When you have a baby, all gifts (and home-cooked meals and practical assistance) are gratefully received. Not only did we receive some lovely clothes, toys, and books (including the gorgeous (but expensive) outfits that you’d be unlikely to indulge in yourself), but the gifts and cards provided a much needed reminder, amongst the stress and chaos of becoming a new parent, that we were part of a wonderful, loving community.
I know that I’ve found it difficult in the past to select gifts for friends with new babies – wanting to get something unique but useful, and often not knowing what they already have plenty of or what their intentions are in terms of sleeping, feeding etc. So, if you find yourself stuck for ideas for friends or family in the future, here’s a list of 7 ideas for super-useful baby shower/new baby gifts…
- Hand-knitted organic merino wool cardigan from Nature Baby. This would have to be one of Ella’s most-worn items. I got it in the gender-neutral mustard yellow before she was born (as we didn’t know the gender) and I love it. I hated putting bulky jackets on her, but having a winter baby meant that she needed something warm to wear. These cardigans are lightweight, but cosy and warm, and look great too.
- Zip-up swaddle suits. Fumbling around in the dark as you mismatch press-studs on jumpsuits several times a night is part of being a new parent, and figuring out how to swaddle and re-swaddle (so it’s not too tight, but not too loose) can add to the ordeal. The zip-up swaddles were great as it meant that Ella didn’t have to endure our novice swaddling efforts, and she stayed securely in the swaddle. The two types we used were the ergoCocoon and the Love to Swaddle Up.
- Bandana bibs. I thought I’d only need bibs once we started on solids. Wrong! Once the dribbles and the milky spit-ups start, bibs are handy for keeping bub dry and relatively clean! I really like the bandana style bibs as they can be part of bubs’ outfit. The ones from Next are great (they come in 3-packs) and my mum got us some gorgeous bamboo ones from Cute Toots.
- Teething jewellery is such a fantastic idea. Basically it’s jewellery for mum – necklaces, bangles and bracelets – made from non-toxic silicone, so it’s safe for bubs to chew on. Ella has also started to get distracted when feeding, so I’m hoping the new MummaBubba necklace that I bought will keep her focused. Jellystone Designs also have a great range of jewellery.
- Old-school cloth nappy squares. Not that exciting, but super-useful, and they’re a great addition if you’re putting together a ‘hamper’ of gifts. We’ve used them for burp clothes, on the change mat, as mattress protectors, and wiping up all sorts of accidents! You can get them in 6 or 8 packs from places like Target and Big W.
- Toy links/rings. I’m forever attaching toys to things – prams, car-seats etc – so these plastic links are so useful. Put them together and they can also be a rattle that’s easy to grip for little hands. I think we’ll be getting lots of use out of ours.
- Baby Legs leg-warmers. These are a great gift for baby girls and boys. They’re awesome for in-between weather (like Canberra spring days that start cool and then warm up) and they make nappy changes much easier as you don’t have to pull pants/leggings on and off.