5 Great Gifts for Postpartum Parents
Having a new baby join the family is an exciting time for everyone — babies are tiny, squishy, and adorable. It’s also a very tiring and busy time for new parents. Having been through this myself a few times, I thought I’d put together a list of great gift suggestions for the new family to ease their burden and allow them the time to enjoy those precious early weeks.
Food is almost always the biggest stress when juggling the needs of a little one with the needs of a nursing mom (and possibly older siblings). There are a few ways friends and family can help with this:
Gift Cards for meal delivery.
Breastfeeding friendly snacks.
Skip the Dishes is a great option for meal delivery, as it offers a variety of local restaurants and allows them to choose when they would like to eat and schedule it according to their needs. This is also a great option for families who might not have a local social net to help out. It is available in most areas across Canada and the United States, so you do not need to be local to the new family to send them a gift card.
If you are local, the next couple options might be more appealing:
Meal Trains are homemade meals, made according to dietary requirements by friends and family, and delivered according to a rota. You can set them up quite easily using a site such as mealtrain.com — it uses a calendar to keep everyone organized. This option works best if there is a larger groups of family and friends to pitch in.
Freezer meals are another fantastic option. These can even be made ahead of time and delivered before baby has arrived (just be sure to verify they’ve freezer space for them, and to check any dietary needs). I like to make these before my babies are born and freeze them in aluminum trays with the cover labeled with the date, contents, and reheating instructions.
Lastly, if one of the parents is breastfeeding, they will thank you mightily for a selection of healthy, protein packed snacks and fruit that can be eaten with one hand. Made Good, larabars, Nature’s Bakery fig and breakfast bars, etc all make great options, along with cheeses, fresh fruit like apples, bananas, and berries, and whole nuts or trail mix (tamari almonds are my fave).
Pet and Child Care
Do they have dogs that require walking? Offer your services! Children you can “borrow” to give the parents a chance to have some quiet time with their newborn? Offer to take them off their hands for a bit and bring them back fed and tired enough for sleep.
Are you close to them? Offer to drop by and mow their lawn, or (if it’s winter) deal with their driveway and sidewalk. Are you close? Offer to do some housecleaning or laundry while Mom and baby nap. Do they need someone to pick up their groceries? Run other errands? Just ask.
If you’re not close like that, you could offer a gift card to a local cleaning service to take some of the day to day chores off their plate for awhile.
Give the gift of memories — most photographers offer gift certificates. This is a great option for coworkers or a group of friends to pitch in on together. Those early days, weeks, months fly by so fast — having gorgeous photos to look back on afterwards is a gift that keeps giving.
Peace and Quiet
This gift is free. This gift is the gift of not “just dropping by” unannounced, and of waiting until an invitation has been extended before showing up to meet the baby. This gift is probably the most appreciated of all (with food coming a close second), and possibly one of the hardest for excited friends and family to give.
Am I missing anything? What would you add to this list? What gift did you receive as a parent (not something for baby) that made your heart sing?