Tied up with string

Everyone loves buying new babies presents. We received countless gifts from people that have never even met me, let alone Oatcake! The highlights were a novelty superman onesie, which Otis has unfortunately now outgrown and it remains unworn, and a wind up tiny plastic piano that plays some questionable Beethoven. Which I think is somewhere in my parents house…

Now, I am by no means ungrateful! Otis wouldn’t have been clothed for the first 6 months if it hadn’t been for the wonderful generosity of friends and family! Incidentally, he’s now dressed in a bunch of charity shop finds which are just as nice!! 

But since everyone always wonders what to buy for a new family, I thought I would share some brilliant gifts which are a little more out the box than a teddy and a babygrow, but have been the most appreciated gifts of all! 

Most children under the age of 1 or even 2, don’t know what Christmas or a Birthday actually is. Most children under the age of 3 or 4 have no concept of money or cost. So why spend hundreds on a pile of presents that they will outgrow within the year? Some of these would work as new baby presents, some a better for Christmas or early years Birthdays! And as a family that are desperately trying to shun the ‘plastic crap’, at least for a while (!!), and live as minimally as we can, these work perfectly! 

1. National Trust Membership (or similar)
This is hands down, the best gift we received. We’ve been on countless adventures in the woods, in gardens, exploring houses and lakes, showing Otis nature and the Great British outdoors, all for free! Whenever you’re stuck for an activity, or want to meet mum friends for a stroll, you’re never stuck for somewhere to go! Also, a UK holiday regular’s tip for travelling with a baby.. rather than stopping at a motorway service station, find out if there’s a National Trust stop en route, and take a stroll and stop for a picnic! It’s made for some wonderful road trip memories! 

2. Classes or Lessons
We received swimming lessons and baby sensory classes for Otis’ first Christmas. He was only a month old, so we were still being inundated with the ‘new baby’ gifts, and were already sorted with any nursery type equipment we might need for next year.. but this was the perfect gift! Maternity Pay doesn’t stretch as far as to cover these luxuries, but they are a great way for parents to get out and meet people, and that’s the only real reason I went to any baby activities at all! Otis was his usual nonchalant self, neither bothered nor excited by them! But it gets you out the house so it’s definitely a gift well received!

3. Coffee vouchers
This is a new baby one for sure! I spent hours in coffee shops in the early days, just for somewhere else to sit! If it wasn’t costing me a penny, even better!

4. Take away vouchers
Another one for the early days! The best pizza I’ve ever eaten was curled up on the sofa with Papa Oatcake, snuggled up in the duvet, Mrs Doubtfire on the telly and a few day old Oatcake on my lap. Home cooked meals also go down well, but if there’s ever an excuse to eat Pizza in bed, this is it.

5. Books
This may be a personal one, because I adore children’s books! But it’s certainly something that won’t go to waste. We’ve read to Oatcake since he was a few weeks old and still do several times a day. Children’s books can be personal, heartfelt, a piece of art work, educational or entertainment all at the same time. Pick a favourite from your childhood, one that they can read when they are older or a new one that excites you. 

6. Clothes
Everyone’s favourite gift to give is baby clothes, because, lets face it, they are VERY cute. BUT, some tips! Please take note of when the child is born.. if they are going to be 6 months in December, a sun hat in 6-9 months is no use- unless you are also gifting a trip to the Maldives, in which case you’re golden! A 3-6 month old snow suit for a baby born in March? About as much use as a chocolate tea pot. 
Finally.. Novelty baby clothes? Just don’t do it. 

And if you’re feeling particularly generous.. you know who will discover they have FAR less clothes than the tiny baby, let alone any that actually fit? Mum! 

But if anyone is in the market for novelty onesies, I’m your woman! 

What were your best/worst baby gifts?!

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