Presents for parents-to-be
Believe it or not, Christmas is not far away, but what are the perfect gifts for mums-and dads-to-be? Bernice Mulligan rounds up her pick of the best
Christmas gifts for expectant parents LIKE most things in life, when it comes to Christmas the best approach is to be organised. Instead of schlepping around the shops the week before desperately throwing whatever comes to hand into your trolley regardless of its usefulness or expense, it's much better to write a list early on and set about completing it in November. ( Yes, we know it's swotty and a bit boring, but you will be grateful you've done it.) When buying gifts for expectant mums and dads, the good news is that there are lots of options out there. Pregnancy-specific websites offer great choices, with all kinds of useful, pretty and downright quirky pressies, anything from pregnancy books, to beauty products to
nappy bags for dads! When buying a Christmas present for an expectant mum in particular, you must bear in mind whether you want to buy something specifically for her or something useful for when the baby arrives. Of course, the latter is great, and might be particularly appreciated if the couple is a little strapped for cash. However, it can also be nice to treat the mum herself, without any particular focus on baby ... yet. There will be plenty of time for that at the baby shower, and following the birth.
Beauty treatments specifically catering for mums-to-be will always be appreciated. After all, this is a time when she is probably feeling tired, heavy and a little anxious about what awaits her. There are loads of excellent salons and hotels out there that include pregnancy packages in their treatments, including In Touch Beauty, Unit 3, The Wright Venue, Airside Business Park, Swords, ( 01) 8075370; The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, 01 274 8888; Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty, west Cork, 023 8833143; and Carter Beauty in Blackrock, Co Dublin to name just a handful. ( The websites www. pamperme. ie or www. spas. ie are good if you're looking for pampering ideas.)
When it comes to expectant dads, hotel spa breaks mightn't exactly be their cup of tea, so tap into the male weakness for gadgets and things that make them feel manly! A lot of parents are opting for slings and baby carriers these days and they are ideal for fathers. Those offered by Beco ( featured right) have the advantage of coming in neutral colours such as black and brown, and are extremely comfortable and secure – not surprising since they was created by an active sailor and rock climber, Gabby Caperon! Phil & Teds, a New Zealand brand, is also worth checking out for its backpack carriers. A ' man bag' might also be a good choice for the expectant dad in your life. After all, he is also going to need something to haul around the nappies when out and about with baby, and his partner's floral number probably isn't going to cut it! There are load of cool ' masculine' versions on the market, which don't give away anything about the contents, for example the Storksak featured opposite is owned by Matt Damon – possibly the most masculine man on the planet! Other suggestions include books ( for both mums-and dads-tobe); organic beauty products ( believe it or not they are some ranges that are suitable for men also!); nightwear ( for mums in particular), and anything that will basically make parents' lives more comfortable in the run up to baby, and beyond.
That's why we've also included a coffee maker. Okay, so it has nothing to do with babies. And in a recession maybe coffee makers are a bit of an extravagance. But, heck, with all those sleepless nights ahead of them, we figure new parents are going to need all the coffee they can get!
Mother & Babies