Stuff new parents want.
November 15, 2012 5:12 PM   Subscribe

What's the best thing I can send to brand spanking new parents?

I have a few friends who live out of town who will be having babies this winter. I'm not close enough to be able to offer 'hey anytime you need anything, let me know.' because -- I'm hours and hours away.

I'd love to send them a basket or something of stuff that will be for THEM as parents (in addition stuff for the baby).

Like a new parents gift card.

What can I put in it that will be awesomely helpful, needed, wanted, etc.
posted by mittenbex to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Friends arranged for a local grocery to deliver some premade dinner (e.g. rotisserie chicken, sandwich fixings, a couple of sides) to us our first week home. It was AMAZING.
posted by goggie at 5:14 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]

Food. A friend sent us italian beef from Portillo's and it was by far the best baby gift we received. (I mean, everything else was useful and wonderful and great for the baby, but we inhaled those sandwiches.)
posted by ThatSomething at 5:24 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I couldn't agree more - FOOD.
posted by barnoley at 5:31 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or, if you think there will be a lot of food: a gift certificate for a house cleaning.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:35 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Dittos - I gave friends a gift car to a food delivery service that worked with a number of restaurants so they could pick something they liked. No worries about scheduling as there would be if I sent actual food.
posted by momus_window at 5:37 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:44 PM on November 15, 2012 [8 favorites]

If they have a Babies 'R' Us nearby you could give a gift certificate to that. I'm not a big box retailer fan but dammit if they don't have everything. My husband's work gave a big gift certificate to that place and on the first night home with baby he went and picked up like five things that we needed that we hadn't gotten around to getting. It was nice to be able to do that.

And yes, food gift certificates are awesome.

If they have a diaper service and are considering cloth diapering, paying for a month of the service is a great gift. They can try it out for a month and either abandon it or continue. It's nice for new parents who are trying to be eco-friendly to not have to worry about diapers for a little while.

So, these things don't sound very parent focused. They sound like stuff for the baby. The funny thing is, just speaking for myself, I really liked getting stuff for the baby. And I found all the gifts "for the baby" so thoughtful. For my birthday, I asked for stuff for the baby. It's silly.

But here's my gift basket that I do for new parents lately -- stuff for feeding the baby. A cute cup and spoon. Maybe some bowls and a sippy cup. A package of white (or cute patterned but neutral) dish towels or flour sack type things. Clothespins. The feeding stuff is obvious but the best thing for feeding baby is a big towel clipped behind their head. When they grow out of that, then you have extra towels! A little squirt bottle for spritzing the high chair and the baby after feeding. Babies don't generally start on solids until around six months but I loved, loved, loved digging out the cute spoon and bib and cups that I had been gifted with when it was time to start feeding. And it was so nice not to have to go shop for those things right off the bat. Plus! A small bottle of Bourbon would look so cute in there and give them a laugh.
posted by amanda at 6:23 PM on November 15, 2012

Food is great. Arranging to have groceries delivered could be nice. House cleaning.

The thing is, most people want to buy cute baby outfits, toys, and books. There is nothing wrong with that, baby stuff is adorable. But it means that a gift of some practical help like food or cleaning will stand out from the crowd and your friends will really appreciate it.
posted by medusa at 7:40 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Food. And cloth diapers (even if they're using disposables, they're great as burp cloths, feeding bibs, general cleanup).
posted by mon-ma-tron at 7:59 PM on November 15, 2012


Failing that, pre-prepared food sounds like a great idea, as does the house cleaning. New parents are usually inundated with cute outfits and toys, but babies grow so fast, they often end up with way too much that they can't use. If you want to buy clothes, buy them for a six-month old (don't forget the season will be different - sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people forget). Cloth diapers are also something that every parent can use a lot of, even if they don't use them as intended.

Did I mention sleep?
posted by dg at 11:31 PM on November 15, 2012

When our first was born 3 years ago, a friend sent two HUGE pans of frozen lasagna. It was breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week. Awesome!

Another gave us a backpack filled with diapers and related supplies. It's been our favorite diaper bag ever since.

The story books were not immediately useful, but reminded us of some of the things we could look forward to - immensely helpful during that exhausting time.

Swaddling cloths got spit up upon regularly, so some big squares of warm material with the edges hemmed got regular service.

For us: a couple books had us in stitches. One was "Porn for New Moms," and the other, "Go the F___ to Sleep." Never underestimate the need for laughter.
posted by wjm at 2:09 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

A new coffee maker!

(and bourbon)
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:37 AM on November 16, 2012

I was going to say some sort of coupon or voucher for making dinner, cleaning, grocery shopping or other time/effort consuming chore, which is what we really needed when we had ours.

Also: diapers.
posted by dozo at 8:21 AM on November 16, 2012

If you are speaking strictly for the parents, food.
posted by Silvertree at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2012


Glossy magazines.

posted by The corpse in the library at 11:45 AM on November 16, 2012

I guess you don't have kids? If you sent a note saying you will look after the new kid for two hours so mum and dad could go get a coffee/ice cream together in a month or so time you would be great. Really great.
posted by bystander at 6:04 AM on November 17, 2012

Oh, and if you offer that two hours, understand you might have to turn up three hours early and stay half an hour late. Little kids schedules don't work well with others.
posted by bystander at 6:06 AM on November 17, 2012

But they will love you so, so much.
posted by bystander at 6:06 AM on November 17, 2012

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