It is relatively easy to give presents to new parents: clothes, diapers, toys, pacifiers, bottles, formula, crib, receiving blankets, burp cloths – the list goes on and on. But what about the 2nd or the 3rd child? There is no baby shower to attend – so no gift registry – but if you are close enough to the family, you want to give something. The trouble is that parents usually have everything they need from the first child. Sure, you can pick out blue clothes instead of pink clothes if the parents are expecting a boy instead of a girl, but what if they are expecting their 3rd girl? You don’t want to give them their 15th cute-pink-dress-with-flowers.
There are always gift certificates and cash to give, but I find those items a bit impersonal. Unless you fit in the grandparent or a great-grandparent category, there should be no reason to give something as unmemorable as cash or impersonal as a gift card. So here, a list of items to consider for folks who’ve become parents for the 5th time:
- Diapers. Kids poop and pee a lot. If the parents are using cloth diapers, give them detergent for cloth diapers. I recommend Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent
- Snack cups and water cups. They won’t be used by a newborn, but within 6-8 months, the tot will be using them! If the parents have multiple children, these are immensely handy. These items are also usually easily misplaced, so it’s nice to have extras. I really like the Munchkin Snack Catchers
- Baby plates, spoons, forks. Again, items that get enough usage that they break easily or are lost easily. These items get plenty of use, so they make a good gift.
- Formula and food. If the parents used formula with their previous kids, it’s likely that they will use it again. There is also a host of baby food – oat cereal, rice cereal, pureed foods, etc. to consider.
- Crib Sheets. I find having multiple sheets handy – and the previous tots generally use their beds for so long, that they get pretty worn.
Other gifts to consider are items that parents might buy if they have more than one child – for example, a children’s table and chair set. It’s not exactly something parents with one child might buy, but when they’ve got a couple – it’s handy. Especially if the kids are close together in age. Also remember that items that keep the older siblings busy while the younger one is being tend to also make great gifts. Consider items like outdoor playhouses, sleds (if parents are in an area with a lot of snow), wagons, etc.
Items that organize toys are also useful – houses with lots of kids and toys are usually a big mess, so it’s nice to have something that parents can organize toys with. You can also get items that are personalized for the baby. This can include a hand-knit personalized hat (get a toddler-sized hat that can be worn for multiple years), or a personalized toys. Younger siblings are used to hand-me-downs, so it’s nice to give them something that is theirs and theirs only.
Are you a second or third-time parent? What items have you found yourself in the store for to purchase for your younger babies?