After two kids, plenty of time, and convos with some of my favorite parents, I’ve come up with what I think would be the best gifts for someone who is having a baby. These aren’t going to be the things you expect (no Boppy babies here.)
- A postpartum doula — My first child was born in the US, where there’s no support for new parents after they come home from the hospital. Like many can-do young couples we felt like we could do it on our own and didn’t need someone in our house helping to care for the baby and keep things clean. How foolish we were! With our second child, we gave birth in the Netherlands where postpartum care is the norm, and covered by insurance. We had eight days of a doula helping us out at home and it was AMAZING. Want to give someone a new baby gift that will really impact their lives for the better? Gather a bunch of friends and family to pitch in for a postpartum doula. Even a few days will make a huge difference—no matter how the baby arrives!
- All the food — When we had our first kid, we were part of a lovely synagogue that really supported people in times of need. When you have a baby, there’s a whole committee that organizes meals and brings them over. If you don’t have an existing resource like this to tap into, set up a MealTrain for the person you love. Do the work for them: make sure you know their dietary needs and preferences, and reach out to their friends and family to get the schedule filled in. If you aren’t much of a chef, look for a local store to deliver some high-quality groceries that make for easy meals (and maybe a bottle of wine.)
- Fun for any big siblings — When you are having a second kid (or third, or more) making sure your big kid is busy and entertained is always a challenge, especially when you are waiting for the baby to arrive. Volunteer to be on duty to help out with the big kid. A sleepover with friends or cousins, a special outing, anything that will make sure the big kid has something fun to do while baby is being born or the parents need some time to get their sea-legs about them!
If you want to get them something you can wrap, here are some of my favorite gifts (from ethical sources of course!:
- Perfectly picked hand-me-downs — Go through your kid’s clothes or hit up your favorite consignment store and find a lovely collection of secondhand clothes for your friend’s little one. Or if you are in Australia, you can shop from Pure Bundle which curates bundles of high-end baby clothes and donates what doesn’t meet their needs to local charities.
- A gorgeous Moses Basket from the Kind Label. The Kind Label works with Ghanian micro-producers to source beautiful fair-trade baskets. And if you live in the Netherlands, they even have a rental program.
- A modern handmade quilt from Kindred. Mother and owner Kayleigh makes beautiful minimalist quilts that would be at home in any decor. These quilts are instant heirlooms. A gorgeous quilt like this is worth the investment.
- Anything from BeyaMade. Laurel is a maker and a mama who defected from the world of fast fashion to make the cutest clothes for your little babies. Her brand is like the little sibling to Jackalo.
- A Cosilana baby bonnet from Mama Owl. Americans often find the European use of baby bonnets a little “precious” (and not in the good way.) I have to say, I’ve been swayed over to the use of them. I love that they are thin, they stay put, and fit under a bike helmet (once you start riding with them on the bike, which happens very early over here!) The Waldorf/Anthroposophical nursery our younger son goes to even swears that they reduce overstimulation in babies. I don’t know about that, but I do love both how they look and their utility. The ones I’ve linked to are a little heavier, but you can also find ones that are a wool/silk blend or cotton ones.
I lean towards the experiences that help people cherish those early days, but a beautiful responsibly-sourced item can be lovely as well. What are your favorite baby gifts?