I know, I know. It’s fun to buy all of the adorable, tiny little baby clothes as gifts. Of course, it’s fun to receive those tiny clothes, too! If you have a friend that’s expecting a baby, you may have already given her baby clothes, a bouncy seat, bibs, or some other kind of baby item. Those are all fine and great, but when you go to meet the new baby, there are all kinds of things you could bring the new mom that would absolutely make her life easier, brighten her day, and make her feel more like a human again.
People love to help pregnant women. Open doors for them, ask how they’re feeling, tell them to put their feet up. It’s all nice, but I actually felt pretty ok as a pregnant lady. When I really needed help was after the baby came, when my body was even MORE beat up, I hadn’t slept in weeks, I was producing milk like a dairy, didn’t have time to shower, and never really knew what time of day it was or when I had eaten last.
Unfortunately, that really rough patch coincides with everyone coming over to hold your baby. (Which by the way, brand new moms don’t actually want you to hold their baby. They want to hold their baby while you unload the dishwasher.) The “glamour” of pregnancy is gone. You and your unwashed hair and unfed self kind of blend into the wallpaper.
Here’s what I’m proposing. If you’re headed out to see your friends new baby, make it a point to bring at least one of these things to the new mama. Oooh and ahhh over the baby while you’re there, but don’t insist on holding it. (And please, for the love of God, wash your hands the second you walk in the door.)
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure here.)
A few of these ideas are things that people did for me, that I am forever grateful for.
1. A meal. This should be obvious. It’s amazing how hard it is to get food on the table when you have a new baby at home. Especially for a healing and/or breastfeeding mom, nutrition is so important but can be so hard to come by. Let the new parents know before you come that you’re bringing dinner so they can plan on it. Pop it in the oven for them before you leave, and please set a timer because there’s a good change they’ll forget it’s in there.. (Also, don’t insist on staying to eat with them. Normally I’m sure they’d love your company, but they’re beyond exhausted and trying to form some sort of routine. Let them have more leftovers and keep the visit short unless they insist otherwise.)
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2. Snacks. We were so lucky to have a lot of meals made for us after our first child was born, but one of the best things a friend brought was some snack wraps. She made several different flavors of wraps with meat, cheese, veggies, wrapped in tortillas. It’s nice to have dinner, but there are other meals during the day, too! I can’t tell you how nice it was to grab a couple different flavors for lunch. You could also bring other easy to eat snacks for mom, like nuts, cheese sticks, trail mix, a plate of sliced fruit, etc.
3. A fancy, non-alcoholic drink. Just something to make her feel special and like a human again. She worked hard to get that little person out into the world, after all. Bring whatever she likes best…a coffee from her favorite coffee shop, an Italian soda, etc. Just something she might not be able to go out and get otherwise.
4. A multi-purpose nursing cover. During the first couple of weeks after having a baby, new moms pretty much have a boob hanging out at all times. A little unfortunate that this overlaps with everyone you know parading into your home. I wasn’t about to make my newborn baby wait to eat until company was gone, so it was nice to have a comfortable nursing cover around. The first one I had was actually a gift I received from a relative while I was still in the hospital. I love the one listed here, because it’s also a scarf, a car seat cover, and a cover for the shopping cart.
5. Something to pamper herself. Before becoming a parent, putting on lotion was just part of the normal routine. After you have a baby, doing something like putting on lotion is considered pampering yourself and is saved for special occasions. Get her something that is just for her: some lotion that she likes, a bath bomb, a chocolate bar, a cozy pair of socks, etc.
6. Drug-store items. Before you head over to visit, ask the new mom if she needs anything from the pharmacy. Tylenol, ibuprofen, an ice pack, Tucks pads, nipple cream, stool softeners, Tums, etc. She probably planned for some of this stuff, but not all of it.. And if she did, she might be running out already.
7. Flowers. Don’t let this be the only thing you bring over, but some fresh flowers can really brighten up a room, and new moms don’t get out much. Give them all something pretty to look at!
8. A little something for the older child. If your new-mom friend has an older child at home as well, it is a really nice gesture to bring a little something for them, too. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but it makes a huge difference in making the older child feel like they are still special and important. A new baby is a huge change for other kids in the home, and your new-mom friend is probably feeling mom-guilt about the lack of time and attention she can give to her other child/children after the baby arrives. So you’d be making mom feel good with this nice gesture, too.
If you also want to get something awesome and unique for the baby (that they most likely didn’t get at the baby shower), check out this post of 8 Unique Must-Have Baby & Toddler Items (that you’ve probably never thought of!). This is a list of my absolute favorite items that I used/am using with my kids, that I didn’t know existed before they were born. I can promise they will be so thankful for anything you would get them from this list!
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