Please don’t buy crap that we don’t need. Seriously. Being a new parent is a stressful time, you’re exhausted, you smell, you’re at the beck and call of a teeny tiny, delicate little human who can’t tell you what they want or need, but makes your ears bleed with the screams of a banshee if they don’t get it. On top of it all, your home has been overtaken with all this baby stuff that seems to have appeared overnight. I’m here to help you not be an arse, and get a useful gift, because no Carol, surprisingly enough, no-one needs an engraved sterling silver hair brush and a gender specific photo frame full of inspirational parenting quotes.
Amazon vouchers are amazing, most tablets run the kindle app, and the majority of parents only ever have one hand free, so page turning isn’t really a viable option. If they’re not huge readers, Amazon has a huge selection of baby stuff so they will be able to buy whatever they need.
Audible.com vouchers, I know what your thinking, but that’s noisy, why would you want that? Newborns are used to noise, after spending 9/10 months in the womb, they don’t know or like quiet. I listened to the entire Harry Potter series to keep me alert when I was breatsfeeding/pumping. Also, there is nothing quite like Stephen Fry’s dulcet tones licking your ear drums to soothe your soul at a 3am feed.
Squatty Potty probably seems like an out of the box thing, and it would really depend on how close you are with Mama, whether this is an appropriate present or not. It’s relatively cheap too, if you’re starting with the basic model at €34.95 so it’s not going to break the bank. It may seem hilarious, but many women have to get stitches after the delivery, either because of a tear, or because they had to cut them open! Honestly, pooping can be difficult and almost debilitating at times.
Baby lotions & potions are essential, and they tend to be easily stackable/storable. We received so many baby washes, nappy creams and baby oil, that I literally did not have to purchase baby bath wash until my kid turned one. We also got a baby care package hamper, with one of everything in it. It meant that I could do a nappy change anywhere in the house without having to trudge up or down the stairs, with an angry little mandrake screeching in my ear, and leaking bright yellow poo through three layers of clothing and down my arm.
Food, glorious food! Take your pick, you can either show up with carefully labelled Tupperware, full of meals that only have to be heated up, lasagne anyone? Or you can grab some vouchers from a local takeout/eatery, so that Mummy & Daddy can eat without worrying about dirty dishes or burning their dinner, because they haven’t slept in 11 days and they can’t even remember how to put socks on.
A decent diaper/nappy baby bag! This is a must. Not only have I got a super cute baby bag, but I was also given a nappy changing kit, which fits inside so conveniently, so that I can keep the newborn changing stuff separate from my toddler’s bits and bobs.Look at it, it’s just so cute!
Cloth Nappies. There has been a resurgence in recent years, with the whole reusable nappy fandango, with many new mamas wanting to try but have no idea where to start. Most places have a cloth nappy library where you can do a month’s trial for a relatively low price. I did one for the low low price of €15, so I could try out different styles and see what worked best with my wee man. Cloth nappies, although a sound investment (most grow with baby) can be expensive at first, but sites like little lamb have a starter pack option, for €58. Which can be a huge relief off of Mommy & Daddy’s shoulders.
Your time! This is the most valuable gift of all, visit, make Mammy a cup of tea, fold the washing, offer to take baby for a walk in the pram so that she can shower in peace. Please, please, by the old Gods and the new, do not visit just so that you can poke a sleeping baby and get your picture taken with the sack of meat. It’s a dick move to show up and harass a sleep deprived zombie, and expect her to run around after you. Make the woman a damn sandwich. She deserves it. Also, bring chocolate, for reasons.
There you have it, 8 realistic and useful gifts for new parents. Remember, there are only so many “It’s a girl” photo frames or personalised teddies that one nursery can hold. So if you’re thinking about getting something for the bringers of new life, make sure it’s not something stupid. If you think I’ve missed an essential item, or if I’m way off base with any of my suggestions, then let me know in the comments below!