Here it is! The essential Christmas gift list for all parents of babies, toddlers and other little ankle-biters. But pay attention … because this is a list of things NOT to buy. Choose to gift something from this list and you may just find yourself struck off the Christmas card list forever.
So before buying anything for the bleary-eyed new mum or dad in your life, make sure you check it’s not one of these seven doozies first!
1. An alarm clock
Who needs a fancy alarm clock when you have your own living and breathing one? If parents are not already getting woken up at the crack of dawn from their baby crying for milk, it’ll be the toddler poking their eyes at 5AM because they want to watch Bluey. Not only completely useless for the new mama or papa who rarely sleeps, little kids will love pulling it out from the wall and setting the alarm to blare loudly at 3AM (where do they pick up these crafty hacking skills??).
2. Anything white
Nice white linen pants, a crisp cream shirt or a beautiful ivory sun dress? FORGET IT. Parents won’t be able to go even two steps without a little person placing their grubby hands all over it. Baby vomit, thrown food and poo are all potential stain offenders. The same goes for white tablecloths, tea towels, bath towels, sheets, dressers, couches, rugs and anything else that offers a nice fresh blank ‘canvas’. And if it’s not the children messing up the white, it’s the sleep-deprived parents themselves spilling cups of tea and wine everywhere. So please – no white Christmas this year.
3. A new flat screen TV
This seems like a good idea – think of all the family movies they’ll be able to watch! Well, only if it stays untouched. Kids just LOVE standing with their noses literally touching the screen (which makes no sense considering how large TVs are now with perfect clarity). They also love touching it (thinking that it’s going to move the image just like an iPad does), pushing it in a toddler rage, or press all the buttons and plugs so many times the whole thing craps out. So unless this new baby is going to be immediately mounted up high and out of reach, forget about it.
4. Anything breakable
While we’re talking about breaking stuff, we may as well rule out ANYTHING that has the potential to smash or be ruined in the hands of a sneaky toddler. Glass vases, precious ornaments, new smartphones or tablets, expensive music speakers, designer sunglasses … the list goes on and on. Almost nothing is safe unless it’s locked away, so think you before you buy, people!
5. A dog
Pets should never, never be gifted. And this is never more true than when it’s a family with young children. Do you not think they have enough to clean up already in their lives? And even if the kids are now all toilet trained, there’s still going to be bed wetting accidents so the last thing parents need is yet another member of the family requiring their poo cleaning up. Dogs also need to be bathed, fed, taken for medical check-ups, entertained and exercised – just like another baby.
6. A drum kit
Even if the family is musical and this seems like a super fun idea, PUT THE DRUM STICKS DOWN. Children will bash that thing day and night so much that parents will slide into a psychotic rage faster than you can say ‘whiplash’. And they might possibly get evicted from their neighbourhood too.
Are you the devil? Don’t you think their house is messy enough without adding slime to it? This gooey stuff gets everywhere and is a nightmare to clean up. Slime offers two seconds of fun for preschoolers (who, of course, love it for exactly two seconds only), and then it’s a clean-up party for one – mum. No thanks!