The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and the exchange of meaningful gifts between loved ones. Receiving thoughtful and practical gifts can make a significant impact on overall well-being for an individual living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As a parent to a child with IBD, you may find yourself contemplating gift ideas to bring comfort and cheer to your little one. Maybe you already know the perfect gift to give your child this year, but your family members or friends are eagerly seeking gift suggestions. In the following holiday gift guide, I’ve curated a selection of ideas that prioritize comfort, support, joy, and health for individuals living with IBD. Whether you are a parent, relative, friend, loved one, or a patient seeking self-care treats this holiday season, this gift guide will help you explore thoughtful options that bring warmth and cheer.
Although the following information is not clinically heavy, before we begin please note that this page is not intended to be a substitute for a professional medical opinion. For more detailed information regarding IBD or if you have questions pertaining to your child’s individual treatment plan, please seek out the professional medical advice of your child’s doctor or healthcare provider. The information provided in this post should not be used to diagnose and/or treat you, your child, or a loved one with IBD. If you have general questions, would like more information on IBD, or would like to connect with an IBD support group, please feel free to reach out to a member of the IBD Connect team, myself included, via the links at the bottom of this post. Now, let’s dive into those gift ideas!
This guide is thoughtfully organized into distinct categories for your convenience. However, it's worth noting that many of the gift ideas could be placed in more than one category. To fully embrace the richness of this gift guide, we encourage you to explore each section thoroughly and discover all the thoughtful options awaiting your consideration! Additionally, this gift guide encompasses all ages. There are gift ideas that are appropriate for children, adolescents, and adults living with IBD. Please use your discretion when purchasing a gift for your IBD Warrior!
Practical Gift Ideas:
1) IV Hoodie: The iVHOODIE (https://ivhoodies.com/) is perfect for staying cozy during an infusion! Each hoodie features a zipper that runs the length of each arm to allow for easy access for IV placement or a lab draw. These hoodies allow your IBD Warrior to feel both confident and comfortable in the chilly hospital environment. They come in several different sizes and two different colors. The best part? They were created by one of our own IBD Warriors, Ella Shamash!
2) Squatty Potty: The Squatty Potty is a stool that your IBD Warrior can use while going number two! It helps properly position your legs to reduce strain and improve bowel health. While not in use, it fits perfectly around your toilet to save space. The Squatty Potty is cost-effective, and there are multiple different styles and designs to choose from. This product gets bonus points for being easy to clean!
3) Heating Pads (Or Plush Animals!): A cozy heating pad can provide soothing relief from abdominal and back pain during flare-ups. Opt for high-quality, washable fabrics for comfort and practicality. For younger children, there are several different brands that create microwavable plush animals that function as heating pads!
4) Reusable Hot-and-Cold Packs: Versatile and practical, these packs can provide relief for various symptoms. Whether its heated for muscle relaxation or a cold pack for inflammation, they offer adaptable comfort for different situations. They are great for travel too!
5) Poo-Pourri: This before-you-go spray works wonders to help eliminate odor. Spray 3-5 sprays in the toilet bowl before you go to create a barrier that traps the odor below the water’s surface. This is great for home use and travel! (https://pourri.com/)
6) Pill Box: Help your IBD Warrior stay organized during the week with their own pill box! For younger children, there are pillboxes with different themes and characters. Make it fun!
7) Food Journal: A food journal, or a food tracker, is a great way for your IBD Warrior to ensure a well-balanced diet or to maintain adherence to a specific diet prescribed by a healthcare provider or registered dietician. Logging foods in a food journal may also help identify trigger foods causing unwanted symptoms. Some journals have a section that allows the user to track water intake as well.
8) Books: Books can help educate and inspire. You may consider gifting your IBD Warrior an educational book written by a medical professional, an inspiring story written by an IBD patient, or an informative book regarding a specific diet plan your IBD Warrior is trying. The possibilities are endless!
9) Travel Bag and/or Emergency Kit: A new travel bag or emergency kit is the perfect gift for an IBD Warrior. If you choose to purchase a bag, you can fill it with hand sanitizer, wipes, Poo-Pourri, toilet paper, disposable bags, a pill box, and/or anything else your IBD Warrior may find useful in an emergency situation on-the-go.
