Before anybody starts speculating: No, this is not my holiday wish list.
It is, however, my shopping list. 2014 has been all about the babies. Every backyard BBQ and family gathering is suddenly Baby Central. So in case you’re stumped as to what to get that special new mom or dad on your list, here are a few ideas:
1. Gripe Water
I got this for my sister when my (extremely adorable) newborn nephew was having “tummy troubles.” Reviewers rave about this all-natural tonic: “This is a must have at home and in the diaper bag!”, “new moms STOCK UP!!!” and “can't live without it.”
It’s about time somebody thought of this! Pacifier clips tether the nuuk (binky, plug, or whatever other goofy nickname these things go by) to baby’s clothes or carseat. Plus, how cute is that little tie?
3. Soothing Tea
No one said being a parent was going to be easy. For those moments when mom and dad are able to steal a few minutes to relax, help them out with a delicious calming tea. The aptly-named Calming Tea from Yogi features the delicious flavors of plum and lavender with the soothing sweetness of licorice. Round out this gift with a unique mug.
4. Eco-Friendly and Baby-Friendly Housewares
It’s one of those immutable laws of the universe that kids are going to put anything they can grab into their mouths. Make sure baby Maggie isn’t getting a dose of toxic chemicals in the process by choosing dish soap and a toy cleaner that are safe for children. They’re Earth-friendly, too!
5. Coconut Oil
This stuff has a million and one uses. It’s a terrific moisturizer for all over use, both for baby and mom. It can be used as a natural oil for newborns’ sensitive scalp and face, to make a cloth diaper-friendly diaper cream, or gentle lotion bars.
Never—seriously, never—underestimate how many diapers a kid will go through in a day. A box (or case… or pallet…) of diapers may not be a fun or glamorous gift, but it’s one that won’t go unused.
Luckily for the eco-conscious parent, cloth diapers are making a comeback. Take some of the ick out of it with a diaper service, a company that will keep baby in a full supply of clean diapers, haul away the dirty ones, clean them and replenish the supply.
Again, not fun or glamorous, but little Brayden is going to run out of clean clothes eventually. Probably sooner than you think. And so is Mom, because he just spit up on her shirt.
9. Sleep Mask
The only time little Gabriela wants to sleep is at 2 in the afternoon? Help Mom get some shuteye even on the brightest days with a comfortable sleep mask.
10. Bathtime Accessories
Take one of the pains of bath time with a cushy bath mat. This one saves your knees and holds essential shampoo, soap, and of course, toys!
11. Cases for iPads and Other Tablets
On a related note, how about a waterproof tablet case? This recommendation was inspired by my sister-in-law, who dropped the iPad in the tub while Skype-ing with Grandma during bath time. Whoops.