Gift for newborn, gift for mom
August 17, 2014 9:46 PM   Subscribe

My friend just had a baby, I wanted to send her a small-something to let her know that I'm thinking of her and her newborn. What would be good for this?

I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. She is a lovely person, but we are not very close friends, email about twice a year, and now live in different countries. She's in her mid twenties, and her child (a healthy and adorable little girl) was born last month. I've picked out a nice card, but I was wondering if there some other small thing I could send along with that that might be useful for her or her child. I thought some trinket for the child, but I think they are already overflowing with those, and besides I don't really know the ins and outs of baby toys.

I would definitely like to hear any recommendations. I'm looking for something around the ~$50 range (not including shipping.)
posted by dragonfruit to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The single most useful thing for us when our son was a newborn was receiving blankets. Throw them on your shoulder, wrap the baby in them, wipe up bodily fluids. :-) A 1001 uses. One friend sent us a nice basket full of blankets and towels with a card.

My son still sleeps with a version of this.

A nice photo frame is always good.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:56 PM on August 17, 2014

A house cleaning.
posted by k8t at 9:59 PM on August 17, 2014

Yeah, don't bother with a trinket, new babies can't really play with toys anyway. Burp cloths are another thing that you usually can't go wrong with in terms of usefulness. There are some really cute pacifier clips on Etsy, those can be useful and sort of decorative. Or something cute and customized with the baby's name on it (TONS of examples on Etsy), I got a towel embroidered with my baby's name from this place (unfortunately, no online ordering, have to call) - way more expensive than any towel I use for myself, but the size is such that they can be used for years, the quality is excellent, and she uses it every single night.

If you want to do something for her, and there is some kind of local meal delivery gift certificate you can purchase, that could be very nice - or if you know she has an appropriate device, a gift certificate to the iTunes store or for Amazon media might be good… new mom-ing often involves a lot of sitting around and getting slept on/nursing and it's nice to have something interesting to stare at...
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:24 PM on August 17, 2014

A soft baby blanket is useful through the toddler years. My son uses one that we got when he was a newborn to this day. It's the vellux-type material, maybe the keyword is plush? Anyway, it is the type that does not pill when washed and can be washed a zillion times.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:32 PM on August 17, 2014

Seconding a high quality baby bath towel and a plush blanket. We got a couple towels and several blankets as gifts and our baby is 16 months and we use these items every day.
posted by rio at 10:51 PM on August 17, 2014

Best answer: I've given a few friends Aden + Anais swaddlers and they are universally adored. I was initially dubious because of the price (a pack of four costs $50) but they are a great size for lots of things: swaddling, of course (they're nice and light, so appropriate even in summer and in hot climates), but also to throw over the car seat to protect baby from sun/germs/evil eye, throw on the floor for tummy time, and who knows what else. Even my insanely cheapskate friends shelled out for another set of them because they liked the ones I had given them so much. They're now my go-to baby gift -- classy, a little luxurious-seeming, and completely and totally practical for use everyday.
posted by katemonster at 11:41 PM on August 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

Oh, yeah, one of the things that's specifically nice about Aden + Anais vs. other blankets is the size. They're I think 40x40 or 44x44, which makes it easier to swaddle a bigger baby or cover a car seat than a smaller receiving blanket.
posted by katemonster at 11:42 PM on August 17, 2014

When my nephew was born I got him a Sophie le giraffe. He carried it around for about 6 months, teethed on it too. I didnt realise it was a whole brand of things until just now when I googled to answer your question.

Otherwise bibs! My sister said she could never have enough bibs because she would use 6 or 10 a day feeding and cleaning the little chap.
posted by evil_esto at 2:46 AM on August 18, 2014

Seconding the Aden + Anais blankets. We have a newborn and go through about a zillion swaddling and receiving blankets a day. "Swaddling" blankets are better than "receiving" blankets since they're larger and therefore more versatile. Towels and washcloths are good too.

I also second the meal delivery gift card if you can figure out what delivers in her area. Babies take up a lot of time and she could always use something to make the rest of her life easier/more comfortable/nicer.

