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Monday, September 19, 2011

Motherhood Mondays: 8 gift ideas for new parents

My lovelies, one of the questions readers most often ask is what to give friends who just had a baby. So, I'd like to share eight gifts for new parents. These ideas aren't wacky or offbeat, but they are gifts that parents will adore. (And I'd love to hear your thoughts, too!) Here goes...

Gifts you can mail:

1. A cuddly robe. As a new parent, when you get up (multiple times) in the middle of the night, or at the crack of dawn, it's wonderful to have a cozy robe to wrap around yourself.
2. Massages. Alex and I went for a couples massage (at a cheap walk-in massage place near our house) three weeks after Toby was born. It was honestly the best massage of my life; I still remember how incredibly good it felt. You're so sleepy and your muscles are sore, and it was just wonderful. I remember half falling asleep, which felt dreamy and peaceful. (TMI: My boobs leaked milk on the massage table. After we left, the massage therapist must have been like, What the...? :)
3. Your favorite children's book. New babies are soooooo sleepy, and, to an (impatient) new mama, any sort of playful interaction can seem like a thousand years away. So, I loved one evening when a friend came over with his favorite children's books. It made me so excited for the years ahead with Toby! (Growing up, I loved Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Roald Dahl and Amelia Bedelia, and here are Toby's favorites.)
4. Chocolate-covered strawberries! It sounds kind of random, but chocolate-covered strawberries make a surprisingly wonderful new-mom gift. When Toby was born, my friend Lina sent me a dozen, and I just about died and went to heaven. They were rich and decadent, but also fresh and healthy. She told me they were her favorite gift when she was a new mom, and once I mentioned them in conversation to other new moms, they would all pipe up. ("Euphoric," said Abbey. "The best," said Megan. "Perfect," said Samantha.)
5. An adorable outfit. We had stocked up with cheap basic onesies for Toby, so when friends would bring over adorable outfits for him (that we wouldn't have splurged on ourselves), we were over the moon! I especially love Winter Water Factory.
6. Baby notepads. Many new moms (myself included) find it helpful to record when your baby eats and naps and all of those sweet things, so you can keep track of your emerging schedule. A personalized notepad with her baby's adorable photo would be an endearing and useful gift for a new mama.
Gifts to give in person:

7. Cooking. Food of any kind. When Toby was a newborn, Alex and I were so, so grateful when friends would come over with soups, fresh salads, sandwiches, homemade cookies...It felt delicious and nourishing. (A handy tip: If your friend is breastfeeding, leave out garlic and raw onions, since those ingredients can apparently make newborn babies fussy.)

8. Cleaning up the house. I literally teared up when a friend came over and, without asking, went into the kitchen and did all our dishes. It's so wonderful for people to help around the house when you're a new parent! You just never get to those things. If a friend came over and swept the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry, changed the bedsheets, replaced the toilet paper, and did the dishes, it would be such a joy and gift to the overwhelmed new parents.

A final tip: The gift of no pressure. When Toby was brand new, my good friend in California wrote a lovely congratulatory email to me, and at the end, she said, "Don't respond, go and be with your baby." And it felt SO good to know that I didn't have to do anything but read her lovely words and then turn off the computer. So, consider, at the end of any emails or with gifts that you send, including the words, "No need to respond" or "Don't write a thank-you note. Congratulations again!"

What would you recommend as a gift for friends with new babies? New moms and dads, what gifts do you remember really adoring? I would love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. A beautiful ring for mamas.

(Top photo credit unknown; dishes photo by Liv Dueck)

163 comments:

meesch said...

I LOVED cloudy with a chance of meatballs! I guess I never thought to give that as a gift to a new parent! great post = )

-meesch
http://www.aperfectkindofday.com

Melissa Blake said...

These are great picks, Joanna!

Kirsteen said...

Fab ideas. My Dad would come and take our first born out for long walks - I could catch up with a magazine or, (what usually happened) try to do a million loads of laundry!

