What unexpected things did you want when you were new parents?

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Silver foil "for you" gift tag from Etsy seller PennedBlack
Silver foil “for you” gift tag from Etsy seller PennedBlack
I have the pleasure of welcoming two new cousins into this world this year. I want to give the parents gifts that they will want, and use, once the babies are born.

Most people come up with blankets, diapers, etc., and I understand how useful those are (I intend to help buy a duffle bag and stuff it full of diapers!) but I wanted to know if there were any items or helpful suggestions that would be useful for me to give or do for the new parents.

What “strange” or “unusual” items will be useful for the new parents? What unexpected items did you not have that you wish you did have when you were new parents?

Thank you for your time and input.

Good question! We’ve talked about things to gift to and for babies before, but what can you gift the new parents. So let’s hear it straight from the parental Homies themselves…

What are the best unique gifts for new parents? What are the things you got that you never expected or asked for, but that you came to depend on?

Comments on What unexpected things did you want when you were new parents?

  1. CSA and and Herbal CSA share, Blue Apron or similar, I loved the photographer idea. We have a very small house and therefore will not have a need for much baby furniture and will need to keep a wrap on clothes and other items. I was just trying to think of other ideas for people who would like to support us when the time comes and what would be useful. Love all the comments.

    • My aunt’s vegetable CSA share was SO helpful when her son was getting into solid foods and through toddlerhood. They made salads and sides with some of the veg, then just blended/processed up the rest as baby food.
      Depending on your area, though, a CSA might not be ideal for new parents. I know in my area, going to pick up the crate can be a burden, even when you don’t have a brand new infant. But as a gift for next season? Oh man! It’s like GOLD.

    • I agree that CSA MAY not be for everyone. I love my CSA, but I know tons of people who wouldn’t be able to keep up with the veggie load. BUT there are other services where there are pre-made dinners delivered to your house. Try google-searching and asking around for local catering services that do pre-made dinners. If anything buy a gift card for something like Trader Joe’s so they can go and stock up on frozen dinners for the first month or two.

  2. There are some great ideas here! I second any and all food, especially things that the mom can stash in the places she nurses (for those frequent times that she’s suddenly ravenous, but is stuck on the couch/chair!).

    Here are some other ideas:
    -toiletry products for the mom: things like nipple butter (I like Earth Mama Angel Baby), lotion (unscented), dry shampoo, lip balm

    -gift cards for Babies R Us, Target, etc. (whichever stores are closest to their home and/or the stores they registered at): I used to shy away from giving gift cards because they didn’t seem as personal somehow, but they are a lifesaver. My son is 20 months old and we actually JUST used our last Babies R Us gift card (sob!). They were lifesavers when we needed to buy diapers, formula, bigger ticket items, and the many other things that we didn’t know we would need, but were freaked out about how much everything cost. It really eased some of that pressure. It’s also awesome to get a surprise gift card when the baby is older! My aunt does that from time to time and it’s a huge help.

    -similar to above, an Amazon Prime membership if they don’t already have one: we used ours to buy everything from baby supplies to Christmas presents during those first hectic months. Plus, they’ll get access to Amazon shows & movies that they can stream while they’re up feeding the baby in the middle of the night!

    -a journal and nice pens

    -fun pajamas for the mom: somebody gave me a super cute, nursing friendly nightgown that I loved. There are many days where getting out of my PJs didn’t happen, but it was fun to at least have cute ones to wear.

    -babysitting: This will really depend on the parents and general situation, but this could really be a huge thing after the first few weeks. Tell them something tangible, i.e. “I would love to come babysit one evening next week so you guys can go on a date, go shopping, etc.” Even if they aren’t comfortable with leaving the baby for long, come for an hour so they can go out for a quick dinner or for the much-coveted baby-less Target run. Or watch the baby while they take a nap – also wonderful.

    You are so thoughtful for wanting to do this! Best wishes to your family!

  3. If the pregnancy is high-risk in any way, or maybe even if not, this:

    Indispensable during bedrest, in hospital after c-section, and home for the first two months trying to recover and care for twin newborns.

    Other ideas: extra phone charger. White noise machine. Miracle blanket.

  4. I go for the Visa gift card! I used to feel it was impersonal, but it’s so practical and helpful that it outweighs the impersonal aspect. Plus, it’s cheap and easy to send! Then they can use it wherever they want on whatever they need. Sometimes I throw in either clothes in 9 or 12 months or infant gowns (they make middle of the night diaper changes so much easier!) If your feeling extra generous, something for an older sibling that will probably be feeling left out and resentful is nice too.

  5. I am making a baby registry right now, (or starting to) and one thing I am adding that I REALLY hope someone gets me are some Thinx undies. They are those menstruation undies, and I hear that they are a god send because I hear about how many Moms need to wear pads for a few days. If your friend usually uses a diva cup, she will enjoy the Thinx undies, because she WON’T be able to use a diva cup, nor do I think she will want to anyways for awhile.

  6. Most of all, more than anything, in didn’t want people to overstay their welcome. Second best were the people who brought us food. We loved those people. So so much.
    The people who thought they were owed baby cuddles and just kept showing up and sitting on our couch and not running a load of laundry were not cool. More than any gift, I would have loved someone to unstack the dishwasher. Or throw a load of towels on.

  7. Disposable plates. Diapers in the next size so when the baby is ready to switch sizes you have at least one pack to get you started. A roll of clear packing tape for when they start pulling books off the shelf and rip all of them.

    And yes to easy food. And I would have loved someone to come snuggle the baby so I could do something around the house to make me feel less like a lazy bum.

  8. Baby carriers! These range in price & difficulty, but I literally don’t understand how anyone parents without them. My favorites are seven slings (make sure to find a promotion code, they are always running some deal), ergo, and moby wraps.

  9. We have what’s basically a dorm fridge in our apartment. I’m hoping someone will get us a small freezer which I can fill with meals for the first couple of weeks (and milk thereafter).

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