Practical Gifts for New Parents

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So! You know someone who is about to have a baby. Or, you’re about to have a baby and you’re overwhelmed by all the STUFF out there on the market for babies and you have no idea where to start when it comes to your registry. What is essential?

This post isn’t going to give you advice on which crib is the best or if you really need to ask for a jetted baby bathtub. But, it does offer ideas for some overlooked items that you or someone you know might appreciate down the line after having a baby.

These are things I found useful, and a bonus? They’re gender neutral.

Practical Gifts for New Parents that won't break the bank via

Handheld Vacuum

Shark Corp - Pet Perfect II Hand Vac (SV780)

I got one of these Shark Handheld Vacs as a wedding gift and it’s one of the most used items we own. Every day. Multiple times. Cheerios, cookie crumbs, Nerds, Play Doh, leaves and grass tracked in from outside, dried clumps of dirt that fall out of the bottoms of Hubby’s shoes. This vacuum has seen just about everything.

XSB726N Washable Dust Cup Filter For Shark Hand Vac

The filter for the Shark Handheld Vac is washable, but it’s recommended that you replace the filter every few months. Gifting some extras could be a huge help to new parents as it’s often hard to remember to brush their teeth let alone adding replacement filters to the list of things that need to get done.

Melamine Cleaning Sponges


Also known as Magic Erase Sponges (you know, by Mr. Clean). I bought these on a whim when we moved into our house, which was filthy when moved in. I’ve used these suckers to clean doors, floors, counter tops. They’ve gotten pen, marker, strawberry juice, Popsicle drippings, and coffee stains out of my most-used furniture. I even used them to clean my moldy, dusty plastic patio furniture. G used them to wash my car and boy did my bumper sparkle when he was done!

I found name brands are expensive, and these don’t last a long time (the tougher the job, the faster the wear). After some research I found out what they’re made of (melamine) and that you can actually buy them in bulk for pretty cheap from Amazon.


Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer by Jergens for Unisex - 21 oz

I suffer from dry hands, especially in the winter. But I never had my hands crack so badly that they bleed until I had kids. Maybe I’m suddenly OCD about germs (though, having had a NICU baby and a preemie, I feel my OCDness is justified). Maybe I just want to teach my kids good hygiene and am finding I wash their hands in addition to mine now. But lotion is needed when you’re constantly washing poop, pee, spit up, and food off your hands. I try and keep a bottle of lotion by my kitchen and bathroom sinks, where I find myself most often, and use it after I wash up. I find the pump bottles are easier to use on the fly than the ones you have to squeeze lotion out of.

Disinfecting Wipes

Clorox - Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon Fresh

Again, maybe it’s a germ thing, but I feel much better about my kids eating off our kitchen surfaces and the coffee table after I’ve wiped them down between meals, snacks, and drool fests. I’ve also used them to wipe down changing pads, door knobs when we’re sick, and small messes on the floor. I prefer the Clorox brand (or the store brand that compares to Clorox). I find they don’t leave a weird streaky residue on my surfaces like other brands.

What are your practical must haves as a new parent?