What to get best friend on occasion of first child being born.
October 4, 2010 6:04 PM   Subscribe

What do you get your best friend and his wife on the occasion of their first child being born?

My best friend from college and his wife are expecting a baby any minute now. They live on the east coast and I am on the west coast. I probably will not be able to visit them for a while. But I want to be part of the celebration in some way.

Does anyone have any ideas for a classy or useful gift I could give to my friend and his wife? They are pretty well off so its more of a thoughtfulness thing.
posted by Twinedog to Human Relations (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Something from here. Specifically this. The posters are great too.

(I am not associated with this shop in any way: I just really love their stuff).
posted by lollusc at 6:18 PM on October 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

A silver baby cup, spoon, rattle or whatever from Tiffany's. I have also given a woodblock print of some image which has meaning or is symbolic to the couple. Really, almost anything lasting -- even an engraved brick on the walk of friends at your alma mater.
posted by Anitanola at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by gomichild at 6:21 PM on October 4, 2010

Last year I desperately wanted to have a young, close guy friend about to have a newborn so that I could gift a copy of Michael Chabon's Manhood For Amateurs.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:40 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just by way of being cheap, yet pretty timeless, a copy of that day's newspaper to stash away and let the little one read many many years later. Props if you can cadge one that is like home delivery, and wrapped in plastic sort of thing. if nothing else, sorta nice as an add on to the other present. I still have the one from the day my son was born.
posted by timsteil at 6:58 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was given a dictionary when I was born (the Shorter OED), which still gets used every now and then, thirty years on. I've always thought it was an outstanding birthday gift. A serious translation dictionary would be even better if they're bilingual.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:29 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

A charming card to stick in the baby book, and then anything baby you want -- a special stuffed toy, adorable baby clothes (in sizes up to 24 months), some of your favorite childhood books for his library, something funny you and the friend share in baby format (we get my husband's gaming friends a plush D20 when babies arrive). If they have a registry, you can always get something off that.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:38 PM on October 4, 2010

What if you made a video? You could use a webcam, or ask someone to film you somewhere pretty. Just wish the happy couple all the happiness in the world, and then direct your attention to the newborn and say how excited you are to welcome them to Earth and that you are looking forward to meeting them.

Additionally you could take a note out of Timesteil's book and do a little featurette about the things that were hip and awesome "On the day you were born..." for the little tyke. You could burn it all to a DVD and send it out. Make two copies, even; one you could put away to make sure there's a back up copy. :)

Yay babies.
posted by patronuscharms at 9:15 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is there some interest that you and your friend share that you think he'd like to pass on to his child? When my brother had his first son, I sent a copy of the Chronicles of Narnia BBC series that we used to watch when we were kids. It was sort of a, "Remember how much we loved this thing? Now your son can enjoy it too!" gift. Don't worry about the fact that the baby might be too young to enjoy it now. His parents can get it out later when he's ready.
posted by lexicakes at 10:41 PM on October 4, 2010

If your friends don't have a lot of family support, look for a post-partem doula service in their area and offer to pay for it. These are uncommon, but growing in popularity. The idea is that someone comes to the house a few hours a day and helps prepare meals and support the new mother and father who have just had their world turned upside down.

My wife and I paid for this ourselves when our first child was born and it was the smartest thing we did. Baby gifts (clothes, keepsakes, etc) were of course welcome but what we really craved was the opportunity to get a nap in or eat a regular meal to aid the recovery.
posted by dgran at 9:06 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: hey everyone,

thanks for all the great ideas! I would really like to be able to get them some post partem doula help but I think thats just out of my budget for the time being. Its what I would get them if money were no object (which unfortunately it is at this point in my ilfe).

I think I will probably get them the geeky baby book that was suggested. They are both PHD's and I think they will like it.

But I also want to get a bunch of newspaper front pages from around the world.
Anyone know how I could get a physical front page from many different cities of the world? I am pretty sure that by the time he/she's twenty they won't exist any more.
posted by Twinedog at 10:06 AM on October 5, 2010

Things I have purchased for various procreating family members, all of whom have plenty of cash (which means the goal IMO is find something they wouldn't think of themselves):

A slim diaper kit for parents on the go
Patty the Panda (Young babies can't distinguish colors very well, so black & white toys will attract their interests better).
A boppy (According to everyone I've talked to, knock-offs are not the same.)
A portable swing
Various wooden Haba toys

These aren't particularly unique gift ideas, but they all got rave reviews as things that helped first-time parents who weren't up on all of the best toy brands or useful items for dealing with a new kid.
posted by Gori Girl at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2010

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