Beyond the Baby Registry


Inherently I am someone who consistently struggles with being a practical gift giver while also remaining unique. I typically caution myself from going crazy and end up sticking to the baby registry but sometimes the registry items restrict me. If you are struggling with the same issue, here is a quick list of unconventional and highly practical things that I would recommend.

First, I would recommend gift cards- all the gift cards! Super practical but also can be personalized to indicate the depth of your relationship with the recipient. I would also suggest a delivery to their door; dinner, groceries, or a box of household items, it does not matter. Remember the old saying that actions speak louder than words? Well my last suggestion is just that-acts of service. I am not suggesting you cancel your order of sleepers and swaddle wraps, but if you are looking to try something new that is a great hybrid of uniqueness and practicality, I’ve got you covered.

PC: Bella Baby Photography

Unique Gift Cards

Stationary or Photo Printing Website-there is a high expectation to print off pictures, design a photo book, send grandma and grandpa a personalized photo gift, or at the very least to order birth announcements. Some suggestions are Shutterfly, Minted, or Tiny Prints.

Apple iTunes-assuming that the parents have an iPhone or other apple device I would highly recommend this option.  The best baby apps can cost upwards of $5 and those $5 are well spent, especially when trying to keep track of dirty diapers, feedings, ounces, sleep schedules and more. In addition to the baby app there is always the photo editing app, the white noise app, and the baby games.

Experiences-get the new family a gift card to a kid’s gym, infant swim class, or even a mini photo session at a local photographer. Those experiences are priceless and often forgotten about. This gift gives the family a chance to get out of the house and socialize with other families.

Order, Pay, and Have it Delivered

Send the new parents some necessary non-perishables such as toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, quick snacks, garbage bags, and don’t forget the batteries. You can order online, pay, track your delivery, and text your friends that their gift is on the way.  This can easily be done through Amazon, Jet, or even a grocery store delivery service like HyVee.

Send them pizza, Jimmy Johns, Chinese, or any meal via delivery that is available in their area. Just jump online or call and have it delivered to them. If you are close enough to the family to know when the return date to work is for the parents I would plan on sending a meal that first week back to work.  Those first few days back to work are challenging and most of the new baby visitors (and food) has stopped showing up. A free night not to cook would be much appreciated during this transition of work and daycare routines.

Acts of Service

Acts of service is always a good place to start if you are short on cash or have extra time on your hands. Head over to the house and mow the yard, take the trash out, ask to help with a load of the baby’s laundry, walk their dog, or wash the car. Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine an unexpected act of service that you would appreciate, it is as simple as that.

What is your go-to gift for a new baby? 

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Becka is an Iowa native who moved to Omaha in June 2015. She is one half of a higher education couple, a mom to identical twin boys (Avery and Elliot 2014) and two sassy wiener dogs (Nora and Knox). Becka enjoys the craziness of twins and the unpredictability of each day. Even with three degrees, most recently a doctorate in higher education, she continues to find herself googling things like “pachycephalosaurus + herbivore” or “excavator vs digger.” With two very energetic and curious preschoolers at home Becka enjoys the peacefulness of her daily commute to Lincoln where she is a coordinator in the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. Becka loves being outdoors in her garden, on the lake with her family, or sitting on the patio with a friend. Her kryptonite is diet coke, peanut m&m’s and a kid free Target trip.


  1. I like to give a medical kit for the first 2am fever. I include things like a thermometer, Infant Tylenol etc so the parents don’t have to leave & get those items in the middle of the night. I also love to include a gift card for a food delivery place for the parents (i.e. Jimmy John’s, Pizza Hut)

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