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5 Things to Buy New Parents Besides Baby Clothes

women celebrating at a baby shower
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Babies grow so fast, they usually don’t get the chance to wear all the adorable little outfits their parents get at the baby shower. Here are five gifts you can give new parents that will last a bit longer.

Yes, every new baby needs some clothes. However, most new parents are showered with way too many clothes—most of them in the 0-12-month range. It’s almost impossible for any baby to wear so many outfits within the first year!

So, what can you do instead? Talk to friends and relatives and agree on a set amount of clothes—just the basics, and maybe a super-cute individual outfit or two the family can use in photos. Then, put your money toward the gifts that will really make a difference.

Gift Cards

Wait, isn’t that totally impersonal? Not when it comes to a new baby.

It’s hard for new parents to gauge what their infant will like or dislike. Perhaps they were gifted a set of bottles, but it turns out they need something entirely different. Maybe their baby doesn’t like a certain carrier, so they want to try a new one.

Gift cards are a great way to prepare for the future. Parents can pool them together and buy the next size car seat, a double stroller when baby number two arrives, or snow boots for their toddler’s first snowstorm.

Focus on stores where you can get a variety of stuff, such as Amazon or Target. If nothing else, they can always use their gift card towards diapers and wipes. Sure, it’s not as adorable as a tiny baby outfit, but it’s oh, so useful!

Those ridiculously cute outfits get pretty un-cute after a while (especially after they’re covered in yogurt and applesauce). But being able to buy a bulk case of diapers or some more laundry detergent with a gift card? Now, that’s a real gift!

Meals and Grocery Delivery

It can be challenging to find the time or energy to cook proper meals when you have a new baby. Never underestimate the destructive effect of sleep deprivation!

Go ahead and set up your parents-to-be with gift cards for their favorite restaurants. A MealTrain allows friends and relatives to sign up to bring food, as well as credit towards a delivery service, like Uber Eats.

Also, look into grocery delivery services, such as Instacart. It can be exhausting hauling a baby in and out of stores, especially during the winter months. This allows new parents to stay home and relish the warmth of their sweet baby, while the essentials are delivered right to their door.

Amazon Prime Subscription

Who doesn’t love two-day delivery on practically everything baby- or parent-related? This is the perfect solution to stay on top of diapers, wipes, baby food—you name it! You can gift a Prime subscription for either three months ($39) or a full year ($119).

If the new parents already have a current Prime subscription, they can apply the money toward their Amazon account.

You might also want to consider a specific “subscribe and save” Amazon service, such as six months of diapersbaby wipes, or baby food pouches. These are a great way to avoid running out of the basics.

House Cleaning Service

Let the new parents take a break from having to stay on top of every single chore. Who wants to scrub a toilet when there’s an adorable baby to hold?

You can search for a local cleaner, or schedule Amazon’s cleaning service. Just be sure you ask the new parents what they think they’ll need, such as a deep clean once a month, or a quick clean once a week.

Toddler Items

A man playing a toy xylophone on the floor with a toddler.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

It’s normal to get caught up in the excitement of a newborn. Those tiny fingers and adorable little toes really are too cute.

But they grow so fast! Before they know it, parents are chasing around a toddler, and they need new clothes and shoes, a larger car seat, and a toddler bed—basically everything.

Consider thinking past the first year. If you want to gift clothes, get a whole season of size 2T or 3T outfits. Most kids will stay in those sizes for close to a year, so you can buy it all—from swimsuits to sweaters. Shoes can be tricky, but you can play it safe and get some basic early walker sneakers.

You can also think about preschool items, such as a sturdy water bottle, lunch box, or backpack.

Car seats are expensive, so consider getting one that will last into the toddler years, such as the Britax Marathon (which goes up to 65 pounds). Ask the parents which brand and style they like best. Then, check with friends and family and see if they’d like to pitch in, so you can all buy it together.

It can be so hard to forgo those tempting, adorable baby outfits—they are just way too cute! In the long run, though, practical gifts are more helpful than that extra pair of ruffled baby pants. Try to find a balance, and gift one or two cute outfits, along with a bunch of practical stuff to help new parents find their groove. Believe us—they’ll thank you!

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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