Eight Most Useful Gifts for New Parents

Useful gifts for new parents can be invaluable. It’s not always the thought that counts alone. Gift giving for new parents needs to be a combination of heartfelt and useful. Brand new Moms and Dads are about to be their busiest ever. BUT, do we give them things that make their lives easier during the transition or do we spring for something whimsical and cute?


Useful Gifts for New Parents Make Life Easier

I loved my baby shower and it was magical from start to finish. The gifts that arrived were also treasured. At the end of the day though, I had about a billion onesies, dresses and blankets, but I still had to worry about buying diapers and formula, and cleaning and cooking. I think about that when I am giving gifts now. It’s so much nicer if people go together to buy useful gifts like a big box of diapers, or a stroller, or maybe some gift cards.

Right after becoming parents, we won a house cleaning gift certificate, and it was an absolute life saver.

Between the brand new baby we were adopting, and the fact that I had been extremely sick right before we got the call that our baby was arriving, we were overwhelmed. My husband was also busting his butt to keep working because our income was reduced greatly, so cleaning had already begun to fall by the wayside. That gift certificate was precious, because it gave me time with my newborn.

It’s Easy to Give Impractical Gifts, but…

I absolutely loved that everyone at my shower wanted to give me super cute baby items. I still have many of them as keepsakes. When choosing a gift for baby, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of being drawn towards cute and not practical. Trust me, in those first few months, practicality is everything!

Did you know that almost half of gift givers are unaware that their gifts are completely impractical? That’s the cute trap. We’ve all been there. I recall buying a sweater that was adorable for my nephew. But then I realized later the buttons on the neckline and shoulder were totally impractical and who would pull a sweater over a newborn head? Six out of 10 moms in Canada say gift cards are useful (they totally are). 70% say that diapers are helpful (again, so true). Over half of Canadian moms will be pleased with onesies and other baby clothes, toys, or books, but the biggest winners in gift-giving studies have been car seats and strollers. Those things are pricey! It makes perfect sense to go in with your friends on a big gift like that than giving out a ton of onesies.

Choose Useful Gifts for New Parents and Baby Too with PlaytexBaby™

I am sure I occasionally gave a less than useful gift when I was young and child-free. But, when you know better you can do better. Right? Now, it’s becoming more and more commonplace for multiple people to go in on one big gift, and that’s making it so much easier for new moms and dads.

My Top Eight Useful Gifts for New Parents:

  1. Gift certificates –  Let them get what they want. Highly recommend a gift certificate for home cleaning.
  2. Food – If you have a close friend or relative that just gave birth or just adopted a baby, bring them a casserole or something ready to heat up. That will save them a lot of trouble in the early days.
  3. Babysitting – It is excruciatingly hard to get out as parents. It’s really really challenging finding an affordable babysitter too. If you have ability to take the baby for a night, or even a couple of hours while Mom showers, or while Mom and Dad go out a couple months down the road then offer that. These are the gifts that speak loudly.
  4. Baby Monitors – There are dozens of baby monitors out there now that do so many cool things. I treasured this gift, because it was super useful. In fact I used it for years and it was reliable as well. Plus, seriously I was a nervous new mom whose baby had taken nine years to arrive so you can bet I listened for every breath. It gave me peace of mind.
  5. A Play Centre for Baby – The Play centres we received were magical for our new baby. There was one that had a cute little seat and I could place Payton in it when she was six months old or so and she would spring up and down and play with the attached little toys on it. That item survived two girls and a lot of wear and tear. It was hard to sell because I was so attached to it. I loved that it gave me some freedom and baby could sit in there and be happy and I could go get a coffee or start dinner or whatever task needed to be done. Then we also had an adorable play set that just sat on the floor and she could press and hit and make music and it was delightful.
  6. Highchair – Don’t scrimp here. This will be their place at the table and the spot where they learn to love or hate certain foods. If you are giving a gift go in on the one that is listed on the registry. Get them the one they want. Trust me.
  7. Stroller – or a Travel System – with stroller and car seat. A good quality stroller that collapses easily, with one hand and has strong wheels is important. We had three or four over the years. One was just for the mall and it was inexpensive. One was a baby present and it was great. The wheels would push through anything and there was enough support for baby in there. That was good because I walked EVERYWHERE with Payton and Ainsley. We covered a lot of ground. A travel system is also very practical. Everybody needs that baby car seat as soon as possible. This is a great group gift.
  8. Bottles, or Diapers or Formula. PlaytexBaby™ has some sweet and useful options here from sippy cups to entire bottle feeding systems. Small caveat here with regards to formula…Our girls were adopted and we used formula but I wanted to choose the formula with as much nutrition as possible and also one of the girls had some feeding issues adjusting to several brands. So this would be a great gift for some. But if it wasn’t the right brand then it wouldn’t have worked for us. Just be sensitive to new parent’s wishes. We needed so many diapers and they are expensive. The gift of diapers and a good PlaytexBaby™ bottle set would have been great. Heaven knows we used A LOT of diapers.


