Top 5 Gifts for Parents of Babies and Toddlers

There are so many material things that are more than wonderful to receive when you’re starting or growing a family:  baby clothes, socks, booties, hats, toys, blankets, baby carriers, diaper bags, books, picture frames, bibs, diaper cloths, baby monitors, etc.  I’m enormously grateful for having received most of the above through baby showers and hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law.  All of these wonderful gifts have enabled us to keep our angels dressed in every season, entertained, and read to from an early age.

Here’s some other gift ideas that are more about the parents, but the relief these gifts provide for Mommy and Daddy will ultimately mean more emotional capacity to provide loving, patient care of their little ones around the clock.

1)  A FOOD TREE. For parents following the birth of a child — organizing a Food Tree is a wonderful gift.  A Food Tree is essentially a group of friends and family members gathering together to take turns bringing meals to a family in need of support. This was an amazing experience for us following the birth of our second baby. We were so overwhelmed with appreciation for the lovely dinners that were brought to us from our friends that we threw a Gratitude party for them five months later. I recommend setting up an online calendar system.  This makes coordinating the different dates easy, and everyone can see the types of meals being delivered to avoid duplications.  Care Calendar is great.  Mama True offers some great additional tips on  how to go about setting up a food tree that include questions to ask the recipients that can be shared with their community of friends.

2) GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR ERRAND-RUNNING SERVICE.  This might be the next greatest gift after a Food Tree.  My local favorite:  PunchList.  I’m sure most cities have one that you can find on Google.  Getting into the car with babies and toddlers isn’t generally a relaxing experience.  To be able to call someone to pick up something you need while you tend to the tots in the comfort of your home.  WOW.

3) GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR MAID SERVICE. I can’t think of a single mom with small children that wouldn’t be filled with appreciation for this gift. Looking at my dirty floors right now I might cry tears of joy and gratitude for this one.

4) BABYSITTING. Just an hour or two out of the house can do wonders for over-stretched parents needing to recharge their batteries. And when you don’t have to worry about a dinner and movie date costing $100 with baby-sitting, you might be more inclined to get out.

5) GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR RESTAURANTS THAT DELIVER. You can opt to find one restaurant that delivers and get a certificate directly from them, or find a delivery service that will provides your friend or family member with options.  Austin Service is Dine on Demand.

santa_sleighOK, so with the exception of the Food Tree, I think I just wrote down my Wish List for Santa.  Less than a week until Christmas and I’m still conflicted how to present this mythical dude to my toddler.  Apparently there’s part of me that still wants to believe in him myself!  Santa? Santa? Are you there?

Anyone seen the Santa tracking web site?  Adorable.

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