Learn strategies for navigating public transportation, crowded streets and small living spaces from Manhattan mom Monica Storch.

The Best Gifts for a City Baby

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They say good things come in small packages, and when it comes to gifting a city baby, truer words have never been spoken.  It’s hard enough finding room in a city apartment for a diaper pail and changing table, let alone all of the gifts that well-meaning (and extremely generous) friends and relatives will bestow upon your baby during his or her first holiday season.  Providing potential gifters with some helpful guidance will minimize the chances that you’ll be sharing your small space with a life-size plush gorilla.

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Don’t be afraid to let people know that, although you’re incredibly grateful that they’d like to treat your baby to a holiday gift, space constraints necessitate that the gift be one that will comfortably fit in your pint-size apartment.  And lest you think this couldn’t possibly be a real issue, just picture the enormous plush dog taking up an entire corner of my daughter’s bedroom or the doll wagon residing under our dining room table, both courtesy of relatives who live in the burbs).  So instead of a floor-to-ceiling dollhouse, suggest a smaller version (or even one that can be folded up) that can be tucked away when not in use.  Rather than an enormous pop-up book or storybook collection that won’t even begin to fit on your child’s bookshelf, encourage friends to send smaller board books that are not only easy for baby to grip but which fit snugly in baby’s library. A tabletop easel makes a smart alternative to a large free-standing one, while multi-function toys like a pounding bench that also happens to be a xylophone are perfect for city tots.

The same goes for holiday gifts to expectant moms. Space-saving gear such as an umbrella stroller or portable high chair will be warmly welcomed and a snap to store. Even better, a gift card to a favorite baby store (mine is, of course, giggle) will allow new and expectant parents to select precisely what they need and can fit in their ever-shrinking living space. And don’t fret about appearing ungrateful – your friends and family will be thrilled to know exactly what you prefer to receive. After all, isn’t the best part of giving a gift seeing the look of joy on the recipient’s face when they’ve received exactly the right gift? Of course, there will always be that one relative who insists on sending you a ride-on monster truck, but that’s what grandma’s house is for, right?

About Monica

Monica Storch publishes NYCeast.macaronikid.com, a weekly e-newsletter and website highlighting the best events going on for kids and families in New York City. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their 4-year-old daughter and infant son.

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