With so many new babies around, it is often difficult to decide what to give as a gift. Do you buy clothes? A nappy service? Toys? What do you think is the best present to give to a newborn and their family?
I really love the little baby bouquets that you can get which are made out of baby socks, wash cloths and onesies that are rolled into little flowers. Something like this > https://www.etsy.com/listing/122942045/baby-bear-bouquet or this > https://www.etsy.com/listing/159186778/baby-bouquet-with-washcloth-flowers Otherwise perhaps a handmade patchwork blanket or a canvas picture for the nursery wall?
I like to give clothes, but I go for 3-6 month or 6-9 month sizes. It's amazing how many new-born clothes you get as gifts, and then you run out and are faced with having to buy loads in a few months, so buying a couple of sizes up can be very helpful.
Buying clothes is pretty pointless because a baby will grow so fast, they won't be wearing them for long. A nappy service is more a gift for the parents than the baby. I think a soft toy is the best gift. It is comforting when they are young, and becomes a very special memory when they are older.
Good question! I suppose for starters it depends whether it's the family's first baby or not. If they already have other kids they probably don't need stuff like clothes. A nappy service might be nice if they're planning to use cloth nappies. Handmade things like knitted blankets or things with the child's name on are lovely, not that I have ever (so far) had it together to make something like that for a friend's baby. I agree that muslin wraps are good. Not all babies like to be swaddled but they have plenty of other uses (eg. burp cloths, or draping over the pram to keep the sun off).
When my second bub was born my mum gave me a ten class pass for yoga lessons. It was for me, but kind of for the baby as well since doing yoga meant I was a calmer, more relaxed mum.
I ask the parents to be before the baby is born... That way they can cut down their expenses before the big day. However, I usually purchase something practical anyway like baby wipes and stuff they are likely to use for quite a while.
I gave my niece a silver framed phot frame; a keepsake that she will know how old it is as she ages.
Her mother tossed it out, but I rescued it, and now she is 17 and in her own home, the years are approaching that she can get her gift back.
The rest is just practical stuff that an acquaintence may give, or what a parent should buy, but this something she can keep.
When my great nice was born I got a cylinder and filled it with the news paper of the day and several fashion magazines. I wrapped it up and asked the parents to keep it like a time capsule for her 21st. I am not sure what they thought but I had heaps of fun gathering the gift together :-)
Nappies! You won't believe how many nappies babies go through! After that, I would say a couple of meals to reduce the stresses of cooking food. My friends made some dishes which I put in the fridge/freezer. It was the best gift of all!
If you are in a position to do so, give the family some time. Mow the lawn so Dad can spend some quality time with the family at weekends, take home a couple of baskets of washing for Mum, and play with any siblings so they have some undivided attention.
I like giving practical things like nappies and baby wipes. Those are the things that I loved receiving when junior was born. I wanted to choose his clothes and bedding and toys, so it was a real help when friends came with practical gifts.
Cloth diapers & wipes if the family is planning on going that route, or disposable diapers & wipes if not. A casserole and care package for the parents (with something extra special for mother) and a small gift for any siblings!
I always buy clothes a few sizes too big. Firstly, incase they are born big babies ( if its a shower gift) and secondly because others tend to go nuts with the smaller sizes and then the baby has nothing to wear as it grows, which is quickly! Aside from that I would choose anything that is practical and stay away from soft toys. If you are on a smaller budget choose things that stimulate baby such as a mobile, pram toys and blanket or a soft rattle or bathing things such as baby wash and a soft hooded towel. If the budget is higher consider getting a thick play mat, a box of nappies and wipes, a cot set or even nursery furniture however if you go down the furniture path its worth chatting to the parents first as its a very personal choice. I think its also a great idea to pop in something for the mum. A drink bottle if she plans to breast feed as you get really thirsty, a luxurious skin softener or massage oil such as an organic coconut oil, a voucher for a beauty salon or some nice coffee.
With me it depends on how well I know the family. In the past I've given a silver container to put baby's birth certificate in, a silver box especially designed to hold baby's first tooth and lock of hair from baby's first haircut. I've given clothing in larger sizes for baby to grow into but one gift most have really appreciated was a large supply of disposable nappies as none of the mothers want to use cloth nappies, together with a disposable nappy bin with a supply of disposable nappy bags to go with it.