- Family and Parenting
Baby Gifts for Musical Parents
Tunes, gear -- it's all here!
Bored with receiving blankets? One too many onesies in your gift-giving history? March--dance!--to a different drummer with these fun gift ideas for music-loving parents-to-be.
Why give the gift of song to a new or growing family? Well, new babies have a way of consuming their parents' lives, and that's only natural, but it's important for all new moms or dads to hold on to some of their pre-baby identity. For music lovers like me, keeping connected to the world of tunes provided a kind of continuity that eased the transition from couple to family.
And babies benefit, too. Who knows if my kids--now teens!--would have engaged in so much music-making down the road had they not been exposed to great songs from day one?
So go ahead, give a musical gift that keeps on giving!
~ Musical play mat ~
Part of the pantheon that includes pacifier, bouncy seat & swing, the baby play mat is a godsend for new parents who just want a few minutes of peaceful conversation over coffee with adult visitors who pop by for a sanity check. This one goes the traditional play mat better with lights and, yes, music! Baby will love the fun sounds; parents will love the volume control feature that lets them actually hear that convo over coffee :)
~ Awesome family music ~
Kids' music has--happily--come a long, long way since the days when Free to Be You & Me was about the only option. (It's still pretty cool, by the way.) Today's warm, witty, well-crafted children's music deserves to be called family music instead, as it truly is a treat for parents as well as wee ones. Give new parents the gift of great music with my all-time family fave, wild-haired former rocker Dan Zanes; quirky powerhouses They Might Be Giants; or one of these other fabulous artists. The sooner baby's musical journey begins, the better!
~ Protective gear for tiny ears ~
Does becoming a parent mean giving up live shows? Of course not! Well, maybe for the first month or so, but after that, consider bringing baby along to that cool concert in a sling or carrier. From where I'm standing, it looks like a trend: plenty of tiny, mostly napping bambinos at this summer's music fests in Chicago. (One caveat: Sun protection matters too, so keep that soft skin covered!)
Do babies belong at concerts?
~ Baby's first piano! ~
Yes, there are fancier versions on the market now, but why mess with success? This happy, primary-colored four-key piano has been delighting babies for as long as I can remember. Forego the distraction of electronic bells-and-whistles and just let little Schroeder-in-training pound away on this classic toy.
~ One(sie)-of-a-kind ~
Did I imply back in the intro that onesies are played out? Silly me. Rockabilia's amazingly cool baby snap Ts had momentarily slipped my mind.
~ Classic rock, lullaby style ~
This album series is one of those ideas I wish I'd come up with myself. I've gifted these twice to new moms & am about to do so a third time. While some rockin' parents pride themselves on blasting all manner of raucous stuff the moment they bring junior home from the hospital, for many of us that doesn't feel quite right. New babies should be exposed to plenty of sounds, sure, but full-on Zep? Their sensory systems are still really immature, so ease into it with these lullabye versions of classic rock tunes we all know & love. No worries about salty lyrics, either--these are instrumental, baby.
~ Take-along musical toy ~
Every new parent needs that ace-in-the-hole for the diaper bag--the trinket that's sure to calm baby at the pediatrician, on a road trip, in the Starbucks line ...
Compact, lightweight & affordable, this little toy plays 7 brain-friendly classical tunes. Best yet, it evoked two magic words from a parent reviewer, so rare for a noisemaking toy: "not annoying." Yes!
~ Sleepless in (your town here) ~
Last but not least, a gift specially chosen for the new parents. Newborns are not known for long stretches of sleep, and their repeated night waking can be a bit of a shock for the uninitiated. Swap out "baby blues" for the real blues (or jazz, country, rock'n'roll...) with a music documentary to pass those loooong hours of feed, burp, change, rock & repeat. The excellent "High Lonesome," one of my faves, is a quick intro to bluegrass that's perfect for the baby who's just up for a quick snack, while the lengthy Beatles or jazz series will carry exhausted mamas & papas through many long nights in a row. Bonus: The tiny guy or gal will absorb a ton of great music while these shows are playing! Don't be surprised if his or her first word is "guitar"...
Fancy a musical moniker?
If you know some musical parents-to-be
who are still searching for that perfect
baby name, do them a favor & point 'em to
Music Inspired Baby Names for dozens of great ideas!
What are you getting the music-loving new parent in your life?