Parent Time

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea

When your friends start having babies, buying gifts gets trickier. You can't just send them a bottle of booze like you could in past days: new moms don't drink! But there are plenty of thoughtful, inexpensive things you can do for new parents to lessen their trials or just to say, "I'm thinking of you, you poor, sleep-deprived, formula-bespattered slob". Check out these five ideas for baby presents!

Go Traditional

Classic baby gifts include gifts for the care of the newborn like ultra-soft receiving blankets, mobiles for the nursery or tiny, perfect newborn clothes. Homemade gifts that may last for years could include crocheted afghans, handmade baby quilts or a wooden cradle. Other creative ideas include personalized silver cups or spoons that commemorate the baby's birth in a way that provides an heirloom gift for girl or boy.

Take Care of the Parents

But if a child has grandparents and a shower has brought the household everything they need for caring for their newest member, gift baskets for the new parents are thoughtful and generous presents. Chocolate is always appropriate for new moms and dads whose moods could be lifted by a sweet, dark bite of really good chocolate. And who wouldn't be happy with a basket of luxury items, either spa-related soaps, lotions and candles, or foods like sausage, cheese and wine? Buy them already made or make your own with a trip to the craft store for a big wicker basket and a stop at the supermarket for all things tasty. Making and delivering your own gift basket can cut the cost in half, so you can buy the really great stuff.

Service Related Gifts

Never underestimate the power of food, especially in a household where people are too tired to cook. Gift cards to local take-out (or better yet, delivery) restaurants will be useful, highly appreciated and timely gifts. Other great gifts include housecleaning, laundry, professional car detailing—even window washing! Do it yourself, or hire someone to give your friends a break by taking on some hated chore that might otherwise go undone.

Gifts that Make a Huge Difference

If your friends are truly broke, forget all that feel-good stuff and get down to the nitty gritty: give them diapers by the ton. Diapers add up, with a new baby using ten to twenty a day, and the darned things cost a lot! Buy your friends stacks of diapers, boxes of wipes, soap or lotions and other must-haves to keep the household running. Formula (make sure you know if the baby takes formula, and if so, the exact kind), baby food and bottles are also helpful for new parents who are strapped for cash. And never underestimate the usefulness of dish towels. New parents need about a thousand of them.

Gifts for the Future

More and more parents are starting educational funds for their children. If you don't know what to get for your new niece or godchild, consider starting a bank account, either for future schooling, a house or mad money. This way, when it comes time for birthday or holiday gifts, you can make a deposit that will one day turn into a substantial gift.

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