When one of your friends, loved ones, or coworkers has a baby, it can be an exciting time! Whether they’re just having their first child, or adding to a growing family, a new child brings joy and happiness – but also quite a bit of responsibility and stress.
Let’s face it – taking care of a child is hard work, especially for first-time parents. That’s one of the reasons that it’s so common to give gifts to new families, especially at baby showers and other special events.
However, not all gifts are appropriate for families with new children. That’s why we recommend a gift that’s perfect for every occasion – a gift card!
At baby showers, new parents are often bombarded with onesies, bedding, cribs, toys, and other gifts that – while appreciated – may not be too useful. After all, it can be hard for new parents to understand what they really need for their child.
Gift cards, on the other hand, are flexible, easy to use, and they’ll always be useful to a family with a new child. You don’t have to worry about accidentally giving a duplicate gift, and you can be sure that the recipient of your gift card will be able to get something that they truly need for their newborn child.
Gift cards are also very convenient. Most gift cards can be spent online, which can make things much easier on new parents who are short on time, and can’t go out and run errands.
Because of all these reasons, gift cards are a fantastic present for any family with a newborn child. So read on, and learn how you can choose the best gift card for a new family, and ways that you can make your gift more special.
What’s The Right Amount To Spend On A Gift?
This depends on how close you are to the family in question. For close family members and friends, the sky’s the limit – but $50-$100 is usually a fair amount. Most people don’t expect you to spend a lot of money on a present – especially if they didn’t have a baby shower – so they’ll appreciate the gesture, no matter how much money you spend.
For acquaintances or coworkers, $25-$50 is a good rule of thumb – they won’t expect you to spend much on them, and if you’re having an office baby shower, they’ll likely get gifts from dozens of people.
In the end, there’s no real “hard-and-fast” rule. Your budget should depend on the relationship you have with the person in question, and the amount of money you make. Just remember it’s the thought that counts – especially given how stressful taking care of a newborn baby can be. The recipient of your gift will appreciate your effort – no matter how much you spend.
Don’t Stop With A Gift Card!
While a gift card is a great present, it’s not enough to just give a gift card to the parents of a newborn. Having a baby can be stressful, and takes a lot of time and energy out of new parents. Because of this, you should consider how you can make your gift even more special. Here are some suggestions.
- Bring a meal for the family – Taking care of a newborn baby is an “around-the-clock” operation. There are always diapers to change, bottles to clean, sheets and clothes to wash – it can get overwhelming, especially for a first-time parent. When you give your gift card to the family of a newborn, consider also preparing and bringing a simple meal for the family.
You could even organize a meal schedule with an online tool like Meal Train. Using this tool, friends and family can sign up to deliver meals to new parents, allowing them to focus on their child, and reducing the stress that’s so common within the first few weeks of becoming a parent.
- Offer advice to first-time parents – When you give your gift card, plan to spend some time with your friend or your loved one, and just let them talk about what’s on their mind. If you’ve had children, this is a great time to offer them advice about the first few weeks of childcare. They’re sure to have questions if they’re first-time parents, and they’ll appreciate the opportunity to talk about the concerns that they may have about raising their child.
- Bring a personalized card – The simplest way to make your gift card special is by bringing along a personalized card. What you write is up to you – but try to be encouraging, and let your friend or family member know that you know they have what it takes to be a great parent. These words of encouragement are extremely valuable to parents, and can help them prepare for the challenge of child-rearing.
- Buy toys or treats and give them to their kids – If you had a newborn sibling when you were a kid, you probably know what it felt like when they got back from the hospital. Mom and Dad were totally focused on your new brother or sister – and sometimes it felt like you were being ignored.
This is common among young children with newborn siblings. They don’t quite understand why their new brother or sister needs so much care and attention – but they do realize that they’re getting less attention than they used to, and they can often feel left out.If your friend or loved one has young children, consider bringing some toys or treats like candy or cookies along when you give your gift card. You can give these to their other kids, and help them feel more special.
- Offer to babysit to give Mom & Dad some alone time – Usually, it’s best for parents to stay with their babies until they’re about 3-4 weeks old. However, after this, it’s totally safe for a baby to be left with a relative or a close friend.
