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20 Perfect holiday gifts for new parents

Chaunie Brusie is writer, speaker, and labor and delivery nurse. Her first book, Tiny Blue Lines, a guide to young motherhood, was released in May 2014. She writes about life as a young mom of three.

Because parents are the reason for the season

There's a lot of focus on kids in the holiday season, but let's be honest — it's the parents who do all the real work.

And for that, I say it's time that the parents get some recognition with some perfect holiday gifts. They may not be gold, frankincense or myrrh, but me thinks they may be even better than that.

1. Convertible car seat

Because parents are the reason for the season

You may be thinking: Oh, sure, every parent will already have a car seat for the baby, puhlease! But let me tell you what — there is no greater gift than an extra car seat for those times that grandma, grandpa, a friend or a spouse needs to take the baby in a hurry. It's invaluable and saves time and precious back muscles to not have to switch car seats. Picking one up specifically for transfers is the perfect thoughtful present. (Diono.com, $359.99)

2. Bump Water

Because parents are the reason for the season

I love the idea of creating a "bump basket" for expecting parents and a bottle of Bump Water would be perfect to tuck in — maybe next to some good reads and a few healthy snacks? This refreshing bottled beverage can help curb nausea, promote folic acid intake and help moms-to-be who have trouble swallowing those prenatal pills still get the vitamins they need. (Bumpwater.com, $29 for 12 bottles)

3. Happy Mama survival kit

Because parents are the reason for the season

Described as the "ultimate go-to solution to help women feel healthy and happy during pregnancy, nursing and beyond," this Make Mama Happy Survival Kit includes solutions for sleepless nights, aches, pains and heartburn, along with a bedazzled case for her to tote her medications or prenatal vitamins. A healthy mama = a happy mama (Healthymamabrand.com, $40). Always be sure to check with your health care provider before taking any medications while pregnant or nursing.

4. Hair loss supplements

Because parents are the reason for the season

As most moms know, postpartum time also can mean hair loss time. Gone are the shiny, full locks of pregnancy and in are the clumps of hair lost in the shower. Hair growth vitamins and supplements can help prevent that loss and support new growth, especially for nursing moms. "Adding a supplement to a well-balanced diet like Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition, which contains biotin, zinc, iron, selenium and chromium can get your hair growing and glowing, supporting healthy hair growth," notes Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., F.A.A.D. and cosmetic dermatologist with Aviva (Avivahair.com, $60 for a one-month supply). Always be sure to check with your health care provider before taking any medications while pregnant or nursing.

5. Baby care gift basket

Because parents are the reason for the season

You may think that babies are sweet and innocent, but odds are that precious newborn baby will get dirtier than a mud wrestler on a rainy day. We go through baby wash like crazy in my house, which is why I think any parent would appreciate some free baby care goodies, like a care package of baby wash, lotion or diaper cream, especially a brand that is paraben- and sulfate-free. (Walmart.com, $10)

6. The coolest bath towel ever

Because parents are the reason for the season

OK, I have to be honest — when I first saw this bath towel, my first thought was how ridiculous it looked. And then, in the next second, my thought was, Holy cow, that thing is pure genius. Because it really is. I hate trying to hold a towel across my shoulder while simultaneously bending over to pick up a wet, wiggly baby. I usually end up dropping half of the towel in the water and that's no fun for anyone. This towel lets you fasten straps around you to prevent that and, yes, I'm overly excited about it. (Amazon.com, $22)

7. A 10-in-one nursing pillow

Because parents are the reason for the season

A good nursing pillow is my No. 1 go-to suggestion for new parents, but this pillow by ClevaMama takes it one step further. Made with ClevaFoam, which is designed to reduce flat head syndrome, this nursing pillow pulls double duty as a baby seat and has an insert with padded straps to be used in a car seat, stroller, high chair or bouncer. Not too shabby. (Amazon.com, $62)

8. One of these adorable sports blankets

Because parents are the reason for the season

Seriously, how cute is that? If you have any sport-fanatic parents in your midst, any of these sports blanket or burp cloths — also available in their favorite team colors — would make the perfect gift. All products are also handmade in the U.S., which is a nice touch. (Teames.com, $23+)

