It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new mom or dad, or you simply know someone who’s about to make their little family a little bigger — there’s nothing more incredible than a newborn baby.
But figuring out the perfect gift for that precious bundle of joy isn’t always so incredible. In fact, it can be downright exhausting.
A lot of new parents, friends, or relatives tend to focus on the here and now. What will a baby or new parents need and appreciate today?
That’s why nursery rooms are always filled to the brim with diapers, bottles, wipes, adorable clothes, and impractical China plates with cartoon characters on them.
And while all of these standard new parent gifts are amazing in their own way, they’re pretty short-term.
If you want to gift the kids in your life something they’re going to appreciate after the age of two, you’ve got to consider a new parent gift that will have a more lasting impact.
One of the best possible options you could explore is to make a financial investment in that child’s future.
This guide will walk you through standard new parent gifts, explain why a financial gift will help you make a lasting impression for the newborn in your life, and how you can make a lasting investment in a child’s future by contributing to a custodial account.
What Are Some Standard New Parent Gifts?
If you’ve got kids, you know pretty well that the first few weeks and months of parenthood are a challenge — and if you haven’t got kids, just take our word for it.
No matter how prepared a new parent might be, it’s a major adjustment caring for an infant 24 hours a day. New parents are normally stressed, sleep-deprived, and not taking great care of themselves as a result. That’s where friends and loved ones often come to the rescue with thoughtful new parent gifts.
Now, because the exhaustion most new parents face is totally universal, there are a few standard new parent gifts that most people will automatically think of when they’re shopping around for the new moms and dads in their lives.
Some of these gifts are more appropriate for baby showers, while others are more useful after that beautiful bundle of joy has already turned up.
But to help give you an idea, here are a few of the most standard new parent gifts in 2021.
New baby essentials
You can spend nine months preparing for that baby to show up, and you’ll still forget something every single time. That’s why one of the most standard new parent gifts is to offer practical baby supplies.
By baby supplies, we’re talking about newborn or premature baby clothes, a bodysuit, a car seat, baby carrier, baby food, and changing supplies.
The average newborn needs its diaper changed 6–9 times a day — so we’re talking about a lot of diapers, here. New parents will need a diaper bag, baby wipes, changing mats, and more.
Depending on how the new mom you're buying for is feeding, you may also want to consider feeding supplies like formula, bottles, and sterilizers.
Want to help get the baby to sleep? White noise machines, adorable cuddly toys, a baby blanket, a baby monitor, or a night light all make a great gift if you’re trying to hit the essentials.
Those first few days of parenting can be a real shock to the system. New parents spend so much time fussing over what that baby boy or girl is doing and eating that they often forget — or they're simply too tired — to cook for themselves.
That’s why food boxes have become a standard new parent gift in recent years.
There are a lot of delicious restaurant chains and local places that will happily deliver meals to new moms and dads for a number of days or weeks. You can even just give new parents a gift card to a food delivery service like Uber Eats and let them choose for themselves.
If you’re new to this whole parenting thing, you probably have no idea how much you’re going to get puked on over the course of your first few months. We won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just go ahead and assume that it’s going to happen fairly often.
That’s why a self-care gift basket is a great new parent gift. Loads of brands will let you put together indulgent self-care hampers with skincare products, decadent bath salts, calming candles, and everything in between.
If the new mom and dad in your life have got a babysitter on-hand, a spa day would definitely fit into this category, too.
A postnatal massage or even just a quick steam is always a great new parent gift so that mom and dad can refresh their system and ensure they’ve got the energy to spend on their new baby.
It might feel a little bit silly to go to a baby shower and hand over a homemade coupon offering your babysitting services — but to new parents, this sort of help is an essential lifeline.
Sometimes the greatest new parent gift you could ever give is just to provide a mom or dad with two brief hours of respite. Giving your time is probably the most practical gift out there.
If you’re able and willing, just offer up your time so the parents in your life can take a nap, have some alone time, or go see a quick movie.
This list is obviously not exhaustive. There are hundreds of incredible gifts you can shower on the new parents in your life — and they’ll definitely be appreciated in the here and now.
But the truth is, new moms and new dads are probably going to have a lot of friends and family in the picture handing them all the standard new parent gifts.
That’s why you might want to think long-term. Instead, you can offer something that they (and their new baby) will be thanking you for for years to come.
New Parent Gift Options That Make a Lasting Impression
We all want to know we’re giving the kids in our lives the best possible start, and one of the greatest gifts you can give children is financial freedom. After all, by starting an investment fund now, you’ll be able to let it grow slowly over time until a child comes of age.
