Contributed by Haley Burress
Ah, newborns. They smell so good, love snuggling, and give everyone a feeling of nostalgia and new beginnings. Newborns are pretty awesome, but let’s not forget that with a newborn comes two very frazzled, very nervous, very sleep deprived parents. These moms and dads need a lot more than an unannounced visit and a few new onesies. Help the parents of the newborn in your life feel appreciated and loved with a few of our gift ideas for new moms. We know that everyone is unique and different, but one thing rings true for all moms across the world – we want to feel like we aren’t in this alone. Before you plan your visit to your friend, neighbor, or sister-in-law who is a new mom, consider tucking in a few of our ideas into a gift bag to leave on her kitchen counter.
Sleep deprivation is no joke and recovering from giving birth is exhausting. Between figuring out how to nurse and how to juggle any older siblings, there is not a lot of extra brain power and motivation to plan dinner. Many times, the best gift ideas for new moms include prepared meals.
When making your meal to gift to the new parents, try to make it a meal that can be frozen. Also, bring your food in containers that the family can either toss or keep; it is so much extra effort to wash and return pots and pans. Include all the fixings if possible – lasagna with garlic bread, lemon chicken with pasta – so that it makes it even easier for mom and dad to serve it. Toss in some ice cream or dessert and even a bottle of champagne or a 6 pack of beer. Not much of a cook? Take out restaurant food and gift certificates are just as appreciated when you are thinking about planning a meal for someone else.
Not all moms of newborns are new moms. Trying to manage a sleepless newborn with toddler or big kid siblings is a herculean feat; all second (or third, or fourth) time moms should receive all the high fives and high kicks possible. When considering gift ideas for new moms who are adding to their family, remember the older kids. Offer to take the big kids for a few hours or to sit with the newborn while the big kids can get some extra special time with their parents.
Hiring a cleaning service or doing some light cleaning yourself are two great gift ideas for new moms who have no time or energy to do the laundry or pick up. Giving the gift of cleaning can be a lifesaver for a new family. Sticking around to fold a load of laundry or take out a bag of garbage can be equally as thoughtful.
Gift cards for a short outing
New moms and dads might not be ready to leave their new addition for hours at a time, however an hour out of the house can feel like a vacation. The Family Caregiver Alliance reinforces the importance of making sure that all caregivers get some type of respite care, comparing it to the airline policy of putting on your own oxygen mask first. New moms and dads need time away, no matter how short, to recharge and relax. Put together a few gift cards for a local coffee shop, movie theater or favorite store like Target so that mom can sneak out for 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and a latte.
With all of the attention focused on the newborn, a new Mama can sometimes feel like she is alone. Show her some love by putting together a bag full of her favorites – candies, magazines, soaps. You don’t have to spend tons of money to give a happy reminder of how much she is valued. Besides, she can use that new soap when she finally has the time to take a shower at 9pm. When she does get around to using it, she will feel refreshed and taken care of.
Whatever you are offering, from a frozen dinner to a back rub, the new mom in your life will love your extra help and kindness!