What is a Push Present and Should I be Getting One?

A lot of first time parents have some preconceived ideas about what pregnancy, labor and new parenthood look like.  Often times, these notions come from movies and TV.  Of course, real life is a bit different than Hollywood, and most of the time labor doesn’t involve a frantic rush to the hospital followed almost instantly by the swift delivery of a new bundle of joy.  No, in real life, things tend to progress much…  more…  slowly…  And there is one area that Hollywood writers seem not to cover at all – the push present.  In case you haven’t heard, push presents have become quite popular over the past decade or so and this catches many fathers-to-be by surprise.

This of course leads to a number of important questions:  What on earth are push presents?  If I am only just hearing about them now, do I really need to get one?  What do I even get?

You’re in luck, because GiftGlide is here to weigh in on just these issues.

The case for push presents

Ok, so as an expectant father, you find yourself contemplating whether or not to get a push present.  On the one hand, you always come through with thoughtful gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day.  On the other hand, is this new push present trend a bit superfluous?  After all, isn’t a cuddly baby an adequate reward after a long pregnancy and labor?  While these conjectures seem valid on the surface, they miss the point entirely.  A push present isn’t merely a reward for carrying out a task.  Rather, this gift is a way to commemorate and enhance an already magical moment.  And yes, push presents (like all gifts in life) can be a bit superfluous, but they are another way of bringing fun and joy into your life.  Asking this question is like asking if chocolate cake is superfluous to a fine steak dinner – strictly speaking you can do without it, but why?

Just remember, your wife has just gone through nine difficult months that culminated in one of the most daunting experiences that life has to offer.  Oh, and this is all just the beginning.  Upon the arrival of your new family member, get ready for many sleepless nights punctuated by endless bouts of crying.  Do you think it might be a good idea to do something special to put a smile on your love’s face?  Yes, that might be a good idea.

But we are having a baby, we need to save money

Babies are expensive.  It’s true.  For many couples, gone are the days of romantic dinners, drinks with friends, and attending yoga classes once a baby arrives.  Fortunately, cutting back on these things shouldn’t be too difficult since you no longer have any free time.  So, should you cut out the push present to pad your bank account?  If you are really strapped, then the answer is yes.  But, if you have enough cash to budget for a few small indulgences, this is one that is worth splurging on.  That’s not to say that push presents needs to be extravagant.  There are plenty of thoughtful and sentimental options for the thrifty shopper.

How much should I spend on a push present and what should I get?

For engagement rings, you should spend two months salary.  For wedding gifts, you should try to at least cover the cost of your attendance at the ceremony.  So, it stands to reason there should be some sort of standard benchmark for push presents.  But alas, in the land of push presents there are no such guidelines.  Perhaps it is due to the somewhat recent rise in popularity of the push present that society’s standard bearers haven’t yet had a chance to hash this one out.  In a few decades, we as a people will probably have reached a consensus on what to spend but that doesn’t help you much now, does it.  If you have the means, then go big if you like but this is not a time to blow the entire family nest egg on a single purchase (the time for that was at the engagement).

The range of push presents varies widely.  Jewelry is a popular option, since it tends to be timeless and thus an ideal gift to mark an occasion.  This can mean diamond earrings that cost several thousand dollars or a simple charm bracelet that costs less than twenty.  Other popular ideas include handbags, cameras, tablets, gliders, and even the occasional new car.  Generally speaking though, this is a gift for the new mother to enjoy and not a new outfit for the baby.

push present: charm bracelet

Before labor?  After birth?  When is the right time to give this gift?

Some people opt to give a push present before labor, while others wait until afterward.  In some cases, people actually give the push present after labor has started but before it has gotten really intense – a token of encouragement just before a major hurdle.  While there is no right or wrong time to give a push present, giving one after mom and baby are home has a lot of benefits.  The arrival of a new baby is such a wonderful and dramatic event, that it is difficult to commemorate it before it actually happens, and anything given during the actual labor may be forgotten in the blur of the whole ordeal.  A gift given a couple of days after things have calmed down (on a relative basis anyway) will likely be remembered and associated with the warmth of a new family member after the anxious build up has surpassed.

Congrats, your life will never be the same

When many parents looks back at the life that they have with their spouse, they remember two distinct periods – before kids and after kids.  While both periods may be joy filled, they are almost unrecognizable as two parts of the same whole.  However, there is one constant throughout, and this should be your north star when contemplating push presents or any of the myriad decisions that you face – happy wife happy life.

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