“What is the best gift to give new parents?” This is one of the most common questions I get asked by journalists and PR agencies (along with “What should really go into the hospital bag??”!), and so far, I have resisted answering it (mainly due to lack of time to give this important question the attention it deserves!)!
Well, good news guys, I have finally taken the time to answer the question properly (and with a proper science-sized sample group!), to create the ultimate and definitive guide to gift-giving for new Mums and Dads! I asked 100 parents (mainly Mums!) – “What is the best gift you received after becoming a new parent?”. Did flowers come top of the list, you may wonder, or something edible?
Well, top of the list by a long way was FOOD! Food of all kinds! Parents recalled just being so very hungry - literally being starving all the time, with no time or energy to cook. The main message was a that the gift of a good meal makes the world of difference!
The most requested items were easy to reheat meals (either home-cooked or ready-meals), gift cards for healthy and nutritious ready-meals, or any kind of food delivery or hamper to chow down on! Next on the list came sweet treats and highly calorific snacks, followed by items for baby, and luxury items for Mum. Thermos flasks and flowers also appeared lower down the list! And less common but equally helpful suggestions included: a session with a lactation consultant, a cleaner for 6 months, and noise cancelling headphones!
So here it is, the definitive gift guide for new parents:
GIFT IDEA #1 HOT MEALS!
Top of the list by a long way were easy to re-heat meals! Parents recalled cherishing gifts of home-cooked meals, stews, lasagnes, frozen caseroles, frozen ready-meals, food deliveries, food hampers, cheese hampers, meal delivery gift cards, food left on doorstep, and basically food of any kind!
A huge number of parents recommended the award-winning Cook meal delivery service – either a bagful of their meals, a delivery, or a gift card – and believe me they are truly fabulous! Check out their special new parents delivery boxes, PLUS new parents get a 10% discount for the first 12 months – awesome!
GIFT IDEA #2 SWEET TREATS!
Next on the list came sweet treats! Brownies (brownies definitely got the most mentions!), cakes, biscuit tins, boxes of chocolates, trays of cupcakes, baskets of muffins, Chelsea buns, cookies and bags sweets! One particular favourite were the "new parents" gift tins from Biscuiteers.
GIFT IDEA #3 ITEMS FOR BABY
Third came useful baby items – parents mentioned in particular swaddling blankets, sleepsuits, and sling covers, with the Swaddle Up brand coming highly recommended.
GIFT IDEA #4 LUXURY SKINCARE PRODUCTS FOR MUM
Products to pamper Mum came in at number four! Mums said they loved receiving luxury treats for themselves like hand cream, shower gel, face cream, lip balm, body cream, bath stuff, tinted moisturiser (and of course nipple cream!).
GIFT IDEA #5 THERMOS FLASK OR CUP WITH STRAW!
Several parents mentioned the surprisingly useful gift of a thermos mug, or flask to carry hot drinks, or similarly a cup with straw!
GIFT IDEA #6 PYJAMAS FOR MUM
A gorgeous big dressing gown or nice new set of pyjamas for Mum came at number six!
GIFT IDEA #7 FLOWERS
A beautiful bouquet of flowers came at number seven (although some Mums said they did not enjoy watching them wilt!).
TEN OTHER GREAT GIFT IDEAS!
Less common but equally useful suggestions from parents were:
Nosie cancelling headphones
A treat that you personally know that Mum will love (baby gets enough!)
A Don’t Buy Her Flowers gift box
A set of new towels (new parents need so many towels!)
A bum-bag (yes!)
A session with a lactation consultant (I love this one!)
An Ikea or similar gift card
A cleaner to come for first 6 months to help with laundry/kitchen/bathroom (such a great idea if you can afford it!).
So, there you go, whether you choose a biscuit tin, a cheese hamper, a set of luxury skincare products for Mum, or a swaddle for baby, your gift will be much appreciated – just remember to throw in a home-made lasagne or meal delivery gift card too (it’s what all new parents really want!).
While you are here why not read some more great tips from some of my other favourite specialists: Midwife and Lactation Consultant Shelley Wilson, Pre- and Post-Natal Fitness and Nutrition expert, Emma West, The Step-In-Mum Veronika Durham, and Declutterer and Organiser Joanne Forde.
Get in touch for more information on any of the topics mentioned here or elsewhere on my site, I would love to hear from you! And good luck gift buying!