Today's post is courtesy of a reader, Jessica, who sent me this email:
My best friend is having a baby in the beginning of May and it's the first of my close friends to do so!! I was wondering if you had any advice for a gift I could bring her/the baby when I visit them in the hospital? I don't have a huge budget but I want it to be something more thoughtful than another onesie or stuffed animal (as I'm sure they already have lots of those). Also, she doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl and I'd like to pick this up before the baby arrives so something non-gender specific would probably be best!! Any suggestions? Maybe something you received or would have liked to receive?
Honestly, I love this question. I find it really hard to find a perfect baby gift that is useful, meaningful, thoughtful and not something that the babe will outgrow in days. Toss in the unknown gender and I'm impressed Jessica just didn't give up and offer a coupon book of babysitting tokens (which, by the way, would be an awesome birth present).
I spent some time pondering this one and came up with what I think are a few cute options.
I shared them with Jessica but thought maybe a few of you might like some inspiration as well.
On The Night You Were Born
My best friend Megan brought this book to the hospital when she met Gray for the first time. I won't lie, it's one of those baby story books that makes every mama cry (Love You Forever drives me to medicate) - it just plays our hormones for a fool. If giving as a Welcome To The World gift, I would write the baby's name and birth date in the inside cover with a little message about how thrilled you are to meet him or her.
Another book option is finding a children's book that was written with the babe's birth state, town or location in mind. We were given Count To Sleep Maine and Blueberries For Sal to honor our little Mainer. The Count to Sleep series is available for tons of locals and many authors create children's books for their home state. This is such a personal gift and one that will mean something to the new mama each time she pulls it out for bedtime stories.
Keeping with the book theme, I love a classic Baby Book. I think the idea of an old fashioned baby book has gone out of style (thanks to silly things like blogging) but I love seeing my mother's handwriting in our baby books. There are many inexpensive options at Hallmark or Etsy shops and they of course come in gender neutral designs - this one is perfection.
So this idea is a bit more unusual but I really think it would be perfection. I mentioned on Instagram the other day that I carried the baby's hospital bracelet around in my diaper bag until just a few days ago. I just didn't have a special place to put it and didn't want to lose it so I left it hidden away in a tiny pocket in my bag. I would have loved somewhere to put the little hospital details that are tiny and new. I suggested to Jessica that she run to Hobby Lobby (or any similar craft store) and snag a Shadow Box frame. They are super inexpensive and you can use the Hobby Lobby 40% coupon on your phone anytime. Search the aisles for sweet push pins (I've seen arrows, hearts and stars) and wrap it all up together. When you give it to the new mama in the hospital, tell her it's meant just for all of the sweet little hospital mementos. Can you imagine how sweet the teeny hospital hat, socks, baby hospital bracelets and a newborn photo would be displayed in a nursery? Mom can stash all of those items in the shadow box for safe keeping and then arrange it just the way she likes it when the newborn haze wears off.
Don't Forget Dad
Megan was also sweet enough to bring my husband a survival kit when she came to visit us. Snacks, drinks and a bottle of champagne with a perfect blue ribbon. The hospital will take care of mom and baby, but dad is sometimes left out in the cold. Having a bag of Goldfish, candy and a Gatorade really kept my husband content when he was being ignored during our 30th attempt at breastfeeding.
Ok, so ya'll spill. What's the one thing you would have loved a friend to bring you to the hospital post birth?
And, just in case you forgot, we are just 3 days away from the reveal of the new blog name! Any guesses on what it might be??
Today's flashback post was by request from a reader and fellow blogger, Lisa, so ya'll can thank her for forcing this video footage upon you. And can I just say that whoa my hair was long and my teeth were white. Endless cups of Starbucks post baby and pregnancy hormones have taken their toll!