The New Mom in Your Life Will Love You Forever if You Gift Her This
Being a new parent is hard — a complicated dance in which you constantly toe the line between sheer joy and sheer exhaustion. And while many new moms are showered with gifts, not every gift is something she actually needs. Sure, all those onesies and picture frames are appreciated — but after you get about 50 million of each, there's only so much you can do with them.
So if you're looking for the perfect gift for a new parent, here are 10 that will really please.
If you've ever been through labor, you understand the all-encompassing hunger that bubbles up from your very soul afterward. No paltry takeout meal can attack the hunger squatting in the depths of your gut like a mythical sea kraken; only a home-cooked meal can quell that savage beast. The friend who stocks a new parent's freezer or sets up a meal schedule through Take Them a Meal is a true friend indeed.
2. A subscription to a streaming service
Hey, new babies are hungry, too. With that little bugger waking her parent(s) up every hour on the hour to feed for what seems like forever, it's time to come up with creative ways to keep those adult eyelids open. Hook Mom up with Netflix or Hulu so she can turn marathon feeding sessions into binge-watching all the shows she won't have time for during the day.
3. A break
Yes, new parents will be appreciative of any gift you happen to bring to celebrate that new bundle of joy. Heck, parents will be happy just to see another adult and be reminded they do, in fact, have the power of intellect, such as speaking in more than coos and babbles. But what your friend will really, really appreciate is a few minutes to herself — to take a hot shower or catch a nap.
4. A maid service
After that last surge of nesting energy many new parents experience before the baby is born, cleaning quickly falls a few rungs in the hierarchy of "things that must happen." New parents are up to their eyeballs in baby cuddling and caretaking, after all. To come home from the pediatrician one afternoon and find the house has been tidied up? Well, that would be a gift to remember.
5. Diapers, diapers & more diapers
Frilly clothes and cutesy toys are, well, adorable. It's true. But "adorable" does not help you survive a long night with an infant. If you want to give a new parent peace of mind, give a box of diapers; there are few greater terrors than realizing at 3 a.m. that your reserves are depleted and baby had a blowout. Plus, if you order through Boxed, you can save 12 percent on Pampers. That's a win-win.
Sometimes, the only cure for a particularly rough day on the motherhood front is a little alone-time with a glass of wine. Don't worry if mom is breastfeeding; alcohol may not pose as much risk as we once thought (and there's always the pump-and-dump routine). Why not send her a wine-of-the-month subscription? It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
7. A "mommy & me" class
Whoever came up with the idea of classes where you exercise with your baby is, in a word, brilliant. How else could you describe the saint who figured out a way for new moms to get out of the house, get in shape and enjoy time with other parents, all without needing child care?
8. A Starbucks gift card
Thanks to long nights filled with feedings and fussing, we've never known a new parent who'd turn down a venti caramel macchiato in the morning. Supermom? Yes. But first, coffee.
9. A gift card to a hair salon
While welcoming a precious new being into the world is indeed a beautiful and glorious thing, that doesn't mean new moms always feel beautiful and glorious. A day at a favorite salon is just the trick to revitalize your frazzled friend and remind her just how amazing motherhood looks on her.
10. A sentimental keepsake
Being a new parent may be tough stuff, but it's also the stuff dreams are made of. This new adventure will likely become one of the most magical journeys those new parents ever take, so they'll always want to remember the moment they brought their sweet child into this world. A nostalgic keepsake — like a hand-engraved necklace with baby's name and birth date — will warm hearts for years to come.
Originally published December 2014. Updated September 2017.