9. Zen swaddle blanket

Because parents are the reason for the season

Give the new parents in your life the gift they want most: sleep. We had cousins gift us with a swaddle blanket with our third child and it was my most favorite present ever because it worked like a dream. This line of Zen swaddle blankets are designed to mimic a mother's touch to help your baby stay calm. (Zen Swaddle in Stardust Gray, $30)

10. Monogrammed family pillow

Because parents are the reason for the season

OK, I totally got lost browsing in this website because there are so many awesome family pillows to choose from. They are so original and I really couldn't pick just one to recommend. My favorites are the "family tree," "state love" and "dates to remember" pillows. (Averyandethan.com, $45)

11. Personalized platter

Because parents are the reason for the season

I actually think the idea of gifting new parents with a personalized platter is really cute — it will be the perfect place to gather around together one day at the table and enjoy some fresh-baked cookies. Or to plop the store-bought ones on. (Averyandethan, $39)

12. The softest blanket of all time

Because parents are the reason for the season

Obvs this present is meant to induce some serious snuggle time. I'm swooning just looking at the softness of these blankets — they are luxury blankets available in full and "snuggle" sizes. With each purchase, the company also donates a blanket to a baby in need, so this is a gift that keeps on giving. (Goosewaddle gift set, $90)

13. The smartest thermometer on the market

Because parents are the reason for the season

There is nothing harder than trying to get an accurate temperature on a baby — something I don't say lightly as both a nurse and a mom of four uncooperative children. So I'm a bit blown away by this product, which is a wearable patch that connects wirelessly to your smartphone to deliver real-time temperature readings and alerts when your child's temperature rises. I guess you could consider this the gift of peace of mind? (Feversmart.com, $129 to preorder)

14. All-natural laundry supplies

Because parents are the reason for the season

Short of actually invading their home and doing laundry for them, I'd say this is the next best thing to helping new parents tackle those ever-growing piles of laundry. This convenient gift bundle includes organic goat milk laundry detergent, dryer balls and a stain-removing stick in your choice of lemon, eucalyptus or lavender scents. (Bandnlaundry.com, $50)

15. A classy family ornament

Because parents are the reason for the season

You really can't go wrong with a family ornament, can you? It's small, simple and this version could also sit on a shelf with a photo to enjoy year-round. (Bethquinndesigns.com, $22)

16. Swaddle Love book

Because parents are the reason for the season

Think of it as the opposite of the Go the F*** to Sleep book (also an excellent choice). Instead, Swaddle Love is "full of candid storytelling and heartwarming humor that explores the history, science, and techniques of swaddling with a joyful celebration of babies, parenthood and sleeping eight hours a night." (Adenandanais.com, $20)

17. Unisex pajamas

Because parents are the reason for the season

I double-dog-dare you not to sing "In Our Christmas Jammies" when you gift the new parents in your life with these festive unisex pajama pants. (Polarn O. Pyret, $42)

18. That rug everyone has on Instagram

Because parents are the reason for the season

Hey, look guys — I found that rug that every cool person has on Instagram. Let those new parents snap "all the pictures" with "all the feels," "all the baby cutes" and whatever other "alls" there are. (Elksandangels,com, $85)

19. An excellent ExerSaucer

Because parents are the reason for the season

Help the new parents in your life go hands-free this holiday season with an ExerSaucer to keep Baby entertained — maybe even long enough for them to sample the eggnog. This thing converts from a tummy-time play mat to a secure bouncy seat to an activity table for toddlers. Talk about multitasking, no? (Toysrus.com, $129)

20. A super-safe baby monitor

Because parents are the reason for the season

I have to admit that sometimes, I wonder what kind of effect all of this Wi-Fi and connectivity flying through the air is having on our bodies and our babies. Which is why I found the Smart Nova Baby Monitor an intriguing idea — it allows new parents to keep a virtual ear out for Baby with 97 percent less radiation than a traditional baby monitor. (Bellyarmor.com, $129)

More on holiday gifts

Holiday gift ideas for tweens
Christmas gifts your kids really want
Holiday gift ideas from kids to grandma and grandpa

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