Giving Gifts to New and Expectant Families

Gift giving to expecting families can be a bit daunting. There are many products that exist that do a really good job at convincing us that raising a child is impossible without it!

However, the truth of the matter is that there is one time-tested gift that is commonly renowned for making the transition into parenthood easier, and that is support. Bearing this in mind we’ve created a list of ideas if you are considering giving a gift to an expecting family.

1) Holding Space

Becoming a parent means experiencing numerous highs and lows and often comes with societal expectations that can carry a stigma. As a result, new parents may hesitate to express thoughts and emotions that deviate from the conventional norms of how one is expected to feel. Engaging in authentic and honest conversations with a trusted individual about genuine feelings can alleviate a significant burden for new parents. The presence of supportive, non-judgmental, and validating individuals in their lives can prove to be immensely beneficial for new families.

Recognising that LGBTQ+ individuals may face additional societal challenges, providing an inclusive and understanding space becomes even more vital.

2) Ask them what they would like

Rather than making assumptions about what a family needs, consider asking them directly. Each family has its dynamics and preferences, and acknowledging this uniqueness by seeking their input can make the gift more meaningful. This not only acknowledges the individuality of their family dynamics but also demonstrates a commitment to respecting their autonomy in the parenting journey.

3) Home-made freezable meals

Caring for a newborn is a demanding responsibility that frequently leaves little room for contemplating meal preparation. Having a freezer filled wholesome and flavorful meals, which can be conveniently stored in the freezer and later effortlessly retrieved and reheated, proves to be a godsend. This becomes particularly invaluable when endeavoring to strike a delicate balance between attending to the demands of a new life and tending to one’s own needs. Having pre-prepared, nutritious meals on hand not only eases the burden of immediate cooking but also ensures a consistent and nourishing diet during the whirlwind of adjusting to the presence of a new family member. If you’re able to batch cook even one meal for a new family, that’s one meal less that they need to cook for themselves.

Keep an eye out for our postnatal recipe book in 2024!

4) Parent pamper days

As the old saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Amid the excitement surrounding the arrival of a new family member, many people tend to concentrate solely on gifts for the baby, often overlooking the consideration of gifts for the new parent or parents. Caring for a newborn is widely acknowledged as an exhausting experience. Gifting your loved one or ones a session to replenish their cup can be a truly considerate way of reminding them that their needs and well-being are just as important as attending to the well-being of the new addition to the family. Consider activities aligned with their interests, such as a visit to the hairdresser, a massage, a spa day, or a delightful meal out. If you opt to pair this gift with an offer of babysitting, all the better.

5) Personal practical offers of help

At times, as new parents, we may believe we have to manage all aspects of parenting perfectly. Reaching out for help and support can be challenging for some, as it may be accompanied by a fear of appearing inadequate, unable to effortlessly handle every responsibility. However, it’s important to recognise that there are only so many hours in a day, and the demands of parenting consume a significant portion of them. Offering practical assistance, such as running the vacuum, starting a load of laundry, or handling the dishes, can be excellent ways to provide support. These gestures can be presented in the form of charming homemade vouchers, eliminating the need for parents to explicitly request help.

6) Professional practical offers of help

If you’re looking to select a meaningful gift for a loved one who is expecting, consider extending your support beyond traditional presents. A thoughtful gesture could involve arranging a cleaning service to alleviate some of the inevitable stresses that come with the arrival of a new baby. This practical offering acknowledges the challenges of managing household tasks while adapting to the demands of parenthood. Furthermore, exploring professional support options, such as engaging the services of a postnatal support worker like a doula, can significantly enhance the overall experience for the expectant parents. Doulas bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, offering personalized assistance and guidance tailored to the unique needs of each new family. By gifting such support, you contribute not only to the tangible aspects of their daily lives but also to their emotional well-being as they navigate the exciting yet challenging journey of welcoming a new member into their family. Many postpartum support workers have vouchers available or will allow you to contribute a number of hours.

6) Professional practical offers of help

LGBTQ+ individuals often have chosen families that play a significant role in their lives. Acknowledge and support these chosen family networks by extending invitations, involving them in celebrations, and recognising their importance. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of community and support beyond the traditional nuclear family structure.

If you are still wishing to give a physical gift to a new family, consider gifts that reflect the diversity of families. Books, artwork, or personalised items that depict LGBTQ+ families can be heartwarming and affirming. This not only adds a personal touch to the gift but also helps the parents-to-be feel seen and celebrated for who they are.

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

Everyone is welcome at The Queer Parenting Partnership.

Our values are of equality, fairness, power, love, community, laughter and fun. We aim to build a community for queer families to learn and grow together and to celebrate our presence in the world.


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