So offer to babysit, and let Mom & Dad get some alone time, away from their newborn. Even babysitting for just an hour or two can let new parents decompress, and spend some time on themselves. They can go get a cup of coffee, go out for a quick meal alone, or just spend some time together, away from their child.Newborn babies are demanding, and can be difficult to deal with for both new parents, and parents who already have kids. So if you’re buying a gift card as a present, consider the above recommendations – we’re sure that your loved ones will appreciate the gesture, and it will make your present even more impactful.
What Gift Cards Should I Buy?
It can be difficult to know what gift card to buy when you’re shopping for a family with a new baby – after all, you have thousands of options! So to help you narrow down your choices, we’ve put together the following list of gift cards that are perfect for new parents. Check them out below!
- Grocery stores – Giving a gift card to a grocery store may not be glamorous, but it is useful. Most grocery stores have all of the basics necessary for a newborn baby – including diapers, baby products, formula, and more – allowing new parents to combine trips, and purchase the essentials that they need both for themselves, and for their newborn child.
- Walmart, Target, and other large “mega marts” – Parents appreciate flexibility, and buying a gift card to a large “mega mart” gives them plenty of options when it comes to spending the value of the card.
They can purchase groceries, baby supplies and clothing, basic furniture, and more – all in one place. Because these cards allow parents to combine trips, it makes it easier for them to get out, get their errands done, and get home to their child.
- “Night Out” gift cards – While it’s unlikely that they’ll be used for a few months, giving a gift card to a fancy restaurant, a theater, or another “night out” destination is a great way to remind parents that their current stress is temporary. Eventually, their child will be easier to care for – and they will actually be able to spend time and money on themselves. That may sound selfish – but parenting is stressful, and parents appreciate being able to look forward to something, even if it’s as simple as a night out at their favorite restaurant, or a cheap movie that they’ve wanted to see for months.
- At-home entertainment – Women take an average of 10 weeks of maternity leave in the US, and though much of that time is spent caring for their newborn, they will still have quite a bit of downtime to spend with their child – and lots of new moms tend to get quite bored after a few weeks of staying inside all day.
It’s also unlikely that most families will go out much while they have a newborn child, so a gift card for at-home entertainment like Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video is a fantastic gift card choice. You can give families the gift of entertainment – and they don’t even have to leave their home.
- Baby stores – A gift card to a baby store like Babies ‘R’ Us is a fantastic gift. Even after a baby shower, many families find that they’re missing essentials – breast pumps, baby monitors, blankets, and more. A gift card to a baby store lets them fill in any gaps that may be left over after a baby shower, and pick the perfect products for their needs.
- Toy stores – Toy stores like Toys ‘R’ Us are also a great gift option for families with multiple children. As touched upon above, children have a difficult time adjusting to a newborn sibling – so giving them a gift card to a toy store is a great way to get their mind off things, and make them feel special.
If you want, you could even offer to take their kids to the toy store yourself. They can have fun shopping around and picking out some awesome toys, and Mom & Dad can spend some quality time with their newborn child, with no distractions from their other kids.
- IKEA – Some families may need to childproof their home, and purchase furniture that’s more child-friendly. Because of this, a gift card to IKEA is a great idea. IKEA offers a wide range of children’s furniture and childproofing accessories, including child locks, corner bumpers, baby gates, and even baby monitors.
- Amazon.com – Amazon gift cards are great for new parents – especially if they’re Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon Prime members in select areas can make use of Amazon Prime Now, which can be used to deliver household essentials like diapers, baby supplies, cleaning products, groceries, and more – with free 2-hour delivery.
And even if your recipient isn’t in a location that supports Amazon Prime Now, an Amazon gift card is still a fantastic choice. Parents can bulk-order items like diapers, ointments, baby wipes, and other essentials, and save a huge amount of money – all without having to leave their homes.
While there are certainly other gift cards you can buy for new parents, you’ll never make the wrong choice if you pick one of the 8 cards on this list.
So get out there, buy a great gift card, and give a fantastic present to any family with a newborn child! They’re sure to love your present, and the care and thought that you put into its purchase.
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