New Mum & Baby Presents
Before I had children of my own, I would head straight to the White Company when a friend had a baby and I'd buy a darling little babygro and have it beautifully wrapped and then deliver it to my new mummy friend like a proud stork delivering the baby itself.
I now know, of course, that another newborn babygro is one of the last things you need when you’ve just had a baby because you have had freaking babygros coming out of your sleep-deprived ears ever since the nursery 'adviser' at John Lewis 'advised' you to buy 15 packs of five.
And if you end up with a 10lb baby, it’s not going anywhere near that teeny sleepsuit anyway, unless you wrap it round its fat head and use it as a hat.
I now give the two items I deem to be most essential in those early weeks: chocolates and a packet of nappies. You don’t realise (and you forget if you’re an old-timer) that a newborn which feeds every two hours also poos with alarming perseverance and frequency. That emergency stash of nappies is vital for the first week your husband is back at work and you’re struggling to understand quite how you’ll ever leave the house and get to a shop again.
I think sometimes it's nice to ignore the baby anyway; it will be spoilt rotten by its grandparents and prospective Godparents. Gather a few things mum might like and would have missed during pregnancy, such as salami, runny cheese, gin; add some earplugs, a pair of cashmere socks (and crayons and a colouring book if there’s an older sibling), and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a mighty fine care packagey sort of thing.
Biscuiteers: They have some really beautiful little treats on offer, many sets of which can be personalised. I was given some little pink ducks when T was born and they were a huge hit when we had visitors over for tea. A tin of personalised ducks is around £35, which I concede seems a bit steep for flour and sugar, but anything you can eat one-handed in those early weeks can only be a good thing.
- The Gluttonous Gardener: This brilliant company will send a crate containing a tree or bush that can be planted in your own garden in honour of the new arrival. There’s a wide selection on their website, such as this fine gooseberry bush, below, which is often thought of as being the place from under which babies come (...if only...). From around £42.
- Baby Blooms: I can’t believe the phrase ‘nappy cake’ actually exists but I suppose if I want to upgrade my usual present I should head for Baby Blooms, which has a load of Pampers “cleverly disguised” as a 'cake' for the mind-boggling price of £50. You do also get a few extras such as a bib, a hat and a couple of muslins, with your ‘nappy cake’, but I still can’t get on board with spending that much money on things a baby is eventually going to shit all over. Even if your friend is the sort of sensible person who would rather have a nappy-shaped cake than a cake-shaped nappy, they are worth having a look at as they do redeem themselves with a great selection of new baby hampers and an assortment of balloons attached to teddy bears, which slightly thawed even my stone cold heart.
- Don’t Buy Her Flowers: If you’re not making your own new mum package, Don’t Buy Her Flowers has great hampers, which include things like a magazine, chocolates, a scarf or some tea bags, from around £19.
- Hooded Bath Towel: These are so useful and can be used for ages. We are still using the ones the girls were given as babies because I am too tight to buy them new ones. JL do a pack of two plain ones but LOOK AT THESE BUNNY EARS. Sorry, but there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, cuter than a baby in a hooded bunny towel. £18.50
If you're feeling really generous, a night nanny will be very well received. Try nightnannies.com for highly-recommended nannies and maternity specialists. After all, what could be a better present than the precious gift of sleep?