What to Buy 2nd Time Parents

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaby showers for first time parents are one thing.  Baby showers for 2nd time parents are another.  I imagine showers for consequent children are different still.  First time parents need the things they’ve had no opportunity or reason to collect until now.  baby stuff 008Things like baby blankets, a baby development book, diapers, clothes, and toys. First time parents are willing to consider the Boppy OR the Breast Friend, the Baby Bjorn OR the Ergo because they’re not going to know what will work for them until they try.

Baby stuff 016Second time parents have had the opportunity to learn what things worked for them and what didn’t.  It is possible they found a lot of things that didn’t work for them.  Therefore they probably have a short list of things they want and money is most likely at the top of the list.  There is no reason to buy them things  they won’t use.  Also since gift-givers can’t possibly know everything the parents have amassed since baby #1 came along, it is a bit of a gamble to buy anything at all.  They probably already have a bouncy seat, a play gym, a pack ‘n play, an infant car carrier, a baby bathtub, crib sheets, plush toys, and rubber coated spoons.  They may also possess baby gates, an exersaucer, a baby food maker, pacifiers, and baby nail clippers.  But here’s the thing:  2nd time parents still need things.  They just may not know what they need until the need arises.  Therefore send money.  Seriously.baby stuff 004

If you’re not a grandparent don’t worry about the 2nd baby not getting special things.  Chances are pretty good that they will.  Worry instead about getting things that will be used.  A chest full of special things to be passed down to a child is valuable.  And yet 2nd time parents would probably prefer some diapers.

Practical Gift Suggestions for 2nd Time Parents {if the kids are close together in age}

1.  Money.

2.  Target gift cards.

3.  A quality dust buster that can be cleaned easily.

(Do not skimp.)

4.  A double stroller.

(It’s the only way I get anywhere.  We have a sit and stand variety.  It’s this one.)

5.  Pre-made freezable meals that can be delivered to the parents during baby’s first month.

(Parents of a newborn who also have a toddler do not have the time or energy to cook or shop.  If you do not bring them food they may subsist entirely on Saltines and peanut butter.  Really.  Try to go for quantity over quality if you need to.)

6.  Activities for the older child that can be completed somewhat INDEPENDENTLY.

(Babies nurse a lot and toddlers don’t love being abandoned 8 times a day.  Help a momma out and inquire what kinds of activities the toddler is able to do.  Then buy them.)

7.  Washcloths.

(This was actually one of the best shower gifts we got for our first kid.  I am still using them after every meal to wipe off sticky faces.  We’ve had to replenish the supply of course but they have been wonderful to have.  They sell stacks of them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Buy 2.)

8.  A treat for each parent catered to their likes.

(The baby is going to get everything they need from the parents.  But who will take care of the sleep-deprived parents?  In our case we would have like dark chocolate for me and some specialty coffee for my husband.)

9.  Bibs.

(Certainly there may be some left over from kid #1 but the velcro may have worn out and the stains are likely beyond the rescuing powers of Shout.  Our favorites were by Aden and Anais and can be found here.  Babies start eating food around 6 months. We found these burpy bibs to be a perfect size for 6 months and up and the coverage is excellent.  The packs of small cloth bibs don’t really fit after about 9 months.)

10.  Your friendship.Late Winter Early Spring 2013 080

(Is that the cheesiest or what?  Truly though it is HARD being a parent.  First time parent, second time parent, all of it.  Some days you just wish somebody (anybody!) would show up and hold your child long enough for you to use the bathroom or have a snack or switch the laundry.  Other days you realize that if you don’t get to talk to an adult real soon you’re just going to lose it.  Be a friend.  Keep in touch with new parents- there is probably something they need if you are willing to ask.)

Consider:  Baby lotions, shampoos, and diaper creams.  The packaging is cute but no parent really wants 20 of those sample size tubes rolling all over the bathroom and many of them smell very strongly.  Parents may have diaper preferences- ask before buying.

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