When Jack was born, some of the best gifts that we received from family and friends was their time (so I could sleep & shower), and food. Chances are that the new mum in your life has all the baby-gros, blankets and teddy bears that she will ever need, so aim for something a little more useful and thoughtful. Here are my 10 suggestions for thoughtful gifts for new mums – some of these won’t even cost you a penny, but I guarantee will be very much appreciated.
New parents barely have time to eat, let alone cook a meal. Do them a favour by showing up with a home-cooked meal, and maybe some freezer meals to tide them over for a couple of days (here are some ideas for freezer meals). You could also bring over items like a cooked chicken, pasta salad, deli meats, cheese etc so they can whip together something easy themselves for lunch. Milk, bread and biscuits will also be helpful for the flurry of visitors new parents get in the first few weeks.
2. Be Helpful
I always suggest to my mum-to-be friends that they keep a to-do list on the fridge so that when people want to help, they can just work from the list. When you visit mum and baby, get busy and empty the dishwasher, put out the bins, do a load of laundry – or just hold the baby while mum has a shower or takes a nap!
When I had Jack, my online shopping habit went to the next level. I didn’t fancy packing a newborn into the car, so I bought everything online – nappies, formula, bottles, and so on. The Amazon delivery van was at our house day and night! If you’re stuck for a gift idea, Amazon is a great option. Similarly, a voucher for the local Chinese will come in handy when the visitors bringing food dry up, and the wrecked new parents don’t fancy cooking.
4. Photography Session
Babies change daily, we all know this. The newborn wrinkles don’t last very long, so a voucher for a newborn photography session would be a very thoughtful gift. Alternatively, if you’re good at photography and have access to a decent camera, offer to take some photos at home of the new family.
9 months of pregnancy, swollen ankles, sore back and all the rest. Us mammies go through a lot during pregnancy, and the first few months of motherhood aren’t exactly easy (although they are amazing!). Organise a spa day for the new mum, or pickup a voucher for her favourite hair salon. If you’re on a budget, call round to her house and run her a bubble bath, mind the baby while she soaks, and then treat her to a homemade mani-pedi.
Most new parents won’t want to leave their little one at the beginning, but a few weeks in they may be dying for a little break. Offer to babysit for a couple of hours while mum & dad go for a meal, a drink or even just for a walk.
Hiring a house cleaner once a week was a life saver for me when I was towards the end of my pregnancy, and especially when Jack was born. I like a tidy house, and was especially concerned with dust and animal hair around our newborn. It’s definitely a luxury, but gifting a couple of weeks worth of a cleaning service to new parents is a very practical, thoughtful gift. Alternatively, I’m certain that offering to pop over once a week and give the house a hoover and a mop would be appreciated too!
I hate laundry. Pregnant, new mammy, or not, it is the most boring and never ending chore in the world. Don’t get me started on ironing! New babies poop, pee and puke on the regular, meaning the washing pile is never-ending. My mum and sister visited us for a few weeks after I had Jack, and the amount of laundry they did for me was amazing. Take a couple of loads home with you and return them to the new family freshly laundered, or take them to the launderette.
Flowers are a gorgeous, thoughtful gift any time, but especially thoughtful to celebrate a new baby. We had several bouquets delivered to the hospital, which cheered up the miserable hospital room no end (I was stuck in there for four days!). On arrival home from hospital, the most stunning bouquet of flowers was sitting on my porch from my sister-in-law. Fresh flowers will brighten up the new parents day, and their home, and will make the house smell terrific when all those visitors are in for a nosey at the baby.
10. Record Book
Babies grow so quickly in the first year, and it can often seem like you can’t keep track. A beautiful baby record book is a lovely gift for a new mum. She can use it to keep track of milestones, and statistics as baby goes from week-to-week, and month-to-month. I love the books that include slots for photos, and somewhere to add a note from grandparents. It will be a keepsake for mum and dad for years to come, and something to share with the baby when they get older.