2 articles Tag practical

Gift Guide for New Parents

Once you get to my age, with two kids of your own, you’re pretty well versed in what is and isn’t useful to give to new parents as a gift. I’ve been through various things like nappy bins (I never really got the hang of our one, to be honest) and wipe warmers to know what I would never buy again, and also remember what was an absolute godsend when my two were little. With that in mind, here are a few suggetions that will definitely be a hit with new parents:

Vests and Sleepsuits

It doesn’t matter how many new vests and sleepsuits new parents buy ahead of their baby being born, once they arrive it will never seem enough. I don’t think there are many parents in the world who have bathed and changed their baby into clean clothes, only for a poo-nami or vomit volcano to erupt! Cute baby sleepsuits are always a winner and the range of neutrals for parets who don’t know the gender of their baby is MUCH greater nowadays.

Takeaway Voucher

In the past, lots of people would turn up with a freshly baked casserole or a stash of frozen meals to make new parents life easier. The modern version of this is buying them a gift card! Either find out their favourite takeaway or go for a delivery service like Just Eat or Deliveroo and have a voucher for a meal delivered. They’ll thank you for making their lives easier AND for making sure they’re getting a decent meal between feeds and nappy changes.

Muslins

As with the baby grows and vests, another thing which new parents can never have enough of is muslins. They’re a fab multi-purpose item which can be used for wiping up spit-up, using as a shoulder guard when you’re burping baby, draping over you if you’re breastfeeding and want some privacy – there are even huge muslins which are made for swaddling baby.

Thermometer

When Sausage was a tiny baby, my Mum and Dad gave us a Braun in-ear thermometer, and we still use it to this day. It’s been an absolute godsend for over a decade and while some people may feel uncomfortable giving a gift which relates to potential illness, it’s genuinely one of the most useful, practical gifts we were given. A few years ago, we were gifted a newer, no-touch model which was fairly new tech at the time and after using it a few times, we actually gave it away and went back to our trusty in-ear model!

A V-Pillow

Although I didn’t breastfeed my two, having a large, v-shaped pillow was a huge help when it came to bottle feeding. I’d sit in an armchair and place the pillow on my lap with baby snuggled safely on top. It meant that my hands were both free for bottle holding and interacting, and we were both comfortable. It’s something that would be one of the first things I’d recommend to new parents, I think.

Learning to Drive #sp

Learn to DriveI’ve often said that learning to drive was one of the best things I’ve ever done; I passed my test (first time!) when I was 18 and the freedom that it gave me changed my life. I think I was so determined to get my licence because I’d spent so much of my life on buses and public transport. I went to school about 15 miles from my home which meant being up and out of the house before 7am, from the age of 11. By the time I was old enough to learn to drive, I was more than ready to never use buses again!

Skip forward 12 years (HOW can it have been that long?!) and Husband is thinking about learning to drive. He’s always been an avid biker and never really saw the need for a licence, but now we’ve got two kids he’s considering jumping on the motorised bandwagon. I’ve no doubt that he’ll be an absolute natural behind the wheel as riding a bike arguably gives you better road sense and hazard perception, so he’s well armed with some of the important skills that he’ll need.

I was lucky that I took my test when I did. Sure, I had to take the theory test, but there are other elements to a test now that I narrowly avoided; the hazard perception and practical knowledge parts of the test were introduced roughly a year after I took my test and I was grateful not to have had the added pressure, but I also think they’re a really important part of driving knowledge.

My first car after passing my test was a tiny little Fiat Cinquecento. She had an 899cc engine and did 0-60 in about 25 seconds but that car was my pride and joy. I named her Ruby Racer, because of her metallic red paintwork and I even had a pink furry steering wheel cover AND pink fluffy dice (to be ironic of course!) These days, I’m a proper grown up and I drive a large family car. It’s a huge estate so that I can fit a folded down buggy AND a weeks shopping in the boot, plus Chuck is quite comfortable laying on a cushion in the back if we ever want to take him on a journey with us.

When I think about the differences in the two cars, it does make me chuckle. My Cinquecento, a tiny little roller skate where my only real concern was fuel economy and low insurance, compared to my current vehicle, a huge tank of a car which we bought because it’s safe for the kids, has plenty of space for car seats and is reliable and hard-wearing. 12 years and such a change in priorities!

Being able to drive has meant that I’ve been able to do so many things that I’d have been unable to do had I never learned, so I’m really glad that I did and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to sharing the driving with Husband once he passes his test, so here’s hoping he’s as natural at it as I think he will be!