertainty of what’s normal and what’s not, I know they’ll appreciate being forearmed with the knowledge of what to expect.

FlutherMother's avatar

Those books are good – don’t knock em @mdy. I liked having info I could read so I knew what I was getting into (actually 15 years & 3 kids later and I still don’t REALLY know!)

@zina. Sounds like you got wonderful things. I think your best gift now would be to just be there. Cooking is great. Cleaning up, tossing in a load of laundry, keeping the house picked up, and remembering to put the trash to the curb on garbage day are wonderful too. Offering to walk a fussy baby around the house just so mom can take a shower or even just go the bathroom would also be appreciated. Often new moms are tired, sore and out of sorts and they still end up entertaining while a steady parade of well-wishers just sat and held the baby. Feel free to act as a liason so she doesn’t have to turn away Aunt Clara after a 4 hour visit. Let her know to rest when the baby does. Also, be there. After the excitement of having the baby passes, the reality of a day to day living with a demanding infant (even the best babies require time and energy) set in (along with the sad fact that very few of us bounce back into shape like Nicole Richie!), she may need to cry, or talk or whatever. Even when her emotions seem not to make sense, just be the shoulder to lean on.

And as a mom who knows, I am sending you my appreciation for your thoughtfulness. I hope the new family realizes what a treasure you are.

iSteve's avatar

But seriously, you can never have too many onesies!!!

breedmitch's avatar

When my sister gave birth, she said the best gift she received was a “spa basket” that was just for her. It had things like bath salts, loofa etc. She said it was nice that someone had remembered her.

boffin's avatar

Sign her up for a diaper service…3 mo 6mo or a year….

cornman's avatar

We had twin boys about 5 years ago and I thought we were going to have to mortgage the house to pay for diapers! I think buying a parent to a newborn diapers of different sizes is a nice practical gift. Gift cards are nice too! :-)

occ's avatar

It’s always a nice idea to buy something just for the mom, not the baby. A gift certificate for a post-natal massage would be really great. She probably won’t have time to go and get the massage for at least a month, but just knowing a massage is waiting for her will probably help get her through some stressful times…Also, is this her first baby? If she already has another kid, be sure to bring a gift for the big brother or sister. Even if it’s just something small. Older sibling often get neglected when a new baby comes and it’s really important to shower them with love and affection (and gifts) so that they don’t start to resent the new baby.

babygalll's avatar

You can get her a gift certificate for their “first family” photo at the nearest studio.

spendy's avatar

After my first child, my best friend gave me a set of plaster molds. They were from Pottery Barn, but many places have them. You just mix the plaster and make a mold of the baby’s hand or foot. We had tons of people give us the usual gifts (clothes, swings, etc.) but this seemed extra special, and it wasn’t something I would have thought of (and even if I did, I wouldn’t have had the time during the first month to go right out and pick it up). The greatest part was that she gave me a set, so there was a mold for “right away” and another for later (be it 6 months or 1 year). There are always the ink prints from the hospital, but who leaves out their baby book or keep-sake certificate for everyone to see? These you could mount next to the baby’s newborn portrait, or anywhere you wanted. It’s great to compare and hard to believe now that anything was EVER that small. :) They grow so fast and it’s awesome to capture something from the start.

spendy's avatar

@ occ – this is an EXCELLENT suggestion. Sibling rivalry w/a newborn is something to avoid like the plague. Be certain to give attention to older siblings, if there are any. In addition to gifts for them, consider gifts for the baby that older siblings can “help” with if they are capable. You could even engage them in the construction of a small Memory Book for the baby’s keep-sake box (or whatever Mom & Dad have decided to use for memories). Kids love crafting things and they could be part of capturing the precious moments with new baby.

zina's avatar

great ideas—- this is their first child, so the sibling things don’t apply, but great thoughts.

i think the post-natal massage and plaster molds are particularly perfect for them (i hadn’t thought of either!)—she was just saying this morning how much her body hurts (VERY pregnant), and i LOVE keepsakes like the molds.

they already have loads of books, the dad is a photographer so plenty of pics, and i’m not sure what diaper system they’re using (which is why i was hesitant to do that), but i saw for their shower they had registered for special flushable biodegradable ones…. but all of those are great ideas that i’ll use in the future!

keep em coming!

spendy's avatar

A little off the subject (kinda)...did they register for G diapers? I looked into those for my last baby (October 07) and really thought about using them. Drop me a note when you find out how they like them (if those are the ones they’re using). I’m curious!

PupnTaco's avatar

Let them sleep, run errands, clean up, make dinners they can freeze & reheat. The first few weeks are brutal.

gabbypotterrr's avatar

Oh man, I LOVE organic baby products. I totally recommend a mom-baby gift basket from PiperTate—http://pipertate.com/collections/babytate/babygiftset02.php.

:)

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