Creative gifts for a new baby
Give a new baby something special.
Buying a baby gift is fun. Stores have lots of ideas, and some of them even have registries where new parents can list the clothes and equipment they hope to receive. Spending part of an afternoon buried in adorable clothes, toys and equipment fashioned specifically for the little problems almost all mothers encounter can be a wonderful respite from other kinds of shopping.
At times, a special something for a special baby just doesn't seem to be in the stores. When you want creative gifts for a new baby, here are some ideas to get you started.
A very old British tradition adapts well to today's customs. For centuries the birth of a male heir was greeted by putting down a quantity of fine wine, to be drunk when the heir came of age. Even today you are likely to find an experienced wine merchant who can suggest a reasonably-priced wine that is likely to mature well in storage until the heir is old enough to share it with parents. Since babies are all about the future, putting down a gift of wine offers new parents a brief glimpse of their baby all grown up.
Gift catalogs offer an assortment of the day you were born front pages of major newspapers which mark the arrival of a baby very well. A good accompaniment to that is a full copy of the local newspaper. What fun to look not just at the headlines but also at hometown events and the ads! Seeing the fashions, the fads and the prices will help to make all the when I was your age stories that relatives will tell even more fun. The past seems very real when it's been in the newspaper.
Catalogs can also lead to other creative gifts for a new baby, from a personalized and dated Christmas-tree ornament to an organization that will name a star for the baby. Baby-bead bracelets spelling out the baby's name or tiny religious charms may actually be worn only very briefly by a baby but make wonderful reminders of how hoped for and treasured the new arrival was from the day of birth.
Other gifts that mark a birth also celebrate the new arrival's growth. If parents have yard space, you might consider giving a long-lived blooming shrub that will grow as the baby grows. One mother with grown children still points with pleasure at a lovely white azalea in her yard. It has always had one branch longer than the others, and that's the branch the nursery trimmed so a gift card could be attached when it was delivered to her hospital room when her son was born.
The gift of a plant is particularly appreciated if you add the offer to do the work of planting it. As we know new babies somehow crowd a lot of chores out of the way. Fruit trees and berry bushes add a tasty dividend after flowers are gone. Nothing beats picking apples from your very own tree.
Planting a Tree
For families without yards or yard-space planting a tree in the baby's honor is still possible. Many municipalities have tree-planting programs that offer a wide choice of tree species and planting locations. If your community does not have such a program, contact your county-level department of conservation, parks or environmental management. Contributing to the beauty of your community, watching the tree-planting and visiting your special tree through the seasons are truly creative gifts for a new baby. You can also find a number of good children's books that focus on the special relationship between a child and trees to complete your gift.
Parents of new babies take lots of pictures, as we all know. But novel photo opportunities still remain a family favorite. If you take good pictures or know of a good photography studio, consider giving a gift certificate to be claimed on a future occasion: baby's first birthday or another first holiday like Halloween, Christmas or Chanukah.
If you are the photographer, you could extend this gift to second and third birthdays and beyond. Most families joke that the first baby has many photos and each child after the first has fewer. So this might be a gift that appeals especially to families with several children.
Creative gifts for a new baby are as varied as babies and their families are. Let this list be only a starting point. Your joy and your imagination will lead you to find the just right way to celebrate a beautiful new arrival to the world.