Everyone knows the classic lists of good gifts for newborns—diapers, onesies, a carseat. All good. But here’s a different list—and it’s not the stuff you register for at the baby store.
This list is a reminder for friends of new parents—pure-gold gift ideas you might not even realize are needed.
I’m a couple months into this parenting thing, a portion of which I solo-parented while my husband was away for work. A lot of it’s been a blur—but the kind gestures from other people haven’t been.
Here are a few things that people either did for me that I loved (or that I would have loved to have done).
(Save this list—you never know when it’ll come in handy.)
1. Change and wash her sheets and baby’s sheets. She probably doesn’t remember when this was last done.
2. Hold the baby so she can take a long shower or bubble bath. Or, so she can eat a whole meal.
3. Bring her a freezeable meal.
4. Fold a load of laundry and get another load started. Let her nap.
5. Un-decorate her Christmas tree (or whatever seasonal decor or household things needs doing).6. Give her a super-simple journal, something for jotting down quick notes in spare moments. Baby books can feel overwhelming, but a sentence a day (or every few days): doable.
7. Bring her coffee and baked goods from the bakery. She’d love the treat.
8. Bring groceries and make her lunch—then clean it up and leave the leftovers.
9. Unload and load the dishwasher. She had no idea this little task would become such a bottleneck in her life.
10. Refill her soap dispensers. Now that the baby’s home, everyone’s washing their hands like crazy.
11. Watch the baby while she goes through bills and catches up. The electric company doesn’t really care she’s just had a baby.
12. Tell her she looks beautiful and mean it. It’s easy to feel not-beautiful when you’ve got babies and still don’t fit into your pre-maternity clothes.
13. Take out her trash and recycling.
14. Walk the dog.
15. Upload her photos to a photo printing site, then print a few and give them to her.
16. Bring her a few magazines and a favorite drink, and let her have some non-mom time while you hold the baby. She still loves those things, even as a mama. (Especially as a mama.)
P.S.—Cloth diapering 101, the baby things you need (and don’t need), and when breast feeding is hard.