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Alternative Gifts for New Parents

November 30, 2008 — Category: Baby Products — Written by Adam

When looking for unique yet practical newborn gifts it can be a challenge. You want your gift to be appreciated by the parents and to be useful in some way. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Thoughtful gifts that can be used on a day-to-day basis will be received gratefully.

An idea is to buy baby bibs. A baby will get through stacks of these and any extra ones will be happily received by the parents. There are the bog standard bibs available that simply cover the baby’s front or those that have a nifty little lip to catch any dribbles. They often come in cute and funny designs and various soft fabrics.

For the technological lovers there are digital day reminders that can be attached to food products to remind parents how long ago they opened the bottle. In the hurly burly of the first few months of having a baby remembering what day it is can be a challenge so these practical and easily attached gadgets can be a big help.

If you want to buy something that mum will really appreciate and love, then there are an array of beautiful gift sets available with oils and creams designed to help to avoid the dreaded stretch marks. There are sets specifically for pregnant women so you can be sure they are safe.

Buying Baby Clothes

November 29, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

When buying baby clothes as baby gifts it can be tempting to aim for larger sizes in the hope that they will be useful to the parents for longer. However, for newborn babies this doesn’t tend to work very well and the speedy gaining of just a few pounds can soon make an outfit too small or tight. If you go for sizes that are too big the newborn will drown in the outfit. In the early stages choose clothes based on weight rather than age. Compare different outlets as some ranges can be bigger than others.

You also need to look out for how easily can the clothes be put on and taken off. You’d be surprised how many manufacturers do not design their baby clothes with this practical issue in mind! Sometimes you’ll find that the opening for the head is far too small or the press studs don’t open far enough. The baby will be in and out of nappies so access to the baby’s bottom end needs to be quick and easy. Look out for press stuff openings or outfits that have bottom half that can be removed with ease. Also make sure they can be machine washed!

Choosing the Homecoming Baby Outfit

November 26, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Kelly

It can be exciting when preparing to go into hospital to have your baby when you have to pick out some traveling home clothes! There are so many lovely outfits to choose from it might not be an easy decision plus you are bound to be inundated with baby clothes bought for you as baby gifts. Here are some considerations to make when choosing that all important outfit:

Think about the season. A rule of thumb is to put on one extra layer of clothing to that which an adult would wear. Think about the weather and plan an outfit accordingly. You will be walking from a warm hospital to a cold outdoors particularly if you have the baby in autumn or winter and even summer evenings can be chilly. So make sure you have a snug fleece jacket or suit and warm hat. If it is high summer then a single layer will suffice but make sure the baby is shaded from the sun.

With their soft delicate skin you need soft, comfortable fabrics that have stretchy openings for ease of dressing the baby. Make sure there are no tight elastic grips or buttons or press studs that could scratch the baby. Although you may want to go for a fancier outfit than usual make sure it’s practical and comfortable.

Creating a Safe Sleeping Area

November 25, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

When choosing sleeping products for your baby or when advising friends and family on suitable newborn gifts the emphasis needs to be on safety first. One of the major fears surrounding new babies is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome otherwise known as SIDS and there is a wealth of sleeping paraphernalia out there that can help to ensure your baby is as safe as possible.
When putting a baby to sleep place the baby on its back on a mattress that is tight fitting and has secure fitting over-sheets. There will be safety standard information attached to any high quality mattresses. Cots and cribs are similarly regulated and again check out the safety standards on the label.

When the baby goes to sleep take out any stuffed toys, pillows, quilts or comforters. Do not be tempted to put blankets in the crib or cot even if they have been bought as baby gifts. They should not be used until the baby is older. Keep your baby’s head uncovered whilst sleeping and never put the baby on a soft surface to sleep as they could roll over onto their fronts.

The key is to be vigilant and supervise your baby as much as possible when they are sleeping. Keep the cot as clutter free as possible and keep an eye on the temperature in the room.

Babies with Colic

November 24, 2008 — Category: Baby Ideas — Written by Adam

Colic is a very unpleasant experience for both the baby and its parents. It is extremely painful and the baby’s physical and vocal reaction to the pain can tire them and keep parents awake even more than usual. It can be difficult as a new parent to cope with this and parents may feel at a loss of how to help their little one. There is little known about what actually causes colic except that it can cause great discomfort and ultimately lots of tears. Around 20 per cent of babies get colic, usually in their early months. There are some remedies that can ease the complaint but recently massaging has been found to be the most effective cure.

Parents often instinctively rub their baby’s tummies when they are in pain with colic. Massage can stimulate blood flow and alleviate wind. With baby massage specifically for colic the skin contact can be very soothing to a baby. A stomach massage where the parent rubs the stomach in a circular motion under the ribcage encourages the baby to digest its food better. A great and unique baby gift for parents is a course teaching baby massage techniques or one of the many excellent books that are available on the subject. Its not just colic that can be alleviated and the benefits to a baby’s well being and development are well documented.

Budgeting for Baby

November 22, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

If you’re expecting a baby or simply planning to have one, a big challenge can be budgeting for the new arrival. It can be a shock to realise how much you need to spend on some of the main items such as prams, cots and car seats. Even the smaller items such as nappies, baby food, toys and clothes can all stack up at a time when you may be experiencing a drop in the household income due to maternity leave. With this in mind it’s a good idea to try and set aside money ahead of the pregnancy and birth.

