5 Essential Off-Registry Newborn Gifts That are Guaranteed to be Treasured
If you’re a stuffed animal lover, don’t even think about deviating from the gift list,… however if you stick to these tips the parents won’t mind you going off registry at all!
Take a picture
When I was in hospital with my firstborn, I was adamant on having every visitor pose for a picture. I wanted to remember everything from these first precious moments. It wasn’t until my husband’s cousin took the camera from me and snapped a picture from the three of us, that I realized we hadn’t been in any of the pictures as a new family. So now I always offer to take a picture of the new parents when I visit them in hospital or at home. Not an actual present maybe but you’re giving them a memory to get teary-eyed to later in life.
Bring something to eat! As a new mom I found it hard to serve a homemade meal every evening and worse – I was constantly starving (breastfeeding really sucked the calories right out of me!) So give your friend a practical but nevertheless very welcome gift; a homemade meal to pop into the oven or a hearty soup to reheat. Not only have you given her the gift of vitamins and energy, you have also given her more time to spend with her baby, or – in the best case, some time to herself or with her partner that evening.
A long shower
Taking a shower is pretty much the equivalent of a three-day spa retreat when you’re mom to a love-, comfort- and milk craving newborn. That’s why, besides a gift for the little one, I also enjoy giving the mom a fragrant shower gel for those ten minutes she gets to herself. Moreover, smell is such a strong trigger for memories. When I smell Roger & Gallet Cédrat shower gel for example, I am immediately catapulted back to my hospital shower, feeling the raw but awesome first emotions of being a mom.
Share washing advice
Yes, you did laundry before you had a baby but… with little ones, it’s a whole new ball game. All of a sudden you’re facing bright yellow mustard colored poop stains that go right up the back of your favorite romper or blots of breast milk have stained your comfy sleeping bra. Why not spare your friend the googling and give her your no-fail stain advice? I, for example, love to use Ecover stain remover. (Not sponsored, just a real ambassador, because it works) Another good one is to wash a poop stain cold first, or soak it in cold water before washing it any warmer. If you don’t, you’ll set the stain and you won’t be able to get it out anymore. Learned the hard way!
A toy for on the road
The best toys I’ve gotten as gifts are the ones to have with you when you go out. My all time favorite is the Skwish Stix table toy from Manhattan’s Toy Company. It’s a colorful toy with wooden rods, beads and stretch cords you stick to the restaurant table or highchair table and engages your baby while you can catch up with your friend over coffee.
My other go to toy is the puppet glove from Haba. It doesn’t take up any room, you can even stick it in your back pocket but it can help turn around a help-my-baby-is-going-bonkers-in-a-restaurant situation. Slip on the glove and entertain your little one with all the sensory and visual items on each finger.
We were given a Mini Micro Deluxe scooter and still love it. It starts out with a seat and special handle bar and grows into an actual scooter your two to five year old will love!
It's a great way for me to go out with Elliot. Now he even has the stamina to ride home from school with it on the sidewalk, while I bike (with Amelia in the seat) on the bike path or street next to him. It's much quicker than walking and in Elliots case, (2 years and 9 months), faster than when he's on his balance bike and that’s been the case for over a year! (I hear this is quite unusual though - he seems to be a real scooter fanatic - so give or take a few months.)
We were actually given some really nice stuffed animals that I'm sure our kids will treasure for years to come, but we are all too familiar with the stream of stuffed animals you just don't have room for - so in general I would advise against it. I would love to find out what your go-to baby welcoming gifts are!