Scouring markets looking for that elusive appropriate gift had never been my strong point. On most occasions, I would get away with gifting money or silver coins. Only in absolute close relations, would I take pains to hunt for gifts that too after talking to the respective parents on their choice of gifts. But only once Aanya was born and we were inundated with a horde of gifts, did I realize that my strategy wasn’t bad.
My little moppet got clothes (so many that I didn’t need to shop for a single piece of clothing for her till after her first birthday and I am not joking), rattles, teethers, blankets, toys and stuffed ones too, shoes and whatnots. Though I was grateful for all the beautiful presents, I had a tough time accommodating them in my house. Secondly, there were so many of each of these things that it was impossible for Aanya to use them all.
Result: She outgrew so many pretty clothes without even wearing them and there are many toys still lying unused.
I really feel sad for people having wasted their time and money.
I learned some important lessons which I am planning to share with you. Hope they are useful to you:
- While gifting a child in very close relations/friends, nothing works better than to ask the parents themselves what they want the most. Gift hunting requires time, efforts and money. This will reduce your stress considerably and guess what; your gift will be treasured too.
- Interesting playthings like bouncy seat, rocker, activity gym, pram/stroller, electrical breast pump come in very handy. The newborn will love you for it (though he won’t be able to say anything yet) while the parents will appreciate this gift. A piece of advice though: it’s better to confirm with the parents before buying. Such things are usually expensive and duplication doesn’t serve any purpose.
- Also, silverware like spoon, rattle, photo frame etc. make for excellent newborn gifts. Depending on your relation with the parents of the newborn, you can also gift gold coin, gold chain etc. Agreed, that silver and gold will not be used by the newborn, but they are wonderful keepsakes and good investment for the baby when he grows older.
- If you are still hell-bent upon buying clothes, give them in one or two sizes older. This way the parents can keep your gift in mind while buying for the next lot of clothes.
- Avoid gifting stuffed toys to a newborn. Many inferior quality stuffed toys shed off their fur which can be harmful for an infant.
- If you are creative, hand-made crochet or appliqué blankets or knitted woollen clothes make great presents that can be kept to pass in the future. It’s a priceless gift as everyone will appreciate the hard work that went into making it.
- Some people gift a basket of assorted baby lotions, ointments, diaper rash creams and so on. I personally wouldn’t recommend it. With so many brands of baby cosmetics available in the market, you can never be sure which brand the parents use for their baby. So don’t buy one unless it’s a hand-made organic range of cosmetics.
- For people you don’t know, cash works the best. Believe me, you can’t ever go wrong with gifting cash. It’s a lot practical too as the parents can buy the needful whenever they want.
- There is one more gift that I know many parents would appreciate but not many receive it. That’s diapers. They are so expensive and babies use them a lot. Yes, I know in India it doesn’t fall under the ‘Ideal Gifts for Infants’ category but it’s one of the most useful gifts I can think of.
Do you have more to add? Feel free to do so.