As a mum of two boys, with several nieces, and a newborn photographer I have received and given my fair share of gifts for baby, and also heard from lots of new parents what has made them happy!
Here is what I hear are the best received, most useful and thoughtful gifts that you can give to mums and dads when baby arrives.
Vouchers for Baby or Health related shops: Gifting the ability for mum and dad to choose things the might have wanted but couldn't afford is great idea. Or just giving the option to visit somewhere and get advice once baby is here and they are more aware of what's useful and what's not. Gift vouchers for local independent shops so they can take a visit and get out of the house. It could be that they're saving up for something a little bigger, so always ask if they have a favourite store to shop in like Mamas and Papas, TKMaxx, John Lewis, Boots etc. You might not be able to buy the whole item, but contributing towards it means taking some pressure off, and knowing your gift is going to be well used/ loved.
Take-Out Vouchers, or food subscriptions. With my first baby, I didn't really expect my birth to be so complicating, and my recovery to take so much time. Add in a tongue tie and lots of midwife visits and appointments, and I could go all day without eating if I wasn't reminded. Such things like a month of Hello Fresh or Gousto delivery could be a godsend. Batch cooking up some hearty meals and dropping them off the doorstep, could possibly make them cry with joy in those early weeks. Also delicious drinks, that aren't just water, or gift cards for a costa coffee/ take away is bound to win you some brownie points, and keep mum and dad feeling good!
Think OLDER! It's so easy to get excited about this tiny tiny baby, but the truth is the newborn phase is really short, and soon mum and dad will be in need of more stimulating toys, bigger clothes, and heading to weaning. It might seem a little premature, but really useful items such as baby's first knife and fork, bowl set, soppy cups, a food blender, storage tubs for purees, and a mini lunch box are all a hit. Parents won't be thinking past this newborn stage, until it hits them, so if you're an experience parent, pick something they will need for everyday life.
Date night tokens:Here's another well received gift for mums and dads, and I wish I'd been gifted something like this! When parents are feeling comfortable to leave baby for a couple/ few hours, give them something fun, that will take their mind off missing baby, and let them relax. Cinema,Spa treatment, Escape room, crazy golf, bowling, spa afternoon, nail or massage appointment for mum. I promise it might not be on their radar with a tiny baby, but I'm sure there will come a point when they could really use a breather.
Hands Free Time: Depending on your budget, I would say a sling or baby carrier would be my most used item. A simple fabric wrap starts at around £10 and can head up to a few hundred £s. A sling is a great tool for helping mums and dads to bond with baby, helps aid baby's digestion, and is amazing for babies suffering with wind and colic. It also allows hands free time when baby doesn't want to be put down, but you need a little break or to get things done around the house. If they already have a sling, look into a waterproof cover for outdoor walks, or little knitted socks to keep tiny feet warm.