Choochie Coo: Better baby gifts

As a nation, we spend over £422 million a year on gifts for new babies, with men spending around £52 per baby, compare to women’s more modest £32. 

When it comes to clothes, there’s a temptation to go with designer labels. Babies grow so quickly, so expensive clothes become obsolete just as quickly as cheaper ones. That cute little Gucci outfit will look a lot less appealing when it’s covered in baby vomit or something even worse. Stick with well-made, practical outfits that don’t break the bank. 

Don’t limit yourself to clothes in the smallest sizes, either. So many people buy tiny outfits that look cute, but have little chance of being worn more than a couple of times before the child has outgrown them. When the child reaches 18 months, many parents suddenly discover that their child’s wardrobe no longer contains anything that fits. Talking of wardrobes, you might want to consider gifting a set of child-sized clothes hangers as part of your gift. It’s not the most glamorous gift, but it’s something that often gets overlooked when the piles of presents arrive. 

Neutral colours and organic fabrics can work well as not all parents want to dress their new-borns up as pink princesses or dinosaur-loving masculine stereotypes. Obvious logos are best avoided too. Avoid anything that’s scratchy or difficult to fasten or unfasten quickly in the event of a nappy emergency. 

Clothes aren’t the only option, of course. Check out Indi+Will in Balmedie for some charming soft toys that are suitable from birth, Copper and Grey for keepsakes and No.18 on Chapel Street for cards and wrap. Unlike clothes, it’s best not to buy toys that the child won’t be able to use for years to come.

We understand why you might think that buying that first bike, rocking horse or ride on car would be fun, but few young families have the storage space to spare when the child won’t be able to crawl for months, let alone drive anywhere. Similarly, now’s not the time to add a new puppy or kitten to the household. 

You can also go with practical presents, but it’s best to check with the parents to see if there’s anything they particularly want or need. So many things can be acquired second hand, or are passed down through family and friends, that your gift may go unused.  

Keepsakes are another option. Finnies always have a good selection of gifts in silver including moneyboxes, rattles, cutlery and cups. If you’re a close relation, there are gifts that are investments for the child’s future. Once it was traditional to lay down a pipe of port, but you could opt to buy a cask of whisky or some limited edition malts or vintage wines from the year they were born. These should all appreciate in value, or at least provide a very happy birthday when the child is old enough to drink. Similarly, there are various savings products for children that might be worth discussing with your bank or financial advisor or you can buy premium bonds from just £25 each. 

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