Everyone loves a new addition to the family, but every time a new baby comes along you need to start thinking about gifts. Whether it’s your little one or someone else’s, babies seem to have a higher than average number of occasions that need gifts. It’s fun shopping for a new baby. But when you could have five different occasions to buy for in their first year on Earth, you can start to feel uninspired. When it starts seeming like they might already have everything they could ever need or want, what do you buy them? We all know that for a good while, the parents probably appreciate the gifts more than the baby does. So when you’re buying a present, whether it’s or a Christening or first birthday, you need to think about both the baby and parents before buying something.
Not everyone has a baby shower, but they’re pretty popular. When all your friends are having babies at the same time, it can be tough not to run out of ideas. At this stage, you’re buying a present for the parents rather than for the baby. You can go with one of two routes when you’re choosing a baby shower gift: practical or fun. First-time parents are probably going to enjoy the practical things more because they need all the help they can get to stock up on the essentials. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go with something cute or sentimental either.
If you’re a friend of the family, you probably won’t be buying anything big, like a stroller or car seat. But there are other practical things you can get, like bottle sets and pacifiers. If you want to get something practical, it might be worth straight-out asking the parents what they need. But if you’re going for cute and sentimental, you can choose something ornamental that the parents will like. Or pick a cute, cuddly toy or blanket that the baby can enjoy almost right away.
When the baby comes along, it probably feels like you only just bought a present for the baby shower. If you attended a baby shower and gave a gift, the parents probably aren’t expecting you to get much of anything else. You can just give a card if you don’t want to give another present – and perhaps the gift of giving the parents some peace and quiet. If there wasn’t a baby shower or you didn’t go, you might want to buy a present for the birth of the baby. As well as the same types of presents you might have bought for the shower, you can also think about commemorative gifts for the parents. The baby might not appreciate it now, but they will when they’re older. Birth is another opportunity to buy something practical, from onesies to baby blankets. If it’s winter, there’s even more the baby will need, so their parents can wrap them up against the cold. But if you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with a soft toy.
Not too long ago christenings would have been more popular, but now many parents don’t have one or opt for a naming ceremony instead. The gift you choose for this occasion might depend on the type of ceremony you’re attending. For a christening, there are lots of traditional gifts. These include religious items, like a Bible or rosary. Silver is a very popular choice for christenings too, in the form of anything from cups to jewelry. When it comes to less traditional naming ceremonies or other non-religious versions of this event, you might want to be a bit more imaginative. Often gifts for these occasions are decorative items. But sometimes people like to give things like wooden toys. If you’re not sure, stick with a traditional christening gift, although avoid any religious symbolism. It’s nice if a christening or naming ceremony gift is something that’s going to last a long time. Other options include trinket boxes for their first teeth and decorative plates and cutlery.
When the baby reaches their first birthday, they’re getting old enough to start appreciating the things you buy for them. They may not be able to give you a list of things they want just yet. But they are now aware enough that they can enjoy a toy or even some clothes. They’re growing fast at this stage, and learning to walk and talk, so there are lots of things you could buy for them. First birthdays are a big occasion, and you can choose to mark it with something commemorative, just like on other occasions. There are plenty of great baby birthday ideas like gift baskets, toys and photo frames. Personalized gifts are lovely for first birthdays, especially if it’s something that the parents can keep for a long time. You can find personalized gifts that range from plates to books.
Some people put more stock into the baby’s first Christmas than others. Of course, if the family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, they’re unlikely to be worried about it. The first Christmas is another occasion that’s more important to parents than to the baby. And it’s more about their memories than anything else. Depending on when the baby’s born, their first Christmas might get overlooked. If the baby’s still very young, parents might prefer just to keep going without doing anything special. But you can still get them a nice present. For first Christmases, it’s a good idea to get something that can be used for future holidays. For example, try a beautiful personalized ornament or Christmas stocking.
With all baby gifts, think about your relation to the baby and their family before buying. Some more intimate and special gifts are best left to family. So if you’re a friend of the family, you might stick to soft toys and clothes, instead of very personal items. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t give them something special, especially if you’re a very close friend or a godparent.