It felt good knowing Jamie was out in the fresh air, and my Dad loved it!

Amy Rene said...

love these ideas!

RZY said...

these are all great ideas! i'm currently visiting my sister and brother in law (and my new niece!) and it is actually amazing how appreciative they are when i do small things around the house for them, so i can definitely vouch for #8! it's amazing how much new parents could really use an extra set of hands :)

The Missus said...

Even if I'm not a new parent anymore, anyone who comes to clean or bring food is always welcome in our home and would be much appreciated! I love the idea of bringing a special sweet treat for new moms too. I remember always feeling famished after breastfeeding. A yummy treat was always a great way to recharge.

Anonymous said...

I would have sobbed with joy if anyone came over and offered any modicum of help or food. I pretty much got nothing from anyone... next person I know who has a baby is getting huge help from me! lol

Tiffany @ Savor Home said...

Wonderful ideas! I always like to give a friend a gift that is on the registry as well as something that isn't. It's just more thoughtful to me.

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

I'm not even a mama yet (only 17 weeks to go) but I would just about die if someone came over to do my dishes and brought me chocolate covered strawberries!!

JennySue said...

All fantastic ideas. I think a homemade meal is always best and from the heart bc the last thing I wanted to do when I had all of my kids, was to cook. I also send Cheryl's Cookie tins to new moms. Their baked goods are to die for, and they have cute choices for cookie tins and wrappings.

Briana said...

I think I'll send a link to this blog post to my friends and hope they'll get the hint (I'm due with my first in March!!).

Chocolate-covered strawberries? Perfect!

The Missus said...

Thanks for sharing your favorite robes too. I've been thinking about getting the Mister a nice warm robe for our anniversary. The one from LL Bean seems like the perfect choice.

Heba said...

I laughed out load when i read "my boobs leaked on the massage table"

http://girlynote.blogspot.com/

luke and pamela said...

i love the idea of telling a new mama not to respond or white a thank you note!
for me, a friend set up a meal train and sent it around to our friends and through facebook, and we had an amazing 6 weeks of friends bringing over meals every other night. it was so, so touching and so very appreciated.
my favorite gift for a new mama is a mason jar full of a natural herbs that make a healing new mama herbal bath.

Jennifer said...

I have been watching my friend's little girl for her during the week while she is in law school and working (and therefore has no time to clean the house!), and I try to tidy up and do dishes while I'm there. She acted like she won the lottery when she realized I had run the dishwasher for her and everything was clean. It really is the little things!

Sarah said...

I would suggest getting some of their favorite recipes and making them meals. Or ordering them delivery take out. That helped A LOT when I had my baby.

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

wonderchris said...

I kinda love telling everyone "no need to respond or write a note"...for any occasion. :)

What a fantastic list.

Jaimie said...

I always bake a batch of muffins for new parents. If they already have older children, kids always like muffins and there's breakfast or a snack taken care of. And if they don't have any other children, muffins are easy to for new mothers to eat one-handed with a newborn on the lap! These are all great ideas, Joanna. I too had a massage after the birth of my first child and it was so wonderful. The two things I never give to new babies/parents: baby blankets and stuffed animals. You get a million of them as gifts and you really don't use them (most of them). I also think it's nice to give gifts of clothes in bigger sizes (6 months or up) because babies grow out of newborn sizes so quickly.

Not your goddess said...

Where I'm from, baby showers aren't really the norm, people just come visit after the baby is born and bring presents. When I was pregnant with my eldest, I lived in London though, and my friends threw a baby shower for me at my own home when I was heavily pregnant. It was the most wonderful thing ever and I did this for my best friend here at home when she was pregnant.

Unfurled said...

Love these ideas. I'd like to suggest, along the lines of cleaning up the house, a gift certificate for a housecleaner/maid service. As a knitter, also anything handmade for baby.

benson said...

