Gift Ideas to Help New Parents
Some gifts are invaluable to new parents whether they’ve just delivered their first or their fifth child. Between lack of sleep, diaper-duty, burping, feeding, sterilizing and doctor appointments, there is precious little time for “life”. I have no idea how other parents managed to hold down a job and raise a newborn. My job has become solely focused on caring for a baby and snatching a snooze whenever I can manage it.
My cousin advised that when someone asks if they can do anything for me that I take them up on their offer. Unfortunately, no one has asked me that yet. However, if someone does, I have a list. And, oh! What a glorious list of dream gifts it is.
If you have new parents in your life, here’s a few things from my wish list that you can offer them:
My double sink is piled with dishes in one and bottles in the other. My furniture has a thick layer of dust. My carpet … let’s not look too closely at that, okay? You want to give a new parent a gift they’ll really value? Give them a helping hand.
- Sweep/Vacuum the floors;
- Disinfect the washroom;
- Wash dishes;
- Do a load or two of laundry;
- Take out the trash and recycling;
- Mow the lawn/Shovel the drive:
- Clean litter box/Poop-scoop the yard.
If the new parents are comfortable having other people in their home, you may wish to consider hiring a professional housekeeper to make a weekly visit. If you split the cost with other family and friends, you could have this service continue for several months until the new parents have adjusted to their new life.
Time ceases to obey the rules for new parents. Days slip by in a blur until a whole week will have passed unnoticed. The “To Do” list keeps getting longer, but getting out of the house to do any of it seems like a feat requiring a genie to manipulate time and space for you. This is an area where friends and family can be indispensable.
- Have the new parents make up envelopes of cash for groceries and bills. Take a shopping list and make a grocery run AND/OR make a bank run to pay their bills. Remember to get all the receipts for them;
- Post mail/Pick up parcels;
- Walk the dog;
- Pick up pet food;
- Pick up prescriptions;
- Drop off/Pick up their other child(ren) from school, day care, or extracurricular activities;
- Return library books or movies.
If the new parents don’t mind, you can also help them get to what needs their attention without wasting precious time, sort their mail/email into three categories:
- “Needs attention now”
- “Needs attention eventually” and
Anything that the new parents don’t have to prepare or think too hard about is perfect. As a new mom, I find that I’m half-starved most of the day because Daddy and I just don’t have the time or energy to make a meal for ourselves. When we do have a few extra minutes, we usually end up dozing off in the middle of debating what to cook!
Be sure you know about any food allergies and prepare meals accordingly.
Meals that can be pulled out of the fridge and nibbled on or taken from freezer to oven will be a major time saver. If they come in disposable containers, even better! No one has to worry about cleaning up.
- Cold salads (pasta, potato, coleslaw, etc.);
- Scalloped potatoes;
- Roasted or BBQ’d chicken;
- Pot roast with veggies;
- Cabbage Rolls;
- Shepherd or Cottage Pie;
- Stir Fry;
- Cold cuts and cheese slices.
Chocolate is often appreciated. It is known to help ease soreness, lift depression, give a burst of energy and dark chocolate specifically has been touted as a natural remedy to help new mothers lactate.
Also, new parents need plenty of fruit in their diet, so edible arrangements which are quick and easy to snack on will not only brighten their day, but also provide the extra vitamins they need.
Mom and Dad barely have time to open their eyes, much less remember to brush their teeth or take care of personal grooming. A gift certificate to a spa for a 60 minute massage or pedicure/manicure is a wonderful idea, but as mentioned above, new parents rarely have time to do the important things much less indulge themselves in what they may consider frivolous.
Not everyone is comfortable having strangers come into their homes, however if your new parents are okay with it, consider hiring a professional who does home visits.
Even if all you do is sit next to the crib and read a book while Mom and/or Dad takes a bath or makes a trip to the store, you are helping. A lot.
Here are somethings that new parents never have enough of on hand:
- Baby wipes
- Burp clothes
- Wash clothes
Every little bit you do reduces what the new parent will have to do. The little things make a big difference.
© 2012 Rosa Marchisella