Surviving the fourth trimester is no easy feat. Whether you’re a first time or well worn-in parent this chaotic period leaves even the most regimented and organized mom or dad a bit on the frazzled side. As my family has transitioned over the past nine months from a family of three to a family of five, I often find myself planning ahead with the most practical time and money saving solutions that help me either conquer the day or at least feel as though I’m somewhat staying afloat.
Since the holiday rush is currently in full swing and it’s the season for sale searching, I’ve comprised a list of some of the most practical gifts to bestow upon expectant parents any time of the year. So if you know someone that’s expecting their first, third or tenth child take a look at the list below and think about what the parents truly NEED.
It’s not a mistake that I listed a pressure cooker first. This kitchen appliance is an absolute game changer! The cooking times are outrageously fast, the flavor infused into the food is next level and more often than not you end up with a delicious one pot meal. Hello easy cleanup!
As a fan of the slow cooker pretty much dating back to my childhood I was quite skeptical of letting go and adapting to the pressure cooker craze. It is hands down one of the best purchases and gifts I have ever received. We use our pressure cooker at least three times per week if not more. Most pressure cookers also have a slow cook option for when you’re feeling nostalgic and want to make a good slow cooker meal.
For the record, the pressure cooker I have is the Instant Pot. It tipped the scale versus its competition due to the fact that the cooking insert is stainless steel versus aluminum in other name brand pressure cookers. This stainless steel feature is supposed to hold up better through the years.
Move over French press. Ain’t no busy mom got time for that! My love and devotion to my French press is on sabbatical. Within two days of getting home from the hospital with the twins I had a Keurig ordered and on its way from QVC. It was a Today’s Special Deal and David Venable only needed to do one happy dance to seal the deal.
All joking aside, the speed, easy cleanup and convenience of the Keurig is well worth the purchase and frequent use for a couple years. There are quite a few basic to high end Keurigs to chose from and if you have a green conscious parent you think this might be beneficial for the reusable k-cup filters are an added bonus.
This is another QVC purchase (see a theme here) that gets almost weekly use in our home. My husband actually purchased our Food Saver a number of years ago and it has paid for itself at least three times over.
Prior to our first child we ordered off the catering menu at a local restaurant and divided all the food into meals for two people, sealed them with the Food Saver and dropped them into our drop freezer. We had awesome, portion sized meals for weeks on end. A total time and money saver any night of the week!
As I mentioned above this is great for bulk food storage. Avoid the overpacked and freezer burned food taking up space in the kitchen freezer. Home appliance stores run specials on drop freezers regularly and you can often find used but like new ones listed for sale when people are downsizing homes or looking to make some extra space.
Our drop freezer is filled with family pack size meals, venison and breastmilk. Lots and lots of breastmilk.
Cloth Diaper Service
If you know parents that are going to try cloth diapers or are avid cloth diaper users, a gift certificate for one, two or more weeks will cut down on a whole lot of laundry and make the first few weeks of the fourth trimester a bit more manageable. It might take the edge off and ease new parents into the world of cloth diapering as well. There are many local options to chose from and the services they provide! Don’t forget, even if the parents-to-be are going the disposable route, you can never gift to many diapers.
Amazon, Target and Wegmans. I’m not sure I really need to elaborate on this because these three shopping icons speak for themselves. What mom walks into Target for one item and leaves with spending less than fifty dollars? I can’t even make it past the dollar section without tossing a few things in the cart. No Amazon Prime account? A subscription for that might bring a tear to any new parents eye.
Instacart is one of the local grocery delivery services that is available at many different grocers throughout the Syracuse area. There seems to be a wide variety of opinions on using this service but speaking from experience I’ve never had issues. Yes, some items are priced higher than in store shopping and there is a delivery fee but when you’re almost eight months pregnant with twins, have a twenty month old on day three of potty training (and not wearing pants), your husband is out of town and there’s a snow storm on the way, those higher prices and delivery charge are worth it. The Instacart app is very user friendly and does lay out the pricing for delivery, items, tax and fees. I just have yet to read all that fine print.
Anyway, back to the gift giving. You could order items, pay for them and have them delivered to a new parents house or you can give a gift card to Instacart. Instacart emails the recipient the gift card directly so they can navigate right into their account. It’s pretty easy peasy. I use the service about once a month. It’s a joint account that my husband is on as well and we can both add items as needed. Unfortunately, you can’t use store gift cards on Instacart BUT you can add your loyalty card for shopping discounts and coupons.
Just to wrap up there are a few other great gifts to keep in mind for expectant parents including; cleaning service, pet walking/grooming/lawn cleanup service, lawn/landscaping service, snow removal service, sound machines/ear plugs, gift certificates to restaurants that deliver and last but certainly not least an awesome insulated hot and cold tumbler. Help keep that coffee hot, or at least slightly warm for as long as possible. Make sure there’s a lid and straw with that too. Less of a mess after it gets knocked over at least ten times a day.
So snags a deal now with your holiday shopping and give a functional gift to a new or expecting parent anytime of the year!