Your client is having a baby and you want to send something to mark the milestone. Family and friends will cover most of the obvious gifts, including clothing, toys and furniture, so try these ideas.
Read: Insurance for newlyweds
High cost, low impact
A $350 sterling silver two-handle cup from Birks can be engraved with the baby’s initials. An 18-karat yellow-gold ID bracelet, also from Birks, costs $250. While these items might look nice, most modern parents consider them impractical.
Medium cost, medium impact
Help them start the saving habit early. Engravable, and less fragile than ceramic, a silver-plated “I Love to Learn” coin bank is $85 at Birks.
Read: Tax tips for parents
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 often 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 $58, and includes a litre of soup.
In Toronto, Ottawa and other locations in southwestern Ontario, SupperWorks lets clients assemble meals ahead of time or purchase pre-assembled meals to cook at home. Entrees for four to six people cost $28.75 each when purchased in blocks of 12. Gift certificates are also available.
And, if the newborn has a sibling, get her 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 extra effort.
High cost, high impact
A diaper service will 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.
Lisa MacColl is an Ontario-based financial writer.