A gift guide for new parents

Image |    Dakota Corbin    on    Unsplash

You know what is hard? Being a parent. You know what is even more difficult? Being a parent for the first time.

Most presents for new parents are child focused, which is great, but many mammas, pops, and zazas out there could use a gift as well. They may not ask for it–but trust me, parents need something for themselves.

I tagged up with my friends who are parents to see what their ideal gifts were during the first few months of parenthood. A few are children focused and many are parent-centered. Below is what they suggested.

gifts for the grown-ups

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+ Massage

Hit up Groupon, Yelp, or your favorite local massage parlor and get a gift certificate for your friend. I recommend a couples' massage if they have a partner, or a certificate for more than one rub.

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+ A babysitter

There are a few ways to do this. You can be the babysitter or you can pay for one.

If you go the "I'll babysit" route, give your friend a "free night of babysitting" coupon that allows them to call on you whenever they need some child-free time. Nanny Printables sells cute, printable templates for less than a dollar. Or if you'd rather, you can make the voucher yourself.

You may also want to consider a subscription to Care.com. The website is a hub for well-qualified nannies and sitters. Care.com does background checks on many of its babysitters and allows them to upload references to give parents peace of mind when it comes to their qualifications.

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+ Set up a meal train

Cooking for yourself and others while feeding, burping, changing, and entertaining your new baby is difficult. Try alleviating your giftee's responsibilities by organizing meals for them. Have your friends and family sign up for a meal train, I recommend using MealTrain.com, and give the gift of ease.

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+ Or give the gift of meal delivery

If you are not much of a cook or you are short on time, consider gifting a subscription to a meal delivery service. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are some of the most popular dinner delivery kits, however one must make the meal themselves as only instructions and ingredients are supplied. Hello Fresh does offer breakfast, though! Freshly is another great option. They will cook the meals and deliver them, so there is no hassle for the gift recipient.

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+ A basket of everything mama could not eat when pregnant

I asked my friend what she may have liked to receive shortly after her first born. She said, "If I had a basket with every bad thing I couldn't have when I was pregnant, I would have been more than thrilled."

Genius! This never crossed my mind, but what better gift than lunch meat, wine, coffee, unpasteurized cheeses, a sushi dinner, and the like? Plus, the gift is pretty cute and clever.

gifts for the grown ups & the baby

A friend of mine, Silvia, told me, "As a new mom, you learn right away all the nesting you did was essentially pointless. I didn't need half of what I thought I did." However, she did find out what she as lacking shortly after her daughter was born. She recommended three gifts for new moms that they need, though they may not know it yet.

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+ Lanolin, aka nipple cream

Yet another gift I never considered! Silvia explained, "My nipples got all dry and they cracked at one point, I didn't think I could keep breastfeeding. That lanolin was like blistex for your nipple, it helped sooooo much. (This is just for a first time mom, because by your second child your nippled are indestructible)."

Lanolin [is] like blistex for your nipple...
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+ Diapers

Silvia did not have to buy diapers for a few months after her first daughter was born, her family and friends had supplied her with that much. She said it sounds like a cliché gift, but it's honestly pretty great.

However, Silvia did advise, "...if you give diapers I recommend asking if [your friend] already has that size...Babies grow fast and if you get too much of a smaller size it might not get used." She also warned to never get newborn diapers unless the child was born premature–kids just grow out of them way too quick.

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+ A manual breast pump

An electric breast pump is expensive and bulky and not every new parent wishes to spend $100+ on the device or lug it around. A manual pump is a perfect alternative and even a great addition to an electric pump. Hand breast pumps are four times less expensive and can be easily transported; they are a quarter of the size of their electric counterpart.

Silvia explained, "When your breasts are engorged, it hurts and you can get mastitis from having too full breasts. I felt physically sick one time when I was away from [my first born] and didn't have my pump."

(P.S. If you do not know much about manual breast pumps, check out this great review on Mom Loves Best.)

And there you have it, a list of gift ideas for new parents, recommended by current parents. Hope you found some useful options in this post! Special thanks to Silvia and Nichole for letting me pick their brain.

How about you? Are you a parent? What were the best gifts you received during your early parenting days?

-grace