10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns

I share this list of “10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns” not to beg for any of these gifts, but to share some really thoughtful things people have done for us as we welcomed the twins. Ok, ok. There are a few things on the list that we haven’t received but it’s my passive side listing some of the things I could use help with when I keep telling people there’s nothing I need except for prayers. To be honest, I am doing too much and it’s impeding my healing process (my incision had to be reopened in order to heal). It is my pride, and I need to suck it up and realize people are really out there that care. If you are looking for gifts for parents of Newborns, hopefully this list will inspire you. If you feel strongly about helping me out, browse the list and throw an offer at me. I’m not about to get on my knees and beg anyone to help me put away my laundry…but I will publicly admit I just keep having Greg wash the same three outfits over and over and over…so there’s that.

gifts newborn parents

Dinner…or breakfast (fresh baked bagels are a HIT here), or lunch, or coffee from Mom’s favorite coffee shop (I’d pay for a Starbucks skinny iced peppermint mocha vanilla latte {hold the peppermint mocha because it can deplete milk supply} or iced right now). Gift cards for local delivery places (sadly, I only know of pizza in our town). Bonus points for freezer crock pot meals. More bonus points for home cooked meals ready to eat with no heating or takeout delivered fresh and ready. (Easter dinner was on the table the day we came home and I was SO thankful. I’ve also remembered how much I heart soup and salad.) Dinner at the hospital is another bonus…sadly, I had to turn this down due to diet monitoring for the girls’ weight and my iron levels, so ask ahead before bringing one’s favorite college meal (Mad Mex was honestly offered to us, you know that was hard to turn down) to the hospital. Can’t do a whole meal? I scarfed down a nice cupcake or 2 along the way, too!

Newborn Photo Session Our hospital offers professional newborn shots, including a package of digital shots with the rights to print / share the photos. Consider a gift card for this if applicable (Bella Baby is the Magee photographer) or pick your / the parents’ fave local photographer and schedule them for a session. (I’ve been told 48 hours to 10 days old is ideal. I totally missed the boat on an at home session and am admittedly bummed out because I have no photos of all 6 of us in the squishy, comfortable stage I really wanted to remember…and no cheesy posed cheesecloth and headband shots like I wanted.)

Birth Announcements or Thank You Notes A gift card to an online retailer who does photo cards would be an awesome gift…even better if you help Mom create the birth announcement or if the site offers to ship for her. Thank you notes, in my mind, should be personalized as often as possible, but I think new parents get a pass on this one. I personally wrote all of ours so far…but could use some more cards (or a ride to the store), addressing help, stamps, and/or a trip to the post office. Trying to remember it all and thank in a timely fashion is tough!

A Phone Call or Visit This is powerful. I specifically remember calls from one of my aunts after all three births. (This most recent one included a 2nd call to support me through a tough time with the hospital staff.) She probably doesn’t know it, but she was the only caller I had on the hospital phone with the twins’ stay and integral in lifting my spirits at JUST THE RIGHT MOMENT after all three births. Our realtor (and friend) called us to congratulate us – some people are incredible at making the simplest actions mean the most. We had lots of precious visits from family and friends, all just the right length, during our hopsital stays, too. And visits at home have kept my sanity (especially with Greg going back to work) and helped with some of my other suggestions below.

Grocery Shopping I didn’t think this one out before delivery, but our first grocery trip was going to be a daunting task. Two carts, each with a twin in a car seat. No way. Thankfully, I gave my list to a cousin and she handled the task then helped Greg put it all away. Huge time and energy saver. Maybe your local grocer has online ordering with curbside pickup — offer to help make the order and do the pickup. Even better if there’s a delivery service near you!

Cloth Diaper Prep We will be going to cloth once the girls we more “normal” (non runny newborn) movements. Our fluff stash is a mix of new and used cloth, and I opted to wait to prep until they were born. Not sure what I was waiting for, but the day is coming soon when we will switch and I have about 60 diapers that need love. If cloth diapers are your thing and a loved one is going this route, offer to help. Not doing cloth? Bring a pack of diapers (know this the size or bring a size 2 or wipes) when you visit. This takes care of a few awesome gifts at once (no store trip, diapers, and a visit).

Rides to Appointments Most new moms can’t drive themselves for 2 weeks (I will be much longer at this point), and many dads don’t get the time off. Both mom and baby likely will gave appointments in the weeks following coming home and may need a ride or company…or a.stop for a favorite coffee or milkshake. Personally, I’ve been glad Greg can go with me because my appointments haven’t been fun; however, now that he’s back to work, my schedule is going to be harder to manage. Bonus if you score a pedicure appointment for mom post doctor visit.

Big Kid Care and Attention We forgot that our first trip to the rodeo of having another kid was when Arianna was 2 and was easily entertained (distracted) by Yo Gabba Gabba, a nap, or Cheerios. I’ve tried hard to explain why 6 and 4 year olds cannot lift babies from the crib and carry them downstairs or why mama needs to be attached to them for 10+ hours a day right now or that poop doesn’t smell like roses or that mom really just needs to get her wound care in peace (glad to get all THAT out). Nothing works. Bribing with jelly beans quit working and now both big kids drag their butts across the carpet like a dog who has pooped somewhere inside anytime we tell them “no” or that they need to listen and focus on a task or activity we’ve given and just be a kid. Having someone to help play with them, bring them a distracting toy, or get them off the bus when the line at the pharmacy is out of control are super gifts to parents of newborns who also have older kids.

A Shower Sprinkling baby with new gifts is always super (I think all babies deserve something new), but that’s not the kind of shower I am talking about here. When you are attached to your newborn for 10 hours a day and sleeping when you can, showering takes low priority. Offer to come hold baby while mom gets clean. Don’t interrupt to tell her you think baby is hungry, either. If mom is breastfeeding, she knows. Give her 40 minutes to herself and you rock that ‘lil one through the tears. Mom needs to feel clean and fresh, too.

Help at Home This gift could be a bit long, but helpful help at our home looks like: Putting baby in the crib when mom shouldn’t be doing the stairs and you are leaving for the night after your visit. Helping fold and put away mounds of baby laundry (or mom’s if you are close and ok with seeing remnants of 10 types of bodily fluid — this is why we live in sports bras, if lucky, and yoga pants for all.of maternity leave). Plant the potted plants that were gifted before they die or blow away in a storm / throw out the dead flowers that were gorgeous 3 weeks before. Walk the dogs (or catch them when they bail ship and try to take your big kid with them on their escape). Wash the salt off the car (great big kid distraction is the drive through an automatic car wash) or if it is winter, shovel the sidewalk/driveway. Dishes, they build up so fast. Positive affirmations (can be done over the phone or social media quite easily). Understanding mom and dad and family are going through a big life event and need their schedule and needs respected (meaning long/overnight visits may not be welcomed quite yet)…or maybe they do need some overnight help (either in person or via text/social media to stay up during feeds). Sorting mail and being sure bills are paid on time (I may have done most of our April bill payments the night before having the girls…but may have forgot to pay the cell bill…oops). Making sure mom is staying hydrated (bring a cool big cup with a lid or a case of bottled water). A walking partner…even if the walk is slow and less than a block. Prayers. Offer something you know you’d want done when mom says “there’s nothing”…because there is likely something her mom brain is forgetting.

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Looking back at this list, I have to admit our village is pretty awesome at delivering the things we need most at the times we most need them. Thank you, village, for your help in our third round of new parenthood!

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Ok, bonus. Get the parents swaddles for their newborns. Baby will sleep better which means Mama and Daddy sleep better. And there are SO MANY ways they can be used, too!

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