What gift do parents of newborn babies appreciate the most?
Food are house cleaning. The two things that new parents don't have time to do for themselves.
When I had my first a close friend took a vacation day, came over and cleaned, held the baby so I could nap, and cooked a delicious meal. Most thoughtful gift ever.
Diapers, diapers and more diapers! The last thing I would want for my newborn is clothes but many people think that's the perfect gift. They may be cute but they'll outgrow them within a couple of weeks. When I had my daughter people stocked me up on newborn clothes which didn't even fit her when she was born! She was 8 pounds 3 ounces and outgrew the little amount of newborn clothes that she had within the first few weeks. Diapers and wipes will always be needed in any and every size.
I think when we are parents all we want people to give us are things that are useful, so forget about toys and golden bracelets for the baby... Clothes, diapers and dinner ready some days, just taking dinner over, not staying there to eat with them... They need space and time alone with the baby...
Having a newborn recently, it was awesome to have meals provided by family/friends and overall help.
We've been through this a couple of times and in both cases, the best gift was the baby.
When my wife and I welcomed our daughter into the world in 2008, we received several beautiful, tiny dresses...that she never wore! We donated many of them a year or two later, some with the tags still on them! Spit rags, onsies and a tub of OxyClean laundry stain remover were the gifts that kept on giving when our little princess dribbled as she drank from her bottle, made a mess in her first attempts eating cereal, or when she projectile vomited all over herself. Such gifts may not elicit the "oohs and ahhs" of a pretty dress, but they are much more appreciated.
In my experience so many gifts are focused on the newborn baby rather than the parents - diapers, clothes, and toys. I think it can often be more touching for parents if gifts focus on the well-being of the parents. For example a gift token for a massage for a new mother or some home cooked meals might give new parents a welcome rest.
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