Got a new parent or baby on your list this holiday season?
From items that promote self-care to little luxuries that make daily life a little easier and more beautiful, here’s a roundup of great presents that moms and dads will actually thank you for.
1. Comfy bedding
Sleep can be an elusive beast when you’re a new parent. Make bedtime the best time of day with 100 percent French linen bedding that gets softer with every wash. Flax Sleep bedding (pictured above, from $70) is temperature regulating—ideal for both hot and cool sleepers—and is hypoallergenic and sustainably produced. Looking for something for baby too? Flax Sleep makes fitted crib sheets in stripes and blush as well as double-layer, reversible baby quilts too.
2. Cute as a button baby shoes
Seen on the little feet of all the most stylish Vancouver babies, Minimocs are guaranteed to get the most awwws from the parents on your list. Their line of leather and suede soft shoes, mocassins, warm shoes and Janes really are just tinier versions of shoes we’d all love to be wearing this winter. Their warm shoes ($55) are lined with sheepskin and are perfect for keeping little toesies nice and toasty. And those Mini Janes pair perfectly with holiday dresses.
3. Socially acceptable lounge wear
The last thing any postpartum mom wants to do is to squeeze into skinny jeans or those ratty old sweatpants again. Upgrade their comfy at-home mama uniform with a stylish, Instagram-worthy romper from Smash and Tess ($119). Cozy, chic and made to last, these lounge-wear staples transition effortlessly from bed to brunch and grocery store trips. Bonus: most designs are nursing friendly. Oh, and if you don’t want dad to feel left out, get him a twinning look with the limited edition S+T Guy Romper.
4. Cool and playful unisex baby gear
Make new baby the hit of the playground with modern-inspired statement pieces from Whistle and Flute. Gender neutral and absolutely wash-and-wear, the playful designs feature bold designs like smiley clouds, apples, breakfast eggs and toast. Standout pieces include its Kawaii cloud raincoat, matching mama-kiddo breakfast-themed pyjama sets in organic cotton, and cozy ramen raglan sweatshirts (pictured) cute enough to gobble up.
5. Grocery delivery
Let the new parents in your life skip trips to the store with delivery service from sustainable grocer, SPUD. Curated with the best in local, organic and sustainable food, as well as cleaning products and baby care items like food, diapers and wipes, orders can be made from your computer or phone any time of day or night—perfect for nursing mamas. The house-made pre-made meals, which include coconut curries, oven-baked salmon and roasted veggies, and salads from Be Fresh Local, take the guesswork out of dinner.
Use code CRVAN-MATDAH for $20 in free groceries on your first order of $50 or more.
6. The ultimate kid carrier
West Coasters love hiking. Hit the trails with baby in tow with the Shuttlecraft kid carrier from Mountain Equipment Coop ($225). With a removable sun hood, storage compartments and a rear-view mirror to catch backseat smiles, this backpack will ensure all trails are happy. Fits kids up to 40 pounds.
7. Get outside anytime gear
OK, just because it’s raining outside again doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside with baby. The waterproof one-piece Muddy Buddy rain suit ($36.95) offers full-body coverage and protection from the elements. Perfect for splashing in puddles and dirt, as well as messy indoor craft projects, dual zippers and elasticized wrists and ankles allow for easy changing and snug fits over boots and gloves.
8. Warm sherpa gear
Sherpa and teddy-bear wear is all the rage this season. This cozy sherpa coat from Old Navy ($78) is perfect for running errands with baby or just lounging at home.
9. Strong and delicious coffee on demand
Coffee is the must-have drink in the hands of all tired parents. Upgrade their caffeine game with the Nespresso VertuoPlus Machine, which makes freshly brewed coffee with crema and espresso (in four sizes no less) at the touch of a single button ($279). New flavours from its Festive Variations Paris 2018 Collection include praline and macaron. Oh là là!
10. Coffee on the go
Sleepy stroller walks are just better with a coffee in your hand. These JOCO reusable cups ($24.95, three sizes) have an anti-splash lid and a thermal silicone sleeve to keep your hands cool while your brew is still piping hot. With millions of plastic-lined paper cups dumped into the trash each week, the plastic-free purchase that will last a lifetime—and you can feel good about. The bonus: they're BPA-free as well as microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
11. Actually cute rain shoes
Bye, bye, duck boots! The water-resistant Audreys by Native Shoes ($75) are perfect for the on-the-go mama. They’re also a holiday wardrobe must: this season’s edition comes in a durable, washable velvet treatment.
12. A sparkling clean home
Real talk: Cleaning your house is hard enough at the best of times, let alone when it’s the holidays and you have a new baby. Give the new parent on your list the gift of a sparkling home with a gift card from Vancouver eco-friendly cleaning company AspenClean (from $15). Looking for something to put under the tree? Their new line of all-natural laundry detergents, infused with essential oils, smell great and fight all manners of baby-related stains. There’s also an unscented version if baby is scent sensitive or has allergies.
13. Clothes for the tired warrior mama
The “Strong as a Mother line of clothing celebrates the sisterhood of motherhood in all of its glory, embodying physical and mental strength. Co-founded by Tamara Komuniecki of Delish General Store, the T-shirts, crew-neck sweatshirts, hoodies and workout shirts are perfect for the strong mamas on your list who could use a little shout-out. For wee ones, check out their line of “Strong as My Mother” clothing in sizes 3 to 6 months all the way through to 18 to 20.