Things we have no use for yet: toys, heavy blankets, bibs. They'll come in handy later, but right now they're just taking up space.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:13 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

My go to baby gift for people -

1.) a book themed onesie from Out of Print Clothing

2.) the book that matches the onesie

3.) a fistful of pacifiers for newborns because these things go missing like woah

The only draw back is that the onesie is at 6 months (but a small six months) so if the baby is under 13 lbs by the time you send the gift, it may be a tad big.

(My sister has monster babies who the SMALLEST was 9 lbs 4 oz)
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 5:04 AM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is there a traditional baby gift for the country your living in? Or something of the above ilk in a local flavor?
posted by kathrynm at 5:57 AM on August 18, 2014

Unbleached flat (not prefolded) cloth diapers. They make the best spit-up cloths. Amazon has them.
posted by Anne Neville at 6:36 AM on August 18, 2014

These rings are super useful. It lets you attach toys to the playmat, stroller, etc, babies love to chew on them. Given the price you can also buy a nice toy to go along with it.
posted by typecloud at 6:37 AM on August 18, 2014

My baby is now 7 months old, and one thing that was a (very minor!) bummer was getting baby gifts in the early days that weren't going to be useful until the little one was a few months older. From the perspective of someone who already had kids, I'm sure it was like "oh they grow so fast, little baby iminurmefi will be in size 6-12 month onesies before you know it!" but from my perspective, it had been a big push to clear out space and put away all the baby stuff acquired while pregnant, and a onesie (or toy or whatever) that I had to wash, fold, and figure out where to store for 3 months was just one more chore to do when I was super-busy taking care of a newborn. In the early days, 3 months felt like AN ETERNITY away, and it's never as fun to receive gifts you can use at some point in the future compared to something useful RIGHT NOW.

I was a huge, huge fan of people who gave us newborn and 0-3 month size clothes, especially higher-end footed pajamas that I wouldn't have splurged on myself but which made me happy every time I put them on the baby. (Who was wearing nothing other than footed pajamas all day anyway.) My favorite brands of baby jammies were Zutano, Offspring, and Babysoy, all of which are available on Amazon.
posted by iminurmefi at 7:39 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for the Aden + Anais swaddlers. I got one pack of those and I have used them every day for the past year. They were the best swaddlers, the best stroller blankets since you can adjust the thickness by folding to get either a light or heavy blanket, and the best thing to keep in my bag to clean up messes on the go since they are big but squish down very small. They are always first used blanket out of the wash.

I received a lot more clothing in the small sizes than I needed, especially since in my case each of the first three sizes only fit for six weeks each (!!!). If you do decide to go with clothes, definitely don't get newborn size because they baby might already be too big, and send the receipt just in case. I have a tall baby and I have received a lot of clothes that were already too small when they arrived, so unlike the previous commenter I always appreciated people sending bigger stuff. The lesson here might just be that clothes are harder to get right, so non-clothing items are always safer.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 11:44 AM on August 18, 2014

Good quality swaddlers and baby blankets are nice gifts. I haven't used the aden+anais swaddles but they seem popular with the responses here! For us, every second person gave us baby blankets or swaddles - we were literally inundated with blankets and some never even made it out of the box. One awesome thing we were given was a hooded baby towel, a really practical gift that we still use every day even now (18 months later)! Another thing might be cot linen (like unique cot fitted sheets) because these will get a good workout and be on high rotation once they are moved out of the bassinet (which they aren't in for long, in the scheme of things). You could buy a children's classic book too or a boxset of a keepsake book. Some online bookstores offer free international shipping (i.e. book depository).

If you decide to go with clothes i would pick out a unique local label that your friend can't get where she is. Definitely opt for a bigger size and try to think of what season she will be when she is in that size. Size 1 is a usually safe option because once they hit size 1 they tend to wear that size over a couple of seasons. If you prefer to get something smaller then i would opt for 000 or 00 to be safe and go for a multi-seasonal style (wonder suit or something).
posted by Under the Sea at 8:14 PM on August 18, 2014

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