Unconventional Gifts for Expecting Parents
Maybe you’re like me, and you never buy gifts off of the expecting couples well thought out and time consuming registry lists. I don’t really have a reason as to why I don’t, I think it’s mostly that I just LOVE shopping for babies, and I don’t need dictated on how to do so. I’m perfectly capable of deciding level of cuteness and functionality. *hair flip*
I don’t mean to do it. I want new parents to get everything that they need, but as soon I get in that baby section, my brain stops working properly and there’s a lot of mental squeals and daw’s, sniffing and maybe even some crying. So here are some practical gifts that will keep you out of the baby section, and mom will, likely, be able to forgive you [with gratitude, even!] for digressing from her requests. [Mama, if you’re reading you may want to register, or specifically ask a special someone, for these things.]
Baby sleep training classes. The biggest adjustment in entering parenthood is lack of sleep. The most common parenting questions revolve around sleep. Night feedings are the most difficult feedings. Baby grows best when sleeping and mama is happiest when well rested. Lot’s of good reasons to gift these priceless classes. It’s perfect for a group of friends or all the aunts to pitch in and get one big gift for mom and dad. I swear by Taking Cara Babies words of wisdom; her classes are online and you literally get a manual. It doesn’t get better than that.
A home cleaning service. If you are the person that suggests to all expecting moms to “sleep when the baby sleeps” then you better start gifting this service to new moms. Raising babies is different than it was 30 and 50 years ago. The distractions, stuff and responsibilities are different today. Not to discredit any generation of mamas, it’s always been hard and will continue to be hard. Us moms just have too much stuff, too many expectations, too much pressure and, frankly, too many full time job titles. We don’t have time to sleep when the baby sleeps; we clean when the baby sleeps, bath when the baby sleeps, laundry when the baby sleeps, work when the baby sleeps, exercise when the baby sleeps, Netflix when the baby sleeps, call our friends and cry when the baby sleeps…. you get the point. If someone could clean our house for us, we might hold onto some sanity.
Cloth diapering service. So many new moms are riding this “going green” wave and staying aware of their carbon foot print; organic diapers [organic everything] can hurt the bank account. On the other end of it, cloth diapering has a pretty steep price tag and a pretty intimidating learning curve… do you put the poop in the washer, too? Help mom out while she’s navigating this new season off life, with a few months of a diapering service to start her out.
A boxed subscription. The sky is the limit on this one, there’s so many different boxed subscriptions out there. The benefit? They save time and energy; whether it’s with cooking, family care, research or shopping, any minute saved is precious when it comes to raising a family. You could do a family food box, a baby food box, a baby necessities box, a baby fun box, a mom self care box… should I keep going? Google baby box subscriptions or boxed subscriptions, you’ll sit for hours reading all of the options. Target and Walmart even offer baby box subscriptions! Here’s some of my favorites:
Spa day or date night… a spa date? This gift is tough, because it’s best given with child care- but doesn’t have to be! My favorite gift from my baby shower may have been the dinner and a movie gift card friends of ours were gracious enough to gift us, but we didn’t use them for a while, because I had to figure out how to leave my baby. You could give a gift certificate to a local nanny service along with a spa or date night gift cards or you could promise child care from you when you gift the cards. The problem with promising child care is that mom doesn’t want to ask you; she’ll feel too selfish asking you to take time out of your busy life to come to her home [<- super important] and give her a break from her own busy life. If you want baby all to yourself, or if there isn’t a local nanny service in your area, I recommend calling mom a few weeks into motherhood [enough time to heal and gather herself, but before maternity leave is over] and offer yourself voluntarily, so she and dad can redeem your gift card gifts. Call early to mid week for the upcoming weekend, offer to come to her home [without her asking] and if she says “no thank you” or “not yet”, set a future [tentative] date with her or call again in a few more weeks.
I’m not going to link this one, but a few gift card ideas are a local spa [or salon that offers spa services], find out where she gets her hair done, or share your best nail technician, a winery or brewery in the area, a local arcade, concert tickets [a little more difficult since these are time sensitive, but pair with mom and see if her and dad are interested- Ticketmaster may even offer gift cards], a local ice skating rink, dinner and a movie.
Any gift that you give is going to be appreciated, whether you follow registry guidelines, stray a *little* or veer off completely [a heart felt veer of course]. To any expecting moms reading this, don’t be afraid to ask for these types of things -that aren’t always tangible or fit in a cutely wrapped gift box. Services go a long way when you’re learning how to navigate parenthood!
Here’s to learning how to accept help, mama!