After you have a baby you tend to get given lots of gifts. While flowers, teddies, chocolates and clothes for the baby are all lovely and very much appreciated, I think there are some things that would be much better gifts for new mums. Here’s my list of what I think are the most important/nicest things you can do for a new mother:
- Offer to wash up or clean. Seriously. If you can help on this front without offending someone, do. I would have been so happy if someone had offered to hoover my house! Even if you just wash a few dishes or take the bins out I am sure the new parents will be eternally grateful.
- Take food. If you’re going to visit, it should be obligatory to take sustenance. It’s up to you whether that’s snacky junk food or actual meals, but bring something. Cooking is not usually high up on the priority list when your world has just been turned upside down by a newborn but you gotsta eat!
- Give her a cushion to sit on. Without going into gory details I was sat on a cushion for at least two weeks after birth. And mine was by no means one of the worst. Helping a new mum feel comfortable is one of the best things you can do as a friend or family member.
- If she’s breastfeeding bring Lansinoh and breastpads – the holy grail for breast feeders. You can spend a lot of money on those so receiving them as gifts is brilliant!
- If her partner has gone back to work or she’s on her own, look after the baby while she has a shower. She’ll be overwhelmed with gratitude!
- Make sure she has something good to watch on telly because the main things a newborn needs are cuddles and milk, and she’s likely to be sitting down a lot during those first weeks. Looking at your baby is wonderful and entertaining but not for twelve hours a day.
- Offer encouragement and support. Sometimes those first days are scary and lonely. Tell her she’s doing great, she looks lovely and the baby is perfect. If she’s breastfeeding but nervous about doing it in public, go with her to support her. If she wants some help on her first trip out alone with the baby, be there.
- Here’s the thing all parents are most in need of: sleep. But you might not be able to help with that one. If you can let a new mum have a nap that would be the greatest gift of all!
What else would you say is helpful for those early days?