All prices current as of August 2015

Your client is having a baby and you want to send something to mark the milestone. Family and friends will cover the obvious gifts, including clothing, toys and furniture, so try these ideas.

Low cost, high impact


Most new parents are too tired to cook. Family and friends will bring by casseroles in the beginning but, by week three, help peters out. So give them a gift certificate for a restaurant that delivers.

Better yet, subscribe them to a meal-prep service. In Calgary, Healthy Chef Delivery will prepare and deliver frozen entrees. Four prepared servings of beef stew and vegetables cost $62, and the price includes a litre of soup.

In Toronto, Ottawa and other parts of southwestern Ontario, SupperWorks lets clients assemble meals ahead of time or purchase pre-assembled meals to cook at home. Entrees for four to six cost $31.25 each when purchased in blocks of 12. And gift certificates are available.

If the newborn has a sibling, get a little something to ensure she doesn’t feel slighted. A colouring book and deluxe set of crayons costs under $20 and your client will remember the effort.

Medium cost, medium impact


Help a new family start the saving habit early. Engravable, and less fragile than ceramic, a silver-plated “I love to learn” coin bank is $95 at Birks.

High cost, low impact


A $395 sterling silver two-handle cup from Birks can be engraved with the baby’s initials. An 18-karat Busy Bee ID bracelet, also from Birks, costs $475. While these items might look nice, most modern parents consider them impractical.

High cost, high impact


A diaper service will truly help new parents. In St. John’s, Nfld., one year of deluxe diaper service costs approximately $2,100 ($40 a week x 52 weeks). In Winnipeg or Edmonton, it costs about $1,325. But before you order, make sure your client can cancel, just in case the baby is allergic to the detergent.

Don’t bother with…

A stuffed animal. Every neighbour, aunt, friend and acquaintance is going to buy this.

Clothing in newborn sizes. Onesies, sleepers, hockey or basketball jerseys in teeny sizes will fit the newborn for about 10 minutes. If you want to purchase clothing, stick with six-month sizing and consider the season (if it’s winter now, don’t buy six-month-old-sized sweaters).

China plate sets. The child will be in school before most parents let him use the china mug.