For my daughter Audrey, and her daughter (my granddaughter) I gave "mom" a necklace with Ruby's initials so Ruby will always be close to her heart. One day many years from now, Audrey can give the necklace to Ruby along with the story that goes along with it.
http://www.maxandchloe.com/fulldetails/6142/98,151

Cathy said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll keep these in mind as future gift ideas. And thanks for the tip about omitting onions and garlic. I cook with those all the time and probably wouldn't think twice about adding them to meals for breast feeding friends.

Anonymous said...

My church in brooklyn heights sent a dinner over EVERY NIGHT for a month. EVERY NIGHT FOR A MONTH. With dessert! And wine!

It was such a touching gesture especially for a new family to the parish. My first son went to the church's preschool, we fell in love with the community and joined the church before boy #2.

The whole experience really made me feel a part of the larger neighborhood.

I will never leave that church again. I hope to be the one signing up to bring dinner over to a new family one day soon and I hope to be signing up to do it when I'm an old lady. I can just see it!

caitlin said...

When my third (!!) baby boy was born this summer, my lovely friend arranged for people to bring us a pre-cooked dinner EVERY night for two whole weeks! It was the most amazing and thoughtful gift I can imagine. When you have older children, you still have to provide regular, healthy meals even though you have a newborn. It is not easy! I really relished the opportunity to just relax and focus on my kids instead of trying to cook!

madilla said...

The notepad is the best! I would scribble on all kind of papers the times I breastfed my baby, even during the night!

Wendy said...

You really do have a Knack for picking out the best gifts for any given situation!

As a young grandma (42) my daughter (21) and I have been pulling tag team duty with my grandson for the past 10 months... Which I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. However, I forgot about how much goes along with taking care of a baby. Massages and no pressure are probably the 2 gifts that top the list. Everything else is adorable and sure to make us mommas and grandmommas smile.

Snow White said...

When I have a kid I am definitely coming to your blog for advice, Joanna. Great post :)

carina said...

Great ideas. I don't have any kids, but I've cleaned and cooked for all my new parents friends - hope they will do the same for me when the time comes:-)

Just a note on your previous post. I'm Danish, and I clearly remember the story about the Danish mother being arrested. It was the talk of the country. We simply couldn't believe that a law like that existed:-D It's true that almost all institutions have the kids sleeping outside and all my friends park their kids outside cafes. You are just inside and can observe and you have baby alarms. You don't leave them to go shopping in a supermarket! Just so you don't think we're nuts:-D But many cafes have spots for 'baby parking'. Pretty much, we bring babies wherever we go. The cinemas have special 'baby cinema' showings so new mums can go to the movies and bring their babies into the theater.

third room studio said...

A beautiful wrap scarf that can be used as a stylish breastfeeding cover- especially for a first baby-if she doesn't feel she needs to cover up then she has a beautiful new accessory.

cathie said...

my mom stayed with us for the first 3 weeks after my son was born & it was the best to just go out on a walk with my husband & leave the baby at home with her, even for just half an hour. my church also set up "meals on wheels" for us, having families sign up & deliver meals every other day for 1.5 months. i also super appreciated friends who came by with large bags of trader joe's snacks. really helped with the midnight feedings to keep my energy level up & also helped me battle baby blues to keep my blood sugar up!

silver said...

We had our daughter 4 weeks ago - to the day! - and the best gift we've received was a box of lovely food bits from Waitrose (upmarket supermarket in UK) which was left on our doorstep by my best friend. It included little cakes, fresh soups and a yummy pizza and all sorts of other bits and pieces...we lived off it for 3 blissful cocooned days and didn't have to emerge from our nest sooner because of it. It made that time even more special and we felt nurtured and cared for.

Laura Lutz said...

It sounds so boring but I always give diapers as a gift. There's never enough of them and they're wicked expensive. I hope I can save the new parents a middle-of-the-night diaper run!

I love the bathrobe idea - that's lovely.

I also agree with what someone said earlier: stuffed animals and blankets are the two things I never buy for a new baby. Heaven knows they're already being inundated!

