With just one week to go before my baby is “expected” to arrive, the official countdown is on and crunch time is NOW. Since announcing our pregnancy back in the end of March, we have (generously) been bombarded with regular questions from friends and family about what we need and what we want for the baby. Most of all, we kept getting asked “When’s the baby shower!?” Ultimately, I decided against having a baby shower at all (Josh would have gone along with whatever I decided either way, because he is awesome like that), mostly due to my own aversion to big, celebratory events that focus on me (and Josh)–hence why we’ve never got married or wanted a wedding. Beyond my fear of organised games and cringe-worthy decorations, I was mostly worried that we would be overwhelmed with gifts that we didn’t need, or have room for in our small home. With more than a few close girlfriends with new babies living in downtown dwellings, I knew I wasn’t the only mama-to-be out there who wanted to keep gifting “things” to a minimum and instead focus on (aka strongly suggest) some non baby related gift ideas for expectant parents that are not only super useful, but take up minimal space, or at least last longer than just a couple uses (which can so often be the case with baby items).
Keep reading for my top non baby gift ideas for expectant parents!
No matter what kind of birth experience you have, one thing is for sure: you will be hungry and tired AF once your baby arrives. I think one of the very best gifts you can give to new parents is the gift of delicious and nourishing food that takes little to no effort to get ready to eat! If budget allows, consider setting them up with a local meal delivery service that suits their tastes, or, if time allows, cook them up a few awesome dishes they can easily enjoy by popping into the oven or microwave, or even the freezer to enjoy at a later time.
I know, I know, a gift card doesn’t always seem as “special” to give, especially because they don’t involve the unwrapping of an elaborate package, but, you know what? Who doesn’t LOVE a great gift card? I know I sure do. Providing new parents with a gift card can give them the ability to go out and purchase what they really need, as they need it. Maybe it’s a gift card to Shoppers Drug Mart so they can stock up on diapers when they need to, Indigo so they can purchase books and toys they actually want for their kid, or even a major grocery store gift card to help with general expenses during a time when help is needed most.
What could be better than the gift of a sparkling clean home, especially at a time when life feels like it’s been turned upside down? I knew this was a legit idea when even my BFF who LOVES to clean put money from her baby shower towards hiring a cleaning lady to visit regularly in the first few weeks of her new mom life. If your budget doesn’t allow for hiring out a professional service, consider offering your own services to help keep the house clean and laundry done when new parents could really use the extra hand.
As soon as my bump truly “popped” and made it harder to do simple things like bend down to pick items up off the floor, I knew it was time to consider a more “pregnancy friendly” vacuum. I took to my Insta stories to ask friends and followers if they had a cordless vacuum like the new Dyson V11 (which I had been eyeing online) and received reply after reply raving about the ease and awesomeness of Dyson cordless vacuums. Since I’m definitely someone who considers cleaning to be more of a chore than a “fun” activity that sparks “joy” I knew that the ease of a cordless vacuum would not only make vacuuming while pregnant easier, but help make me more inclined to vacuum more often–something that’s very necessary with two white haired pets and a baby on the way. I was very lucky to have received a Dyson V11 model from the Dyson Canada team to try out firsthand, and can honestly say that it truly has made keeping our home freshly vacuumed far easier, and I find myself using it multiple times a week because it’s so easy to grab for a fresh touch up. Plus, the batter life and suction power on this one is awesome. If budget allows, I definitely think this would be the ULTIMATE gift to give new or expectant parents.
If you’re super keen to purchase a “big ticket” item for the new parents in your life, you can also consider getting them a pressure cooker. Yes, this is the kitchen gadget you’ve likely seen and heard about all over social media and they’re perfect for people who have little to zero time to cook. Sound like new parent life to you? It does to me! Thankfully, pressure cookers are now created by a huge range of different brands which means you can also shop to suit your budget.
Baby/Pet Sitting Credits
This is one of my favourite gift ideas because it works for any budget, and can be so incredibly helpful to new parents. Do the new parents in your life own pets? Offer to help take care of them, or handle X amount of walks a day or week if they have a dog, perhaps even offering to host said pets in your own home for a week if the new parents (and pet) are struggling to adjust in the beginning. When they’re ready, or when they need it, you can also offer to babysit X amount of hours or X amount of times a month (or year, whatever) so they can feel comfortable calling upon you to help give them a break when they need it most.
Express Coffee Maker
Although I was very tempted to make this last suggestion the very obvious Cold. Hard. Cash. (I mean, that really is the best gift of all, isn’t it?) I figured I could put more effort into coming up with an item that would not only be super useful, but continue to be useful for years to come. Every parent I know loves to tell me about the obscene amounts of coffee they consume to keep up with their kids and busy lifestyles, so why not help make keeping up with that consumption easier with help from an express coffee maker? It could be something like the Keurig K-Mini, a Nespresso, or, a super impressive espresso machine if your budget allows for it. Bonus: you’ll also get to enjoy delicious coffees on demand anytime you go over to visit.
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)