What Do You Give New Parents?
December 24, 2012 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Parents of Metafilter: What the best gift you can give new parents? Everyone has suggestions for the baby but what about the parents? What are the things you wished you had/realized you couldn't live without when dealing with your first kid? How could someone have made your life easier despite being on the other side of the planet?

Young professional couple, interested in doing swanky cultural things and fine dining. Areligious and left-leaning if that matters. In the US, I am not. Sadly I can't just give them the name of a great babysitter which I imagine is the actual answer.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if this is a parental must-have, but if mom is breastfeeding, I like to give her a few large, machine-washable patterned shawls to cover up with in lieu of baby blankets.
posted by elizeh at 11:58 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like you said, child care. Kids don't really need material things. Parents don't either. People would like to maintain social connections, which means letting them go out or coming to visit.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:03 PM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

What about a meal delivery service? If the baby is brand new, they probably just need food...no time or energy to cook.
posted by barnoley at 12:07 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

House cleaning. Preferably ongoing into perpetuity.
posted by LyndsayMW at 12:17 PM on December 24, 2012 [12 favorites]

Oh yeah, housecleaning would be awesome. Also a big gift basket of snacky foods is always nice.
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:19 PM on December 24, 2012

Gift cards to local places that do delivery or have carry-out. I ate so much cereal when I had my first child because I didn't have the time or energy to cook.
posted by christinetheslp at 12:38 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Housecleaning. Housecleaning. Housecleaning.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 12:40 PM on December 24, 2012

Booze. Anything that helps extend downtime. Housework and babysitting if you know them well.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on December 24, 2012

A gift certificate to a laundry service or dry-cleaner (preferably with pick-up and delivery). Our city has some online services that I'm sure would help a gift-giver from overseas. You can find the best ones on Yelp if they live in a bigger city.
posted by mamabear at 12:43 PM on December 24, 2012

Food. Or a cleaning service. For serious.
posted by bingoes at 12:45 PM on December 24, 2012

Food is lovely! Even if it's a big box of Fresh Direct grocery/pre made stuff.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:52 PM on December 24, 2012

Meal delivery. House cleaning. Hell, sometimes it's nice to have people come over and not expect to be entertained so you can just get some to-dos completed.
posted by bfranklin at 1:47 PM on December 24, 2012

Meal delivery or some other kind of food thing. I wouldn't do housecleaning because they may already have a cleaner. Other ideas - DVDs of shows they haven't seen (preferably brainless); an at-home pedicure for the mom; a really soft warm blanket for cuddling with the baby on the couch (regular size, not baby blanket size); pajamas and robes; slippers.
posted by yarly at 1:59 PM on December 24, 2012

Some sort of food delivery.
posted by chiababe at 2:02 PM on December 24, 2012

Argh, that looks smarmier than I meant! Sorry, I meant to point out that there are good ideas for parents in those.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:35 PM on December 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

Seconding the food and cleaning, but some other things that got a ton of use when we had newborns:

- a subscription to Netflix instant

-12 rechargeable size D batteries and a charger (all the baby gear used D batteries, so there was a set in the swing, a set in the bouncy seat, and a set in the charger.)

a year of Amazon prime (the ability to buy stuff while the baby is sleeping, and have it delivered in two days, rather than packing up the baby and schlepping to Target: priceless.)
posted by ambrosia at 2:37 PM on December 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

Yeah - using Amazon for groceries was a major lifeline for us with child two, maybe some kind of gift card? That said its a but like just giving them money. Of course, you could just give them money...
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on December 24, 2012

A set of Flight Deck rated Ear Muffs, great for when Colic hits.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:00 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

One thing that made my life a lot better post-delivery was LOVELY SOAP. In my case it was Lush soap, but really, anything that can make a shower the Best Shower will probably be welcomed - nice towels, soft fancy washcloths, a gift basket, some gift cards to their favorite stores. It's so hard to find even five minutes to indulge yourself when you have a newborn around - the shower was my haven. Still is really.

(Also maybe offer to hold the baby while they shower.)
posted by saturnine at 8:27 PM on December 24, 2012

A membership to the zoo or museum nearby for easy outings with the babe.
posted by dpx.mfx at 3:55 AM on December 25, 2012

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