When I had my first son, I was amazed at the amount of gifts he got. It seemed that the postman was arriving with cards and parcels almost every day for weeks and weeks. Every visitor came laden down with presents for the baby. We had just bought the basics, so we were thrilled with all the clothes, toys, blankets and cuddly toys that came Number One’s way.
Even as a mother of three, it can be quite tricky to choose a gift for newborn when they are not the first child in the family. A lot of people shy away from telling their friends and family what they would really like for fear of seeming greedy. Some, like me when Number Three was only a few days old, simply had no idea what they want or need. Sleep deprivation, sore boobs and baby brain had taken over and I had no overview of how well equipped we were (materially) to deal with a new baby.
With a few months distance from Number Three’s birth, I have now put together a list of gifts for babies, ranging from the practial to the pretty, in the hope that it will inspire you.
Children’s Cutlery – Cutlery is one of my favourite gifts to give to babies. The range available, both price-wise and design-wise, is very broad so there really is something available for every taste and budget. I’ve given sets from Aldi to WMF and a few between. Some companies offer the option to have the child’s name or initials engraved. I find that a lovely idea. Avoid printed patterns on the cutlery as these tend to fade or dissolve in the dishwasher. Embossed or engraved designs won’t disapppear.
While practical, cutlery also makes a nice, lasting gift to mark a child’s birth, baptism or first birthday.
Piggy bank – A piggy bank is another practical but thoughtful gift. It is individual to the child and won’t become a hand-me-down to younger siblings. Again, with regards to colour, design and price, there a massive range and they are not hard to find.
Something handmade – Knit or crocheted booties, a hat, jumper or blanket, a changing mat or nappy wallet. Any of these makes a beautiful and meaningful present for a new baby. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be made by you. Almost everyone appreciates having somethings made specially for their new little one.
Melamine bowl & plate set – Over the last few years melamine sets for babies and toddlers have been popping up everywhere. Paperchase, Habermaass and many other manufacturers have been bringing out patterns ranging from pretty to funky. They are dishwasher and microwave safe, sturdy and colourful. What more can you ask for? I know that my kids love their own melamine beakers, bowls and plates.
Voucher for photo printing – with everything gone digital these days there is not much photo printing going on, but who can resist printing a few snaps of their treasured newborn? One for Daddy’s desk, for Mummy’s purse, for Nana’s fridge. In our case we even had to get one for the proud big brother’s pencil case for his first day of school. Giving the gift of a voucher for a good printshop could be quite welcome.
Baby Photo Album – My children love to look at their baby albums. Along with photos, I put in a few notes about when they took their first steps, etc. and I saved their boarding passes from their first flights to Ireland. The Baby album we got for Number One had an ink stamp with it for making footprints at different ages (3, 6, 9 and 12 months for instance). Here is the link to the most recent version of the same album. A baby album is a joy to have. If you are an extra good friend, you could even offer to fill it with photos and mementos of baby’s first year.
Keepsake Box – This is a similar idea to the baby album but suits the less organised parents and / or larger families. They don’t need to print, cut and stick, they just need to fling everything from the hospital bracelet to the first lock of hair into the keepsake box. There are beautiful boxes available. Tied with a lovely big bow, they are not only practical but also make a lovely feature in the nursery. (Tip: this is something you can hand make too, for an extra special touch).
Bodies and babygros – In my experience, bodies and babygos get a lot of wear and, being closest to the skin, are likely to suffer the effects of the explosive nappies around the 3 to 5 month stage. Many of them may not be suitable for handing down to younger siblings. I have always been glad of soft new bodies and babygros as gifts. What is also unbelievably cute are matching t-shirt and babygros with “big brother” and “little brother”.
A Children’s Classic – A classic book like Wind In The Willows, The Water Babies or Alice in Wonderland with an inscription to the baby makes a wonderful gift. Give it to a toddler or older child and they will more than likely not be terribly impressed. But give it to a newborn and they will grow up knowing that that book is theirs and theirs alone.
Black & White Book – Tana Hoban’s classic reversable Black & White fold out book is wonderful for babies. Our is almost seven years old and still going strong. Number One and Two were fascinated by it as babies and Number Three has been discovering it lately. We have it woven between the poles of the playpen and Number Three loves to gaze at the shapes portrayed.
While I am at it, I may as well give you my top three presents for new or expectant parents (first timers).
1. DVD Bebes du Monde – If you haven’t seen this film, go out and get it. No matter how many of your own children you have, you will find it beutiful and amazing. It is a largely silent documentary film which charts the first year in the lives of four babies, one each in USA, Mongolia, Japan and Africa. The differences in the treatment of pregnancy and style of upbringing are fascinating.
2. The Wonder Weeks – A fantastic book on the developmental stages every baby goes through. Reading this will not help a teething baby sleep, but it will help the parents realise why their hitherto calm and adorable baby has become a nightmare and reassure them that their darling will return. It also gives a good insight into what a baby can do and when.
3. Baby’s First Skills – In month-by-month chapters this book by Dr. Miriam Stoppard details what a baby is capable of and gives excellent tips on how to entertain and play with a baby in such a way as to help him or her learn the new skills they are ready for. It is a great book to leaf through while feeding the baby since the chapters are short and there are plenty of diagramsto illustrate the points made. A very parent-friendly book.
All opinions stated here are my own and are based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post. I was not provided with any of the products listed in this blog. Anything referenced as belonging to me or my family here was given to us by friends or purchased by us.