Making it my business: beyond snuggly-wuggly blankets and itty-bitty booties

5 not-so-conventional but exceptionally thoughtful shower gifts for Richmond parents-to-be

You might have heard that I’ve got a bun in the oven… specifically a bun that is almost done and an oven that is starting to look forward to orchestrating an eviction come November. My baby shower is coming up very soon, and while I’m personally jonesing for the much needed baby accoutrements (mostly because I very much don’t want to pay for them), I got to thinking about what shower guests could give in lieu of your standard baby gear.

Within the same line of thinking, what could friends and family do for couples expecting their second (or third, or fourth, whathaveyou) baby but who are also in need of some extra support when newest wee one arrives?

Thus, I present to you 5 not-so-conventional but exceptionally thoughtful shower gifts for Richmond parents-to-be…

1. Prenatal massage

This is clearly for the mother, but I’ve always thought that a relaxed mother equals a more peaceful partner. So, see? Everyone wins. Kneading Therapy at 8658 Staples Mill Road (804.261.6004) offers a prenatal massage for $65 – less than what you’d pay for a stroller and totally worth it if it helps the mom relax a bit once she hits the “OMG I’m huge and awkward and in pain” stage of pregnancy.

2. Cleaning services for a month (or two, or eight, etc.)

The thought of having to clean my house whilst learning to care for a newborn kind of makes me want to weep, so this gift idea comes from a purely selfish place, as I hope those of you reading this will put your lunch money together and make this happen for us. Luckily, Richmond has its own branch of the Maid Brigade that sells gift certificates. They offer regular or onetime cleaning services, and they are even Green Clean Certified. Costs vary depending on the size of the home, but they do offer estimates over the phone at 804.355.6243.

3. Lewis Ginter family membership

At $85 this might be a bit pricey for some, but it’s a stellar go-in option for a group. This will give two adults and up to six children under the age of 18 free, year-round admission to the gardens. It also includes discounts for classes and at various garden centers around the city. It’s nice to give parents a change of scenery while taking walks with the beh beh, and The Children’s Garden offers some fun and edumacational activities for older siblings. Memberships can be purchased online or over the phone at 804.262.9887 ext. 338.

4. Two words: prepared meals

The last thing a sleep-deprived couple needs is a steady diet of Wendy’s and Honey Nut Cheerios. Because really, who wants to be tired, terrified, AND fat? My Girlfriend’s Kitchen offers a great alternative to your standard “I’ll bring them lasagna, you bring them meatloaf” meal rotation that often takes place after the birth of a baby. The best option? Bring the new parents the menu, let them pick what they want, and you go pick up the ingredients. Packages start at $105, so this is another go-in option for a group. The Richmond kitchen is located at 13152 Midlothian Turnpike and can be contacted over the phone at 804.794.5732.

5. Diaper supply or service

If you’ve got parents into the whole not killing the earth thing, you’ve got a couple great options to shower them with love and guilt-free diapers. We will be using gDiapers with our little bugger (yes, this is another hint). If you know someone who is also going that route, they offer a premade gBaby shower gift that includes a starter kit, one additional cover, and a CASE of the flushable refills. Or, if the parents are opting to go full-cloth, Richmond now has a diaper service, appropriately named The Stork. Well, actually it’s in Charlottesville, but they’ve recently expanded their territory. The Stork offers gift certificates, with just $22 covering the cost of 80 diapers. You can email them at or call 434.295.2594.

So there you have it – 5 ideas for helping your currently-gestating, soon-to-be-parenting friends stay a bit more sane once their bundle of snuggles and joy arrives. Anything I left out? Leave it in the comments.

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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