I’ve got to admit before I had Joseph I would leave baby present buying till the last minute or I’d even just go with flowers and a cake. After being on the receiving end and realising how thoughtful and generous people are, I am trying to make a bit more of an effort. In the early days of being at home with the baby, even just having someone to have a cup of tea with or them putting away the dishes was a gift in itself. Friends have asked me a couple of times what were the best presents I received. To be honest every gift I received I have used (maybe because we hadn’t bought anything in advance) but there have been a lot of presents that I thought: “God I’d never think of buying that but it’s come in so handy.” So here’s a list of a few ideas (I also asked several new moms to contribute) to make your present buying easier. In no particular order… bar the first one :0)
1: FOOD. Hands down the best present ever. A cooked dinner delivered to the door. A few bits for the fridge (lasagne, cottage pie, salad, fish cakes), pizza for the freezer, bread and cheese. Cake. Anything that’s edible a new parent will eat. For the first two weeks I lived on cake and lasagne.
2: Books. When I first received a book Joseph was about a month old and I couldn’t imagine reading it to him. But 3 months down the line you’ll be showing the pictures and lulling the baby to sleep with a story. Joseph is obsessed with The Baby’s Catalogue. Other great ones include Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eat, Peach, Pear, Plum, Where’s Spot, the Alfie book series, and Sophie (as in Sophie the Giraffe books).
3: Sophie the Giraffe. This gets used a lot from 5 months. Who ever invented this is beyond rich as every baby seems to use one at one time or another.
4: Gummee Glove. A teething glove that stays on their hand.
5: Lamaze Baby Development Toys. Great for the buggy and car seat.
6: Toys in general. (Don’t buy anything too big as space may be limited).
8: Clothes. Remember to think about the time of year. I love the fact that we have clothes for Joseph up until he turns 18 months. They really come in handy. If you are buying for an eight month old and upwards they will be nearly crawling so jogging pants and leggings come in handy. I recommend Zara leggings.
9: Chip in with a few people to get a big present – steriliser, moses basket, a baby carrier, a baby gym and highchair are all great practical gifts.
10: Practical things like nappies, bibs, wipes, cellular blankets, nappy bags and thermometers.
11: Present for the Mom (Pyjamas, slippers, a magazine, moisturiser)
12: If they have a big garden and are into gardening – a new tree or rose bush. So they can watch it grow, just like their baby.
13: Baby Milestone Cards. You take a picture of your baby beside the card and you can look back and see how much they have grown.
14: Personalised picture. My friend Laura made us a gorgeous picture with Joseph’s name and birth weight. You can buy similar ones on Notonthehighstreet.
15: Shoes: Runners are a cute gift but maybe a bit more practical for a six month old. I am planning on buying these Inch shoes as my friend says they are the only shoes that stayed on her son’s feet.
16: We received lovely bunting for the nursery.
17: Cuddly Teddy. Joseph loves his teddies and at the moment his favourite is this small bear from Ikea which he received as a gift. We have subsequently bought about 5 of these in case he ever loses original Ted. IKEA also have some great toys.
18: Blanket with tags on it. You can get them personalised too.
19: Socks…… they all just disappear.
20: A coat – remember time of year. M&S do great coats.
21: Anything handmade is a lovely idea. Joseph got great use out of handmade hats, cardigans and a blanket for his buggy.
22: Grow bags (IKEA & Bellababy have great quality ones) and I recently came across a swaddling one and thought I would have got great use out of that.
23: Cot sheets. Practical but so useful.
24: Cot Mobile. I was given the award winning Wimmer Ferguson black and white mobile. Joseph loved it. Another option is one that plays music. Argos have a few options.
25: Baby Play Tummy Time. I hated doing tummy time with Joseph as the poor thing looked like he was in a lot of pain. This makes it a little less stressful for them. You just place their arms over it and it helps them do their exercises.