Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Special Delivery: Organizing for a New Baby

The arrival of a new baby can turn even the most organized person’s world upside-down. Here are some ideas to help expecting parents, as well as gift-givers, to prepare for the big day and beyond.

Look at the registry.  If you’ve been shopping at a baby supply store in recent years, you know that it’s easy to be overwhelmed.  There are a lot of new “gadgets” out there for babies, some essential and some more gimmicky.  Many baby registries are available to view online or on computers in the store.  Gift cards to the store are also great idea, so the new parents can purchase unexpected essentials after the baby arrives.

Stock up on basics.  Of course, we all want to buy frilly clothes, tiny shoes and cute pillows, but the best gifts are towels, washcloths, receiving blankets and burp cloths.  These items are used often and washed often, so they wear out easily.  There are a lot of creative designs and organic options out there now, so you can still have fun shopping!

You can never have too many of the essentials.  It may not be glamorous giving someone diapers and wipes, but they are necessary!  Parents may even include their preferred brand of diapers and wipes on their registry.  You can also find out if the parents plan to use cloth diapers and help them stock their stacks.

Shop rummage sales.  If the new parents are on a budget, ask if you can look for gifts at rummage sales.  You can find almost-new swings, playpens, glider chairs and even bedding at rummage sales.  Inspect the items closely, though, and be careful about cribs and car seats.  Standing in line at a rummage sale while pregnant is not very fun, so it would be great if you could do it for the expectant mom!

Give time.  Having a baby is like having ten times as much work to do in half the time.  One of the best gifts a person can give new parents is his or her time.  Offer to come over for a few hours to babysit so the new parents can rest.  If you aren’t confortable watching the baby alone, offer to do laundry, go to the grocery store or cook a meal.  These tasks get very difficult when you have a newborn, especially if the mother is recovering from surgery.

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