We’ve written before that the best gifts for new parents are services, not things. But your friends and family may not realise this, and so at your baby shower, they hand you a bonnet adorned with little duckies, something your new bundle will wear for one adorable Instagram photo and then never see again.
They mean well, but could use — and would probably appreciate — some direction.
It’s becoming more and more common to put services on your baby registry. Sure, a fund to hire a postpartum doula may not prompt as many awwws as infant knee pads, but you’ll certainly be more grateful for it in the exhausting days and nights ahead.
As parents, we need to become more comfortable with asking for help, and when we do so, we need to be specific.
I find that registering for (or crowdfunding) services makes even more sense if you’re having a second or subsequent child and already have all the burp cloths you need. Some companies let you set up your own contribution page, or you can use a universal registry such as Babylist, which allows you to have your entire wishlist in one place.
Here are some ideas for what you can register for.
Really. When creating a baby registry, you can select a policy and ask friends and family to contribute towards the life insurance premium.
Having life insurance is especially important when you have kids, but it’s still an area where a lot of people think, “Oh, that’s for future me to figure out.” Putting it on your registry could be a smart first step in getting the process started.
When taking care of a new baby, you often forget to do basic things for yourself, such as figuring out what you’re going to eat. Take that responsibility off your plate (heh) by registering for a meal delivery service or a meal train.
Happetite has a baby gift food service where friends can send you meals for one to seven days. And if more than one friend would like to get in on it, there are meal train organisation sites such as Meal Train or Take Them a Meal.
For new parents who don’t have that elusive “village” that mums and dads who move to other countries sing so many praises about, a postpartum doula can be a wonderful fill-in. She (or sometimes he) can teach you how to care for your newborn, showing you had to burp and bathe him, while also being there as another pair of hands so you can rest a bit.
The last thing that’ll be on your list of to-dos while caring for your new bundle is dusting your skirting boards. Or wiping your mirrors, disinfecting your toilets, or vacuuming. Plan ahead by crowdfunding a few house cleaning sessions.