- Give baby gifts from the heart.baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com
The coolest baby gifts are thoughtful and original, going beyond the traditional layette fare often seen at baby showers. Choose gifts that will be remembered for a lifetime and stand out from the crowd. Think outside the box in order to find items that new parents are likely to want and need but not receive from other people.
- Compile photos of the mother during her pregnancy, and of her new baby. Put them in order in a scrapbook, or organize them by theme. Give the new parents the scrapbook, as well as an envelope for them to put new photos into along with notes about milestones. Arrange a monthly time to pick up the envelope and update the scrapbook. New parents often want to keep up with baby books but lack the time and energy to do so. Take the hassle out of it and create a family heirloom that they and their baby are sure to enjoy for years to come.
New-Baby Survival Kit
- New parents often bring home their baby without knowing some of the strange items they might need over the course of the child's first year of life. Put together a survival kit in a plastic bin. Include unexpected items, such as bubbles to distract a fussy baby, or a swaddling blanket to help baby settle down for sleep. Ear plugs, baby carriers, warm-water bottles for a colicky baby's tummy, lanolin cream and white noise CDs are other good ideas. If you are a parent yourself, think back to the unexpected items you needed when your child was young and include them in the bin, along with an explanation about their use.
Help Around the House
- Having a baby is a new and wondrous experience for most parents, but it is difficult for them to balance housework, making meals and spending time with the new addition. Give the baby and parents the gift of bonding time together by providing help with meals or cleaning for a week or two after the baby is born. If you cannot be there yourself, hire someone to help or organize a group of friends who take turns helping with a variety of things for a few weeks.
Postpartum Doula Services
- Doulas are trained professionals whose job is to mother the mother. Many moms hire a doula to help them through labor, but overlook the sensitive time after the baby is born. Offer to hire a postpartum doula to help mom and baby establish breast-feeding, tend to other children so that the mom and her baby can bond, or relieve the mother so that she can get a much-needed nap. Doulas are experienced in helping moms learn about soothing babies, feeding them, diapering them and balancing family life with caring for the new little one. A doula's caring presence can help to reduce anxiety and stress levels, making the first few weeks with baby enjoyable ones.