Gift-giving season is in full-swing, and as much as everyone loves to receive indulgent or unnecessary gifts now and then (who can forget that Snuggie craze?), there’s definitely something to be said for practical gifts, too—especially when you’re shopping for new parents.
After all, new parents are entering a completely different stage of life; and, like the rest of us, they’re really just trying to figure things out as they go along. For new parents, practical gifts can help them navigate the fantastic craziness that is parenthood, and can help them feel seen and appreciated (which, let’s face it, you don’t often feel during those 2 AM diaper changes).
But just because you want to give a practical gift doesn’t mean it has to be a boring or trite one. Leave the socks and underwear up to Santa (or Grandma) and try one of these more original practical gift ideas this holiday season.
1. Small kitchen appliances
Small kitchen appliances have become more popular (and more varied) than ever before. Crockpots, Instant Pots, blenders, air fryers, electric kettles, and more are making kitchens everywhere more evolved and more convenient.
For new parents, the right small kitchen appliance can be a godsend. An Instant Pot to cook quick dinners on busy weeknights? Yes, please. An electric kettle to make your morning coffee or tea easier than ever? For sure. A blender to blend up all those solid foods the baby will be eating before they know it? Oh, yeah.
If you’re going to give a small kitchen appliance as a gift, you should take into account storage space, since some of these appliances can take up a lot of room. However, as long as you can find the right option for your lucky recipient, you can be sure that this is one practical gift that will get used by new parents for years to come.
2. Membership to a museum or zoo
Give the gift of a year full of fun experiences! Experience gifts have become more common in recent years, and parents, in particular, seem to really like them. After all, does the baby really need another blinking, singing, whatever-ing toy cluttering up the nursery? No. That said, experiences like vacations can get very expensive, very quickly, especially when you add a baby into the mix. Gifting a membership to a local hotspot or attraction is a more affordable way to give an experience gift, and best of all, the family will get to enjoy it over and over. We’re not promising they’ll think of you every time they use it, but we’ll say this: the odds are in your favor.
Need inspiration? Chances are, new parents would love a membership to any of these:
- Science center
- Water park
- Children’s museum
- Play center
- Trampoline park (great for families with older kids, too)
- Botanical garden
3. Food delivery gift card
By the time a new parent has fed the baby (again), done the baby’s laundry (again), given the baby a bath (again), and cleaned up all the various spills, toys, and unmentionable messes (again—sensing a pattern here?), dinner is likely the last thing on their mind.
A food delivery gift card is essentially the gift of convenience, peace of mind, and relaxation for a new parent. Instead of having to scrounge up something for dinner—or worse, having to pack the baby up to go out to eat—they can have food brought right to their door while the baby sleeps. Tacos from the comfort of your own home after a long, hard day of parenting? That’s a practical gift no new parent is going to say no to.
Important tip: make sure that the service you choose actually delivers to your recipient’s area. If they don’t, this gift goes from ultra-practical to ultra-useless. Want to be a little “extra” with this gift? Give them a “Please knock...baby sleeping!” sign to hang on their door to alert the delivery person of the need for a quieter dropoff.
4. Streaming service subscription
Whether mom and baby are snuggled on the couch for a breastfeeding session, or both parents are enjoying some down time after the baby goes to bed, a streaming service can always come in handy for a new parent. Of course, streaming service options keep piling up...and so does the cost of maintaining all those subscriptions. Ease the burden for a month or two by footing the bill for a new parent’s favorite subscription service. Or, with all the new options popping up, you could also give them a subscription to a new service you think they’ll enjoy (maybe one with a wider range of family-friendly content). With this practical gift, they’ll get hours of entertainment, and you’ll get their unwavering gratitude.
Add a little personal touch to this gift by creating a watch list for the streaming service, listing your top recommendations for shows or movies they can watch on your dime. Don’t forget to include suggestions for the little one, too!
If you have a good relationship with the family, don’t live too far away, and don’t want to spend much money on gifts this year, a night of free babysitting is worth its weight in gold to new parents. Take over for a night, even if it’s just after the baby goes to bed, and let the new parents get out for a night on the town (or, you know, dinner and a movie). They’ll appreciate the baby-free time more than you know.
(Of course, this gift may not be right for everyone. Some parents are understandably hesitant about leaving their baby with a babysitter. Don’t give this gift if you think they might not be open to it, or if it will make them uncomfortable. Hopefully, if you’re considering this gift, you are fairly close to the family and know what they would or would not want.)
6. Baby essentials
Think diapers are the worst gift ever? Think again! Babies go through a lot of diapers, and no one knows this better than new parents. Take at least one of the stinky parts out of diapers by helping new parents build their stash. You could even give them a subscription to a diapering service (there are plenty of options out there these days!). If they use cloth diapers, chances are, they’d love more of those, too. Find out what brand they use and gift them a new diaper or two.
Can’t quite get on board with the idea of giving diapers as a gift? You could also give bath items (soap, shampoo, baby lotion, etc.). Parents are always going through these things. Plus, there are premium options out there that most new parents may not want to splurge on, many of which are also available as subscriptions.
Here’s the bottom line: baby essentials may seem like an unusual gift to you, but for new parents, it’s a practical gift they’re sure to love (and will definitely use!).
7. CPR course
Nothing is more practical than a gift that promotes safety and well-being, which is why a CPR certification course is the perfect gift for new parents—or grandparents, babysitters, or really...anyone. CPR courses can help you be ready at all times in case of a life-threatening emergency. This is the gift of peace of mind and preparedness!
Infant CPR offers convenient, comprehensive, online CPR certification courses. Our courses are broken up by age group, making sure you get the right training for your specific needs. Choose from infant, child, or adult CPR certification courses—or choose all three. Our classes offer you unlimited access to course materials, and each class covers everything you need to know about CPR and choking relief.
New parents will love the confidence they get from CPR training, and will learn skills that could save their baby’s life someday. Could there be a better gift than that?
Practical gifts are the ultimate way to show a new parent you care this holiday season. Choose from any one of these gifts, and you’re sure to earn your place on their nice list!