As the holidays creep up (and / or whatever time of year it is when you may be giving gifts to new parents lol / baby shower ideas, etc.), I thought I’d share a New Parent Gift Guide with suggestions for gifts based on what we got / bought / used and loved for our baby Benjimin.
I know whichever parent you gift these items to will love them like we—and Benjimin—do!
RELATED BLOG POSTS:
Lindork’s New Parent Gift Guide (for Holidays, Baby Showers, etc.)
Gift To Soothe The Baby
- Our favourite pacifier / soother was this Tommee Tippee “Closer to Nature” brand soother. We didn’t realize until after that it’s a pretty unique soother design, Ben loved it, it really helped soothe him (as they are intended to lol) and then he also naturally weaned off of it without us even really doing anything. He just stopped taking it after about six months. I don’t know if that’s a Benjimin thing or because of this soother thing but regardless, it is our preferred and recommended soother and a soothed baby is truly a gift to give parents lol.
Gifts To Carry the Baby
We took baby out with us regularly starting at two weeks old and one of the most convenient ways to do that is to carry him (or wear him, as they say—babywearing!)
In the early days when he was just a teeny lil bb, it was so sweet to have him all curled up in a Beluga Baby Wrap . They are a B.C.-based company that makes baby wraps in the prettiest colours. We were gifted a wrap and found it so soft, comfy and easy to wrap. Technically it works for babies up to 25 lbs but we found as Benjimin got bigger he got a lot squirmier in the wrap lol.
We also used/still use our Baby Bjorn, which he is much less squirmy in lol. Great for hikes and other adventures and we use it daily for walks around the neighbourhood. We initially bought one second-hand and have that as a back-up in the car now. We were gifted a newer one (this Harmony with mesh) that we use as our main carrier.
There are lots of different carriers/baby wear products out there. I was also eyeing up one that basically has a little spot where baby can sit comfortable on your hip if you wanted to carry baby on the side if you didn’t want your baby to be fully locked like a typical carrier or wrap.
Gift To Clean the Baby
As new parents, we learned that having diapers and wipes stocked at all times is pretty essential. And early on we also learned how annoying trying to pull wipes out of their packaging can be. Also how definitely not-aesthetic wipes packaging is lol. So when Calgary-based Peach Pixie gifted us their cute wipes box (we chose the Cosmic Cat design!) we found this makes a great decor piece for the room, while also being functional. We know we’ll be using wipes for a very long time to come (maybe forever —honestly they’re really handy and we just didn’t realize that before we had a baby!) so having a designed dispenser is pretty handy.
Gifts To Clothe the Baby
Most of the clothes our baby wore for his first year of life were handed down from friends and family so if you’re lucky to have people in your life who have had kids, usually all they want to do is unload their baby clothes onto you which is really handy lol (though you won’t be able to resist buying a few pieces depending on the season or holiday lol).
If you didn’t have kids but still want to gift a parent in your life baby clothes, my tips are to look for:
- Onesies that are footed! You’d be surprised how many aren’t and let me tell you, no one wants to put socks on their baby if they can just be built in. lol
- Two-way zipper onesies! This type of onesie has two zippers so that when you need to change baby’s diaper you only need to zip from bottom up to tummy without taking off the whole thing. Super convenient.
- Magnetic oneises! These are a bit pricier and we only ever had gifted magnetic onesie (Magnetic Me brand) and Benjimin grew out of it so fast (as babies do lol) so we didn’t get much time with the magnetic onesie but wow did we love it!
- Again, when it comes to gifting for parents, finding items that can help save parents time / make things more convenient / easy for parents will always be appreciated.
- Pre-built Swaddles! I am a bit hopeless at swaddling technique (where you wrap a baby up real tight in a swaddle blanket), so using pre-built or easy to fold/wrap swaddles were preferred in our house (well, even Mike was good at swaddling but still preferred the convenience of the pre-built stuff!) Halo Sleepsacks are great with a velcro to wrap babies up tight but I also loved the LOVE TO DREAM Swaddle Up brand. They are different because their design lets babies sleep with their arms up (rather than arms being folded down in traditional swaddles. You can read more about swaddle benefits here). I just felt like he slept really good (and looked so cute and comfy with his arms up lol) in this brand of swaddle.
Gifts To Play with the Baby
I mean there are so many possible toys you could gift a baby and depending on how old they are (like newborns probably won’t really know the difference lol), you really can’t go wrong with anything, but I just listed a few things we found our baby at varying stages in his first year liked:
- Fisher Price Tummy Time Mat – tummy time is important for a baby’s development and also to ensrue the baby doesn’t get flat head lol.
- Fisher Price Boss Baby Office/Activity Centre – also acts as a space to be hands-free / baby-free for a few minutes if/when you need to do things lol.
- Baby Mobile – we had one that was just attached to a Pack and Play pen Mike’s parents got us and loved how the bears detached / attached so we could also put it on a rocker we had. Our baby loved looking at these slightly swingingb ears! Even after he got too big for the pen, we still used the attachable / detachable hanging bears to hang it on his upgraded playpen.
