These days it seems that baby announcements from friends roll in about one per week and I spend my weekends cuddling squishy newborn after squishy newborn (no complaints here!). I've realized that often we focus on gifts for the new baby and sometimes forget the person who has been through the most -- the new mama! Here are my favorite gift ideas for new moms.
1. A home-cooked meal. If you have the benefit of close proximity and enjoy cooking, a home-cooked meal will surely be appreciated.
2. Fresh fruit arrangement. Flowers are pretty but a fresh fruit arrangement (such as those available at Edible Arrangements) is visually pleasing and offers a healthy snack that will provide hydration and nourishment during recovery.
3. Restaurant/grocery gift card. Are you sensing a theme? Food is important! A restaurant or grocery gift card is a great option if you live far from the new parents. Take out is a welcome gift, as is a grocery gift card (particularly if the store delivers!).
4. Help with birth announcements. Offer to design, order, address, and/or mail birth announcements so mama can spend that time taking a well-deserved nap.
5. Housecleaning service. New moms can find it challenging to find the time to take a shower, much less scrub the toilets. Yet this is the time when numerous visitors drop by. A gift card for a housecleaning service will offer a transformation akin to having a fairy godmother.
6. Errand runs. Offer to run a few errands, whether it's for baby supplies, groceries, or to provide a lift to the next doctor appointment. This will be an especially welcome gift to moms who have undergone a C-section and have a longer recovery period.
7. Newborn photo shoot. I would've cried tears of joy if a friend gifted me a newborn photography session. I was too overwhelmed to arrange for this myself. If professional photography fees are not within your budget, chip in with a few friends to provide a session or offer to take the photos yourself. Even amateurs can capture precious memories. (Note: the Boston Mamas mamapreneur business network is replete with talented photographers!)
8. Reading material. Nursing moms will appreciate an iPad or Kindle (or credit to buy books) to read during those lengthy nursing and pumping sessions. Also excellent? Fun magazines that are entertaining yet require very little in the way of concentration bandwidth.
9. Spa gift card. A new mom's body has been through a tremendous ordeal. Surprise her with a spa gift card and encourage her to pamper herself with a postpartum massage, mani/pedi, or facial.
10. Clothing gift card. Those first few weeks postpartum, many new moms are in that awkward phase in which their maternity clothes are too loose and their regular clothes are too snug. Help mom through this transition by sending a gift card to her favorite clothing store.
11. Petsitting/Babysitting. Offer to take older siblings and/or pets out for a walk or perhaps even for a sleepover to allow mom the opportunity to enjoy some peace and quiet and focus her full attention on the new baby.
12. Gift of understanding. Well-meaning loved ones are eager to meet the new baby, but the postpartum period can be one of intense stress and anxiety so try not to take it personally if the new mom needs time and space to adjust to her new role. Drop food, gifts, and well wishes on her doorstep without the expectation of a face-to-face visit.
What types of support did you receive as a new mom that you found helpful? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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