Baby shower are an opportunity to help new parents receive items they will need to welcome a little one into their lives as well as receive support from family and friends. While it is difficult for most people to walk past the adorable little outfits, new parents quickly learn that there are other things they need more. Many of these things are intangible gifts of time, advice, and help from experienced parents. No one truly realizes how much work comes with a new baby. New moms are generally still recovering while they are at home with their babies so they are usually very tired and feel like they can’t meet the needs of her family. Friends and family can give new parents homemade gift certificates for help. New parents will appreciate the time and help while the giver of the certificate will get some individual time with the new baby! Some ideas for certificates can include the following to meet new parents’ intangible needs.
- Free babysitting for an evening out – New parents often lose touch with each other as partners while they adjust to becoming parents. A gift of babysitting to allow new parents to go out to dinner and a movie without worrying about the baby is greatly appreciated. Not only will the certificate offer free babysitting, most new parents feel better about leaving a new baby with experienced sitters, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are experienced with babies.
- Home-cooked meals – Between taking care of the baby, the house, and themselves, most new parents put a low priority on cooking. However, for mom to recover properly and produce quality milk for the baby, she needs to eat well-balanced, healthy meals. A gift of already prepared meals is a much appreciated and enjoyed gift for both new moms and new dads. Meals don’t have to be elaborate – things that are easily reheated and potentially have left-overs are always big hits with new parents.
- An afternoon out with older siblings – New babies can put the whole house into an uproar leaving older siblings feeling left out or ignored. By taking the older kids out for an afternoon, they will feel important and relish the attention being given just to them. It also gives them the opportunity to talk with an adult whose attention is focused solely on them. For mom, not having to meet the needs of a new baby and older siblings at the same time, gives her the chance to spend one-on-one, quiet time with the baby without feeling she is neglecting her other children.
- Cleaning and laundry – Babies make a lot of laundry. Most new moms have so many other things vying for their attention that laundry and house-cleaning tend to fall to the bottom of the “to do” list. Just having someone do laundry or run the vacuum will make most new parents feel like they are keeping up with all their responsibilities and not feel overwhelmed while they are still adjusting to their new schedules.
- Parent naptime – New parents spend a great deal of the first few months with a new baby being sleep deprived. While most doctors advise new moms to sleep with the baby sleeps, it’s difficult for new parents to fully relax and get a restful nap. Most new parents will say that they can get a better nap if they know someone is there in case the baby wakes. Even if the baby is napping while parent naptime is happening, it is still easier on the parent to know they can simply focus on sleeping instead of lightly resting in case they are needed. While they don’t know it before the baby comes, the ability to take a nap without worrying is one of the greatest gifts for a new parent.
- Help-line calls – New parents really wish that babies came with either an instruction manual or a tech services line they could call for help. Giving new parents a resource for information and support makes them feel that someone is available to help with all those non-emergency emergencies such as quieting a fussy baby or how to bathe the baby. These questions are not ones most new parents feel they can call their pediatrician about so having a “tech services advisor” just a phone call away makes them feel more in control of what can seem to be an out of control situation. Experienced parent advisors can also guide new parents to when a call to the pediatrician is required and when things can be handled at home.
New parents receive a great number of gifts to welcome home a new baby. However, the gifts they don’t know they will need are time, knowledge, and help. While family and friends generally will help any way they can, many new parents feel it is admitting defeat if they ask for help. But if they are “redeeming” the gift certificate, it feels like less of an imposition to ask for help. With a little creativity and knowledge of those intangibles new parents need, family and friends can give the gifts of time and support — which always fit and never run out.
Samantha Edwards creates fantastic gift baskets in Perth at boxt.com.au. She has a passion for creating meaningful baskets used for gifts, such as mother’s day, Christmas, birthdays etc.