If someone you love is about to have a baby, or recently became a parent, there’s a strong chance they’ve been showered with gifts, attention, and a ton of homemade food. Babies need a lot, and so do new parents, so friends and family come together to visit and spoil the newly-minted family with gifts – both practical and fun.
In a sea of presents and warm wishes, a handmade or unique gift is sure to stand out and is the perfect way to show the new parents just how much you care. Here are a few ideas.
The ‘new mom survival kit’
Being a new mom is rarely, if ever, easy. Babies need to be watched at all times, plus they may struggle to sleep or eat, and their crying can seem endless and without reason. Most new moms don’t have a second to themselves, certainly not at first, so treat the new mom in your life to a ‘survival kit’ comprised of items that will keep her going, and also serve as a treat for her ‘me time’ moments.
Include practical items such as wet wipes, headache medication, a face mask, chocolate, a candle, and any other bits and pieces you think will resonate with who she is, not only as a new mom, but as a person. She can dip in and out of the survival kit whenever she needs to.
A nursery mobile
Mobiles are a great gift as they’re reasonably easy to make and can be easily customized to fit any nursery decor. You could go for an origami animal theme perhaps, or stars and moons, or rainbows and unicorns. The choices are really endless!
Pompoms are also a great option for mobiles. They’re easy and cheap to make and don’t require much equipment (scissors, cardboard, and colored yarn is all you need). You can make them in multiple sizes, colors, and even shapes to add a bit of visual stimulation for the baby.
If mobile isn’t your thing, or the parents-to-be already have one in mind, why not make a garland for the nursery wall? You can spell out the baby’s name if you know it, or a more generic word such as ‘baby’ or ‘love.’
Book of firsts
Babies and first-time parents experience a lot of firsts together. The baby is quite literally seeing everything for the first time, growing and changing by the day, and the parents continually adjust to their new roles. A ‘book of firsts’ is usually geared around the baby’s milestones such as teething, walking, crawling, and talking, but why not gift one to the parents, too? They can document the first year of the baby’s life from their perspective, and create a wonderful record of memories that both they and the baby can look back on once they’re older.
This particular type of book is widely available online and in bookstores, but if you’re feeling creative, you could always make your own! Buy a plain book and add milestones you think are important, and decorate it in a way you know the parents will love.
If you’re an artsy sort of person and have the skills, a family portrait is a perfect way to commemorate a new baby in a lasting way. While this is a gift that can’t be given until sometime after the baby has been born, you can’t draw or paint them until you know what they look like. The new parents are sure to appreciate the time, love, and effort that goes into such a personal gift.
If a portrait is beyond your abilities, there’s a simpler way to show you care – why not create a canvas of the family’s names or baby’s initials? The sentiment is just as strong, but much less artistic flair is required!
A third option would be to take an inspirational quote or song lyric, and either stencil or paint it onto a canvas – so easy and so effective! Plus, it’s an inspiration for the new parents, too.
Baby stuff…or is it?
One of the easiest ways to give a ‘handmade’ gift is to buy something your loved one really needs for their baby, and turn it into something that’s not just practical, also but fun and whimsical. We don’t mean a diaper cake!
You can use diapers, as they’re pretty useful, but add a little extra flair by turning them into cute babies with booties, or teddy bears with ribbon bow ties and googly eyes.
New moms love to get flowers, right? They especially love to get flowers that serve the dual purpose of being made from onesies, washcloths, diapers, and even a few colorful toys! A bouquet of baby stuff is another reminder for the new mom that while yes, she’s still receiving items for the baby, you know she’s still a person in her own right.
Their very own height chart
Parents love to keep track of how their baby is growing, so why not help them out with a personalized height chart complete with baby’s name and birth date? You can do it yourself, or hire a local artist or company to do it for you. Just make sure it’s not too big and can be easily fixed to a wall, so there’s no risk of it falling down.
Personalized quilt or blanket
Another one for crafty types! Baby blankets are a hugely popular gift as they keep the baby warm and cozy, and if made well, they can last for years. Some even become family heirlooms! Why not knit one, if you have the skills?
Bear in mind that knitting an entire blanket, even a small one, can take a long time, so be sure to start early! You don’t want it to be half-finished when the baby arrives.
If you’re not a knitter, but do have some sewing skill, try a quilt. You can even use patches of fabric from important moments of your relationship with the parents for an extra sentimental touch.
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