You’re excited to welcome a new baby, and want to choose just the right gift. For the first year of life, babies need to be fed and loved, cuddled and sung to, precious gifts that are difficult to wrap! That means the perfect baby shower gift is one that meets parents’ needs, giving them support to care for their little one and take the time to build .
In our Healthy Babies Healthy Children home visiting program, we use the NURSE mnemonic to help new parents identify the supports they need. These five concepts – of Nourishment, Understanding, Rest, Support and Exercise – can guide you too.
In my survey of new parents, meals topped the list as the most thoughtful, helpful gift for dads and moms focused on getting to know a new baby. Food can be homemade by you, purchased from the grocery store, or delivered from a restaurant, providing a break from shopping and cooking. Our blog offers a variety of recipes if you want meal ideas!
Ask the parents’ plans for caring for their infant, and respect their choices when choosing a gift. How do they plan to feed their infant? What kind of diapers do they prefer? Let their answers guide you to what they want for their family.
Acknowledge that parenting can be a messy and imperfect pursuit by providing a ready supply of small washcloths for cleanup. Diapers, whether cloth or disposable, are always useful.
3. Rest and Relaxation
Keeping up with a newborn’s frequent feeds during the night means a need to rest during the day. You can give parents a break and time to sleep or rest by running errands, providing care for older children or pets, or cleaning.
By providing help, you are giving the gift of time to care for themselves, as well as for baby.
4. Support and Spirituality
Welcoming a child is a profound, life-changing experience. You can support parents with the gift of information, like books about what to expect as their child grows and develops.
An essential gift is to tell new and nervous parents that you believe in their ability to raise a child. Even the most prepared people sometimes question their readiness for life with baby, and need to hear you say “I believe in you – you can do this”.
During religious or social celebrations of the arrival of a child, take a moment to honour and acknowledge the parent.
You can give a gift that helps your loved one to get out and be active.
Big ticket items like an safe stroller, baby carrier or car seat are excellent, as are offers to join a new parent for a walk to a nearby Ontario Early Years drop-in centre or a local Living and Learning with Baby class.
Whether it’s a diaper bag or assistance getting out for a walk, your gift can encourage the new family to get out and explore life with a baby in Toronto together.
What do you think? Share the most helpful gift you’ve received in the comments to give others ideas!