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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
If you’re not a parent, being invited to a baby shower can be a bit of a nightmare. Trying to choose something suitable for a newborn baby can have you scouring the internet in desperation. Here’s a guide to buying baby gifts that are appropriate and the parents will find useful.
Baby Shower Registry
If you’re really lucky the parents will have registered with a particular store and will have listed the types of gifts they want. This makes choosing for you completely foolproof! The store will provide you with a list of the gifts that are still available and the cost so you can select one that suits your budget.
A practical gift is to give some disposable nappies. It might not seem to be the most imaginative present but it will be extremely useful to the parents-to-be as babies go through nappies at a startling rate. Nappies are sized according to weight so to be on the safe side, opt for larger sizes instead of newborn. Throw in some baby wipes for good measure.
If you opt for the gift of fun in the shape of a toy then the sky really is the limit. There are toys that you can buy made for older babies that will be great fun as the baby grows or you can opt for soft cuddly newborn teddies. If you choose a toy for an older child then make sure it’s for ages below three years old to ensure there are no small parts that can be swallowed.
Bath time should be a fun and special experience with your baby. It is also a time when you need to take extra care to keep your little one safe.
The number one rule is to never leave your baby unattended in the bath for a second. You may be surprised to learn that a child can drown in under an inch of bath water. Ensure you have all the necessary equipment to hand and if the doorbell or phone rings and you feel it is necessary to answer it wrap the baby in a cozy towel and take him with you.
Keep the temperature at warm comfortable level (around 25˚C) as babies can become chilled quickly.
Don’t put the baby into a bath tub when the water is still running as the temperature could change or it could become too deep.
Use a bath specifically for babies if possible. There are many different styles available that give the baby support so you can keep your hands free. If you don’t have a baby-specific bath make sure you have a non-slip mat in the bath and make sure shower doors are made from safety glass.
The water should be no warmer than 35˚C and fill to only 2 to 3 inches for babies up to 6 months old.
Bath toys are great ideas for baby gifts but make sure they are suitable for their age and have no detachable items that the baby could swallow.
Toys for babies are some of the favourite choices when buying new baby gifts. When buying from reputable stores you would assume that the toys are safe for use but there are still some guidelines you need to follow:
Match the Toy to the Baby’s Development
Most toys have an ‘age’ sticker which is most helpful when trying to find a toy that is suitable. Newborn toys tend to be soft and tactile and then as the baby develops you’ll find toys with chimes and rattles, bright colours and different textures which appeal to the stages of sensory development. Do not be tempted to buy a baby a toy that is targeted at an older child as they may be dangerous in a younger age group.
Until the child reaches the age of three toys should be larger than the baby’s mouth to prevent choking. If you are unsure try to squeeze the toy through a toilet roll. If it fits, it’s not safe.
Avoid Heavy Toys
Steer clear of heavy toys or anything that could tip over.
Check for stitching along seams of stuffed animals and that any animal tails are securely fixed. They should have no buttons, ribbon or anything else the baby could detach and swallow.
In the first few days after giving birth to your new baby you are likely to be inundated with well meaning friends and family, laden with newborn baby gifts, all jostling to get a look of the new arrival. It can be an exhausting and exhilarating experience for new parents particularly if it’s the first born and sometimes all that well meaning attention can seem suffocating.
So how do you best survive the first few weeks as you adjust to your new found parental status, your new little bundle and for the mother all the physical changes that are going on in your body?
One suggestion is to plan a ‘babymoon’. This is where you and your partner take some precious time alone with the baby to adjust as a new family particularly during the first few hours but even the first few days after the birth. This gives you important time to come to terms with being a new mum and to allow you to recover and compose yourself.
Next limit the amount of visitors during the first few weeks. After a few days of ‘babymooning’ you will probably be excited to show your new bundle off but be careful not to exhaust yourself. If you do find you end up with a non-stop flow of visitors who keep dropping in each day or even worse outstay their welcome then resort to an effective tactic which is to stay in your nightie and dressing gown all day or receive visitors in your bedroom. That way your visitors should get the message that you need some rest!
Keep friends and family busy running errands and accept all offers of help. That way if you get visitors you can quickly assign them a task to occupy them and send them on their way!