10) Heated Toilet Seat With Lights: This is a very practical gift, especially for those moments where you have to go in the middle of the night! There are several different options and styles to choose from on Amazon alone.
Fun Gift Ideas:
1) Kindle or Audiobook Subscription: Reading or listening to books can be a wonderful distraction during challenging times (hospital visits, flare-ups, surgery recovery, etc.). Provide access to a vast library with a Kindle or audiobook subscription to keep the mind engaged and entertained.
2) Streaming Services Subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc.): Subscriptions to these services can provide a means of distraction during times of rest and recovery. Make sure to factor in age considerations!
3) Fun Toilet Paper Holder: A quick search on Google or Amazon yields a plethora of different fun, silly toilet paper holder and storage options. There are dinosaurs, cats, sheep, cacti, giraffes, clouds, and food-shaped toilet paper holders. There are bears and Rubik cube shaped toilet paper holders. There are so many options! While kids will love the characters, animals, and fun objects, adults may enjoy some of the more aesthetically pleasing or practical toilet paper holders. There are toilet paper holders that include a little compartment above the paper for storage! There are some toilet paper storage options that look like a tic-tac-toe board. Do some research and find one that your IBD Warrior will love.
4) Poop/Colon/Ostomy Plush Toys: Younger IBD Warriors will love plush toys that are shaped like poop or a colon! If your little IBD Warrior has an ostomy, there are even stuffed animals and dolls that have ostomies.
5) Anything Featuring the Poop Emoji: Plush toys, blankets, stickers, key chains, water bottles, etc. No explanation needed!
6) Fun IBD Tee Shirts: A quick Amazon search shows several different tee shirts options that showcase IBD-related humor. If you know an IBD Warrior with a good sense of humor, this may be the perfect gift.
7) Coloring Books/Puzzle Books: Coloring books or puzzle books are a great way to pass the time at the hospital, relax after a long day, or practice selfcare. These are a great gift for children and adults! Many adult coloring books are geared primarily to help with relaxation.
8) Interactive Story Books: Interactive story books can spark your IBD Warrior’s imagination, engage their mind, distract from challenges, or help them to relax. Look for books with textures, sounds, or interactive elements to make reading a delightful experience. You can also opt for something that involves screen-free technology, such as one of LeapFrog’s Learn to Read Systems (https://www.leapfrog.com/en-us/products/reading-family) or the Toniebox (https://us.tonies.com/pages/bundle?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAgqGrBhDtARIsAM5s0_lJxyVhCnTr25Anf8iNeytdqhAWNdOEhk3XdcHZTqQ8hiW02HLcqLwaAgc2EALw_wcB)
Gifts that Prioritize Health and Wellness:
1) High-Quality Water Bottle: Hydration is crucial for individuals living with IBD. Choose a durable, insulated water bottle to encourage regular water intake, helping to support overall health and well-being. For younger IBD Warriors, choose a water bottle with their favorite character, animal, movie, etc. displayed.
2) Customized Meal-Delivery Service: Managing a specific diet and/or eating healthy is crucial for those living with IBD. Gift a subscription to a meal delivery service that accommodates dietary restrictions, making it easier for your loved one to enjoy delicious and IBD-friendly meals. Taking the stress out of meal preparation can be a game-changer for individuals with IBD.
3) Cookbooks: Know an adolescent or adult IBD Warrior that loves to cook or is following a specific diet plan? Give them the gift of a cookbook specific to their diet plan!
4) Gym Membership/Classes: This is the perfect gift for the IBD Warrior who is looking to grow in their health and wellness journey.
5) Gentle Exercise Equipment: Encourage well-being with gentle exercise options like resistance bands or a yoga mat. These can be invaluable tools for maintaining physical activity in a comfortable and supportive manner.
6) Subscription to Health and Wellness Apps: Give the gift of holistic well-being with subscriptions to health and wellness apps. Food-tracking, mindfulness, or stress-relief apps are good choices. These tools can aid in stress-reduction and improving mental health, which are essential aspects of managing IBD.
