Selecting a gift for a second child can be tricky. You know that the parents already have the basics, and disposable items like diapers seem too mundane to make good gifts. You want to give something that will be used and appreciated, but you also want to give something special that will remind the parents of you and convey your good wishes.
It helps to know the age of the older child. If the children are more than four or five years apart, the parents may need to replace worn-out or outgrown items. And if they are very close together, the parents may need duplicates of items that their first child still uses. It also helps to know the new baby's gender. If the children are of different genders, then it is much easier to choose a gift for the second baby.
It is traditional for grandparents or godparents to give a sterling silver mug, often engraved with the baby's name and birth date. Other traditional gifts include silver rattles, picture frames and utensil sets. Girls may get bracelets or necklaces, and boys may get heirloom cufflinks or personalised tie bars to treasure until they are grown.
If the two children are close in age, the family may need a second car seat, stroller, and crib. A baby monitor or second playpen are frequently useful. Second-time parents frequently need a tandem umbrella stroller or a double stroller that allows the older child to sit while the baby lies down. A basket of consumables like baby shampoo, baby oil, baby wash, washcloths, colic drops, diapers, wipes, disposable bibs, pacifiers and pacifier clips makes a thoughtful gift. Clothes always make a good baby gift, especially if the two children are of different genders. Coats, buntings, sweaters, and other cold-weather wear are especially good for babies born in autumn or winter.
Every baby needs her own special blanket or teddy bear. Handmade items make good gifts, and may include blankets, quilts, sweater and hat sets, and embroidered crib linens or bibs. Woodworkers may give a handmade rocking horse or child-sized chair personalised for the new baby. Personalised piggy banks and dish sets are also popular gifts.
For second and subsequent babies, many people give gift cards, cash or savings bonds. The advantage of financial gifts is that the parents can use them for immediate needs or they can invest them so that they can help pay for college, a first car, or a first home. Miss Manners generally frowns on such gifts, but they do remain a common and popular option.
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