What are things new moms need for themselves? When people come to a baby shower, or visit a new mom, they often bring gifts for the baby. That’s easy! Buy something from the registry, a cute, nerdy baby outfit, or a pacifier, and you’re set! But what can you bring that’s just for mom?
Things new moms need for themselves are thoughtful gifts like groceries, snacks, meals, babysitting, and cleaning.
Whether you are looking for must haves for new moms after delivery, Christmas gifts for new moms, or thoughtful first Mother’s Day gifts, you are in the right spot. No matter how old the kids are, moms always need the same things: more food, time, and energy!
Parents of newborns are extremely busy taking care of their new baby and may hardly have time to sleep or shower. The ideas below are practical yet thoughtful, and if you are concerned about inconveniencing a new mom, or live far away, you can always have them delivered through the mail, or drop them off.
All parents probably need some form of caffeine. Get whatever you know she likes, and maybe some for her spouse! Mom may not have time to go out and get coffee, so bring a hot cup of coffee when you visit, or a box of coffee pods, tea bags, or a pack of soda. Doctors recommend that women have less than 200 mg of caffeine per day while pregnant or breastfeeding. This is about the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee or 3-4 12 ounce cans of soda. Regardless, if you think mom may be staying away from caffeine, herbal tea may be a nice treat!
You have so many options in the food category, ranging from bringing over a home-made dish to sending groceries. Any kind of food is super thoughtful because new moms don’t have much time for grocery shopping, cooking, or even eating sometimes! I was fortunate to have family, friends and neighbors who brought over lasagna, soups, casseroles, and salads for us and made sure there were plenty of leftovers!
You can never go wrong bringing snacks. In fact, mom will probably give you bonus points if she doesn’t need to heat them up and can eat them one handed, while holding the baby in the other hand! There are so many options- bake cookies, muffins, or brownies. Cut up fresh fruit or veggies and bring some dip or hummus.
Don’t want to cook or don’t have time? How about something fancy like an Edible Arrangement or chocolate covered strawberries? These one-handed snacks have fruit and chocolate! There’s something for every price range, and for every type of food mom might like! Personally, I’d recommend some chocolates! You can even have them shipped directly to mom’s door!
If you like to cook, think about making a casserole in a dish that mom can keep. That way, she doesn’t have to remember to wash it and give it back to you! Or bring paper plates so there are less dishes. Even if you are visiting when the baby is a few months old, mom will still appreciate a meal. Or keep it simple and have a pizza delivered, or text mom on your way over and ask her what she’d like from her favorite takeout place. Many folks aren’t sure what to bring, or are concerned about allergies. Mom won’t mind if you check in. “I’m bringing lunch this afternoon, what’s a good takeout restaurant near your place?”
You can’t go wrong with gift cards. Diapers and formula are expensive (read more about the average cost of disposable diapers!), so new parents may not have the money to splurge on food from a restaurant. So find a spot near mom’s home where she won’t have to go far to get some takeout. Or how about a gift card for UberEats or GrubHub, so Mom can have food delivered right to her house whenever she needs it?
Yeah groceries sound boring but everyone needs them, and getting a new baby ready and out of the house to go to the grocery store is a ton of work! Save mom a lot of time by bringing the things she needs. Of course, you can simply bring groceries when you visit. Another option is to get mom a gift card for a grocery delivery service from a nearby grocery store or Amazon Pantry. Not sure what sort of groceries to get? Ask! Keep it simple. “I’m stopping at the grocery store on my way to your house, what do you need?” Throw in some snacks, fresh fruit, and consider buying a pack of diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, or other necessities.
New parents need time. Have you ever heard the saying “sleep when the baby sleeps?”
New moms barely have time to shower or do laundry. So here are some ideas new moms will love, and some won’t even cost you a dime!
When you visit, clean up! Mom may politely say she doesn’t need help. But anyone can load a dishwasher, sweep the floor, tidy up the bathroom, or take out the trash.