Gifts that Prioritize Comfort and Relaxation:
1) Cozy Loungewear: Comfort is key, especially during days spent at home or in the hospital. Consider soft, loose-fitting loungewear made from gentle fabrics to enhance relaxation and make those cozy days a little more enjoyable. Think pajamas, fuzzy socks, and slippers! For younger children, try finding slippers in their favorite color or with their favorite movie character, TV character, animal, etc.
2) Blankets: Who doesn’t love a good blanket?
3) Gift Cards or Certificates for Relaxing Experiences: Treat your loved one to a spa day, a massage, or another relaxing experience. These gifts not only promote self-care but also show that you understand the importance of moments of respite in the midst of managing IBD.
4) Aroma Therapy and Essential Oils: Create a calming environment with the gift of essential oils known for their soothing properties, Lavender, chamomile, and peppermint can promote relaxation and ease stress, providing a therapeutic touch for someone navigating the challenges of IBD. There are so many cost-effective diffuser options as well. Scented candles are another great option!
5) Journaling Supplies: Encourage reflective practices with a set of journaling supplies, including a beautiful journal, pens, and inspirational prompts. Journaling can be a therapeutic outlet for expressing thoughts and emotions. For younger IBD Warriors, journaling can take many different forms. You may consider purchasing crayons, markers, colored pencils, stickers, and other art supplies.
6) Soft, Plush Toys: Bring comfort and companionship with soft plush toys! Choose cuddly characters or animals to add a touch of warmth to a child’s bedroom, playroom, or hospital room.
Miscellaneous Gift Ideas:
1) Gift cards: Who doesn’t love a good gift card? You can’t go wrong with an Amazon or Target gift card!
2) Donation to a Nonprofit Organization: Why not simply make a donation to a nonprofit, like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/) or IBD Connect, that may benefit not only your IBD Warrior, but all IBD Warriors!
3) IBD Connect Merchandise: Right now, IBD Connect is having a huge sale! For the month of December, our entire store is 20% off. Use code DECEMBER20 at checkout for the discounted rate to apply. As a reminder, our online store has a variety of IBD Connect merchandise, including: tee shirts, hoodies, water bottles, baseball caps, Warrior Bags, drawstring bags, sweatpants, and beanies. The link to our store is at the bottom of this post.
Hopefully, this holiday gift guide gives you some ideas for the perfect gift for your IBD Warrior! Selecting gifts that consider the unique needs of individuals with IBD can truly make a positive impact. If you would like more information about IBD or are in need of financial or emotional support, feel free to contact IBD Connect via our website. You can also reach out to me directly with the email address linked below. IBD Connect wants to ensure that no IBD patient or family feels alone, especially during this holiday season. If you are interested in connecting with a support group to discuss topics like this one more thoroughly and gain some practical insight form other parents, caregivers, and patients, feel free to click the link below for more information! Stay strong IBD Warrior families and happy gift giving!
Disclaimer: This blog provides gift ideas for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) based on general considerations. The suggested products are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before making any purchase, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure compatibility with individual health conditions. The inclusion of product links is for informational purposes only, and the blog is not responsible for any outcomes resulting from the use or purchase of these products. Users are advised to exercise discretion and are solely responsible for their purchases, as this blog offers suggestions and does not endorse or guarantee the effectiveness or safety of any specific product.
Hi! My name is Emily Fournier, and I am a wife, mom, and registered nurse currently living in MA. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in May of 2020. Since graduation, I have had experience working as a registered nurse in both a hospital intensive care unit and a community health center. Throughout my nursing career, I have had several opportunities to care for IBD patients of all ages, which has allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of IBD from a medical perspective. Through my friendship with an individual diagnosed with Crohn's disease at a young age, I have also been able to see how IBD affects every aspect of an individual, whether it be physically, socially, mentally, or emotionally. With Emily’s Gut Check, I hope to combine my medical expertise with a more holistic approach to IBD care in order to provide support and encouragement to anyone affected by IBD, but especially to parents of a child diagnosed with IBD. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions, need advice, or have an idea for a blog topic to cover. Thank you all for being on this journey with me!