Unfortunately, new and sleep-deprived parents aren’t usually thinking about creating a nest egg for their little ones the day after those babies are born.
They’ve got lots of logistics to work out, and they’ve got to figure out how life is going to change as a new mom or dad.
That’s why contributing to a new child’s investment account is the ultimate way to give a gift that will make a lasting impression.
But we’ll delve more into that in a minute. First, let’s explore why a financial gift is going to be way more meaningful in the long-term.
Why does a financial contribution make a better new parent gift?
It may not seem like it in the here and now — but the truth is that a financial gift or investment is always going to make a longer and more meaningful impact on a child’s life.
First and foremost, gifting funds or investments teaches kids (and parents) financial literacy.
One of the best ways to teach children about money is to start investing for them from day one. By using tools like a custodial account, you can collect as many assets as you’d like to contribute to a child’s future, then gift those assets into that child’s custodial account.
When the child reaches a certain age, you or the child’s parents can start to teach those sprouts about the investments you’ve gifted, how they generate income through compound interest, and which types of investments or assets would be worth adding to their asset mix.
Next, the gift of future finances can go a long way toward future expenses.
It might not be high on a new parent’s priority list when taking a newborn home from the hospital, but by the time that newborn becomes a teenager, money worries are going to compound exponentially.
Parents will start to stress about how to pay for college, contributing toward the down payment on their kid’s first house, wedding expenses, a gap year of travel, and 50 other things.
The average college tuition and fees for 2020/21 have now risen to more than $41,000 per year for private colleges and more than $26,800 for out-of-state public universities.
Fortunately, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and godparents can often eliminate that stress by setting up and contributing early to an investment vehicle that will take care of those costs later in life.
So, if you want to help save the innocent baby in your life from being saddled with debt for the better part of their adult lives, a financial gift is going to get a much bigger hug than sending a hilariously oversized teddy bear.
What Type of Investment Makes the Perfect New Parent Gift?
There are a few different investment vehicles you may want to consider when looking for the perfect new parent gift for your friends or loved ones. But some are a lot more flexible than others — that’s why a custodial account is normally going to be your best bet.
Why do custodial accounts make the perfect new parent gifts?
Are you new to the concept of gifting investments and custodial accounts? Don’t stress, because here at EarlyBird, we do everything we can to make all of this super simple.
A custodial account is a financial tool that allows parents, guardians, other family members, or even friends to open an investing account for a child.
When you set up a custodian account, an adult (or “custodian”) has to open the account. Then, they then manage the money, assets, or other investments in that account until the baby you’re saving for reaches the “age of maturity.”
In most states, that age is either going to be 18 or 21. Either way, when the minor hits that age, the cash or investments you’ve been saving in that custodial account become that child’s legal property.
Why choose a custodial account over other investment vehicles like 529 plans?
Above all else, custodial accounts offer flexibility.
With a 529 plan, you can only use those funds for certain education expenses. But what if that little bundle of joy grows up and doesn’t want to go to college?
Custodial accounts let you save for kids to use the money on whatever dreams they want to attain when they grow up.
Saving in a custodial account is also tax-efficient because the funds in the account are taxed by the IRS at the child’s rate.
But if you really want to personalize your financial gift and make it mean something, EarlyBird can offer a totally unique and industry-leading custodial account experience.
How? First and foremost, EarlyBird gifts can be sent to anyone — including people who don’t have EarlyBird yet.
That means if the new parents in your life haven’t considered the benefits of a custodial account, you can gift them funds through EarlyBird and show them why this is such a great way to save for their new baby’s future.
All you’ve got to do is find the mom or dad’s phone number from your contacts, decide how much you want to invest in their new child, then invest. The parents will then get a text notifying them.
Better yet, EarlyBird is the only custodial account provider out there that lets you follow your contributions up with a personalized video memory.
You can record yourself wishing that little bundle of joy all of your hopes and dreams for them in the future — and then that child can watch it back as an adult.
If that doesn’t tug at a couple of heartstrings, not much is going to.
When it comes to new parent gifts, there’s kind of a standard set of gifts that a lot of friends and loved ones are going to consider. That’s why you might want to think long-term, and instead offer something that they (and their new baby) will be thanking you for years later.
That’s where EarlyBird comes in. It’s simple and can make a lasting impression for both the children in your life, as well as new parents in need of a helping hand.
Download EarlyBird on the app store today to start investing in the kids you love.