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7 perfect gifts to give new parents

7. The gift of alone time.

7 perfect gifts to give new parents

Coming up with the perfect gift to give new parents can be stressful. You want it to be both useful and something they might actually want—and it’s hard to determine what checks both boxes. So we gathered seven gifts that are perfect for parents of little ones. Pin them, share them or use them as inspiration for your own gift ideas.


1. The gift of encouragement

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Part of the deal with this parenting gig is the nagging fear that you are constantly doing stuff wrong. Honor the new parents in your life by celebrating and witnessing their successes. Get out your trusty old pen and paper and write a letter—a real, scribbly, hard-to-read letter, in which you list or highlight all the things you think they do well as a parent.

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That beautiful way he sings to his son to calm him down, the times when she shows up for meetings obviously tired but still prepared and carrying the picture she drew with her daughter that morning, the way their newborn is growing and thriving, that awesome idea he had that saved the day during the great shopping cart meltdown—write them down. Applaud them. Give them lots of shiny time in the light.

2. The gift of wellness

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Between kid time and couple time, it’s easy for self-care to get a little lost. Find a local yoga studio that offers childcare and gift a 10-class pass. Schedule a couple’s massage for your daughter and son-in-law who have been pacing and rocking their chunk of a newborn for the last four months.

Offer to push the stroller or wear the baby as the three of you go on a regular morning hike and chat about things that have nothing to do with bedtimes or diapers. Give new parents space and opportunity to get out, stretch their legs and focus on themselves for a bit. Or let them clean themselves. In peace. Seriously. A long bath or shower—guilt free!—while you hold the baby may be heaven for them right now.

3. The gift of nourishment

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Offer to reignite the meal-bringing—schedule a time to deliver a fully prepared meal, hot and ready, in disposable containers that can be effortlessly rinsed and recycled. Don’t forget dessert! ?

Deliver your dinner with a smile, stay and chat if you’re invited and leave the fam to a peaceful, stress-free evening of culinary delight as they savor not doing dishes for once. Or go all out and create a magical “in-home restaurant” experience, complete with full-service waiting and dishwashing and lots of laughter.

Pro tip: Bring crayons for the kiddos and an after-dinner cocktail for Mom and Dad.

4. The gift of community

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If you’d like to give an incredible gift to someone who has days to fill, get out your Google and do some research. Gather ideas for activities around town—story times at the library, concerts for kids, movies in the park, new-mom meetups, holiday events. All that research takes time and energy: two resources that can be at a premium when you have tiny people to tend to day in and day out.

If you really want to invest in getting them out and about, gift a membership to a local museum or amusement park or sign them up for a music or movement class that parents and kids can do together.

5. The gift of memories

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Are you handy with a camera? Take a young family out for an informal photo shoot. Everyone wants beautiful photos of their families, and most of us try to hire professionals whenever possible. But it can be expensive and overwhelming to try to capture all the crazy changes that kids go through.

Your time and editing skills could be a huge blessing. If photography isn’t your gift, get your hands on existing photographs from the past year and craft them into a memory book for the family. Little ones LOVE looking at photos of themselves and people they know—make them a storybook starring all their favorite folks!

6. The gift of romance

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Send your favorite couple out for a night to reconnect and recharge. Offer to babysit while Mom and Dad head out for a romantic dinner on your dime, or switch things up and steal the kids away while you leave the couple with a movie and some snacks, and time to snuggle.

Put together a date box with some gift cards or tickets and babysitting coupons. Gift a bottle of your favorite artisan spirit for nightcaps. Every little romantic moment helps. Seriously.

7. The gift of time

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Time is the rarest and most precious gift you can give these days. Give the gift of... well... yourself. Time to babysit, time to hang out, time to play. It could be a girls’ night out, an offer to do laundry or clean the kitchen, a weekend away, an hour of downtime. These gifts are precious and needed and loved.

If you want to really go the extra mile, follow up with scheduling—even in the face of incredible generosity, scheduling can feel overwhelming to young parents, and it can be awkward to call someone up and say, “Hey, give me that babysitting you promised!”

Persist. Call. Text. Email. Get on the books and into the lives of those babies and those lovely mamas and daddies and give them the gift of YOU. What more could we possibly ask for?


A version of this article was originally published on Girl of Cardigan.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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