However, even with the best laid plans, the news that you are expecting may come as a surprise and you may not have the amount of funds you would like stashed away. If this is the case there are steps you can take to reduce costs and keep within a tight budget.

First of all talk to friends and family who already have children and ask them about what you really need. There are plenty of gadgets and gimmicks out there that are quite simply a waste of money so do your research before you buy.

Steer clear of expensive baby cloths as the baby will grow out of them within a nano-second. Keep the tags on clothes in case you don’t get a chance to use them and can then swap them for a bigger size.

Make a list of all your required items and give it out to close friends and family who want to buy you gifts for baby. This way you don’t end up with tons of unwanted clothes and toys but can select the items that are most important to you.

Baby Gift Baskets

November 21, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

A great idea when trying to come up with newborn baby gifts is to put together a basket of handy items that the parents will appreciate during the first few weeks after the birth.  In a similar way to traditional food hampers at Christmas and other special occasions you can tailor a baby gift basket to the parent’s lifestyle or to a particular area such as bath time or bed time for example.

A bath time gift basket might contain baby shampoo, baby bubble bath, a soft baby towel and some bath time toys for some playing time.  Another idea is to make up a basket with different sized disposable nappies.  Nappies are always needed and don’t worry too much about sizes as supermarkets and outlets are usually more than happy to swap for a bigger size.  Throw in some baby wipes and cotton wool for good measure and you’ve made up a baby changing time basket.

If creating your own basket seems far too much hard work then you can get pre-packaged baby gift baskets.  They tend to come in combinations of soft cuddly toys, baby grows, soft fleecy blankets and booties for example.  They come in many different sizes to fit most people’s budgets and make a lovely presented gift.

Creating a Themed Nursery

November 20, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Adam

When designing a nursery, once you have the practical and safety considerations put to bed by choosing high quality nursery furniture that meets with safety standards, you can start on the fun part!

Designing your baby’s nursery is a chance for you to reconnect with your inner child.  Consider making the nursery themed so that it is fun and engaging for a baby and young toddler.  There are plenty of characters and ideas to choose from and you can really let your imagination take over.  You may use a cuddly toy that has been given as a baby gift as a starting point and work from there.

If you’re struggling for inspiration then a place to start is to look at some of the themed nursery furniture that’s available.  Winnie the Pooh for example is an age old classic and many furniture ranges will run with this theme.  If you know the gender of your baby you might want to choose something less generic – perhaps a fairy theme for a little girl or Thomas the Tank Engine for a little boy.

Whatever you choose, go for fun engaging designs that will make your baby feel happy and stimulated in their nursery.

One of the downsides to character nursery furniture is its shelf life.  Toddler’s tastes develop rapidly and they can quickly outgrow a nursery design before they have actually grown out of the furniture itself.  To avoid this you may want to simply choose a character theme for the walls and soft furnishings that can be easily updated at a later date.  Children do not stay young forever and can very quickly progress into more adult décor tastes so make the most of this time.

Lifestyle Gifts

November 19, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

You want your baby gifts to be useful to the parents or maybe you want to step away from the more traditional gift ideas such as baby clothes and cuddly toys.  One way of looking at things differently is to consider the type of lifestyle the parents have and buy gifts according to that.

For example perhaps the parents are passionate about the environment and would love baby gifts that are organic.  You can buy clothes and toys that are made from organic materials.  You could also consider buying some real nappies rather than disposable if this is a route the parents are going down.  Breastfeeding accessories might also be an option or a baby sling.

Do the parents like to get out in the great outdoors?  Another idea is to buy a baby backpack or perhaps a baby bike trailer if the parents are into cycling.  If the parents like taking trips away then perhaps a travel cot would be a great baby gift.

If the parents are very techie-minded then baby items with in-built music systems might be a good choice.
If the parents are enthusiastic about education and learning then there are a wide array of books and DVDs available to stimulate the baby’s brain power.

Whatever your gift idea run it past the parents-to-be so that you don’t double up and you know for certain they will welcome the gift.

Alternative Gifts to Baby Toys

November 17, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

If you know for a fact that the parents-to-be have been inundated with cuddly toys, blankets and rattles then you may be scratching your head for ideas for suitable newborn baby gifts.  You want to find something that the parents-to-be will find useful so here are some ideas for alternative baby gifts:

Baby Clothes

You can buy baby clothes according to weight and age.  As the smaller sizes tend to be outgrown very rapidly opt for larger sizes.  You can work out the season the baby will reach by a certain age by taking into account the due date.  If the gender of the baby is still unknown choose neutral colours such as creams and lemons or buy a gift card so the parents can buy clothes in blue or pink when the baby arrives.

Gifts for Mum

The mum-to-be can get a little jaded with being bought baby things for their birthday and Christmas in the run up to the birth.  A lovely idea is to buy a gift for mum so that she can pamper herself after the birth.  Ideas are scented bath oils, relaxation candles and aromatherapy sets.  Mum won’t get a great deal of time to spend on herself in the initial months of being a new mum so gifts that give her some time to focus on herself will be much appreciated.

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