Visiting a family and their brand new baby can be exciting for guests, yet stressful for new parents – they are often sleep-deprived and overwhelmed. A lot of guests like to bring a thoughtful gift when they come to visit, to make things a little bit easier on the new family. Here are some ideas of what new parents REALLY want/need during those first few weeks:
Meal delivery – Bringing a hot meal is a LIFESAVER for a new family!! The last thing that tired parents want to do is cook- and a healing mommy needs her rest!! There are also several websites where you can set up a “registry” for new parents, and their friends and family can sign up for specific days/times to visit and bring a hot meal. (I love MealTrain.com and Take Them a Meal)
Freezer meals – Pre-made freezer meals that can be tossed in the oven or slow cooker are wonderful!! They are easy to prepare, and can be made at any time.
Gift cards for meal delivery – Any takeout/restaurant in their local area that will deliver to their home can be a great option for providing a new family with meals, if you don’t like to cook. Many places that deliver and offer gift cards, such as Schwan’s, Pizza Hut/Domino’s/etc, Jimmy John’s, Chinese takeout, and many others. Gift cards for local coffee shops (with a drive thru!) are great too, for those times when the baby falls asleep in the car and you don’t want to get them out of their car seat quite yet….
Small snacks – Anything that a new mommy can keep by her bedside is great! Going to the kitchen when your body is trying to heal is no fun… and especially for a breastfeeding mama, hunger can strike at ANY time. Having ready-to-go snacks at an arm’s reach is always appreciated! Dark chocolate, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc are great.
Lavender Epsom Salts so that mommy can take a nice, relaxing bath…. They are AMAZING, and great for relieving sore muscles.
Housework!!! Help around the house is WONDERFUL. Doing a load of laundry or dishes, taking out the trash, feeding the pets, cleaning the litter box, taking the dog for a walk, vacuuming or sweeping the floors, you get the idea…. these are the things that new parents are often afraid to ask for, but desperately need!!
NAP TIME. Despite the fact that newborns spend most of their time sleeping, new parents are functioning on just a few hours a day (if they are lucky). Offering to care for the baby for a couple of hours so mommy can nap may be the greatest gift of all!!
Babysitting “coupons”!! Some parents go months before finally being able to take a “Date Night”.
Spa/Massage gift certificate – A new mommy’s body has been through a LOT – giving her some time to herself to feel pampered is definitely appreciated!
Postpartum doula care – Postpartum doulas provide assistance with breastfeeding, caring for the baby, caring for mamas (massage, belly wrapping, nutrition, etc), helping out with light housework, meal preparation, and more.
Movies (or a Netflix/Hulu subscription) – It’s easy to go a little crazy when you are in bed or on the couch trying to heal…. and having something to watch while you spend several hours a day breastfeeding a baby is great. And now that there are several streaming options, there’s always something new to watch!!
E-readers. I LOVE my Kindle. It was great to have something small to carry around the house, and read while breastfeeding. There are THOUSANDS of great books available for download!!
A baby wrap or carrier!! It seems IMPOSSIBLE to get things done around the house when you have a newborn – especially during the “fourth trimester”, when babies just want to be held. Your baby feels comfortable being close to your body, they sleep easier, and you have both hands free to get things done around the house.
A Newborn Photo Session. There are a LOT of photographers who specialize in newborn photography, and parents really will love looking back at how tiny their sweet child was when they were brand new.