What Baby Needs from Playtex Baby and Babies “R” Us

That’s why I’m excited to bring you this offer from PlaytexBaby™and Toys “R” Us. Between September 30th and October 31st, 2016, you’ll receive a $10 bonus gift card for use on your next purchase when you buy $40 or more (before tax) of PlaytexBaby™ products (excluding Playtex Diaper Genie products). You can either add the bonus $10 card as an addition to your baby gift, or keep it to grab something for your little one. But remember, the offer is only valid in-store.

Babies“R”Us and PlaytexBaby™ have teamed up to provide a one-stop-shop where parents and gift givers can stock up on the perfect baby essentials that both parents and baby will love and actually need in those busy first few months.

Use it as an extra gift for the new parents, or keep it for yourself for your baby’s needs!

If you’re scheduled to go to a baby shower, remember, the best gifts for new moms and dads are useful gifts.

This post has been sponsored by PlaytexBaby™. I am part of the PlaytexBaby™What Moms Really Need blog team and as such I have been compensated. My opinion is all my own and it is also truthful.

How do you approach gifting to new moms and dads? 

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Alli Smith

    A blogger friend of mine recently gave birth to twins. I gifted her with the baby monitor she had listed on her gift registry. She was thrilled. I think gift cards and gift certificates are great gifts also.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    I love the idea of a play center as a gift for a new parent. Giving new parents a way to let the kids entertain themselves is a fabulous gift! My kids loved their play centers when they were small!

  • Jeanette

    These are great ideas! My SIL is about to have a baby and she could use a few of these things! I think that I would give her a gift certificate because then she could get something that she did not get at the shower.

  • dee

    This is a really good list. One of the things I know that all my friends wanted was pampers lol. I know they cost a lot so I tried to buy as much as I could for them.

  • Bella

    I have a few baby showers coming up so I appreciate all of these ideas. I always make sure they are practical things that will be used and appreciated.

  • Rebecca Swenor

    These are some really great gift ideas for new parents. I love the idea of the babysitting as a gift and the cleaning certificate too which are very useful gift ideas. This is a great offer from Playtex Baby and Toys “R” Us too. Thanks for sharing the useful gift ideas for new parents.

  • HEather S-G

    Useful and practical gifts are definitely the way to go. I love the idea of a housecleaning gift certificate, I would have loved to have gotten that (okay, I’d still love it and my oldest just went to college). 😉

  • Jeanine

    I always make sure I give gifts that I know as a new mom would have helped me or I really needed. I try to think outside the box and go beyond because I know what its like! These are great tips!

  • Mommy Outside

    A good quality wrap also makes a great gift. The more structured baby carriers are wonderful but that’s the kind of thing you really need to try and and find the right one for you. But the wraps are universal and I know my little one preferred it to the carrier for the first few months.