Baby showers are wonderful celebrations of new life. However, it can become a little tedious watching expectant moms open the same gifts for hours on end, and mom-to-be probably gets a little bored too! Break up that boredom with one of these unique baby shower gift that new parents will actually want (and can use).
1) Diaper Cake
Diaper cakes can double as a gift and make for amazing DIY décor items for baby showers since they can be used as table centerpieces or props. In addition, they are put together with items that parents actually need such as diapers, bottles, small hand toys, infant toiletries, socks, onesies, towels and washcloths. Diaper cakes are great because they can be designed to match virtually any color or theme and can be made as small or large as you like.
2) Mommy & Me Classes
Mommy & Me classes are a great way to promote bonding between mother (or father) and child. Mommy & Me classes are offered in a variety of concentrations including yoga, music, gymnastics, and running. Many places have classes that start as young as six weeks and offer an inexpensive trial membership or free “look” class. Moms and Dads love this type of gift because this type of item is usually one of the last things that new parents think to purchase, if it’s on the list at all. However Mommy & Me classes have many benefits for both the parent and child including learning/improving new skills and meeting new people (socialization) just to name a few. Not to mention that it’s a fun way for parents to spend time with their little one.
3) Household Services
Exhausted new parents will tell you that they typically spend most of their time between diapering and feeding their demanding little bundle of joy. Cooking and cleaning tasks are typically among the first to be ignored at home, especially when it’s difficult to sit down for longer than five minutes without falling asleep. Gift certificates for cooking or household cleaning services are a great baby shower gift because they help relieve some of the stress from already overworked new parents. I have also known moms to save these until they return to full time work to help with their transition the first few weeks back. If money is an issue, offer to clean the new parents house yourself or offer to make a few meals at their place. Giving a new parent time is just as valuable to them as a material gift.
4) Portrait Packages
We all ohh and ahh over the photos of the sweet baby curled up sleeping in a basket; however many parents don’t purchase portrait sessions simply because they can’t afford them. The strain on the family budget of purchasing diapers and formula (if bottle feeding or supplementing) can severely limit discretionary purchases. Purchase a voucher for a portrait session and package and help provide the parents with beautiful memories of their little one. Parents can also choose to save these for a special event such as baby’s first holiday or first birthday.
5) Memory Kits
Many stores such as Michael’s, Target, and Babies R Us sell inexpensive craft kits that parents can use to make wonderful keepsakes of their child. Purchase a kit to imprint the baby’s hand or foot onto a decorative stone or purchase a baby-themed scrapbooking kit for the parents to document baby’s first year in a memory album. These are great gifts to include as part of a gift basket or bag of goodies.
6) Handmade items
If the new parents are lucky enough to have someone crafty in their circle of family and friends, hopefully they will receive a beautiful handmade quilt or memory bear. Handmade items are some of the best items to give and receive at a baby shower because they are typically made by someone or with something that has sentimental value to the new parents.
7) Baby Food Making Supplies
I have found that more and more parents are jumping on the trend of making their own baby food. While it can be a bit time consuming when you consider cook time, there are also tremendous benefits as well. A lot of parents find that it saves money since they can make the food out of fruits and vegetables that they would typically buy anyhow instead of purchasing pre-packaged baby foods. Not to mention that homemade baby food tends to be much fresher and nutrient rich. If you think the new parents will appreciate this type of gift, purchase a set that includes a small baby food processor and some type of container system.
8) Restaurant Gift Cards
As a parent, your child will become the center of your world. And while this is great for the child, it is not always great for the child’s parents – and their relationship. Every now and then it’s nice for parents to leave the little one at home and enjoy a few hours out of the house. Giving new parents a gift card to a local restaurant will encourage them to spend some time together away from the endless diapers and bottles. And, if you are feeling extra generous, offer to babysit for free!
If you are willing (and able) to splurge a bit, take the date night idea even further and purchase a weekend or week-long getaway for the new parents. You will provide new parents with the opportunity to eat a hot meal with two hands and sleep for longer than two hours at a time and they will be eternally grateful for it. Just be sure that you are familiar with the parents schedule and find out the cancellation policy before you book just to be safe.
Have any great ideas that you would like to add? Share them in the comments below!
See my original article at http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/publications/community_times/cctnews-great-baby-shower-gifts-expectant-parents-actually-need-20150428,0,7300882.column