This post was written by Carrie Murphy
Here in the US, expectant parents are often showered with lots and lots of material goods for their babies, everything from car seats to nipple cream. And while we know you won't be sorry to have alllllll the baby gear, do you really need yet another cute yellow onesie with a tiny duck on it?
Here are a few ideas for helpful non-material baby gifts you can ask for, gifts that are focused on memory-making or care for yourself and your family during pregnancy and afterwards. Consider letting the people in your life know about these options, too, if they're looking to show you their love and support as you enter parenthood or add to your family.
1. Food: Gift cards to local restaurants, homemade meals, gift baskets full of snacks you can eat one-handed while you feed the baby...yes, yes, and yes. Don't underestimate how helpful it can be to not have to think about food when you have a newborn!
2. A Cleaning Service: A gift certificate to a local cleaning service can make life easier during pregnancy, for sure, but it's worth its weight in gold once the baby is born.
3. A Massage: Whether you cash in when you're still pregnant or after baby is born, a gift certificate for relaxing massage is a powerful form of self-care and a very welcome gift!
4. A Birth or Postpartum Doula: Ok, we know we're a little biased, but the professional support of a birth or postpartum doula is a seriously thoughtful and incredibly valuable gift to an expecting or new family.
5. An Outing For Older Children: if you've got other kiddos, it can be hugely helpful to have a friend or family member take them on a special outing while you stay home with the newborn. This allows you to focus on your new baby, while still giving older kids some much-needed time and attention.
6. Photography: Professional photography in the form of birth photos, newborn sessions, or even a fresh 48 (a session held in the first 24-48 hours of your baby's life) will give you memories you can have for the rest of your life.
7. Dog Walking/Grooming: If you have a dog, a dog-walking service who can make sure he or she is exercised regularly is super helpful when you're recently postpartum. If your dog needs a lot of grooming, that can also help take some of the pet care burden off your family.
It's possible to register for these types of items, too, or provide options for family and friends to contribute funds towards the more expensive items, like doula services or photography.