We’re in the middle of a baby boom. It’s official and I know it is because I was told by the person best placed to know – my midwife. Some people blame it on last year’s wet summer, others on the infamous ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, and as for me, well, I don’t blame anything!
Apparently 2013 is going to be a year with a bumper crop of babies, in fact including myself I know at least nine women currently growing various sizes of bumps, which is a lot of teddy bears and ‘Congratulations’ cards!
But as a mum-to-be myself I also know that the best gifts people could shower me with at this time aren’t necessarily pretty or fancy, they’re practical. If anyone asks what I’d like I point them towards the NCT website. Forget buying me jewellery or chocolate for my birthday, I need nursing bras and – with increasing urgency – maternity nightwear (at five months gone I’m quickly realising my existing nightwear is feeling the strain…). Ok so not many people might usually fancy buying me underwear but trust me it’s the essentials I need now, not frivolous gifts. The more I get now the less I have to worry about once baby’s here.
Similarly, when doing an office whip round see what the mum or dad really want. The odds are a beautiful baby crib will be appreciated more than a giant bunch of flowers. And don’t forget the baby themed gifts for dad too – my husband’s been eyeing up baby carriers for months now, definitely better than a bottle of aftershave. To be honest, after nine months of me carrying the baby everywhere I think it’s only fair he gets his turn to carry the baby round all day!
Don’t get me wrong, I know how tempting it is to buy gorgeous little dresses for new baby girls and sweet little sleep suits for adorable baby boys, but I also know that if you wrap up a fashionable nursing top for mum in with the baby’s gift you’ll get extra brownie points. And let’s face it; the better appreciated your choice of gift now the more chance you’ll have of being picked for godparent. And who doesn’t feel smug knowing they’ve been picked for the baying crowds as the baby’s favourite person!
So next time you find yourself looking at over-sized pink or blue cuddly toys stop yourself and instead ask mum and dad-to-be if there’s anything they actually need at the moment. The chances are that your offer will be gladly welcomed and your gift won’t end up shoved on a shelf gathering dust along with the other five hundred millions toys the baby will receive. Win-win.