14. Multi-use bibs
Made from super-soft bamboo cotton terry cloth, Numpher’s “must have multi-use” bibs ($14) are functional and beautiful and perfectly complement any adorable outfit. Don’t let their pretty appearance fool you. These bibs are a triple-threat powerhouse, acting as an absorbent bib, burp cloth and washcloth. Numpher donates partial proceeds to the Newborn ICU at BC Women’s Hospital, and offers complimentary gift wrapping online.
15. At-home fitness
With the erratic and unpredictable schedules of babies, fitness often falls by the wayside for new parents. Going to the gym? Forget about it. The Mandy Gill fitness app (starting from $315) sends you personalized at-home workouts that can be done while baby is napping. You can also add one-on-one in-person coaching or nutritional support.
16. Healthy meals without the fuss and prep
Having a new baby leaves little time to grocery shop, let alone prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal. Get mom and dad a gift card for Fresh Prep, which shops, chops and delivers fresh recipe ingredients to make a delicious meal designed by chefs and nutritionists with zero prep and less dishes to clean. Menus include mouth-watering options like seared Ocean-wise cod, tofu sushi bowls and Korean-style pork tacos. Offerings change each week, can be customized for dietary preferences and include collaborations with top Vancouver restaurants and foodies. Meals starting from $9
17. Baby shoes that actually stay on little feet
Handmade on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast by husband-and-wife team Galen and Melissa Armstrong, these soft-soled baby and toddler Pipsneaks sneakers ($45) are a parents dream. Soft, cozy and stylish, they’re designed to go on easily and stay on -- perfect for busy parents and allowing little feet to develop safely. Available in nine colours
18. Personalized baby blanket
Wrap the posh little prince or princess on your list with a signature blanket from Tiffany & Co. ($610). Made with merino wool and cashmere, and featuring the signature logo, this luxurious blanket can be personalized and will soon become a cherished fam favourite.
19. Pack snacks without the waste
It's hard to believe when you see a newborn, but it won’t be long before baby will be chowing down on snacks in the stroller or car seat. Swap the plastic and Tupperware tubs for a bento-style zero-waste lunch box from PlanetBox. PVC-free, dishwasher-safe with separate compartments, attached lids and dipper container for sauces and wet items, the Shuttle ($39) is perfect for small meals and snacks on the run. Each box comes with a set of cute magnets.
20. A super cute (and functional) diaper bag
Vancouver backpack maker Herschel has jumped into the parenting game with the release of its Sprout Strand Duffle diaper bag (11 colour options, $109). The highly versatile duffel, with the signature striped interior, can be worn over the shoulder and has loads of pockets inside and out for diapers, wipes, bottles and more. It also has a folding easy-wipe changing mat. Not feeling the duffel? Its Settlement backpack, with integrated storage and change pad, is also perfect for on-the-go new parents.
21. His and her robes for mom and dad
The early days of parenthood inevitably include late nights, early mornings and many, many unexpected wake-ups in the middle of the night. These unisex linen robes from Flax Sleep ($98) help mom and dad maintain next-level comfort even during those bleary-eyed middle-of-the-night feedings. It's a great gift for the couples on your list!
22. Cook great meals in an instant
The Instant Pot ($129) has reached cult status among home chefs—and with good reason. The powerhouse multi-function appliance does the job of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker and sauté pan—and cooks meals in a fraction of the usual time. Think: slow-roasted pulled pork on the table in 45 minutes. A great bonus for new parents: its sterilize function can sterilize baby bottles, jars and utensils.
23. The gift of good sleep
New parents spend a lot of time getting in and out of bed in the middle of the night, which can be super disruptive for the person sleeping beside them. Canadian-made and super-comfy, the Endy mattress (from $775) has open-air cells that act as tiny shock-absorbers, eliminating motion transfer. Help new parents get more Zzzs.
24. Baby wear for playful living
While new parents are often bombarded with gifts of adorable yet not-so-practical baby clothes, Peakaboo Beans’ mission is to design un-fussy clothes free of zippers, buttons and bows so kids can focus on one very important life building activity: play time. The B.C. company is a cult favourite: they dressed the Trudeau kids for Canada Day and were just named one of Jillian Harris’ favourite Canadian baby brands.
25. The Simply Beautiful subscription #editorsbox, $88
Here's a Christmas gift that keeps on giving all year! Curated personally by BCLiving editor Janine Verreault, the Simply Beautiful subscription box includes the best beauty finds, style pieces and trendy home decor treasures. Every 90 days, the special lady on your list will receive six to eight products for the body, home and soul. Says Verreault: “Perhaps it’s an essential oil to help you feel calm, a beautiful piece of jewellery to make you feel luxurious or a special tea to give you a sense of peace—we believe that being surrounded by beauty can make life that much sweeter."
26. Perfectly fluffy pillows
Let new parents rest their heads and their minds with ergonomic and fluffy new pillows that remain cool on each side throughout the night (when they actually get to rest). The ‘Pillow No. 47’ from Primary Goods ($78) stitch silver fibers into the pillow to repel bacteria, meaning they’ll outlast other pillows for many years. Oh, and did I mention they’re machine washable?