5 New Baby Gifts (That Are More Useful Than Clothes)
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving expectant parents baby clothes (and those adorable little outfits can be so tempting to buy!). But, babies grow out of clothing quickly. Depending upon how fast they grow, you may purchase clothing that seasonally just doesn’t match with the baby’s size—and so, they never get worn.
Instead of buying the first cute outfit you see, think about a gift that might be more impactful than clothes. We’ve compiled five new baby gift ideas that are both thoughtful and practical—and go beyond the onesie.
These gifts range from those that can meet an immediate need to those that help parents to plan for their child’s future. Each of these ideas will work just as well as new baby girl gifts as they do for baby boys (and vice versa!).
Bringing a new baby into the world means life just got a lot more hectic. As a result, some of the most welcomed gifts are those that free up time for the parents. For example, in just one year’s time, the average baby goes through nearly 3,000 diaper changes , which means that parents spend a lot of time buying diapers. In the case of environmentally-friendly cloth diapers parents will also devote time to washing them.
To help there are diaper services , where a supply of fresh and clean cloth diapers are delivered, and then the used ones are whisked away. Depending upon how much you plan to spend, you could pay for a certain number of months of the diaper service, or arrange for a group of friends to pitch in and pay for an entire year.
Day at the Spa
New parents often become sleep deprived as the baby adjusts to life outside the womb. So, consider buying spa gift certificates for Mom and Dad so they can relax and rejuvenate.
You can also toss in free babysitting services so they can enjoy their spa dates without worrying about finding someone to watch their little one. At least one spa also offers a place for yawning parents to nap (and they provide childcare services, too).
Gifts for on the Road (or Plane or Ship)
If Mom and Dad love to travel, you can bet they’ll be interested in gifts that make traveling with the new baby as easy as possible. To help, consider giving them a BabyQuip gift certificate in the amount of your choice; this company provides rentals of baby gear in the United States and Canada so parents don’t need to lug the equipment along with them.
Instead, BabyQuip will deliver what parents need to hotels and vacation rentals, as well as private residences. They’ll even set up the equipment.
Here’s another idea for the traveling family: Rocketbook Everlast , a reusable notebook that allows parents to record memories—but with a special twist. You can use this like any other standard notebook, as long as you use a Pilot FriXion pen .
Then, use the Rocketbook app to scan what you wrote, sending it to a cloud service, such as Google Drive or Evernote, for storage. Then the happy parents can wipe their physical notebook clean and start all over again. When the baby gets big enough to color, he or she can draw in the Rocketbook Everlast, with proud parents saving the pictures for posterity.
In November 2018, Mom Junction named the 21 best learning toys for babies. Although these won’t necessarily entertain newborns, they can be outstanding gifts as the baby matures and grows into a toddler. Here are overviews of two of them.
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table
People, including babies, naturally gravitate to musical sounds, and research shows how there are multiple benefits to introducing babies to music, including:
• parental interaction
• lifelong musical development
• mood brightening
• brain boosting benefits
• language skills development
The Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table is intended for children aged six through 36 months, and includes a piano, guitar, drum, and French horn. The piano keys also help teach colors and numbers, and parents can switch between three different languages—English, Spanish, and French—for the information provided by a narrator. Legs are detachable, making this toy easier to take on the road. It also helps babies with sound recall and hand-eye coordination.
Tomy Hide & Squeak Eggs
This toy, intended for babies aged six months and up, appears deceptively simple on the surface, containing six plastic eggs in a crate. But, it can help babies begin to understand cause and effect, and help with memory recall and color coordination. Here’s how. Babies can break each egg in half, and a chick is revealed. When he or she presses down on a chick, the toy squeaks.
One half of each shell has a smiley face in the same color as the chick, helping the baby to learn how to match colors and put the shells back together again. The slots in the crates each come with a unique shape, so the baby can learn how to match shapes when putting the eggs back in the crate again.
These are just two examples of toys that are tons of fun for the little one while simultaneously allowing them to learn important skills and lessons. There are a variety of other options available, so you can be sure to find the perfect toy for the new baby in your life.
529 Plan Contributions
A 529 plan is a qualified tuition plan that provides tax advantages and encourages parents and others to save for future costs of education. There are two types: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. These plans, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission , are “sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.”
Every state in the United States, along with the District of Columbia, sponsors at least one type of 529 plan. Plus, some private colleges sponsor prepaid tuition plan . If you choose to contribute to a prepaid tuition plan as your baby gift, these funds can go towards purchasing tuition credits at colleges and universities that accept them.
With an education savings plan as your gift, funds can be used for multiple education-related purposes, including elementary school or secondary school tuition, private school tuition, religious school tuition, and for qualified higher education expenses.
Costs of Having a Child
The cost of having a child varies fairly dramatically in large part based upon what your insurance will cover. SoFi has a guide that shares some of this information; for example, the average fertility treatment costs about $12,400, with multiple rounds costing up to $100,000. Some insurance policies help with these expenses, while others don’t.
It can cost thousands of dollars to obtain baby furniture and gear, and plus a healthy sum for ongoing baby supplies, such as diapers and formula. Child care costs can also add up each month, and can vary based upon where you live, as well as whether you choose a child care center, hire a nanny, share a nanny, and so forth. Infant care is typically more expensive than when your child is a toddler.
When you’re expecting baby number two, you’ll likely already have some of the furniture, gear, supplies, clothes, and other essentials you need—but this might also be the trigger to purchase a toddler bed, as just one example. (And, there so many really cool choices of toddler beds these days, ranging from tent beds to car beds, and from canopy beds to those that come with highly practical storage space.)
Preparing Financially for Children
If you’re planning a family, this is also the time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner about finances, and how having a baby may impact other goals, from buying a new home to reducing debt to saving for retirement. It’s also time to make a realistic budget, which will likely require some research, and to pay off high interest credit debt, if applicable.
Creating an emergency fund is crucial, with experts recommending that you save enough to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. What about life insurance? Taking parental leave? Saving for your child’s college?
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