Shopping for new parents can be the worst. Even if you have a registry to work off of, how do you choose what they really need? Do expecting parents really need 20 different clothing options for their yet-to-be-born child or a box filled with bottles? And what about that cool looking diaper cake? Are they truly useful?
If you’re standing in the aisles of your local big-box store or baby specialty shop feeling lost and unsure of what to put in your cart or basket, then this article is for you.
Before you head to the store and just grab things off of the shelves (or go off of a baby registry), there are a number of things that you need to know about stocking new parents up for their big event. For example, you need to be aware that there are a number of helpful items out there that they’ll definitely use. So, instead of getting fancy, consider buying some of these essentials that they’re sure to use (and appreciate) instead.
If there’s one thing that parents can’t get enough of, it’s diapers and wipes. Their baby will go through them like crazy. While you may want to wait until the baby is born in order to buy the right size diapers, it doesn’t hurt to get some bigger ones that the little one will grow into. On top of that, diaper cream is very handy as well and goes well with the other two items listed here.
Speaking of useful gifts, those new parents will need something to carry around the diapers, wipes, and other supplies. A cool diaper bag or two (one for each parent) is always a good idea to add to your shopping cart. It keeps everything in place and on hand while they’re on the move.
Even if your friends plan on breastfeeding their baby, they’ll need bottles (and maybe something to carry them around in). After all, it’s hard for dad (or the other mom) to feed the baby, as their nipples won’t be producing any milk. Pumping and bottles go hand in hand, and they make everything easier for the other parent, so they can help out with feedings as well.
Babies need a lot of clothing. They may go through four or more changes of clothes a day as they leave diaper blowouts, spit-up, and more all over their onesies. In order to prevent your friends from having to do a ton of laundry at once, buy their baby some cute baby clothes.
Every time a baby eats, they need to be burped. To keep their clothes clean (as well as those worn by the parents), a burp cloth is used. Not only do these clothes catch any muck that pops out when the baby is burped, but it also can be used to wipe their mouth, wipe up spit up, and more.
Babies need to be swaddled. This keeps them warm and cozy, as well as secure, and the swaddle mimics the womb. New parents can never have enough of these cute and soft swaddle blankets, so consider adding some to your gift.
Did you know that there are some cool towels that double as cozy blankets? There are some available that have a hood included to help it stay on the little one and look cute at the same time (not to mention keep their head warm.) Buying an array of towels is always a helpful gift.
At some point, your friends are going to want to go to the store with their baby. This is where a shopping cart cover comes in handy. These pieces of fabric are designed to fit over the seated part of a shopping cart, making it more comfortable and keeping germs at bay.
A diaper caddy, not to be confused with a diaper bag, is a cool device that can be moved throughout the home. It holds everything from a changing pad to diapers and wipes, as well as a change of clothes or two, preventing the parents from having to run into the baby’s room every time they need something.
On top of the numerous useful gifts, there are some technology-based ones as well. You may have heard of some of them, like a digital thermometer and a baby monitor, while others might be off of your radar. If you really want to buy your friends, neighbors, or relatives useful items for their new baby, one of these cool gifts might suffice:
Parents will need a thermometer to check their baby’s temperature. Some of the newest models are digital and can be inserted into the baby’s ear or mouth. Another option consists of the kind that rolls across the skin, making it very, very easy to see if their new little one has a fever or not. No matter what kind you buy, make sure to get some backup batteries as well, just in case.
New parents have to keep a constant eye on their prized possession. Baby monitors have been around for decades, although they’ve become very sophisticated over the years. Whether you want to buy one with a camera to keep an eye on the baby, as well as a screen on the parent’s end, or one with both of those and the ability to talk to the baby in order to soothe them from another room, it’s all available.
The technology is out there. There are even ones that use an app on a smartphone instead of an additional device.
Keeping the baby asleep for as long as possible is every new parent’s goal. This way, they can get some chores done or even take an uninterrupted shower or a quick nap while the baby sleeps. In order to ensure that the baby sleeps uninterrupted and isn’t woken up by any weird noises, buy the parents a white noise machine. They’ll be very happy to unwrap that gift.
Did you know that baby wipe warmers exist? This awesome new invention is designed to warm up wipes before they’re used on the baby’s rear end, making them feel even more comfortable. It certainly beats wiping them with a cold, “fresh from the package” wipe. So, why not make life easier for those new parents and pamper their little one with a baby wipe warmer?
Then there are the thoughtful gifts. These include many things that the parents may not have even considered registering for, even though they need them. Thoughtful gifts are those that show how much you care while helping them create happy memories at the same time. They also may keep those new parents from losing their minds as they try to adjust to their new normal after their baby arrives.
Do you plan on babysitting while the new parents enjoy a date night? Then get them a gift certificate for a nice dinner out and make it clear that you’ll watch their little one. Other options include gift cards for groceries, baby supplies, and more to fulfill all of their needs.
Although new parents may not have the time to list all of their baby’s milestones in a book, it’ll be nice to have one around, just in case they want to make a note of those precious memories.
New parents will more than likely have a hard time falling asleep. This is where a sleepy time pillow spray (or something like it – lavender is always a good option) comes in handy. One spritz of this, and they’re finally off to Dreamland while their baby (hopefully) snoozes as well.
Whether you plan on making meals and delivering them, giving them a bunch of homemade frozen heat and eat dinners, or buying them a subscription to a service, if there’s one thing that a new parent will appreciate, it’s a pre-made dinner. They have enough on their hands without having to worry about grocery shopping and meal prep.
Although these gifts are broken down into three main categories, from the useful to the technological and even the thoughtful, there are a number of others to consider as well. We’ve just listed those on the proverbial tip of the iceberg here.
As you peruse the baby section at the store, you may come across a number of other cool gizmos and gadgets, as well as things like noisy toys (always a great gag gift for a new parent) that their little one isn’t old enough for yet, but will be ready for eventually. There’s nothing wrong with buying items for future use. It just shows how thoughtful you are!