For my Baby Showers and Full Moon Party for Tyler, I received a variety of gifts that I'm thankful for, but some definitely stood out from the rest because as much as we love to receive cute, fancy gifts, we honestly do prefer practical gifts anytime. With the current economic downturn and rising cost of living especially with a newborn, practical gifts would be the best- gifts that we could use, gifts that could help us save some moolah!
Won't touch on birthday parties because I haven't reached that stage personally, so I wouldn't give my opinions just yet. Below are some of the best, most practical gift ideas for Baby Shower and Full Moon Parties in my opinion as well as some input from my momma friends previously!
1. Angpow/Love Gifts
Having a new baby costs lots of money. Giving birth in a private hospital costs a minimum of RM3k for natural delivery, without pain relief and only a night's stay at the hospital. Some hospitals charge way more, and if it's a c-section or emergency c-section case, it will cost at least a minimum of RM6k onwards. Not forgetting post-natal care such as preparing confinement food and herbs (approx. RM1k), hiring confinement lady (min. RM4k plus angpow), and a host of other baby stuff like cot, car seat, stroller, carrier, clothes, shower and skin care product, and the list goes on and on.
To host a full moon party costs money too! There's the event space rental, food catering, cake, decor, full moon gift packs (expect to spend min. RM800-1,000). Bottom line is, it's a lot of money, and though most people would have prepared to spend such amount of money with a baby on the way, a little love gift would be much appreciated by the couple, for sure. Unless you're talking about some super rich tycoon's kids, most of us regular citizens wouldn't mind some extra financial blessing.
2. Gift Certificates
Mothercare is just one example, of course. Feel free to get gift certificates from other shops or departmental stores (e.g.: Aeon, Parkson, or Isetan) that offer products/services that are useful for newborns/new moms such as! Why gift certificates are good gift ideas is because most parents these days do enough research on their own online to know exactly what they want to get, which model, which colour, and so on. Basically, they KNOW what they want! Buying them a gift forces them to use whatever is given even if it isn't their first choice. Or worse, put them away in the storeroom or give away as gifts for the next baby shower they attend.
Gift certificates give new parents the freedom to select the gifts themselves. And trust me, they will thank you for it! But, if you aren't fond of giving love gifts/gift certificates and are looking at giving something fancier, or something that the couple could keep as remembrance, below are some of the gift ideas that could match what you're looking for!
3. Diaper Cakes/Diaper Towers
Every newborn uses diapers, and boy, do they use A LOT of them! Newborns use an average of 12-16 diapers a day as they excrete Meconium, greenish-black-tar-like stuff made up of stuff the baby collected in his intestines while in the uterus like old blood cells and skin cells. And boy, do those stuff stink! They also irritate babies' bottoms so it's better to keep changing diapers in case baby develops nappy rash. Babies continue to poop a lot (some after each feed, which means every 2-3 hours per diaper change) even after that, so diapers are definitely a necessity in every newborn household. And good diapers don't come cheap!
Instead of giving a packet of 36 pieces diapers straight off the supermarket (which makes a very unattractive gift haha), why not package them nicely into 'Diaper Cakes' or 'Diaper Towers'? You can get pre-packaged diaper cakes from shops that sell baby items, or DIY them! There are PLENTY of Diaper Cakes inspirations and DIY tutorials flooding the Internet, especially on Pinterest.
As for which diapers to get for your Diaper Cake? My suggestion is to get the best diapers around, even if they cost more than the others. Since this is a gift, might as well give the best diapers in the market. Baby's bottoms are sensitive, so you wouldn't want to gift a mediocre brand and end up giving them nappy rashes! Some of the better diaper brands in the market are Merries (Tyler's been using Merries since day one) and MamyPoko. They may be the two most expensive diaper brands in the market, but they're of a different quality so you can be rest assured that your friend's baby is going to be all good in it.
4. Baby Toiletries
5. First Milestones Keepsakes
While these seem like fancy gifts more than practical ones, they're definitely something that parents can use to mark milestones for their babies! If they have them, they'll use them! And they'll thank you later ;)
6. Bigger-sized Baby Clothes
Clothes are something parents wouldn't mind receiving at all. The more, the better because babies change out of their clothes so frequently! Milk spit, change! Poop explosion, change! Pee fountain, change again! There are plenty of trendy designs for babies clothes these days that can be easily found in stores like Mothercare, NEXT (available online, free shipping from UK to Msia above RM110!), Cotton On, H&M, and baby-specific shops like Poney, Pumpkin Patch, etc.
