It’s spring, and lambs are leaping, bunnies are lolloping and chicks are cheeping. Plus, from royals and celebrities to friends and family, it seems babies are being born all over the place too.
And, while this is a wonderful thing, it can be hard to think of original gift ideas without simply adding to the parents’ ever-growing mountain of babygrows and cuddly toys. (Thank goodness we’re not in the royals’ shoes though – I mean, what do you get the baby who quite literally has everything?)
So to help you out (assuming you’re not related to the Windsors), we’ve compiled a gift guide to get you feeling inspired…
While babygrows are grown out of and cuddly toys are discarded, a sentimental gift can be kept forever.
For example, you could get a map of the stars taken from the place, date and time their baby was born. Not only is this a unique gift, but the print looks so cool their child will probably still want it on their wall, even when they’re all grown up.
Other ideas include a gift set that enables the parents to take prints of their baby’s hands and feet to then frame and keep, or perhaps you could arrange a new baby photoshoot so those moments when they’re so very tiny can be captured forever.
Make it with love
If you make a gift yourself, not only will it be truly thoughtful, but you also don’t risk anyone else getting them the same thing!
Try cutting letters of the alphabet out of patterned fabric. Cut two of each letter, sew them together and lightly stuff them before attaching them to string with mini clothes pegs.
If you’re not quite crafty enough for that, ask the parents to share the first photos of their baby and make a photo collage and frame it, or put them in a photo album and decorate it with personalised drawings and short stories.
Pinterest has a host of other good ideas and tutorials you could try. Even better, get your kids to help you make something – from crafting a simple congratulations card to a framed drawing of the family with their new addition, or a magical story about the adventures their child will go on. This is particularly lovely if the baby is family or will grow up closely with your kids.
You can get pretty much anything personalised and it makes it that little bit more special. From engraved money or memory boxes, to name necklaces and embroidered baby blankets, if it’s got the new baby’s name, or even just initials on it, it transforms it from an everyday gift to an extra-special one.
You remember what it’s like: everyone turns up with cute and fluffy gifts, which is lovely, but what you ACTUALLY need is very different.
So think back, what was the one thing that was a life saver when your little one was born? From a sensory mat that kept bubba entertained, to a particular brand of baby lotion, there’s nothing too trivial when it comes to a gift from one mum to another.
And don’t worry too much about the element of surprise, either – the new parents have probably had enough surprises to last them a lifetime! Instead, ask them what they really need or want, and be the one to buy it for them.
Remember that help is the biggest gift of all
New parents are often in a fug of chaos in those first few weeks, so simply being there to help them is invaluable.
You could go over with pre-made meals they just need to warm through; give them babysitting tokens for when the baby’s a bit older, so they know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; or if there’s an older sibling, offer to take them out so they get a chance to bond with the new arrival, and the older brother or sister won’t feel left out.
Another great idea is to create a hamper of goodies for the parents: pack it with coffee, headache tablets, earplugs, and a fragranced candle, for example. Also help them discover great products for the practical stuff.
For example, those dirty dishes still need to get done, so include a bottle of Fairy Washing Up Liquid, which has not only won a Which? Best Buy, but also has a new formula that provides even better cleaning.
So with a bottle of Fairy Liquid they’ll save time on boring chores, and spend it enjoying precious first moments instead. And that’s priceless.
What gift did you love receiving when you had your little one? Let us know in the comments section below.