Gift Ideas for New Parents...
We were more than spoilt when little George entered our lives. Family, dear friends and colleagues showered us with so many thoughtful gifts and gestures that we were still working through the dwindling delights of food hampers well into January.
We kept a list of what we received to be sure to send out ‘thank you’ cards. I’ve since revisited the list a couple of times to inspire me to choose wisely for other expecting parents. A couple of friends have also asked for advice as to what they can gift to others, so I thought I’d share it below. These ideas are for the new parents rather than baby - I’ll share that list soon.
Gifts that save, or give, time
New parents are the most time-poor people I’ve come across. Any minute not spent on baby is spent on the basics of survival and hygiene - a shower and a warm meal is quite the win in those early days. One of the best gifts we received was a voucher to COOK. We stocked our freezer up early on with two week’s worth of wholesome meals which took a half hour in the oven. Neighbours dropped off homemade lasagna and my mother filled our tins with fruity muffins. This helped ensure we were ticking off key food groups every day without an emergency call to our local pizzeria.
If you’re close to the parents, going round for a couple of hours during the day to help out is very much appreciated. Emptying the dishwasher, holding baby and kicking the parents out so they can enjoy brunch somewhere is one of the nicest gestures you can do. And it’s free. Little handwritten time vouchers are a cute way to make this more tangible.
Evening babysitting is also a wonderful luxury for new parents. You could buy tickets to a show six months down the line, or movie vouchers, and head over for the evening while the parents enjoy one of their first nights out. The key here is to have a fixed date to ensure they take you up on it!
A build-it-yourself food hamper
During those early weeks where I felt quite housebound, little treats like chocolate-covered marshmallows and chunky marmalade lifted my mood. Preparing a little gourmet food-hamper for new parents will definitely go down well. Ideas for what to add include coffee (they’ll be needing it), anything sweet (for instant energy), and upgrading basics like lemon curd for toast or specialty tea. Nuts and dried fruit are also great for (healthier) snacking. I like Fortnums & Masons and Whole Foods as good starting points for luxurious hamper treats.
While Sam and I were always rather happy being home, we have put much more energy into curating a space we love to live in now that we spend so much more time here. Impromptu dinners in Soho have been replaced by movie-nights tucked up on the couch with a bowl of buttery popcorn, and wintry weekend mornings padding around in pyjamas now stretch out to the early afternoon. We have welcomed anything that has helped build a cosy atmosphere - beautiful throw blankets (our favourite was from Cotswolds Woollen Weavers) and scented candles (I’m an Ecoya fan) create a zen hygge vibe. Slippers (for him and her) and handsome mugs which are lovely to hold are our new addiction (and go so well with all that tea and coffee!)
Something for Mama...
With all the postpartum joys and crazy hormones, it’s no secret that new mamas probably don’t feel their best. Little goodies to help feel like she’s clawing some of the ‘old-me’ back go a long way. I have always had a soft spot for tinted lip balm - it is great to throw on if you’re going down to the high street and they don’t require a mirror (or a lack of a squirming baby!) L’Occitane’s almond oil was something I used daily both pre-and-post George (it’s a goodie for a growing bump, and smells like marzipan). Many new mamas go through some form of hair loss or thinning, and I’ve relished using a hair mask from time to time to help things feel less...well, less. I have long been a fan of Kerastase’s Bain Chroma mask which feels like it is wrapping up your hair and saying ‘I love you’.
I’d love to know what your favourite things to give (or get!) are…