Top Ten Gifts to Give a New Mom
Practical and Meaningful Gifts for the Mother of a New Baby
Having had two children already, I have a strong inclination of what is not only helpful but also meaningful to a mother that just recently delivered a baby. Having a third on the way, my mind can't help but wander into the realm of wishes. Many loved ones come bearing gifts at the time following the birth of your baby. Gifts are always a kind gesture and appreciated as thoughtful. Yet, often you get more clothes for the baby when you already had plenty. Sometimes you get those unique gifts that while neat are not that practical. Once again, it's not to sound ungrateful. But, there are things that could really HELP a new mother, that could really mean the world to her, that could put the sincerest of smiles on her face and maybe even make a rough day a whole lot better. Depending on your schedule or budget, you may choose a more monetary gift or a gift of time. Also, depending on your relationship or level of closeness, you may feel more or less comfortable with a gift idea. Still, here are some ideas that should fit anyone's time, money, or level of relationship. Here's my top ten gifts to give a mother of a new baby.
10. A Basket of Goodies or a Special Treat to Spoil the New Mom.
Filling a basket or gift bag with healthy snacks as well as a few indulgences can be a fun gift for mom. I always tend to crave fruit following my deliveries. Each mother is different. There's nothing wrong with calling and asking, "Is there anything you've been craving or that sounds especially good to you?" Once we gave my sister-in-law some Starbucks store bought Frappucinos following the birth of her third child. Her eyes lit up with excitement that we had picked something out that was JUST for her, something she loved. Of course, having to do it all over again, I may have thought a little more about the caffeine in the coffee as many mother's choose to breastfeed. Still, if you know a mother loves coffee, swing by a favorite coffee joint, call and ask her what she'd like, and bring her the special order. If a mother has a favorite dessert, go for it! Or if you want to throw a small indulgence in with a basket of healthy food for her body, even better. Other basket ideas: a cute mini photo album she can quickly put new pictures in, soft socks or slippers, some lotions or other pampering items, a journal to document her memories or feelings (if she likes to write), or some other sweet keepsake for the special time.
9. Ask about Baby NEEDS
If you desperately want to pick up something baby-related rather than for Mommy (I know the baby stuff sounds more exciting), ask first what they are in greatest need of for the baby. They may have most needs taken care of in preparation for the babies' arrival, but there may be something on their wish list yet to be fulfilled. If they have no suggestions, go for what you want to get or opt to buy a gift card so they can make purchases as needs arise. Don't forget, they may have a strong wish for something that you could easily grant them.
8. Run an Errand for Your New Mom Friend
Call your new mom friend letting her know you are going to be running a few errands and would be happy to add any of hers to your list. Really encourage her to let you do this as she may feel awkward about accepting such a gesture. She may need library books or movie rentals returned. She may need a gallon of milk or other essential food items. Small errands can feel like a big deal for a new mom trying to adjust to the baby's new schedule while also feeling sleep deprived. Your offer could be exactly what she was hoping for.
7. Pamper the New Mother
If you have a talent or interest in personally pampering your mom friend, go for it. Though not professional, you could put together a plan to give her a pedicure complete with a feet soaking. Maybe you have a special talent for massaging. You could offer your skills. Another option is purchasing a spa service for her from a facial to a pedi to a masssage. Pick up the gift card so she can set a time that works for her to take a short relaxing get-away.
6. Baby-sit Any Older Siblings
If this is her second, third, or fourth child, one of the greatest gifts would be offering to baby-sit her older children or even come over to the house and entertain them. As much as a new mom isn't looking to ignore her other children, she also has a desire to focus on her new baby. Besides, the demands of a newborn plus her other children can stretch her time and emotions thin. Following the birth of a child, rest is important and even necessary for a new mother, and giving her an extra hand with her children can give her the reprieve she needs.
5. A Gift Card to a Clothing Store for the Mother
A new mom's body is not the same immediately following birth. Chances are she is too thin for maternity clothes but still carrying enough post-baby weight that she is unable to fit into her normal clothes comfortably. A new pair of pants may be a must to get them through the next month or three or more. Perhaps a cozy yet cute pair of pajamas would be fun for her to treat herself to since she may find showering and getting ready more difficult than before and pajamas all the more inviting. A gift card allows her to get what she really needs or wants without you having to guess her size.
4. Help with Chores
Offer to come over to do a little cleaning. This may be hard for her to accept, so make sure you reassure her that you WANT to serve her in this manner. You don't have to spring clean. You could choose between vacuuming, dusting, providing a quick bathroom clean, or loading and unloading the dishwasher plus wiping down the kitchen counters. Or you can do more than one. Ask what her greatest cleaning need might be and tackle it. Maybe folding a load of laundry and putting the next load in is all she really needs on that given day. It doesn't have to take long or require a hard days work to be a blessing to her. Don't have time or inclination to clean or do you doubt she would take you up on the offer? If you have the money to splurge, find a reputable cleaning service in the area and pay for them to get their fingers a little dirty on her behalf.
3. Buy Some Diapers
Diapers may not sound like the most interesting gift, but if there is one thing a parent will always need for their baby and always run out of... it's diapers. Babies go through diapers at break neck speed and the cost of keeping up with the little pooper can be surprising. Ten dollars may not feel like much to you to give as a gift, but when parents are making that purchase once or twice a week, your contribution will be greatly appreciated. You just saved them money they would HAVE to spend. If you want to spend a little more, add some diaper wipes or better yet go for those jumbo boxes of diapers that will give them a little more time before their next diaper run to the store.
2. Grant Her a Little Time by Holding or Caring for the Baby
New mom's often find it hard to get a little time to do anything. I recently talked to a new mom who said she feels like between feedings she has very little time for much else. As a nursing mother, I remember this feeling all to well. Offer to come over during a time that would be advantageous to her and hold the baby for an hour or two so that she can get a shower, take a nap, or even leave the house for a little bit of pampering or shopping. That time could revitalize her.
1. Meals, Meals, Meals.
I can't think of anything better. The last thing a new mother wants to do is grocery shop, meal plan, fix dinners and clean up. Imagine the time her friends could save her by pitching in on meals. Houses can get a little dirty, but tummies get hungry around the clock. This is the chore that never, ever dies for a Mom, popping up multiple times a day. Make a quick call or send an email to ask what day you could bring a meal and inquire about any food aversions or allergies. A home-cooked meal is a welcome gift in any home. Don't fret if you're not a good cook. Ever heard of take-out? Pick up some food you know most anyone would love or go the extra mile to get their special order from a restaurant. "What's your favorite Chinese dish?" "What toppings do you like on your pizza?" Want an even simpler approach? Get them a gift card to a restaurant where they can get their own take out whenever they want. Remember it's not practical for their budget to eat out everyday, but if you chip in with an extra meal, they will surely take advantage of the opportunity. It's just that simple. Yet you've just saved your exhausted mother friend dreaded time in the kitchen.
If you know a mother-to-be, try any one of these gifts following the birth of her child and she's sure to view your gift not only as thoughtful but helpful. Let's face it, a new mom will treasure any help she can get.
What would be your favorite gift as a new mom?
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