What to get a new baby and new parents?
October 16, 2005 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for unique gifts for a baby coming in less than a month, and/or gifts for the first-time parents of said kid?

They already had the baby shower, got a ton of clothes, a stroller, a crib, a mobile, some toys; I think most of the basics are covered. Any suggestions for unique gifts that would be good/fun/handy/helpful for the infant, or gifts for the parents to pamper them when they're up at 3 in the morning? Items that you've found to be useful or nice but maybe aren't common knowledge? (It's a boy; their first child; live in the Bay Area in a duplex home; he's a physician, she's an engineer; they're Chinese; have a minivan and a Subaru, if that at all makes a difference.) Price range: max, maybe $200ish?
posted by gramcracker to Shopping (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

They will WORSHIP you after the first time they're up feeding the baby at 3AM.
posted by bcwinters at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2005

1 A really nice rocking chair - oak, simple, classic, sturdy, nothing foo foo. It's just as comforting for the parents as for the baby.

2 Don't underestimate a nice little pile of gift certificates to local take-out places, because no one has time to cook.

3 However many days of a reliable cleaning service 200. will buy - also very appreciated!

I received all three of those things with my first baby, and they're the three that made me the happiest, and made the most difference in my quality of life. I always give one of those three when it's my turn to do the gifting.
posted by iconomy at 2:59 PM on October 16, 2005

If you go with the rocker make sure it's a glider and has a high enough back for the parents to rest their head. And to go along with the glider, a nursing foot rest (it's SO much help and comfort to have the knees/legs up a bit while holding or nursing the baby!). This slanted kind is the one that works best.

A gift certificate for quality family photographs would also be great.

I also like the cleaning service, parents should be free to concentrate on the baby without worrying about the house.
posted by LadyBonita at 3:24 PM on October 16, 2005

Love plus one has really nice, hand-embroidered baby kit. I stocked up on a bunch in order to face an epidemic of pregnancies in the office.
posted by TonyRobots at 3:26 PM on October 16, 2005

Well you can give the kid a jumpstart on his/her retirement with some stocks.
posted by culberjo at 4:42 PM on October 16, 2005

A week after our son was born someone brought over a big bag of prepared food: cooked chicken, salad, various sides, which supplied us for quite a few meals. It was a really great help. You don't have to cook any of this yourself (although you could); ours came from a caterer, I think. If you're thinking of doing this I recommend you call first to ask when it would be needed most (we waited until my mother-in-law, who stayed to help out initially, returned to her own home).

The rocking chair mentioned above is indispensable. We have two, neither of which is a glider, and we've been perfectly happy with them regardless.

A cleaning service is a nice idea but you should ask first or at least leave the scheduling up to the new parents. Some parents might prefer not to have more people around for a little while. But this would definitely be a great help when they're ready.

I like the photo gift certificate idea; you could also give photo albums, picture frames, and things like that. Do they use Snapfish or one of it's analogues? You could give them a gift certificate for prints.

I have two more thoughts looking a little further forward: first, larger size clothes. You get a ton of little baby stuff but three, six, nine months later it will all be outgrown. You could also give a gift certificate for this. Second, you said they have two cars. Do they have two bases for their carseat? And a year later they'll need a different kind of car seat (probably two since they have two cars and transferring the bigs ones is an ordeal). Again, gift certificates to the obvious places are great for this sort of thing.
posted by Songdog at 5:05 PM on October 16, 2005

My sisten-in-law gave us a hoodie baby/toddler towel. Not just any towel-a large bath towel with a hand towel sewn so that one long edge from each are together and their centers line up. The hand towel is folded in half so that the short edges are touching and the remaining long edge is sewn to itself. This turns the hand towel into a hood.

We use this all the time and it is perfect.

I made two of these for a friend of mine for her kids. It takes more time to set up the sewing machine than to make and it's so worth it.
posted by plinth at 5:10 PM on October 16, 2005

In the photograph idea, you could get them a membership to one of the mall studios: sears, jcpenny's, picture people. I can only speak on Sears, but it is $30 for two years and it covers all of their sitting fees. It doesn't seem like a lot, but many parents go for 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months and some parents go monthly for the first year. The sitting fees are 15 bucks each time. It also doesn't force them to make sure they really like the pictures and want a lot of them as it would if you got them the gift certificate for just a session of photos.

This in combination with gift certificates to the local take out places seems like a very low key type of gift...one they can use at their lesiure.

I also love the TiVo idea.
posted by nadawi at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2005

Ahh, finally a topic I'm fully qualified to speak about! (clears throat)

My wife and I gave birth to triplets 16 months ago. Here are the things that made life easier once we got back home:

1. TiVo. (We have had our TiVo for years, but when you're up for the 3am feeding, it's nice to have something other than infomercials)

2. Netflix (For the movies we never got out to see)

3. Gift certificates for the local Pizza place, the local Korean place, etc.
It's never too late or too often to receive these!

4. Diapers. Diapers make a great gift. "What kind of diapers would you like?" Me: "Clean."

5. A wipes-warmer. (This is something we would never have bought for ourselves, but was a nice gift.)

6. A horseshoe shaped pillow called a 'Boppy'.

7. Burp-cloths (soft cotton cloth diapers). Can't have too many of those...

I'm sure I'll think of some more...
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:41 PM on October 16, 2005

Get them baby clothes that will fit the kid when he/she is 3 mo, etc. They likely have enough newborn clothing as it is - and they likely won't have any time to get bigger clothing by the time it is needed. We were very thankful for those who thought ahead on our behalf.
posted by magwich at 8:36 PM on October 16, 2005

Wild_Eep: wow! I can't even imagine how much work three newborns would be, we have a 1 month old girl and she keeps us very busy. Give a hug to your wife for me...!

I second the nursing stool. We actually had a tough time finding a good one, and it's very helpful for maintaining posture. My wife was using a stack of books for the first 2 weeks!

Oh yeah, and diapers, lots and lots of diapers.
posted by sic at 1:50 AM on October 17, 2005

It's below your indicated price range, but if you need a little something extra? You might want to consider one or two blankies like the ones here. My five year old still takes hers to bed at night.
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:40 AM on October 17, 2005

Besides the other things mentioned here are a few more:

1) a series of self-made gift certificates providing the new parents "date nights" or free baby sitting provided by you or other friends;

2) Dr. Brown's bottle kit -- a better designed set of milk bottles that cause baby less colic and gassiness;

3) an automatic bottle thawer/warmer. This is great for people who do NOT want to futz with hot water and guessing if the temperature is right for milk;

4) vibra-chair or baby swing; parents love this especially, if they want to have 25 minutes to take a shower without fear of having a fussy baby -- it easily saves alot of people from insanity;

5) if expense is not an issue then a duella is quite the gift especially if the mother has gone through a c-section or had a rough time delivering
posted by jadepearl at 9:12 PM on October 17, 2005

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