E. and Baby P. said...

for second time parents i'd recommend taking the older kid on a play date so mommy and daddy can have some bonding time with the newborn. my friend did that when i had my daughter and it was so thoughtful! especially when you have a demanding toddler...

KristiMcMurry said...

These are great ideas! I will keep this in mind when another friend has a baby.

Kiana said...

I'm not a mom yet but when one of my friends had a baby, we gave her a beauty day after the baby was a few months old. She got her nails done, her eyebrows waxed, and her hair styled. She said she never had time to do any of this with a new baby and a toddler running around. :)

Joanna Goddard said...

pamela, a meal train sounds AMAZING. amazing amazing.

Heather said...

These are awesome ideas. I have a few expecting friends that this will come in handy for. Thanks for sharing :)

Joanna Goddard said...

carina, i absolutely love that -- movies, shopping, dinner -- i think it's totally liberating for the parents. i wish we could do that here. xo

Ira Tishakova said...

Its really helpfull ideas. Thanx for sharing!

Abbey said...

LOVE THIS LIST! So good and so true!

Kidsdinge said...

So cute !

Robyn said...

my only other suggestion? diapers. if you can discretely find out what size the babe is wearing and if the parents have a preferred brand (or are cloth diapering), bring a small package of them with you when you go to meet the babe. we've had a few folks do that in the last four weeks since Owen's been here (yay!) and it's been WONDERFUL!

Winnie said...

Great suggestions. I also appreciated gift certificates for restaurants/take outs/coffee and the best....HOUSE CLEANING!

No Drama Mama said...

Great list! When one of my girlfriends got pregnant, I bought a cute outfit for the new baby, and a spa gift certificate just for her. She was so happy she cried. (Perhaps because it came with a babysitting offer?)

emmi said...

Since I didn't eat sushi during my pregnancy, I have received and sent sushi as my first meal after birth - wonderful! I love each and every gift I have received for my two children just knowing that someone put time into it. Its so magical how people come together around a new family.

Notes from Holly St. said...

I think the best gift anyone can give to new parents is an offer to babysit and to actually set the date and time so it's set in stone. When my daughter was three weeks old, a good friend of mine called and said, "I'm babysitting this Saturday night. You and your husband go out to dinner, see a movie or do whatever you want." It was the most amazing thing to be able to get out for a little while and be alone with my husband in those crazy stressful early days.

Ashleigh said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. From a childless friend of many expecting or already parents I can't tell you how helpful this is. Even though I ask other Mom friends for advice on gifts post delivery, no one has ever been able to put it into words I could actually use. I'm so excited to refer to this for the birth of my friend's first baby next month. Thank you!!

Amanda said...

So many of my friends are having babies currently, I love this list :) Bookmarked!

Laura said...

I learned the hard way that life without a nursing cover is not easy. The best kind is the one that looks like an apron with a little boning in the top so that you can peek in at your baby: perfect for new mamas just learning to nurse. I buy it now for all my new mother friends.

Also, my husband surprised me at the hospital with a six pack of beer. The nurses said that my milk came in faster than they had ever seen, and I have a feeling good ol' Stella Artois had something to do with it. If someone isn't too antsy about the idea, I'd suggest bringing in a fun beverage as well. Goodness knows it was a long nine months without it.

Tragic Sandwich said...

When I had Baguette, the best thing about being in the hospital was that three times a day, someone said, "Don't forget to order your [name of meal here]." Then they would remind me, "Have you ordered your meal?" And then someone would bring that meal right to me once I'd ordered it.

When I got home, food was the thing I was most likely to have trouble fitting into the day. And that's when I remembered that I used to send new mothers a fruit basket. I'm not sure why I stopped, but I've gone back to doing it. I wish someone had sent one to me!

someonesgottapay said...

Here's what I'm super into making for new parents...

http://someonesgottapay.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/making-old-things-new-baby-shower-gift-wrap-take-two/

Each one is different, but they all contain a gift for mommy & baby. (Sorry dads!)

