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We became parents for the first time 16.5 months ago and are now on round two of adjusting to having a new little one around. Our time in the NICU has brought a unique set of challenges, but I know from experience, that no matter the circumstances surrounding the birth of a little one, the first few weeks of a baby's life are a whirlwind. It takes a lot of adjustment to settle into your new routine and find your footing in your new role as parents. With our first, we learned a lot of things that have made this second time around go more smoothly, even though the situation has been completely different. Things like stocking up on Huggies Newborn Packs, freezer meals and other essentials have made me feel more confident that we are ready for this little one when she comes home, even though she arrived quite a bit earlier than we'd expected.
Now that I've had the experience of becoming a new parent twice, I've thought a lot about what I want to gift all of my friends as they welcome new additions to their family in the future. I'm always looking for a present that they'll love and that will make the transition to parenthood go more smoothly. Whether you are gifting to a couple who is welcoming their first little one or a couple who has already experienced the new parent thing once or twice, this is a gift basket that any expectant parent will appreciate and enjoy!
Making dinner, lunch or even breakfast was one of the last things on my mind when we had Bensen. Some days I'd look at the clock and realize that it was almost noon and I still hadn't had a proper breakfast. New parents, and especially new moms, need to keep their energy up and eat good, solid meals. Any and all meals are appreciated by new parents, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Hot and Ready: These have been especially nice while we've been in the hospital with Emmy. So many people have brought us dinners fresh from being cooked and all ready to eat. They've been so delicious and appreciated!
To Cook Later: Some nights are crazier than others and having a meal on hand that you can pop in the oven and eat is really helpful. A freezer meal, extras of a meal that was brought at an earlier date or a take and bake pizza are great options. We have quite a few stocked in our freezer for when we finally get to bring our baby home.
Breakfast or Lunch: As new parents, we've gotten a lot of dinners, but we've also been really grateful when someone has brought us lunch or something to have on hand for breakfast. Those are some of the most hectic times of day for us right now and it's nice to be able to grab something and go without thinking too much about it. Bagels, muffins, fruit and yogurt smoothies are great options for both meals. For lunch, you might call and offer to pick up sandwiches, a salad or some soup.
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Diapers and Wipes
I'm sure every parent out there would agree with me when I say that you can never have too many diapers and wipes. Huggles Little Snugglers Newborn Packs are perfect for gifting to new parents. They are designed to help keep baby's skin clean and healthy with the GentleAbsorb Liner (sizes N-2), wetness indicater, improved pocketed waistband and umbilical cord cut-out.
Huggies Newborn Packs are only available at Costco and because they are available at Costco, they're a great value. 9/1/2016-9/25/2016 Huggies Newborn Packs will be $5 off with free shipping. They make a great gift because they come with diapers and wipes and fun Disney designs that are only available at Costco.
Between the diapers that we purchased and the diapers that other people have gifted to us, we are set for at least the first few months of our little one's life. It is so nice not to have to worry about running out of that one very important essential. If there are no more clean clothes in the house, you can run a load of laundry, but if you go to change a diaper and realize that you are out of diapers and/or wipes, that's a disaster! As a mother with two in diapers, I was sure to stock up the sizes that I'll need for both kids so that I'm not forced to run to the store with both of them in tow any time soon.
A Date Night
One of the most important things that parents can do both before and after the birth of a child is to date each other. Date night gets more difficult when you have a new baby, especially if you don't have family close to watch your child while you get out together for a bit. If you have a close relationship with the new parents, you can offer to come over and sit with the baby in between feedings so that they can go out to dinner or for ice cream.
Some parents won't want to go out or leave their baby for the first little while. If you are gifting to one of those couples, you can create a fun date night that they can enjoy at home. Include a gift card to a restaurant with good takeout, a fun activity that they can do at home, a board or card game for two people, some date night snacks, etc. This is a great date night idea for new parents, all thought out and planned for you, you'll just have to put it together!
One of my biggest pieces of advice for new parents is to continue to build the relationship that you have as husband and wife while you are learning about your new roles as a parenting team. Whatever you put together for a date night, make sure that it provides the new parents with an opportunity to have fun with each other and reconnect as husband and wife! With kids in the picture, it can be easy to become immersed in your new little one, their needs and your responsibility as parents. With our new little one in the special care nursery and a toddler at home, our time together over the past week and a half hasn't always been the quality time that we need to strengthen our marriage relationship. We made it a point to get out of the hospital and go on a date this past weekend and it was the best thing we could have done for ourselves.
If you are new parents, make it a point to find time to spend together every single day and try to plan something a little bit bigger once a week for date night. If you have family close or friends that you trust, consider asking them to come and sit with your baby while you get out. It may be hard to leave your little one, but you won't regret taking that time together to work on your marriage relationship. Whether you are able to get out together or plan something for after the kids are in bed, make time for just the two of you so that the foundation of your family remains strong.
Cute new clothes are fun to receive, no matter how many children or hand-me-downs the new parents may already have. The new child's gender, season of birth and size may differ from others in the family so new things may be needed. Our new little one needed a few smaller sized outfits that we weren't prepared with but that others have been thoughtful enough to gift to us or let us borrow. Now that she is wearing clothes in the hospital, those tiny little preemie clothes have been fun to have around.
There are a few things that people have gifted us while we've been in the hospital that have been extremely helpful to have around and that I wish I would have had around more when Bensen was born. If you're looking for a few more little items to complete your basket, I would suggest the following:
Snacks: At the hospital, there's a room called the "nutrition room" that is full of soda and cookies, but nothing really with much nutrition. I have a basket of snacks that people have given us sitting in my room at the hospital and our pantry at home is stocked as well. Some snack ideas to help keep up energy for new parents include fresh fruit, granola bars, protein shakes, and popcorn. You could add a couple of packs of gum to the basket as well!
Hand Sanitizer: The last thing any new parent wants is a sick baby. We're heading into cold and flu season with a preemie so you can bet that there will be a bottle of this stuff in every room in our house and we've been using it a lot in the hospital as well.
Lotion: Along with using hand sanitizer, we've been washing our hands A LOT and will continue the habit long after we get home. Diaper changes, going outside, petting the dog, and so many other things prompt us to wash our hands before interacting with the baby. They are clean, but consequently very dry and a good bottle of lotion is my very best friend right now.
Any new parent will thank you profusely for a gift basket filled with the things above! Life for new parents may seem relaxing and full of cuddles but the truth is, it can be chaotic and exhausting. Between the baby's feedings, visitors dropping by, caring for other children they might have and trying to take care of themselves, new parents can become overwhelmed and drained of all energy. This gift is both practical and fun, will give parents less to think about and will make life easier for the entire family in those first weeks and months as they adjust to their new dynamic.
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What would you include in a gift with Huggies Little Snugglers Newborn Pack to create the perfect gift for new parents?