Creative Gift for someone who just had a 2nd child?
June 19, 2011 10:45 PM   Subscribe

What's an inexpensive yet appropriate baby gift for someone who lives in a different country and makes way more $ than you do?

Long story short: I have a close friend who just had her second child and I would like to send her something as a congratulatory gift. The problem is: I just graduated from grad school, am currently job searching, which means I have no money. On the other hand, she makes A LOT of money, which means she does not lack material goods. She lives in HK, so I can't bake some cookies and do a home visit, other than sending her a congratulatory email, is there anything else I can get her or the baby?
posted by wcmf to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It really is OK to just send an email and a wonderful card. Honestly. Second babies are a bit like second weddings; everyone wants your joy and good wishes, nobody needs two blenders -- or two boppies. (Unless they have twins, in which case all bets are off.)
posted by DarlingBri at 10:52 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Since you are in another country, maybe you can find one cute baby outfit (or even just a baby hat or something) that has some connection to the country you are in. E.g. I am in Australia, and if I were you, I'd be looking for something with a kangaroo or koala motif, or in the Australian rugby colours.

If that's too expensive, send them a home made "gift voucher" for babysitting or a home-cooked meal for next time you visit.
posted by lollusc at 10:55 PM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Little hat with kitty ears!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

A cute hat or bib would be nice, preferably something, as lollusc mentions, that has some connection to the country you are in or to a significant tourist attraction there.

The other gift I often give, that does not need to be expensive, is a nice children's book for the baby. A nice picture book works quite well. For English speakers my "go to" book is "Harold and the Purple Crayon", which is a classic, is not expensive, and is obscure enough as an older book that most people do not already have it.

One of my more successful book gifts was to a couple living in Spain. She is English and he is Spanish and they are raising the children to be bilingual. I gave them a Spanish translation of the book "Goodnight Moon". They already had the English version so the parents now could read the same book in both languages to the kids. This was not an expensive gift, but they were really happy with it.
posted by gudrun at 11:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree that a nice card with a note would be plenty... but if you want to send something, think of one of her favorite things in your country (presumably her home country?), and find the baby clothing manifestation. If it's a college, a sports team, a restaurant--they will have a baby shirt with the logo.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:36 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think a nice children's book is indeed a great gift to give. When I had my second baby, there wasn't a lot that I needed, BUT books were always very welcome. Some of the favorites that I have received for my kids are: Make Way For Ducklings, Goodnight Moon, The Snowy Day, and anything by A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh original stories).

I wouldn't feel too pressured about the gift though. As many mentioned above, a nice card and a congratulatory note would be just as appreciated, I'm sure.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 1:48 AM on June 20, 2011

A package of diapers.

Much as I enjoy cute tiny baby things, I far more appreciate practical usable gifts.

Surely ordering one package of a larger set of diapers for $20 through a website in her country would be reasonable and very, very, very, very, very helpful.

Otherwise, a note or a card of congratulations should be plenty. My suggestion is if you feel like you want to add something to that.
posted by zizzle at 2:49 AM on June 20, 2011

A book is always an appropriate gift.
posted by anastasiav at 3:26 AM on June 20, 2011

Hats and books, oh definitely. Especially if you can sign the book and they can include what you've written in the reading of the book, so it'll be a small reminder of their friend from far away :) When my boy was little, we had several of these books of classic songs you can either read or sing, and they're very nice for even the littlest ones.
posted by lemniskate at 5:54 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

A nice piggy bank. This is one of those "each child gets his or her own and keeps it" things, unlike baby clothes, which get handed down. I'm 37 and I still have the stippled glass one I got as a baby, and keep my few rare or interesting coins in it. A glass or china pig won't be too expensive, or if you go for a metal one (which won't break in shipping) and have the extra five dollars, you can get the child's name engraved on it. You might also put a few new minted coins in it, so the kid has a set of coins from the year she or he was born.
posted by orange swan at 6:09 AM on June 20, 2011

I second the books idea above, but I always give baby board books or waterproof tub books. These are awesome first books since babies cannot destroy it :)
posted by Librarygeek at 7:56 AM on June 20, 2011

When my sister had her youngest child I was totally broke but I wanted to get her something. I found a bib on Etsy that said "Dude, your girlfriend keeps checking me out!" and she loved it. The seller sent it to her for me with no problems.

I think a nice handwritten letter of congratulations is enough, but a small gift like a hat or bib from your country (Somebody in the USA/Australia/England/wherever loves me!) would be nice too.

You could also send your friend a gift for her. A lot of moms forget to take care of themselves after the baby is born, even more so when they have an older kid to take care of too. A little gift package of chocolate and some bubble bath could be the right way to go.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:17 AM on June 20, 2011

It's not too hard to crochet a baby sweater or hat...

Books are also good. Board books. (especially I imagine you can get her books that might be hard for her to get in a local bookstore )
posted by leahwrenn at 1:05 PM on June 20, 2011

Response by poster: thank you for all the responses. I'm pretty sure my friends wants to raise the child bilingual, so a book in both English and Chinese would be nice. Thank you for your help!
posted by wcmf at 7:05 PM on June 20, 2011

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