Buying for new babies is a minefield. Although I don’t actually have mine to hand yet, I have bought presents for quite a few (and their parents) and I have been asked a couple of times what makes a good present for a baby and its family. I thought I would suggest some ideas, in case you’re ever stumped. This list is based on my pre-baby buying habits and gifts that have been given to us.
Everyone loves buying baby clothes- FACT. I also think it’s nearly compulsory to say to at least one shop assistant “Ooh, I wish they made these in grown up sizes!” There are some things to consider though, when buying clothes:
Sizing- Think about whether it’s best to go for something that’s newborn or slightly bigger, so that it can be grown into. 3-6 or 6-9 months are good sizes to consider.
Time of year- If you are buying ahead, think about what time of year it will be when the baby is big enough to wear what you’ve bought. There’s no use buying a really lovely snowsuit if the baby will be big enough to wear it in summer.
Practicality- Do you want to buy something that’s an outfit, or do you want something more practical? Something I have found out recently- apparently you can never have enough vests. I think we’ll be investing a small fortune in these. Similar practical items include socks, bibs, muslins and bootees.
I’m lucky in that I have crafty friends- we recently received some beautiful crocheted blankets. I often knit bootees and cardigans for my friends. Ask if the parents have any colour ideas they like (I have been vehemently anti-pastels) and always try and make anything in a wool/material that can be just chucked in the washer. There are some ideas as to what you could make here.
Other parents have given us ‘essentials’- nappy cream, talc, baby wipes and books that they found useful. This has been really fantastic, as it’s such a minefield knowing what you need before you have a bundle to bathe!
It’s obviously not expected to buy things for mum and dad, but if you’re going to a baby shower or it’s your best friend who’s about to have a baby (or you’re just feeling warm with the glow of human generosity), I would recommend the following:
If it’s a really, really good friend of mine, I try to buy something for mum that will make her feel a bit pampered; it doesn’t have to be anything expensive, it can be a relaxation pack of face mask, bath foam, scented candle or body moisturiser (with some posh chocolate thrown in, if she likes it!) One of my friends said that she would just be happy with a cup of tea and doughnut though, so each to their own!
My mum always told me that you should take a little something for dad, as he often gets neglected. One time I went to visit a new baby, I took a box of cream cakes instead of flowers, as I knew that mum and dad would enjoy that. If you were to take something for Benn, I reckon a bottle of real ale and a Toblerone would make him happy… One friend said that she would take a bottle of wine round for mum and dad to enjoy at their leisure.
Any other suggestions for baby presents? Have I missed anything?