When Harrison was born we had a few visitors, as everyone does. But MANY of our friends here are single and/or childless and aren’t quite into the stage of life yet where all their friends are having babies. So while they wanted to bring a gift, they kind of didn’t know what to bring. The OBVIOUS choice is a 0-3 month outfit from Carter’s. Quick, returnable if something goes wrong with it, and a pretty safe bet. But what if you don’t live near one or don’t want to do that? Well this is for you!
1. A Good Travel Mug.
When you have a brand new baby it’s EXTREMELY hard to drink a cup of coffee before it’s cold and wretched. We have an abundance of travel mugs, which I’m not quite sure why, and I started putting my coffee in there. Then I could drink it when I had set him in his playpen to stare at the ceiling or nap for 5 minutes and it was always STILL HOT. My friend fought doing this for the longest time and then was like “WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING THIS IS THE BEST!” See? I’m right.
2. Their Drink of Choice.
I don’t suggest this to be like “YOUR LIFE IS SO HARD NOW LOLZ LET’S GET DRUNK!” but rather, for birth moms, they haven’t had a full drink since they found out they were pregnant. And sometimes that sucks, yo. Especially if you really enjoy a certain drink, like a *cough* gin and tonic every once in a while. Nursing moms, you can drink. I mean, not excessively, but a glass of wine/a beer is fine, just do so right after you nurse. Some friends brought us wine and we dug in basically right away.
3. Food in any form.
FOR REALS. Cooking with a baby needing constant attention is sometimes impossible, AND you’re pretty tired, so even if they’re sleeping you don’t really want to be cooking. Meals that go in the freezer are great, and don’t be afraid to bring something, EVEN IF you’re not a great cook. Some people stopped at a grocery with one of those self serve salad/appetizer bars and compiled a dinner for us and we were extremely appreciative and ate it all. One thing we often make for people is this. And we make a HUGE 4x batch and give them enough for like 3 meals and then we eat it for dinner that night too.
4. One Handed Snacks
Get a bunch of those Ziploc snack bags and put together a ton of one handed snacks. As I’ve said before, newborns need almost constant attention and it’s hard to get away sometimes. So you can hold them while they sleep or nurse and eat nuts, veggies, granola, whatever with one hand. Do it.
5. Cleaning Service
You can get people a maid for a day, or YOU can be the maid. When we were brand new parents (we still are), my husband was able to stay home from work with us for FIVE weeks. Not everyone has that privilege, and having a cleaner come by about a week after the (assuming here) husband goes back to work could be a Godsend. Tidying was fine, babies don’t make a lot of mess, but CLEANING was definitely put on the back burner. The bathrooms, eww. And when can I vacuum with a baby “always” sleeping? (read: never sleeping but always trying to make him sleep). Oh, I’ll do it on my ten minute break when I. Just. Can’t. listen to him scream for another second.
6. Take Their Other Child
Ok, don’t TAKE their other child. Only borrow. And only with permission. Now, in my experience, when people have a second child, they seem to be in much better spirits than with the first, and seem to have EVERYTHING under control, but they will I PROMISE YOU appreciate it if you take their toddler to the park for an hour. Even if they just sit and stare at the wall, they’ll appreciate the silence for a few minutes.
7. Something for Later
If you want to get them something tangible, you can get their baby something for later, like clothing in a bigger size (just be cautious of changing seasons) or a toy for when they are bigger (if you need a suggestion, FREAKIN’ STACKING RINGS AND CUPS ARE A HUGE HIT AND SO SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE).
That’s all I’ve got!
Do you have anything to add?