It might have something to do with the arrival of spring, or the fact that it’s nearly 9 months since New Year’s Eve, but we’ve chosen baby gifts as our featured products at The Paper Package this month. And after much internet browsing (masquerading as “research”) we’ve discovered the following handy tips and ideas for how to choose the best baby gift…
Note to readers: if you have no need to purchase a baby gift in the near future you might want to skip this post and we’ll see you next week
WHAT MAKES A GREAT BABY GIFT?
There are SO many great baby products to choose from nowadays that it is really hard to decide on the best thing to buy. To help narrow your choice, these are the three most commonly cited factors you should try to take into consideration:
You don’t want to give the same gift as everybody else. It will be a disappointment for both you and the person you are giving the gift to. Obviously you won’t know what everybody else will be purchasing for the new baby, but try to keep in mind how popular the item is and whether the recipients are either likely to get it from other people or have it already.
2. Practicality and Usefulness
It’s also important to take into consideration the circumstances of the family. With some families or expectant parents having a new baby is going to be a financial strain. In these cases it is probably fair to say that the more useful and practical the gift the better.
There is also the time factor to take into account… even families that aren’t financially-strapped WILL be time-strapped. So while that vintage lace baby outfit might look gorgeous, if it needs special washing it will either become a mess pretty quickly or will never be used at all.
As with any other gift choice we really believe that it is “the thought that counts.” Gifts should be given and received in the spirit in which they were intended. So if you keep in the front of your mind the person you’re giving the gift to, and the circumstances you’re giving it in, you are sure to choose something appropriate that will be gratefully received.
TYPES OF BABY GIFTS
There are a number of different options or types of baby gifts you can choose from – and here are some of the most popular…
Note: we have no affiliation with any of the products and/or stores mentioned in this post (apart from our own of course )
Basically here we are talking nappies. A lot of gift guides on the internet seem to think that disposable nappies are the be-all and end-all of baby gifts – because they are so practical and will definitely be used. Personally I’m not so sure… it feels a bit like giving someone a sack of potatoes instead of a box of chocolates. Sure it might be more practical – but where’s the fun? We say you can do better (and don’t get me started on those “nappy cake” things – ugh).
These are much better gift ideas because they’re either practical and beautiful, like lovely soft merino…
Soft, Natural Merino Wraps ($69.95) from www.naturebaby.co.nz
Or practical and cute, like this woodland themed dinner set we just happen to sell
Woodland Dinner Set ($39.50) from www.thepaperpackage.co.nz
Or practical and stylish, like this super-handy change mat/wallet thing…
Skip*Hop Pronto Change Wallet ($78.95) from www.bellybeyond.co.nz
Toys and Books
Toys and books are another popular new baby or baby shower gift. It is great to browse for these online because it is so convenient and there is so much choice. Here are a couple of great online stores we found:
We liked this store because it has a buying guide for 0-12 month babies which is great if you’ve lost touch on what is popular for babies (and how quickly you forget!)
This is one of their recommended products for this age group:
Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden Gym ($52.99) from www.iqtoys.co.nz
They also sell a great range of books for babies and children, and they do e-gift vouchers for when you’ve left it all a bit late.
Handy Tip: If you do decide to give a book, it’s an especially good idea to include an exchange card whenever possible. It’s very easy for new parents to end up with more than one copy of the same book.
Mummade and Felt
For genuinely handmade NZ toys you could take a look at www.mummade.co.nz or www.felt.co.nz. Both of these websites stock lovely, original handmade products, which are great for the “uniqueness” factor.
“Penny the Puppy” made by Lilly-Dee Designs ($27.00) from www.mummade.co.nz
And right here at The Paper Package we also sell a small range of baby toys, like this bright & colourful hedgehog…
Hedgehog rattle ($29.90) from www.thepaperpackage.co.nz
Clothing for the new baby is a traditional and popular gift idea. It’s usually recommended that you don’t buy the newborn size – but go for something a bit bigger that might last a bit longer. In this case you need to remember to think seasonally as well (ie. if buying the 6 month size of something, think about what the season will be in 6 months or so).
Some online stores with absolutely beautiful baby clothes include:
Boys Striped Beanie ($39.95) from www.dimples.co.nz
Wrap Merino Longsuit ($59.95) from Mokopuna
Hand knitted cotton slippers ($29.00) from Father Rabbit
Something for the New Parent(s)
It is also a nice idea to celebrate the arrival of a new baby with a gift that can be enjoyed by the parents, such as:
A TRADITIONAL BABY GIFT BASKET
Filled with toys, baby products, pampering treats for mum and yummy goodies to share.
Traditional Baby Gift Box ($89.90) from www.thepaperpackage.co.nz
A HELPING HAND
How great would it be to have a package of freshly made meals delivered to your door. This has to be one of the best new baby gift ideas! Baby Angel offers a great range of care parcels containing freshly made family meals and/or home help vouchers for new parents. You can check out their website and book products here:
HELP FOR DAD
If you are looking for a gift specifically for the first time dad a “new baby owners manual” could be fun and useful.
The Baby Owners Manual ($26.52) from www.fishpond.co.nz
SOMETHING TO RECORD THEIR MEMORIES IN
Like this stylish Moleskine Baby Journal.
Moleskine Baby Journal ($58.00) from www.thepaperpackage.co.nz
This is a really unique, useful and practical gift for new parents.
★ A fun thing to give along with this gift is a handwritten list of baby predictions. We found this idea on the internet and think it would be so great for both the expectant parent(s) and their friends and families to do ★
It would also be a good activity for a baby shower because it has to be done before the baby is born obviously!
Baby Predictions – get everyone to record in the baby journal or on a piece of paper their predictions for baby’s:
Then just sit back, let the mum do all the hard work and see who was the best psychic. It will be so much fun to read over the predictions as the years roll on!
So… that’s it for our tips, hints and ideas for baby gifts. Of course we haven’t mentioned it because we’re officially opposed to gift cards, but gift (or at the very least) exchange cards are a good idea if you are really not sure what the new parents like or need. Most of the stores mentioned above do gift vouchers as do many other places – just remember to gift wrap it beautifully to make it seem special!
Happy baby gift buying!