Expectant parents often have a long list of baby products they need and want, including all the latest and most talked-about baby gear. While most expectant parents buy the nursery furniture themselves, they often overlook a few very valuable time-saving services. While useful items are appreciated, it's often relief from daily chores that they value the most. Simple ideas that save new parents time while giving them peace of mind are often some of the most-appreciated gifts.
With the "green" movement gaining steam, new parents are moving away from disposable diapers and opting for cloth and organic cotton. A really practical and much-appreciated gift for new parents is several months of a diaper service. Always having a fresh supply of diapers on hand is a definite plus, creating less laundry and more time to spend with the baby. Another option is a housecleaning service for a month before and a month or two after the baby is born. This service generally provides vacuuming, dusting, bathroom and kitchen clean-up and linen replacement. Some companies also offer laundry services for an additional fee.
Peace of Mind
For new parents, bringing a baby home can be a scary experience, and if the newborn is sleeping in another room, anxious parents often spend more time wide-awake listening for a sound -- any sound -- than actually sleeping. Any gift that gives new parents peace of mind is well worth the cost. A video baby monitor with remote viewing or just a simple audio monitor will do the trick. Another option is a gift basket filled with safety gadgets like cabinet and drawer locks, outlet covers and a gift certificate for baby gates.
While nursery furniture, decor items and strollers often entail personal preferences, consider giving new expectant parents a baby bathtub filled with basic baby gear. Fill the tub with a baby thermometer, eating utensils, bottles or sippy cups, washcloths, diaper ointment, baby soap, onesies, hooded towels, bibs, burp cloths -- maybe even a diaper bag and a changing pad. Or fill a gift basket with higher-priced items such as a baby food maker, a baby carrier or sling, a bottle and jar warmer or a bottle sterilizer.
For Mom and Dad
While the focus is generally on the new baby, Mom and Dad are also a very important part of the equation. The prospect of being new parents can be daunting at times, requiring major life adjustments. Give the new expectant parents an open-date weekend (or night) away after the baby is born, whenever they are comfortable leaving her in someone else's care for a day or two. Offer your services to watch the baby, so they can reconnect as a couple. Provide a coupon book for monthly date nights or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or spa.
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images