06/09/2011

My top new baby gifts

As Hubby Dearest and I are getting older (in age only, of course), most of our friends are settled down and a lot are embarking, like us, on the family path, meaning that I'm now spending less time buying wedding gifts, and more time picking up teeny weeny baby presents. And thank goodness for that! I was starting to feel a bit bored of the cutlery sets and Bora Bora vouchers! Plus I hear the new fad now is for people to order for their wedding list multiple Nespresso machines and super expensive champagne glasses, so I'm glad to be mostly out of that competition...

So, what do I like to buy for new babies and their still thrilled and not yet sleep deprived parents?

1. Flowers
Unless you get told not to, send flowers, it's still the done thing. Send them to the home, not the hospital, where they'll get forgotten in the room, if they make it there. Don't bring them yourself without arranging with the new parents. The odds are they have just arrived home with their little bundle of joy, and still just getting adjusted to the new life, and the mum might be trying to get some rest from delivery so don't go unannounced! Instead use one of the gazillions of flower delivery service available.
I used Flowers Same Day yesterday, the bouquets are nice and tasty and the service is what it says on the tin, it delivers on the same day, at a pretty reasonable cost.
http://www.flowerssameday.co.uk/

2. Swaddles with a twist
If this is a UK-born baby, in all likelihood they are being swaddled in the first few weeks, and seeing as babies have a tendency to make a mess of anything you put them in within minutes it probably is a good idea to buy in bulk.
I love Aden & Anais' quirky take on baby swaddles, sleep bags and baby blankets, all made from the softest muslin with super quirky prints. This is also the place to order a baby sleep bag for those warm nights, when not even a 0.5tog will do!
http://www.adenandanais.co.uk/

3. A couple of crossover bodysuits
One thing Hubby Dearest and I underestimated as future parents is how utterly terrifying it is to pull a bodysuit over a newborn baby's head. It was the scariest thing I had to do when Monsieur Baby was little, and we had to run over to Harrods to buy an additional stock of crossovers to supplement the four I had initially bought. Trust me, a bodysuit with a crossover closure turns baby changing from hell to bearable (so do front closure babygros by the way!) I find the softest ones at Petit Bateau.
http://www.petit-bateau.com/

4. Sophie La Giraffe
Sophie needs no introduction amongst the parents crowd, she has helped many of us through teething and is now helping our own babies. This little toy is one of the first ones Monsieur Baby has reached for and managed to grab, and is still his favourite to chew on. He has four, two small and two large ones, which shows that you can never be gifted too many Sophies!
http://www.sophielagirafe.co.uk/

5. Maternity nurse / Doula hours
If my experience is anything to go by, new parents quickly get overwhelmed and exhausted and need help with not only the baby but also the house, cooking etc. If you can afford it, buy them some hours of maternity nurse or doula services, or simply volunteer to do some cleaning, cooking, walking the pram yourself. My mother was helping us through Monsieur Baby's first month, but if she hadn't I would have certainly appreciated this type of gift!

Now, I'm sure that all my readers are pretty sensible people but just in case, here are a few of the things that might not be very good new baby gifts: baby essentials such as a bottle warmer, a bath thermomether, etc. (the odds are, they got them before the baby arrived), a guide of top cocktail bars in Europe (it's going to be a little while before they are able to fully enjoy it so don't rub it in), a potted plant (they'll be busy enough trying to keep the baby alive and well, thanks!)...

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