If you have a friend due to welcome a new baby into the world (#1 and #4 work for older children too), here are a few ideas of presents that might prove really useful.
One of the key tenets of Lazy Parenting is that it’s not so much looking after a child that is hard work, it’s doing anything else as well. This even includes eating food, never mind cooking it. You can help with some of it though. Removing the work of cooking a meal or two will be very gratefully received. This could mean:
- Buying a gift card for their local takeaway – most chain restaurants sell vouchers you can redeem online.
- Giving vouchers for COOK or a similar service, to buy meals that come preprepared but aren’t full of crap.
- Sticking a couple of lasagnes in their freezer, or baking some flapjacks.
Cost: Anything from ingredients out of your kitchen cupboards, to hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers.
If your friend will be breastfeeding, it’s so important to get hooked into some support -even if everything goes according to plan, there will be a hundred little niggles it’s great to have the answer to. LLL provide 24 hour peer-to-peer support over the phone and online. They’re not going to turn away someone looking for help (for example, you can join a private Facebook group and never be asked whether you’re a paid up member), but it’s really important that the organisation stays funded to be able to keep providing this important peer support and community.
Cost: Gift membership costs £30 in the UK.
3. A babywearing consultation
I’m not going to go into all the reasons babywearing is awesome; you can read more via the links below. But people can feel overwhelmed or nervous in cultures where it’s not the norm. Consultants like SlingSure who I can recommend because Emma’s local to me, search online for folk near you) can give your friend(s) a dedicated session to learn how to use their sling safely and comfortably. Some consultations will include sling hire.
Cost: This will obviously depend on where you go, but as a guide, SlingSure charge between £20 and £40 depending on the length of session.
4. A cleaner
Referring to point 1 again. Kids create a lot of cleaning work whilst making sure there’ little time to do it, and keeping the house relatively clean and tidy can be a boost to people’s sense of wellbeing. Book a cleaner for a one-off clean, or a weekly clean for a set period. Cleaning companies (as opposed to sole traders) often charge a setup fee, after which the weekly fee is a bit less (this covers things like insurance), so you could also consider paying the initial setup and then a set time period.
It’s best to prepay the service and put them in touch, by the way, so that your friends can decide what time is best. It can be counterproductive to announce there are strangers coming to your friends’ house at a given time.
Cost: It really depends on what you’re getting, but the cheapest version of this is likely to cost you around £30. Unless you’ve got a big budget, this is one where it might be worth a group of friends pitching in. Of course, you could also offer your own time cleaning etc, but be careful how you pitch it as many people may feel less comfortable ordering a friend around than a professional.
5. A Netflix subscription (or TV package)
If it’s their first baby, a lot of parents will be – or certainly should be, for lazy parenting – lying under a sleeping or feeding baby. Great passive entertainment (as opposed to books, which need a hand to hold them and a functioning brain to read them) during that time is a fantastic bonus. Something that streams straight to a TV or laptop is a bit better than boxsets, as it means no being stuck under a sleeping infant whilst longing to put the next disc on.
If your friend doesn’t have an internet connection, by the way, consider funding that for a few months – above all else, that constant line to outside support is a godsend.
Cost: You can buy a Netflix gift card from £15.