Whether or not your friends fall into first-time parenthood, all expecting parents could use a little support from their inner circle before they welcome their little one and as they raise them. That’s because along with all the excitement of becoming a new parent comes fear of the unknown, says psychologist and parenting expert Sanam Hafeez, PsyD. Considering that all new parents could use some help as they navigate through the trials and tribulations of infant parenthood, finding useful gifts for soon-to-be parents can be a super thoughtful gesture.
If this is someone’s first child, that fear of the unknown probably stems from never having parented before. If this isn’t someone’s first time at the parental rodeo, though, there’s still a fear of the unknown—but in this case the fear is rooted in not knowing how they’ll manage multiple kids in addition to other life responsibilities, says licensed marriage and family therapist Karla Zambrano-Morrison, LMFT.
Of course, gifts don’t always have to be materialistic. You can certainly give a gift in the form of doing chores—like going grocery shopping, cleaning the house, or making food for your friends who are parents-to-be. Even just watching the baby while your friend showers and has some time to themselves is huge. But sometimes gifts are nice, says Zambrano-Morrison. “As it pertains to first-time parents, they welcome the gifts,” she says. “There is a sense of comfort that comes with having…items that you know will be used at some point.”
Read on for four expert-recommended gifts for soon-to-be parents.
4 of the best gifts for soon-to-be parents, according to experts
1. Baby carriers
Carrying your baby with your arms isn’t just tiring, it also limits what you can grab and reach for. A baby carrier solves that problem: It safely straps a child to their parent’s chest—where they’re still as comfy as in your arms—so that the parent can have free use of their upper limbs.
Since a large majority of the 300 reviews for this baby carrier are 5 stars (83 percent, to be exact), it’s a parent-approved gift you can give to a friend who’s expecting to add or has recently added a new baby into their family. Star features include: A super soft knit fabric for parent and Baby, a simple system that makes it easy to put on and take off, a supportive waistbelt, and it’s machine-washable!
This baby carrier is a cotton-spandex blend that stretches enough to keep your baby safely tucked in. New parents will get more use out of this, as it can carry up to a 35-pound baby. It also comes in more than 10 patterns and colors, so you can get two if you have a particularly stylish soon-to-be-a-parent friend.
“Diapers are always welcomed, [and] many, many will be used,” says Zambrano-Morrison. One thing she notes is that while you might be inclined to get sizes for newborns specifically (0 to 3 months, typically), there’s certainly room to get creative by way of gifting diapers in larger sizes. Kids go through and wear these cloud-like underpants for years, so the gift is sure to be used down the road.
Considering that this particular product has more than 30,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, it’s a great option as far as gifts for soon-to-be parents go. Even though the pack comes with more than 200 diapers, the listing says this is only a month’s supply. As in, your pal is going to love you for this.
3. White noise machines
Sound machines—especially ones that have a night light—are a great gift for parents-to-be, says Zambrano-Morrison. “It will not only help the baby sleep, but parents too. And you’ll be able to see what you’re doing in the middle of the night,” she adds.
This is a great option if you’re looking for a three-in-one white noise machine. The VTech machine, of course, produces white noise—but it also has a night light (albeit not as bright as the Hatch Rest Sound Machine) and sports a toy-like monkey shape that can keep a little one entertained. You can also purchase the toy-light-white-noise-machine in a turtle or whale form.
4. Home organizers
Let’s say you’re already struggling to organize a small home. Even though their stuff is tiny, babies come with a lot of it—which often worries expecting parents because they’re not sure how they’ll store all of it. A home organizer ranks atop the list of gifts for soon-to-be parents because it helps them get more organized, says Dr. Hafeez.
The nice thing about this organizer is that it hangs on a door—which means you can hang it inside if you don’t want nursery items as part of your aesthetic, but also means you can hang it outside the door so that you have easy access to said items. A bonus is that your friends can use this for personal storage once their baby grows out of their nursery phase.
If you know your friends have a bit more space to work with, this dresser would be perfect for them to store diapers, toys, bibs, and all that other stuff babies need. It also comes in five different colors, so don’t feel like you have to get the gray one.
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