If you're getting gifts for a Baby Shower, you can get newborn-sized clothes (the smallest size available in stores). However, if you're attending a Full Moon Party/100 Days Party, you may want to consider getting bigger-sized clothes (think at least 3-6 months sizes) because every baby is different in their growth progress. While baby may only be 1 month old, he/she may not be able to fit into clothes for 1 month olds anymore. Classic example would be my very own baby, Tyler. He's now 2 months old but can fit snugly into clothes for 3 months, and nicely into clothes for 6 months! Yeah, I know. Fatty baby!
7. Special Occasion Baby Clothes/Baby Costumes
If you wanna get something absolutely memorable, how about special occasion baby clothes such as baby tuxedo for weddings, cheongsam for the festive season, or baby costumes for newborn photoshoot or just for fun? Parents of the baby will surely sequel in delight and cannot wait to put the onto their babies!
8. Swaddles and Napkins/Wash Cloths
I never knew how important swaddles are until I became a mom. While I was pregnant I didn't know types of swaddles to get for my baby, so I asked around and many of my momma friends highly recommended Aden and Anais swaddles for its versatility. It is a hugeeeeee piece of thin and soft muslin cloth that can be used to swaddle baby, as nursing cover, stroller cover, napkin (if no real napkin is in sight), to be laid out on public changing tables, etc. We bought other cheaper, smaller muslin cloths but we somehow always end up choosing to use the Aden and Anais ones because they're just better. So, highly recommended! It usually comes in 4 pieces/pack for about approx. RM120. Not the cheapest around, but definitely one of the best!
As for napkins/washcloths, I'm glad we binge bought because they run out so fast! We usually leave one/two in the living room, bedroom, car, and diaper bag. Basically, anywhere in our reach because we use them so frequently, especially during emergencies! If used to wipe spit milk, the cloths would smell badly so we would usually just use a new one. In one day we could possibly use 6-7 different napkins! These napkins/washcloths can be used for wiping baby or bathing baby too! Get good ones that are absorbent and soft on skin. Can never have enough of napkins/washcloths, so you can't go wrong with this!
10. Gifts for Mom- Pre/Post Natal Massage, Spa Packages, Shopping Vouchers, Meal Delivery Subscription
You know how to make a pregnant lady/new mother cry? Remember to give them a gift as well. Yes, Baby Showers and Full Moon Parties are supposed to be all about the baby, but a little gesture to show the mother that she's loved and not forgotten will definitely warm her heart. Pregnancy is tough on the mother especially physically, so is post-pregnancy.
Giving her a pre-natal/pregnancy massage would really help in relaxing the sore and tired muscles from carrying the huge bump, post-natal massages help new moms release wind and reduce body swell, helping her to rejuvenate and also get back in shape!
As for spa packages, after nights and nights of sleepless nights nursing the newborn, she could really use from tender loving care. Some full body massage and mani/pedi would make her feel human again!
Shopping vouchers because during pregnancy, she'll find that she outgrows all her clothes every other month. Thus, needing to buy new ones to accommodate the growing bump (and overall growing body) almost all the time. And after pregnancy, she's going to discover that she has NO CLOTHES TO WEAR! Worse than during pregnancy because now she has a post-pregnancy belly to cover. Unlike the pregnant belly that she can proudly flaunt, the post-pregger belly isn't something she'll be very proud of. Thus, the need for new clothes again. Giving her a shopping voucher from places like H&M or her favourite online store would be super thoughtful of you!
Last but not the least, nursing moms need to eat A LOT in order to produce enough milk for her baby. Taking care of a newborn at home is a handful and this might leave her no time to make a proper meal for herself, and that is when home delivery meals come to the rescue! If you could help her sort out for meals as she sorts out her baby's meals, she'll thank you for it!
11. Share the Gift, and Get a Good One.
If you want to get a gift that the couple would love to have, ask them and tell them that you insist in getting it for them. Get a good gift that they would need such as a baby cot/stroller/car seat/changing table, and if it's over your budget, share it with a friend or two!
My husband, Boon together with a friend bought a changing table for a friend who just had a new baby, one that he had been eyeing on but was over his budget. He was grateful for the gift because it was something that they wanted, and a big one off the list too!
It's absolutely less "romantic" by asking your friends what they would like to have. They would usually be too shy to tell you right away, so do insist and tell them that's really what you want to do. They would appreciate it!
There you have it- 11 practical gift ideas for both baby and mommy! Happy shopping, guys! :)
Disclaimer: All photos are sourced from Google.com, and picture collages edited by yours truly.