- VTech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train – Benjimin got this awesome gift as a hand-me-down from cousins and it’s awesome with how many different ways he can play with it, playing with blocks, learning the alphabet, and then eventually riding on it too.
- Whirly Squigz (spinner) – as our baby gets older, we’ve been trying to find toys and things he can play with that won’t also drop to the ground easily when we’re out at a restaurant or travelling on an airplane, and these spinner toys we were gifted from Edmonton-based Folk & Whimsy are pretty handy with their suction base (sticks to most surfaces but not all surfaces lol).
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Gifts To Photograph the Baby
We loved our newborn photos from Vintage Duck Photography—and just can’t believe looking back how little Benjimin once was. We also loved getting this documentary-style ‘day in the life’ / family photography done by Paula Gerein Photography.
Whether you go with them or someone else, a gift of a photo session is something parents would definitely appreciate and then cherish for the rest of baby’s life!
You can get 10% off a photo session with Paula by mentioning code LINDORK.
Gifts To Read to the Baby
We love reading to Benjimin and we do it every day, multiple times a day. He loves it too! Baby’s first library was something we built as part of our Baby Shower (steal the idea, it’s so cute!) I made a point to get some diverse bookgs in his collection, including a lot of books about different types of food, his culture/heritage, and topcs like consent and inclusion, though these are books he won’t really understand until he’s much older, but was still important for us to have.
I’d say throughout his first year, I’ve found he Benjimin LOVES interactive lift/slide/flap/touch style books the most and he’s gotten really good at lifting them himself and also anticipating when a favourite flip or design is coming up. He also loves books that have little mirrors in them where we can reveal and smile / laugh at each other through the book.
In his early days we also showed him different baby flash cards every day!
Below are just a few books from his collection that you could gift to parents/baby!
- Alberta Blue – if you’re gifting to an Alberta parent/baby, this is a really nice book with beautiful illustrations.It won Children’s Book of the Year at the 2022 Alberta Book Publishing Awards and it’s a board book with a catchy rhyme, accompany song you can play from your phone if you like, and really lovely depictions of Alberta.
- Peekaboo Kisses – this is a really cute touch and feel / flap book themed aroudn animals that ends up with a mirror reflection back at baby and parent.
- Peekaboo Baby – this is a really cute pull and slide book themed around babies that ends up with a mirror reflection back at baby and parent.
- Splish Splash!: Slide and Seek – this is a really cute pull and slide book themed around sea creatures that has really fun illustrations.
- Noodles, Please! – this is a great board book that talks about noodle dishes from around the world.
- Bee-Bim-Bop! – this is a really catchy rhyming book that talks about a family preparing a delicious meal of bee-bim-bop!
- My First Bowl of Pho! – as I mentioned, it was important for me to get books that tie back to my Vietnamese culture/heritage so something like My First Bowl of Pho is a really nice addition to Benjimin’s library. I would encourage you to think about the parents/family you’re gifting and whether there’s a culturally-themed book that might be a welcome gift! It’s also worth mentioning that there is a Canadian (Calgary-based) company called VietCan Books that source and sell Vietnamese / bilingual / Asian-author kids and parenting books that we have picked up a few items from. I do want to teach Benjimin Vietnamese so these books are part of that process!
- Flash Cards! – these high contrast flash cards were one of the activities we did with baby in his first few months. They go up to later stages / ages as well but I find as he gets older he’s more stimualted by books than the cards. It’s great when they’re in potato stage lol.
Thoughtful gifts are always a winner!
So those are just a few items I’d include in my New Parent Gift Guide.
And save on some baby stuff with my discount codes!
I’ve mentioned some of these businesses throughout the post but I do have some discount codes for some of them that may be of interest to you! The details are below:
Princess and the Pea is an Edmonton-based baby and kids store selling everything from clothes to accessories, toys, arts and crafts, mealtime and skin time essentials and more. They ship across North America!
Use code LINDA15 for 15% off at Princess and the Pea (excludes Jellycat and Canada Goose). Valid on first-time orders only.
Folk & Whimsy is a local woman-owned, family boutique offering products that cover pregnancy to early childhood, has created a promo code for newsletter subscribers! The store is a place where all families are welcome. Find items to help with body care, breastfeeding, books, toys, school lunch items and more!
Use LINDORK15 for 15% off regular priced items (excluding Padraig Cottage slippers).
While I super support local businesses, I do also shop on Amazon a fair bit (and honestly in our first few weeks of parenting we kept realizing we needed things and it was just so freaking convenient to order it online for next day delivery), so I created an Amazon list with some baby-related items we actually used, that might be useful for you as well if you are so inclined (also, the economy / the truth is not everyone can afford to buy local all the time).
I do get a little commission if you buy through Amazon after clicking to browse the list below so that is the perk for me, but also we actually have used these products and recommend them, BUT that said, with the shop local + support local businesses in mind, if you can get products you want from the local places / and you don’t need the products right away, I do still recommend seeing if the above local shops have what you want!
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