Sure, you could send some cute baby clothes, babies definitely need those. But these are my five favorite outside-the-box new mom gifts.
If you know a new mom, I’m willing to bet she’d appreciate one or all of the following . . .
Not a baby shower, an actual shower. This is perhaps the best and most unexpected gift I have ever received. In. My. Life.
Betty was born when Jack was 19 months old. Eventually my parents left and the husband went back to work. And there was just me, trying to figure out how to manage myself, the house, and two littles. One morning, there was a knock at the door and it was my little sister, who had found herself with a half-an-hour between appointments and thought she’d drop by to see if I wanted to take a shower.
Yes. Yes, I did.
You probably have to be pretty close to the new mom for this one to be appropriate. But if you are, it’s pretty amazing.
New motherhood can be an emotional roller coaster. For me, after my third was born, the thing that threatened to push me right over the edge was not having anything to wear.
After the baby is born, I really hate having to still wear maternity clothes. People need jeans. It is a fact. Not fitting in to jeans is very depressing.
But of course, you don’t want to spend the money to buy a new pair of jeans in a size that is NOT your size. Which is why someone else should insist that you do it, or just do it for you.
After my third baby was born in the winter in Chicago, my husband gave me a pair of jeans that fit right then. It changed my whole outlook. I highly recommend it.
And it wasn’t a total waste. They came in handy at the beginning of my next pregnancy, and after, and repeat . . .
I guest posted about this a while back over at Carrots for Michaelmas (see that post here), but it’s important enough to repeat:
Bring a meal to someone you know who just had a baby. All the someones you know who just had a baby. Even if you don’t know them that well. It is a really beautiful gift to a new mom to not have to figure out how to feed her family that evening.
This time around, I was especially grateful that so many people who brought us meals included fresh vegetables and salads. I prepared and froze a bunch of meals ahead of time as well, but those tend to be pastas and casseroles that I can easily throw in the oven. I may have been around the block a few times on this new baby thing, but even I can’t chop up vegetables for a salad one-handed. And with all the sweets around over the holidays . . . I really appreciated being able to eat a salad with dinner!
“But I bring new moms meals all the time,” you say. “How can I be much, much awesomer than that?” Here’s how: bring a meal in AND take the kids out. After I had my fourth, my friend Angela surprised me by offering to do just that.
She came by in the morning, took my other three kids to her house for the day (even the toddler!) and brought them back in the afternoon along with dinner. I got to snuggle with the new baby in peace and quiet. Epic.
She lived close by, is a fellow homeschooler, and has older kids, all of which make such an offer more manageable. I’m at the point now that it’s not necessary, my older kids are helpful bordering on necessary-for-survival when I have a new baby. But back then, when my other kids were 2, 4, and 5, it was wonderful.
Over the course of seven babies, we have received dozens of lovely and thoughtful baby gifts. The lovely and thoughtful people who have sent them to us have not always received a thank you note in return.
Not because I don’t appreciate the gift, of course, but because new babies being what they are, it’s awfully hard to get thank you notes written. And find the address. And a stamp. And THEN remember to get them in a mailbox.
So, if you have sent a gift to me, or any other new mom and did not receive a formal, written acknowledgment of that gift, please allow me to say: Thank you so very much. We really loved it. Sorry you didn’t get a proper note. Your generous overlooking of etiquette is yet another gift.
So those are mine. How about you? Did you ever give or receive an outside-the-box new mom gift?