The Kid said...

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Molliee said...

gotta love the cuddly robe idea! who wouldn't want that!?

Sarah said...

A former co-worker of mine made the news a few years ago when his wife gave birth to quadruplets. I called him and left a message congratulating them both, being sure to mention that there was no need for them to call me back. That seemed like the most important part of the call at the time. Great suggestion to just go over and help out without saying anything. I'd love that and I don't even have kids!

kdr*S said...

Cleaning the house is a GREAT gift to a new mom. When I got home from the hospital I came in to a home that had been thoroughly cleaned including the carpets gratis of my mother in law, grandmother and aunts...Grateful

Geneviève said...

What a sweet post! My little nephew was born almost two years ago and although I've given him many gifts now, the one that means the most is the illustrated edition of Saint Exupery's The Little Prince, in French, since we're bilingual. I wrote him a little note inside the front cover and I can't wait to tuck him in at night when he's older and read from that book together.

Holly said...

love your blog but are all your posts from now on going to be 'click through for more'? just wondering :)

{molly beth} said...

What a great idea! It's always important to remember the new mom's, because they deserve something special just as much as the baby :]

I'd love for you to stop by.
xo.
http://alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com

Elle Vee said...

Lots of friends were giving us newborn outfits and the like, but one of my friends brought over a huge plastic bin filled with all kinds of goodies. I cried I was so appreciative. She included a bottle of wine, new super soft socks for me, a banana bread loaf, parenting magazines, a nursing top, a mason jar of homemade pesto. When a friend of mine had her first and had a rough time coming out of the hospital, I did the same thing for her... just got a huge bin and filled it with little essentials and life savers.

Sarah said...

You've inspired me to get a robe! My favorites were:

1. My best friend packed up a beautiful box of all my favorite shower and bath products and brought it to the hospital for my first shower. It was so thoughtful and still the best shower of my life.

2. Cleaning for sure. But also dog walking and grocery shopping - but just do it like you said, don't wait for the new mom to ask. We're too proud to ask sometimes!

-Sarah
www.SarahWaldmanWellness.com

kindle 3g vs wifi said...

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hello, Friday said...

couple's massage is a great option! I was just doodling down for newly mom's gift to give. thanks for the ideas! xoxo

http://hellofridaybypaik.blogspot.com/

Susann said...

I've seen a meal registry done before and can only hope that I'll be as lucky when I have my first baby:

http://mealbaby.com/

LeeLee said...

Great gift ideas.

emily said...

when my sister had her first baby, the rest of my (very large and loving) family swarmed their house to celebrate the new addition. i know that my sister values her space and down time so i purchased a laundry service to come by twice a week, pick up laundry bags and then deliver everything back, fresh and folded, for their first month as parents. this helped around the house without imposing company on a brand new mom.
it also meant that i could spend all my moments at their house focusing on my teeny tiny nephew.

blind irish pirate said...

What about gifts for new moms that don't essentially end up as gifts for the baby?

Taryn said...

I LOVE your ideas!! Have you seen these darling wall art prints from Australia?...love the quirky ones like 'far out brussel sprout' and 'i love you infinity times infinity'!
www.twineandteacups.com.au

Diana said...

These are all amazing ideas, Joanna. You never cease to amaze me. :)

I particularly love your inclusions of 'free gifts': time, service, kind words. These are priceless.

As for me, I always end up giving children's books to expectant parents. Any excuse to buy a book...

Reina and Tyler said...

We had our first six months ago and one of the best gifts we received was a bag full of used clothes from a friend. I was one of those "I really want her to only have new clothes" moms but I changed my mind quickly! Clothes can get so expensive and it has helped us out so much! If you have clothes that you no longer need, give them to someone who can use them!
I'd say that #7 and #8 are by far the best gifts you mentioned. Being a new parent is exhausting and you can use all the help you can get! Tip: if you're delivering a meal, make sure you don't leave them with a pile of dishes to do after. Either keep it simple, use disposable dishes, or (my favorite) tell them you'll be back tomorrow to clean up or pick up your dirty dishes.
Free babysitting for parents with older kids would be fantastic. Diapers are always a great idea too.

antique engagement rings said...

