—By Tori Rotter, Creator, Little + Free
It's that time of the year again! The holidays are creeping up, and so are the thoughts about what gifts to get to our loved ones. For some, gifting comes very naturally, and the process of picking things out is easy. However, for most of us, choosing gifts can be stressful because you want your gift to be something the person wanted but also have an element of surprise. In my house, we call this the unicorn gift.
While this type of gift can be hard to find for anyone, it can be especially challenging for an infant/new parent in your life. Not only do babies not understand gifts nor know what they want or need, but you also want to consider the parents' feelings and needs. More often than not, people have already gotten most of the things on their "must have before baby comes" list, so thinking of something else can be a struggle. In my experience, because of this, babies are usually gifted cute holiday clothing, stuffed animals, or something with "my first (insert holiday of choice)" embroidered on it.
While these gifts are still always received with gratitude and appreciation of the thought, having recently had a baby (and knowing what would be on my list), here are my suggestions:
I realize this may seem boring or silly, but please trust me when I say every new parent needs diapers. A LOT of diapers. And they are expensive. So, receiving diapers is always going to be appreciated. There is a caveat, though. The goal here is not to send five large boxes of diapers for your loved ones to then have to store (plus, depending on how a baby is growing, they might need a different size sooner than the diapers are used). However, a diaper subscription, gift card to their favorite diaper brand, or any other creative way you can think to give the continuous gift of diapers will be a win.
I know... just a few paragraphs before this one, I mentioned that most people had gotten everything they needed before giving birth, but that's not always the case. This can be especially true with more expensive items or just a few odds and ends that got left behind. Most registries stay active a year after the baby's birth, so an easy way to see what someone wants is to check out their registry and see if there is anything on there still relevant to the baby's age (or that can be adjusted to fit their age). This is a super simple hack to finding the "unicorn gift" because you already know they wanted it.
While I can't technically speak for everyone, the one thing the majority of parents with an infant want is time for themselves. Having a baby changes a lot, and it significantly impacts your ability to just get out of the house and relax. So offering to babysit just might be the best gift to give parents with little ones (and it's free)! Let's say you want to make this more personal. In that case, you could always give a "babysitting coupon," give them your availability to pick a date night, or even up the ante with a gift card to a restaurant/movie with the promise of childcare for the evening. But regardless of the presentation or add-ons, the promise of keeping their baby safe while they go out and enjoy themselves will be a winner.
This one often feels like there was no thought/personal touch behind it, but babies are expensive. The costs add up quickly, whether it's diapers, clothing, toys, bottles, sheets, or anything else. Giving parents a generic (or store you know they frequent) gift card can be a real blessing. This is especially true around the holidays when they also have to spend money on gifts. It gives them the freedom to have a guilt-free night out/special event/babysitter should they choose. This type of gift can always be made more personal with a sweet note saying that you want to support their growing family, want them to treat themselves, or even "we want to help with whatever you need!" The fact that you are giving them the freedom to use the money as needed for their family is truly a gift that will be appreciated.
Some Little + Free Essentials
Well, since you made it this far... I've also put together a list of Little + Free gift essentials I believe all parents (especially new ones) would appreciate. And here's a 30% off discount code for those ready to go shopping today: GIFT30. Because this mama knows how overwhelming the holiday season can get.