Want to splurge? Have a cleaning service tidy up for mom. A mom I know has a very generous friend who hired a cleaning company to come while she was still in the hospital, so she came home to a sparkling clean kitchen.
Offer to keep an eye on the baby while mom takes a shower or a nap! If the baby is only a few weeks old, he will probably just sleep. Easy peasy! Does mom have another kid? Take the older sibling to the park, or the zoo, or just play with them at the house. Mom will appreciate the downtime and the older sibling will enjoy getting to do something fun!
I’ve put this category last because I feel that the things new moms need for themselves are really food, energy and time. But there are a few things she may appreciate outside those categories. These items are thoughtful yet practical. Consider gifts that will make mom’s everyday life easier or better. Don’t get gifts that require assembly or lots of time.
Check her baby registry
Did mom register for nursing bras, or post- maternity clothes, or other things for herself? The registry can tell you if there’s anything she’s missing.
I had a hard time staying awake in the middle of the night feeding my newborn. And I needed something to do besides watch TV. Get mom a book. She may appreciate something that’s not baby- related.
If mom is breastfeeding, she’ll need to stay hydrated. I love this water bottle, it holds 32 ounces, seals completely so it won’t spill when I’m fumbling around for it in the dark, is dishwasher safe, and I love drinking out of a straw! Speaking of which, what about a…
Mom and dad will be up in the middle of the night to feed their baby and change diapers. A nerdy night light will keep them from tripping in the dark!
Do get mom something nice that’s easy to use as part of her daily life, like some luxury hand lotion or soaps. I recommend against makeup or bath supplies since mom may not have time for getting made up or soaking in the tub at the moment. Doctors recommend women avoid baths until at least 6 weeks postpartum. Proceed with caution if you’re considering something like lotion for reducing stretch marks. Will mom appreciate it or not like being reminded of them?
Get mom a giftcard to a spa to get her hair or nails done while you babysit. She may enjoy the chance to get out of the house without the baby
Consider putting together a gift basket with a book, snacks, soap, lotion and a pack of diapers.
Do’s and don’ts: Tips for visiting new moms
First, a quick overview of life as a newborn. Eat. Dirty a diaper. Get diaper changed. Sleep. Repeat every 1 to 3 hours, day and night. Now imagine you’re the one caring for this newborn. Things start getting better once a baby is 6 weeks old and sleeping longer, but mom still may be getting up frequently in the middle of the night.
Now onto the tips!
- Don’t bring gifts to the hospital. Bring them once the family is home.
- If you want to bring something to the hospital, bring meals or snacks. I loved the trail mix my in laws brought. So much better than asking the nurse to bring me more crackers!
- Mom may be sleeping or not want visitors if she had a rough night and the house is a mess. Consider dropping off your gift or just having it delivered right to her house from Amazon.
- If mom is okay with you visiting, plan on staying for no more than an hour. Watch mom for cues that she may want you to leave sooner
- Do not expect mom to feed you. Eat before you visit, or even better, bring food
- Help yourself. Need a glass of water? Let mom stay sitting down and get it yourself.
- Wash your hands to keep the baby safe from germs
- If you kiss the baby, kiss them on the top of the head or on the belly or feet. This prevents the spread of germs too.
- Help out with little things. Bring mom a glass of water, take out the trash when you leave, or clear up the dishes from your meal. Think about ways to make your visit as low impact as possible.
- I recommend not buying plants or flowers. I was so busy with my newborn, I didn’t have time to water them and they died!
Things New Moms Need for Themselves: Conclusions
Things new moms need for themselves: repeat after me. Food. Caffeine. Time. Whether you drop a meal or groceries off and leave, clean the kitchen, watch the baby while mom naps, or take an older sibling out to do stuff, a new mom will appreciate it! The great thing is, these tips ideas still work when the baby is older. Keep them in mind for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and mom’s birthday too.
If you’re a mom, what’s the most thoughtful thing someone did for you? What tips can you share for visitors?