Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in life, but welcoming a new member to the family isn’t cheap. According to a new survey, the average cost of raising a baby in its first year alone is around $21,000, and this includes food, diapers, healthcare costs, and necessary baby gear. This is why parents should be careful about their expenses and only purchase the items that they absolutely need to raise their little ones. Meanwhile, friends and relatives should also be on the lookout for useful items that can help parents care for their new bundle of joy. If you have a friend or family member who just welcomed a new baby into their lives, help make the transition to parenthood a little smoother by giving useful gifts that every parent will want to receive.
A lightweight and reliable stroller
Strollers come in all shapes and sizes, and new developments include high-tech ones that can be controlled with a smartphone app. Despite recent advancements in stroller design, most parents just want a reliable piece of equipment that can be folded and unfolded with a touch of a button, and a lightweight frame that is a cinch to carry even while climbing several flights of stairs. Moreover, a stroller that offers sun and rain protection is a must, and all these features can be found in an umbrella stroller. Look for one that weighs no more than 15 lbs. and is spacious enough to accommodate the child as he or she grows. Test the stroller out in the store, ensuring that it can be easily folded, adjusted, and stored-- a must for busy parents who are always on the go.
A high tech baby monitor
Most parents wouldn’t think twice about getting an old-fashioned baby monitor. But for added peace of mind and convenience, a baby monitor equipped with dual cameras can help parents keep track of their little one while they’re in another part of the house. There are lots of types to choose from—for instance, the Motorola Halo allows for over-the-crib monitoring, perfect for parents with newborns. Meanwhile, the Miku Smart Baby Monitor is equipped with room sensors and it also tracks a baby’s breathing, while VTech’s VM911 is a good fit for working parents as it has automatic recording capabilities.
A home-cooked meal
Taking care of a newborn can be overwhelming, and some parents don’t have the time or energy to make meals for themselves. This is why the gift of a delicious home-cooked meal is such a treat as it gives parents one less thing to think about while caring for their baby. You can come over with a hot casserole for dinner, or perhaps a few ready-made meals in containers that they can just pop in the microwave for mealtimes. If you’re not confident with your cooking skills, you can gift your friends or relatives with a certificate for a meal delivery service that’s good for a week or a month’s worth of ready-made food, depending on your budget. Good ones to consider include Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh. The latter even offers veggie and low-calorie options, perfect for moms who want to start losing weight to get back to their pre-baby body.
The first year of parenthood can be a challenging time, so choose gifts that will help make things a little easier for new parents while they care for their little one. They’re sure to appreciate all the thought that you put into choosing the perfect present, and don’t forget to drop by once in a while to see how they’re doing with their bundle of joy.