Your photos are wonderful!

i'm leslie said...

LOVE that romper! Their stuff is fantastic.

www.thankyouforthedays.blogspot.com

Erica Yu said...

My brother and sister-in-law had a baby a couple months ago and I gave them a limi green bumbo seat. They loved it!

I really adore the idea of ending letters and notes with a thoughtful "no need to respond"message. I'll definitely use that next time.

emily said...

yes to all of them, and smart to remember the gift of no pressure. Those people made me want to cry with relief that i didn't have to think of answering their emails or writing thank you notes when there was just so much to get used to. I'd add to the food list - peeled and/or cut up fruits and veg that a mom can easily eat while breastfeeding, and nut mixes for middle-of-the-night protein snacks.

jen fuller said...

those are awesome gift suggestions! I wish when i had my baby 6 months ago, I got one of those things...it would've helped :)
Smoking Crayolas Blogspot

Anonymous said...

You have the best gift ideas! Always! Love the massage and strawberries!

My Traveling Troop said...

Great ideas! I'm definitely going to ask for a robe if I'm lucky enough to have baby number 2! And, I think it's a great idea for a gift for other moms-to-be! Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Kristina

2 by Design said...

Our friends saved our lives when our now 10-week old baby was born by organizing food deliveries. Every night for three weeks, a different friend would bring us or order us a different dish! Despite some never having met, they touched base via email to ensure they never doubled up. So sweet right?? Any new parent will tell you that eating is the last thing on your mind, and yet, still pretty important. We couldn't have asked for a better gift...or better friends!

Heather said...

I have so many friends who are prego right now so this is perfect for me. I'll thank you from my friends in advance! :)
The Cultivated One

xeyno said...

The baby note pad is a great idea! I am totally doing this for my pregnant friend.

http://coconutcomfort.blogspot.com/

Josefine Laul said...

Thank you for theese amazing tips!

petitor said...

Without a doubt, #7 and #8! It's always those thing you cannot touch means the most. :) I have a friend who's having her first baby this October. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely be using these ideas!

Bia said...

Jo, I can so much agree about food. I was and still am happy if somebody brings us a good meal. Now with a baby it takes so much concentration about making a supper:) When our daughter was born I pleased my mom to stop bringing us cakes and to bring NORMAL FOOD! Your final tip is great, I will do it with my two friends-to-be-parents!!

Maiz Connolly said...

Massage and books are wonderful gifts!

I like to bring food to new parents, especially a bag of groceries that can be made into easy meals. I always throw in a bottle of electrolyte water and a nut mix for nursing mamas (the Omega-3 mix from Trader Joe's was my favorite), and lots of high-protein snacks. People usually get lots of sweets when they have a baby, so it's nice to give them something that they can keep on hand to make into a couple of easy dinners over the next few days.

Victoria said...

this is a great list of ideas. i don't know any expectant mums but i'll certainly keep this in mind for when i do!

The Girlie Blog said...

Very nice list. Love the last one.

Elizabeth said...

Great ideas! As a new mother I definitely agree - cooking and cleaning are the best gifts, as well as offering to cuddle the baby whilst you have a nap :)
Other than that, yes, good quality clothes that I would never splurge on myself.

Inside tips however - Lansinoh cream for sore nipples, a pack of cloth nappies (they make great spit up rags) and you can get them in great bright colours that babies loves, muslin wraps, and a gro bag (expensive sleeping bag).

Send Gifts to Sri Lanka said...

wow, all of these gift ideas are just fabulous. I have a friend who is expecting, I got my inspiration, thanks.

Catharina said...

