A few months ago, one of my friends emailed me to see if I had any gift ideas for a new mom. She was going to see the baby in the hospital, and she wanted to take a gift specifically for the mother.
That got me thinking.
What do you get a new mom? I mean, I know the baby is the prize at the end of a long journey and all, but being a new mom is tough work….it feels good to be appreciated. It feels even better to be helped.
So with that in mind, here are 10 ways you can help a new mom adjust to motherhood (or just show her you love and support her).
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1. Be helpful when you visit. Tell her you would *love* to hold the baby while she takes a shower. and then do just that. Put a load of dishes away. Take out the trash. Get her a drink. Entertain the older child(ren) for a few minutes so she can have some peace.
2. Feed her. Bring her a meal that she can freeze, or eat that night. If you don’t cook, bring her something from her favorite restaurant.
3. Bring a new toy for the older child or children. A new book or game (or DVD) for the older kids might buy her some quiet time.
4. Bring a basket of snack foods. Granola bars, cookies (the healthy kind, of course), water bottles…all things that will give her some fuel – and that she can eat with one hand. These babies don’t always like to be put down.
5. Give her a practical gift. You know what my mother-in-law brought to the hospital when I had my son? Nursing pads. I had never thought to purchase any. You know what I totally needed a few days later? Nursing pads.
6. Take pictures of the baby and email (or text) them to her the same day. If she’ll let you, take some pictures of her with the baby (I would have yelled at you if you tried to take pictures of me with the baby right after she was born, but that’s dumb…I wish I had more pictures of myself from that time).
7. Give her a gift to remind her of herself. Does she like to read? Bring a book. Does she like music? Bring her an iTunes gift card (she can use that to download apps on her phone, which she’ll probably be spending a lot of time on when she’s rocking the baby!). Everything is very baby-baby-baby after a baby is born…it’s nice to acknowledge the “old” part of a new mom!
8. Ask how she’s doing. And don’t just ask…listen. Some moms bounce right back into the swing of things after their baby is born. Others take awhile longer. But all new moms go through a rough few weeks as hormones settle down…ask about her!
9. Don’t stay too long. Even if you’re BFFs For Life…don’t wear out your welcome. The first few weeks are exhausting, and all the visitors can take a toll and put pressure on a new mom who’s trying to figure out a new life balance.
10. Run errands for her. If you see the kids are out of juice, run to the store and get some for her. Ask if she’s running low on anything or needs any prescriptions picked up and then take care of it for her. Once my husband went back to work, I found the task of leaving the house to run errands with a newborn daunting…I’d stay home and starve rather than venture out with a fussy baby to the grocery store.
So, are you wondering which one I recommended for my friend?
It was #4 – take a basket of snacks.
What would you add to this list? What kinds of things did people do for you after your baby was born that you needed and appreciated?