How many baby outfits does one newborn baby need? How many teddies and cot toys can one family take? If someone close to you has just had a baby and you’re thinking of a suitable present, what about giving them something a little more thoughtful than yet another cosy baby blanket?
Having a child is a momentous occasion that should be honoured in the appropriate fashion. If you’re thinking of a baby gift that has meaning and longevity rather than simply panders to fickle consumerism, here are 5 ideas you might like to consider.
- Magazine Subscription
Having a new baby is no walk in the park, especially if it’s the first one in the family. Unfortunately, babies don’t come with an instruction manual, leaving the parents to work it all out for themselves. This is where information is invaluable. Of course, you can find the answer to every conceivable question on the internet – but isn’t it much nicer to flick through the pages of a printed magazine over a cup of tea while the little one is asleep?
There’s a wealth of choice when it comes to baby and parenting magazine titles, so you’re bound to find one that fits with the new parents’ lifestyle and general outlook. An annual subscription makes it easy. No searching at the newsagents for the latest issue – just wait for it to plop through the letterbox. It might just be the highlight of their month.
- Family Photography
For a lasting newborn present that will be appreciated for years to come, a professional family photography shoot is hard to beat. Choose an experienced portrait photographer who specialises in families and children (and pets too!) and make a booking or ask for a gift voucher.
From newborn to baby’s first year, and all the developmental milestones in between, having a professional photographic record of the changing family is a beautiful reminder that can be looked at again and again.
Whether photographs are framed or canvas printed and displayed on the wall, sent to far flung members of the family, or lovingly kept in an album that comes out at special occasions, why not make it regular event – say every year – to add to the family chronicle?
Your new baby photography present could be the start of something beautiful and very long lasting indeed – and it’s all because of you!
- Children’s Investments
For those who want their baby gift to be of long-term use, and not just a passing frippery, there’s always money. Of course, you could simply hand over an envelope of hard cash to the new parents – but if that seems a bit too cold, there’s a wide range of savings instruments specially designed for children that you could investigate.
From National Savings Children’s Bonds and Premium Bonds, to Junior ISAs and a range of other children’s savings vehicles, there’s bound to be one that fits the bill, both for you as the donor as well as the long-term savings goals for the little one.
If you’re going to set up an account on behalf of the child, it’s advisable to do this with the parents’ full knowledge and cooperation, as some savings vehicles have limitations and restrictions, both in terms of who can act on behalf of the baby as well as the amounts that can be deposited.
- Astrology Chart
For something completely different – and do check with the parents first to see how they are inclined – how about a reading of the new baby’s astrological birth chart? It’s a powerful document that can be referred to time and again for guidance and advice through the years.
Many people believe that the constellation of the stars and alignments of the planets at the time of one’s birth offers invaluable insights into a person’s nature, needs and strengths – and can even provide clues as to future developments in the person’s life.
While some scientists concede that the movement of the sun, moon and planets have an influence on us by interfering with the Earth’s magnetic field, astrology has failed to stand up to scientific scrutiny. From a mainstream scientific viewpoint, therefore, horoscopes are a load of nonsense.
However, if you are more spiritually inclined, you may not be so quick to dismiss the ancient wisdom going back thousands of years. Perhaps a natal chart could provide answers that science cannot, offering a unique tool to guide the baby through all stages of life?
- Charity Donations
You might like to look beyond the immediate needs of the new family, particularly is they’ve been showered with presents from all sides and really don’t need anything else. If you wish to mark the birth of a baby in a more socially conscious way, how about making a statement on their behalf?
Both the National Trust and English Heritage offer lifetime memberships that support their valuable work to preserve our heritage, while WWF and the Born Free Foundation will let you adopt an animal.
There are many causes in the world that would welcome extra support. Whether you sponsor a Third World child through Plan International or make a donation to protect the rainforest, your donation could make a real difference to the world we live in.