As the first (by a long way) of our friends to start having babies, I tend to be the one people turn to for advice when they need to buy a present for a baby, young child, or a new mum.
As with all gift-giving, we want to select the thing that most shows the careful thought we have put into our decision, the thing that our friend will l.o.v.e., or find genuinely useful.
But it can be difficult to know where to start when you haven’t got children yourself.
New mums are notoriously difficult to buy for. Having been one three times now, even I struggle to think what would be a really nice or useful gift to give. Many of the standard gift options might be redundant in this situation. She’s unlikely to be heavily on the alcohol in the first few months, wearing perfume around new babies can be unsettling, and that leaves you with chocolates and flowers – the least original option and she’s bound to have quite a few of those already.
Having been there before my friends, I want to be able to gift them something that will be truly beneficial and appreciated. Here are my top ideas and advice for buying ‘new baby’ presents:
Your friend will likely have stocked up on enough newborn clothes already, and that’s before counting the newborn clothes she will be gifted (Everyone loves buying clothes!). Buy clothes in bigger sizes to maximise wear and usefulness (anything 6 months and older is a good bet). But bear in mind that the clothes currently in the shops may not all be seasonally appropriate in 6 months time (ie, tiny shorts might look cute now, but won’t be much use in the middle of winter. Ditto for heavy knitwear in summer).
OK, so I know everyone loves buying teeny tiny baby clothes, it IS very fun. If you must buy the tiny sizes, why not buy independent? There are a wealth of small, online retailers offering great quality clothes that she might not have seen yet . (Known fact: pregnant ladies like to browse baby clothes. She’ll already be very familiar with all the baby clothes in the high street shops). Instagram is a great tool for finding independent childrenswear retailers, try a hashtag search for #babyfashion or #babystyle
It’s been a while since she was last in non-maternity clothes. Clothes that no longer fit well, are buried deep in storage somewhere, or aren’t breastfeeding-friendly – whatever the reasons, there is always a bit of wardrobe
chaos adjustment in the first months after giving birth. A gift voucher for her favourite clothing store is bound to be appreciated.
Routine walks around the local high street under the guise of “Getting out of the house” or “Getting the baby to sleep” become a regular fixture. Moreover, caffeine and babies go hand in hand. How about a fully loaded gift card for her local coffee shop?
There is always something a pregnant person is lusting after but is hesitant to buy because they can’t really justify the expense for anything. Popular things that fall into this category are sleep aids, pushchair accessories, and baby/maternity photoshoots. Perhaps this is a second child and they are unsure if a buggy board will be useful or not? Do some detective work to find out what it is they would LOVE to have if money were no object, and club together with your friendship group to buy a ‘big’ present.
It doesn’t all have to be about baby and new-mum-specific presents. She is still the same person as she was before. A top up of her favourite beauty or make-up staple is a fail-safe gift and she may well appreciate a gift that isn’t completely baby-focused.
For more thoughtful gift-giving ideas, check out this post on What to buy for a first birthday