Thanks for this list, perfect timing! I have a friend who is having a baby in October and I was planning on getting her Goodnight Moon (which is not well-known here in Austria, so I'm sure she won't have it yet) and something for the new parents...and I am thinking the chocolate covered strawberries will be perfect! Also love the tip of mentioning "don't worry about responding". :-)

amalie said...

looovely ideas! i could use a massage any day hehe.

CHECK OUT MY GIVEAWAY:
http://confessionobsession.blogspot.com/2011/09/mymemories-giveaway.html
xx

Mariela said...

Great ideas!!, thanks for the information. Have a nice day!.

Michelle Lee said...

Massages : must!

pinklemonincrystal.blogspot.com

macaca grava por cima said...

Love 7, 8 and the final tip: precious!!!!

And massages too.

Cooking was also nice in pregnancy. I love to cook, but during pregnancy I felt very lasy to do it... So I had a sweet friend who will often come to dinner and cook for us... ;-)

allthingssplendid said...

What lovely suggestions! I can't wait to give some of these perfect gifts to my friends when their little ones arrive!!

Han said...

I offered to cook my friend dinner when her 3rd baby arrived but her Mother in Law came to stay and then her Mum came to stay or something like that so she had plenty of hands to help :)

amynicole said...

Love these ideas!
I'm due the beginning of December with my first and keep finding myself overwhelmed with some of the silliest things every once in a while.

One of the nurses at my birthing center last night said a great gift idea is to pay for a lactation specialist (if you plan to breastfeed) to come to the house or to go to their clinic since they can be rather pricey. Another one she mentioned were gift cards to healthy/fast food type places (subway, etc.) so when Mom and Dad are exhausted and starving they can get food delivered or pick up as soon as it is ready.

Ayla Yavin MS LAC said...

my baby is 12 weeks now but about two weeks after she was born, just when people had begun to forget about us, I received a package from Russ & Daughters my friend Dana. It was genius! We feasted on smoked fish, bagels, and delicious cookies for days. It was perfect because you can eat food like that with one hand while nursing and there is almost no cleanup!
If you are giving clothes, it is awesome to give clothes for when the baby is older. Everyone gives newborn clothes but it's really exciting to have something beautiful in the closet for the following year. It gives you something to look forward to. Oh yeah, and it is always nice to give a gift receipt, that kind of goes along with the "no pressure" advice which I also loved.

A Cup of Sparkle said...

Something that will remind the moms their babies even when their kids are not with them... Something that they can carry with them to work even..
acupofsparkle.etsy.com
acupofsparkle.blogspot.com

Stefanie said...

I would just like to say - NO BLANKETS! God I have so many I don't know what to do with them! :)

13bees said...

would have more kids if that equaled more chocolate dipped berries. just sayin.

Anna said...

I love the gift of no pressure! I already feel overwhelmed by thank you notes and responding to people's questions, emails, etc. and our baby isn't even born yet!! These are all great suggestions (especially the massage one!)

Lisa said...

bbblocks.com - so cute to use as a photo prop (after awhile it's so hard to remember how old the baby/child was)

Neda said...

Fresh fruit once a week for the first three weeks...it's so hard to go to the grocery store and there is nothing like fresh fruit to snack on and also to serve guests who decide to stop by to see the new baby. This is especially wonderful with summer fruits. :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic advice Joanna, My SIL (Sister-in-law) is pregnant and I plan to turn your list into a plan of action. (in a 'non-smothering inlaws' way' Love your blog!

greyisbeautiful said...

My first post on a cup of Jo! I've been reading your blog for a couple years now but never have posted. but this post just especially meant so much to me because I think it's so wonderful that you're trying to help out the new mom and dads out there by giving out such great advice, so thank you for that! my favorite thing when my little one was a newborn and feeding every 2-3 hours was any food I could eat with one hand! muffins, bagels etc.. and any help around the house I could get.

Jen @ A Touch of Lovely said...

these are fab ideas!

as a mom, you'd think i'd think of ideas like this for friends having babies, but i always fall back on the same old stuff i got before i had kids of my own.

this was a great wake up call to think a bit more before making my next new baby purchase!

