6 Christmas Gift Ideas for a Newborn

It's an interesting challenge when you have a new baby around the holiday season. Aside from the physical issues of healing, exhaustion, and so forth, you also have to attend to...y'know...the holidays! If the baby is your firstborn, it may be totally acceptable to forego the fun for one year. But, if you have one (or two or three...) other children, it's nearly impossible to skip. In our case, we're lucky that our little lady came about a week and a half before Thanksgiving. Because of this, we could enjoy a small day of thanks with just our small family of four. Now, with Christmas (very!) quickly approaching, we'll be heading to see family galore, all while doing our own special celebration at home. In order to maintain the "Christmas magic," it's important to us that Santa include Baby Harper along with Big Brother Hadley in his stop at our house. We wouldn't want inquisitive minds to start questioning, now, would we? ;-) But, what on earth does Santa bring a brand new baby? What do you buy your little one when you're still getting to know each other? Today, I thought I'd share just a handful of last-minute gift ideas for a newborn. Whether it's for your own bundle of joy or a friend or relative's new baby, maybe these ideas will help with any last-minute baby shopping. newborn_christmas A keepsake. Considering that a baby can't "do" much with ANY gift you offer her, offer an item that will make her feel special for years to come. A baby book to fill with memories, a cool framed wall print featuring the baby's name, a modern quilt, an heirloom blanket, or even a handkerchief-turned-bonnet for the baby's christening (to be used again as a handkerchief at their wedding or other important occasion). The ideas are plentiful; just consider the family's style and traditions as to whether a particular gift is appropriate. Cloth diaper paraphernalia. Of course Santa knows whether your little one has fluff on the bum - he sees all! If your stash is all set, a cute stocking stuffer might be a jar of ointment like Booty Love. Or, if the gift is for someone else's child, give the family a gift certificate for your favorite diaper seller so that they can select their own style of diaper to try. If you know their favorite diaper, go ahead and pick a super cute print or two to round out their stash. Eco-friendly toys. While I don't expect every person who gives us gifts to go out of their way to find BPA-free, sustainably-made toys, I can't say how much I appreciate it when we DO receive them. So, when I know that I'm giving to a like-minded family, I try to find a toy like a Sophie the Giraffe, soft book with crinkle noises and a mirror, or colorful woven rattle that the baby will grow into. It may sound silly to buy toys for a baby who can't even hold onto them, but remember that the baby will be making use of such stimuli in the upcoming months and years, and can already be interested by bright colors and cool sounds. Investments in her future. By opening a Roth IRA and/or 529 Plan, you'll literally be giving your child a chance for a successful future. Make it a habit to add to it for special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays, in addition to regular small deposits. Plus, did you know that non-parents can invest in the same way? We requested that our parents open similar accounts and, instead of massive amounts of gifts, suggest that they put a percentage into investments instead of overflowing our closets and toy boxes. It may sound greedy, but we all agree that it's actually a wiser option for us. Books, books, and more books! I cannot reiterate enough: it's NEVER too early to start reading (or to build a child's library). As a school librarian, I may be biased, but our husband started reading with our son when the little guy was 2 weeks old, and it has become a nightly requirement. Not only has it created for a special family bonding experience but it has created an incredibly verbose 3-year-old. So, sure, our daughter is already being held to observe the colors, text, and ensuing conversation of our nightly reading sessions. Outfits. Okay, so some folks will be outfitted-out (especially if they had a baby shower before the baby's arrival), but hear me out. I can't count how many outfits our son never ended up wearing because a) he had outgrown them the minute he was born (he was 10+ pounds, so newborn was out of the question), b) the outfit wasn't the correct season or c) the style of the outfit just wasn't practical (who wants buttons and appliques and just general gaudiness on a newborn?). So, I always try to consider the upcoming season (heavy outfits or short-sleeved), the family's general sense of style (traditional or modern, basic neutrals or super colorful), and the baby's next stage (I always like to get comfy stuff for crawling/standing/walking stage and size up whenever necessary). Also, classic pieces like white onesies for under outfits and white socks are always nice. I always know that these things will get plenty of use. What gift ideas do you have for a newborn's Christmas? Do you feel that a new baby should "celebrate"?
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