So I’m the sibling who gets a call from a brother two days prior to Mother’s Day or my dad’s birthday (you know…just to say hi) and casually gets asked what gift I have for our parents. Then my brother wonders, and he’s just spitballing here, if he can maybe go in on that gift with me and, sucker that I am, I’ll sign the card FROM BOTH OF US. Yet I never get major thanks nor does my Venmo see any action. Well, cue the emoji of the woman with her arms crossed in a X in front of her. No more sharing gift ideas and credit for thoughtfulness! My brothers - who are fully grown adults, BTW - are on their own. You, on the other hand, well…we’ve got your back here in the gift department.
You know those baby sprinkles, not full on showers, but the sprinkles of gifts for the second, third, or even fourth baby? Those can be challenging when it comes to knowing what’s a good gift. You can probably assume seasoned parents already have some of the basics - crib, carseat, changing station, etc - but there are still plenty of thoughtful gifts appreciated by parents. We compiled a few below to help you be ready to attend your next sprinkle with the perfect gift in hand. As a second child myself, let’s get to celebrating those non-first babies!
Gifts for Baby
Even though parents may already have a lot of baby supplies, family needs change, products wear out, and new items come along.
Basic big items
Remember how I literally just said parents usually already have a crib, carseat, changing station, etc? Well, scratch that. I mean they probably do, but the fact is, sometimes that stuff is used pretty hard. And by the time baby #3 comes along, the crib may look like it was home to a litter of labradoodles instead of babies. (Did anyone else’s kids teethe like crazy on their cribs? It’s weird, right?) Also car seats? Those bad boys have expiration dates. So parents may really appreciate a big item refresh. Just make sure and double check with them on something this large and personal.
Multiple kids means multiple cutie pies to transport. One of my biggest regrets in terms of baby-items is that I never bought a double stroller. I hemmed and hawed over one for so long that we finally outgrew the need for it…and my back definitely paid the price in carrying one tired kiddo while pushing the other through the zoo or neighborhood sidewalks.
Matching sibling outfits
*Sigh* I’m not a twinsy-dressing type of person, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think a proud toddler sporting a ‘Big Brother’ shirt while his newborn sister chills in a ‘Little Sister’ onesie isn’t adorable.
I mean, it’s a no-brainer. Who doesn’t love a new outfit? And you may be thinking that parents already have two older kids so there’s no clothing item they don’t have. But unless kids are born during the exact same season and grow at the exact same rate, well, there’s a good chance Baby #2 will fit into that down snowsuit right around mid-July. And side note: stains. Babies…stain…everything. So a little clothing re-fresh is always appreciated.
A set of towels and washcloths (maybe my babies were particularly filthy, but after a year of use, washcloths got a little dingy looking), a holiday ornament, a tote bag, bibs, booties, a snuggly blanket, burp cloths, first feeding spoons, a picture frame with the birthdate engraved, etc. Basically, anything you can put a baby's initials or name on shows thoughtfulness that parents are sure to appreciate.
Gifts for the Family
Everyone in the household is going to go through an adjustment period when a new baby arrives. So get creative in thinking of ways to make the transition go as smoothly as possible or help commemorate the occasion for all.
Professional photographer gift certificate
I don’t know any older parent who has picked up a framed family photo and sighed, "You know, I really regret having that moment in life with my kids captured beautifully.” That would be bananas! Time goes by so quickly with our babies and it’s hard to remember exactly what those dimples looked like or just how pudgy those little thighs were. Professional photographs to freeze time are always money well spent. (Just know that these sessions and photos can be cha-ching cha-ching so it might be a good gift to go in on with others.)
A meal service
No matter if it’s the first or fourth, brand new babies do a real number on a parent’s time management. While a family is in that adjustment period with their newest bundle, give them a gift of time by way of meal preparation. Based on the family, you could send them a service in which the ingredients and recipes arrive ready to be cooked, or, go all out and have fully prepared meals arrive on their doorstep. (I vote for completely prepared meals!)
A membership to make life easier
Subscription services make life easier in so many ways and I…am…into…it. *Polite throat clearing* Maybe you’ve heard of this great company where you can bundle diapers, wipes and other baby essentials in a monthly subscription? Obvs we think an ABBY&FINN gift card is a pretty great gift, but also think about memberships to warehouse stores or even big box stores that offer free shipping and delivery options with membership so they can get groceries, snacks, and other household items quickly and easily.
Activity box memberships for the family
Think about those monthly subscriptions to activity, craft, and cooking kits geared toward kids. There are even monthly book subscriptions that send a collection of age appropriate books to kids. What a fun thing to enjoy and look forward to as a family! And it also helps out with keeping those older kiddos entertained after a new baby enters the house.
Family car detailing
Ever wondered just how many crevices are in your car? Welp, just let your toddler loose in there with a handful of Goldfish and he’ll find every…single…one. Imagine what a great treat it would be to bring home the family’s next sibling in a spotless car! I mean, if I can have my car detailed in exchange for growing and raising another baby, then so be it.
Again, you’re essentially giving time, stress-reduction, and convenience to a new family. All those stressors of I can see cobwebs on the floorboard corners to Can someone please scrub the shower floor? are removed for a family when cleaners come in to handle it. But because having other people in your house is such a personal thing, make sure and clear it with the family before forging ahead.
Take something off the family to-do list and simplify life for a little while by hiring a lawn service to come mow, pull weeds, spread mulch or just tidy things up outside.
Gifts Just for Mom
I mean, mama’s the one who did the heavy lifting with this whole new baby thing, right? And she’s the one who’s going to be recovering from traditional labor, a c-section, or the emotional excitement of adoption. So yeah, I think it’s ok to treat her to something that’s just for her.
A post natal massage
I mean, a gift card for one. Don’t offer to do it yourself!
Stationary set and stamps
Many people totally think a texted THX! for a baby gift is enough. (And in lots of cases, it is.) But there are those great aunts out there who would be aghast - simply aghast! - to not receive a handwritten thank you card for a baby gift. Save mama some time as well as a trip to the post office with a cute set of cards, envelopes, and stamps. (You’ll also be saving her relationship with Great Aunt Ida.)
New nursing bras or tanks
This is only if you know the mama really well and maybe even a gift card earmarked for these items would be best, but nursing bras get used to the moon and back (and stained with all those drops of fat-rich breastmilk) so some new ones can go a long way with mama.
Think about offering to take the older sibling or siblings out for a few hours to give mom some time alone with the new baby or time to take a nap. (BTW, that whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing only works when you don’t have a newly jealous toddler crawling all over you.) It’ll be a special treat for the older kiddos as well. You could even offer to watch kids while mom and her partner have some time out of the house for just the two of them. That time together becomes a hot commodity with each additional baby!
Mama’s going to be spending some serious time feeding a baby. A television or even audiobook streaming subscription can help offer some entertainment during some of those hours. Binge-watching a show might be just the break she needs.
Hopefully that gets you thinking about some of the ways to gift for those baby sprinkles that may be in your future. And remember, if in doubt, don’t be shy about asking specifics for what it is a family needs or wants. Once a parent has been through that first year with a baby, they’ve got some opinions about what works for them and what doesn’t in terms of baby items. And for those of you on the receiving end, happily speak up when someone asks what would be most appreciated. Because whether it’s the second or the fifth baby to join a family, it’s always a major life event to welcome a new little one home and cause for celebration. So let’s get to sprinkling!