Shopping for gifts for the new parents in your life? You might be compelled to buy gifts for Baby, but this is where we make the case for you not to. When I was pregnant on my birthday last year, a close friend asked what she could get me. I told her I'd love any cute baby stuff. A mom herself, she paused, then schooled me: You’re going to be inundated with baby gifts, she told me, but it’s gonna be a while before anyone gets something for you.
She was not wrong.
“I think when new parents have kids, around holidays they are just forgotten often,” says Abby Ludwig, the director of education and parent training at Gugu Guru, which offers parents personalized product recommendations. “Everybody is so focused on the baby and what the baby needs. So it's always nice to try to remember the new parents themselves—and that doesn’t necessarily mean more stuff, but sometimes things that would also help make their lives significantly easier.”
- Abby Ludwig, Abby Ludwig is VP of parent experience at Gugu Guru, which offers parents personalized product recommendations.
Of course, a new baby is every parent's priority. But that doesn’t mean you can't treat them, too, or find creative presents that make raising a baby a bit more manageable. I picked Ludwig’s brain about the best gifts for new parents—things that maybe make their homes more liveable, give them a bit more time, or help them get a sense of their old selves again. Here are her suggestions, along with my own recs as a new mom myself.
Best gifts for new parents
Send over celebratory drinks, or make a basket for an at-home date night. “I’ve seen people throw in a fun swaddle or pacifier, so parents can put baby to sleep then crack open a bottle and order dinner,” says Ludwig.
For the fitness-loving new mom, access to top-notch classes at home can help her feel like herself again (even if the days of heading to boutique studios might be on hold). Obé’s platform offers postpartum workouts of all varieties, and classes that will keep her going long after.
$80 per kit, or subscriptions starting at $36/month
With this subscription, parents will have an age-appropriate box of toys delivered every two months, taking the guesswork out of what’s best for baby’s development when. Each comes with a guide for the parents explaining the “how” and “why” of each toy.
Both festive and functional, these genius “Diaper Cakes” offer the essentials that parents will definitely use (ahem, diapers). But they also come with sample sizes of things like body wash and baby wipes so parents get to try them out to see what their little one likes—and have travel-friendly portions to throw in a diaper bag.
Breastfeeding moms need to stay extra hydrated, but it can be hard to remember to drink enough water when there’s so much else going on. And, when the house (and life) gets crazy, it’s all too easy to knock glasses over. These insulated mugs keep liquids cold or hot for hours, with a lid to minimize splashes—and enough room for 24 ounces, so they don’t need a constant refill.
Originally $150, on sale for $74
It’s much easier to invite friends over on a Friday night than it is to try to plan dinner around baby’s bedtime. Even better: having an excuse that draws everyone outside—like roasting s’mores—so the parents don’t need to worry too much about a messy home.
Stocking up the medicine cabinet with anything that might be needed in those first six months can save parents from having to run out to the store with a sick, unhappy baby.
A good baby-wearing carrier can give parents a chance to actually get something done. Don’t worry over whether they already have one—different carriers can be good for different activities. (And you’d be surprised by how sweaty things can get when you’ve got a baby on you; being able to switch into a dry one can be a huge relief.)
Too many old-school baby books get forgotten by busy parents. Today, there are several apps that make it effortless to record the special moments right from your phone. Chatbooks connects with a parent’s Instagram or Facebook account to turn their posts into actual, physical books without even thinking about it.
Free, fast delivery might not be appreciated by anyone more than new parents. It keeps them stocked as they continually figure out what they need, and avoids the hassle of dragging baby out to an actual store. Plus, the movies and TV shows on Prime video can offer a fun way to spend all those nights at home.
Level up their bag game with this number that’s as stylish as it is functional. (We’re talking 15 pockets and water-repellant nylon kind of functional.) The brand’s first-ever diaper bag, made in collaboration with designer accessories brand Caraa, it’s also a limited-edition run for the season and comes in a custom-designed box that’s ready to gift.
This is one thing that too many new parents don’t know how to ask for, says Ludwig. But offering to watch the baby for a couple of hours while the parents have a date night or take a nap on the weekend could be the highlight of their month.
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