Congratulations! Welcome to the world! It’s a boy! Your best friend has just had their first child, you’ve picked the perfect card and bought a huge bouquet of flowers ready for your first visit to the new mummy. But you should probably take a present too, right? Of course you should. Now what do babies like?
If you’re buying a present for new parents, selecting the right gift can be hard, particularly if you don’t have any kids of your own. Here are a few ideas to ensure that when you turn up to greet the new arrival, you’ll be adding to the joy.
The first thing to think about is whether the present you’re going to get is for the baby or for the new mum (and dad). Having a tiny little new-born to look after brings a whole world of change and let’s face it, chaos. Bringing something for the frazzled grown-ups might be just the thing. For mum it could be some relaxing bath products and a scented candle, something to help her make the most of any precious moment she might get to herself. For dad it could be a good book about what the hell to do with the wailing bundle of joy that lies on the floor and wees everywhere the second you turn your back on the little blighter; there are some great books that look like car manuals to give dad something familiar to go on. Making or buying some meals to cut out the added stress of having to cook can be a life-saver in those crazy first weeks. And a bottle of champagne is never going to miss the mark.
If you want to get something for the baby, you can go in a few different directions. Clothes of course, toys, or maybe bedding and blankets. If you’re buying clothes it’s a great idea not to get new-born sizes; everyone else will do that and suddenly they’ll be twenty different oh-so-cute giraffe onesies that the poor thing won’t have time to wear before he’s grown out of them. Babies grow pretty fast. Instead, get clothes for a three month or six month old. Yes they’ll seem enormous right now, but in a few months time your thoughtful gift will come into play and you’ll be remembered for your smart gift idea. And keep it simple; what new babies need are everyday clothes where it won’t matter if they get covered in a little sick or poop, not necessarily a fancy party dress that’s probably never going to get worn. Think functional.
If you want to get a toy, remember that babies can’t do a whole lot when they’re little. Until they’re a few months old they can’t even really hold onto things, so make it bright, soft and preferably something that squeaks; babies love noises. For the first few months it’s likely that it’s going to be mum or dad playing with the toy while junior watches and tries to figure out what’s going on. Research says that the more stimulation you can give to all a baby’s senses, sight, hearing and touch in particular, the faster they develop the all-important cognitive abilities that they’re going to rely on later.
If you’re going to get some blankets or bedding, once again think functional; it’s going to get grubby and it’s going to go through a fair few washes. Anything that needs dry cleaning is out. Colourful and bright is always good, and you can choose pretty much any animal you can think of and you’ll find it in the mother and baby stores. Some parents really like to use the all-in-one sleep suits, a bit like a baby sleeping bag, but check first as they’re not to everyone’s taste.
Finally, if you really can’t decide what you should get, there’s no shame in asking the new parents. There’s a good chance they’ve already got too many of some things and not enough of others. After all, it’s about giving something that will celebrate the wonderful new arrival, but also something to bring s smile and maybe a helping hand in those crazy, precious first few weeks and months.