If you've never given birth yourself, or if you have but don't remember what you needed, you may be unsure whether you should bring something when you meet a friend or family member's baby for the first time. That may be especially true if you've already been to their baby shower, and if you don't have a lot of babies in your life. A lot of times, folks get excited about all the cute, teeny baby things that they can bring, but the truth is the mom may have a lot of that stuff already.
We wanted to put together a list of things that you can bring when you visit a new mom who has just given birth, or even if it's been a few months and you want to see your friend, support them, and cuddle their sweet baby. A lot is asked of new moms - they've either just been through the most intense exercise of their life, or had major abdominal surgery and need to keep a tiny human being alive all while recovering from these events. To that end, we created a list of things you can bring to help that transition for them.
One big thing before we get into it - don't arrive empty handed! If you can't afford to bring anything, fill your hands once you arrive - with dishes, with laundry, with the baby so mom can sleep! All of these are no-cost ideas. If you can swing it, however, here is a list of what you can bring.
- Milk Supplies Gift Box: Of course we're going to start with Hey Mama! items, that's why we started this company - to serve the mamas so they can support their babies. You can choose from a few gift box combinations, your friend or loved one gets a good sampling of everything and baby is happy!
- Freezer meals: Bringing food for the parents is such a great thing to do for them. Cooking in general is hard, add a newborn who needs to eat or have a diaper change every two to three hours makes cooking at all really hard. You can order a 6 pack of our Oatmeal Breakfast Jars and take care of that meal, and then bring a casserole or other dish that they can keep in the freezer and bring out when they need to. Here, here and here are a few resources to find yummy options. Just one note - if the mom is breastfeeding, ask her if she's eating dairy or not, as sometimes moms avoid it due to their baby having a possible dairy intolerance. If you don't have time to put together a freezer meal, a gift card to a local grocery store where they can get yummy pre-made meals is welcome too. Even just a rotisserie chicken makes their life easier. FreshDirect has amazing, healthy meal options you can just pop in the oven and they drop them right at your door. A gift card to Seamless can be a lifesaver!
- Water bottle: When you're nursing you need to hydrate constantly, since you are making liquids in your body, you lose a lot of water. A cute water bottle makes that breastfeeding thirst a little more stylish, and makes a unique, thoughtful gift. S'well has great options, Camelbak is a great workhorse bottle with good sizes, and there's always the classic Nalgene. You could go outside the box and bring a case of La Croix, if you're looking for alternative hydration gifts.
- Sheet mask: It can also be a nice hand cream or fancy soap, but basically anything she can quickly pamper herself with is welcome. A chance to take a long bath (if she's been cleared to), is welcomed but leaving her with a pampering option that doesn't take up too much time would be really thoughtful. A long mani-pedi session is pretty much out of the question (picking up a baby with wet nails: nope), but a sheet mask is a low commitment kind of deal that can always be taken off quickly without losing the benefits of the mask. You can pick a few up at the drugstore, or Sephora has some really nice options if you want to get fancy.
- Snacks: Whether the mom is breastfeeding or not, you are running around (or sleeping), and it feels overwhelming to eat. Bringing them snacks to have on hand and quickly eat, especially if breastfeeding hunger comes on quickly, can be wonderful. We'd start by suggesting our Bars, but there's always trail mix, string cheese, pretzel chips and hummus, and protein cookies. Trader Joe's is a good stop-over for yummy snacks for mom.
- Coffee: If they drink caffeinated beverages, bring them alllll the coffee! You can snag a cold brew drink or three in the summer, or a yummy roast for them in the winter.
- Robe and slippers: pamper her with something cozy - she's likely not leaving the house much, so something to make her feel more comfortable would be welcome.
As always, call before you head over and ask when a good time is to visit. Don't stay long or expect coherent conversation. If she's not ready for visitors, you can always leave a meal on her doorstep. You'll be a treasured friend for thinking of her!