The Petit Cadeau said...

We are so on the same wavelength! I just wrote a post on my blog - The Petit Cadeau - on gifts for moms-to-be (with focus on gifting the mom, not baby...because EVERYONE buys gifts for baby!)
Love the post Hope you'll take a little visit over to mine!

Ally said...

Wonderful hodgepodge of a post, as always, you're brilliant.
xo
http://www.allykayler.blogspot.com

Sara Ferguson said...

I love your ideas! I just had a baby 6 months ago, and I was spoiled by friends and family, but house cleaning and food were by far the most treasured gifts! Since he was born, I'm left feeling guilty about the gifts I gave all my friends who had babies before me - before I had a clue about what you really need and want when you have a newborn! The gift of help! How to you wrap that?

PS...I love your blog. Can't go a day without reading!

800 HD said...

Really wonderful post. I like the most chocolate covers. Last times i have gifted baby notepad to my mother.

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Anonymous said...

Hi. I love your blog!!! I agree with everything you write!!! I'm a new parent, and I know what are you talking about!!! take care

able mabel said...

Yes, all 8 of those are a treat to receive.

Anna Smith said...

The gift of peace and quiet - maybe in the form of a "Shhh it's nap time" sign for their door? Check out my top 10 and some... http://www.thepaperroad.com

Tracy @ Gift Shopping Advice said...

Great gift ideas. I think that cooking a meal is a really good idea. I know that for a few weeks after my kids were born, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do... but the cute outfits were nice too!

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Rachael Peters said...

Post partum massage with masseuse coming to house! I have a 5 week old and dream of this present!

brand-eye said...

I racked my brain over the past month trying to come up with a wonderful first baby gift. We decided on a photography session with a great photographer (and friend of mine) who does newborn photos. I can't wait for the photos :-) and the baby of course.

Anonymous said...

These are all SO good. I delivered my precious baby 2.5 weeks ago. She came 3 weeks early so we weren't completely prepared with things around the house. THe best gift ever was my best friends came over and finished organizing my house. My mother in law cooked us a weeks worth of meals. I literally cried in appreciation.

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Jennifer said...

great ideas! one of our friends brought a gift (a nursing cover - thoughtful and unique) when she came to see Elliot and insisted that I NOT write her a thank-you note. as a Southerner, it was hard not to, but since I already had a stack waiting to be finished, I took her up on it, and have done the same to every new mom I've sent a gift to since (though not all have listened).

brettdean said...

It could be a nice collection of baby gift ideas and you should try it for new parents..

Hillary said...

such a good post.
my neighbor just had a baby and i have been wondering what i can do for her. thanks!

Akit said...

I ams earching for best baby gifts India .Please refer me some best in them .

baby gifts said...

Cool ideas you have posted here. This is something that will make the new parents at ease.

Irish Gift said...

Many people ask me what kind of gift should be given to friend who just had a baby and I advise them to buy a books on children so that mother of new born baby can learn some important things that help in taking care of baby. Joanna, your massage idea is also great. Now, I can give better advice to my customers. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Not all new mothers are lucky enough to be spoiled and pampered.
Some new mothers have no family nearby, some even no family. Some are single mothers. Try to remember to help them out too! (be ready for tears of joy)....

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Muhammad Atif said...

These ideas aren't wacky or offbeat, but they are gifts that parents will adore.
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daniel gibson said...

Hi,
These are such a wonderful list of gifts for her.

Thanks for sharing with us.

סופי הג'ירפה said...

Can I suggest a wonderful gift for the new mom as well? Just a book but not just any book..and perfect gift for new mothers!
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jeremy said...

Awesome. I could use a massage as well.

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lessthanperfectmama.com said...

On the higher end of gift-giving you could set up a newborn photo shoot with a local photographer. Our wedding photographer has added this to her services and she's just the most lovely person to work with. She's in NYC and her name is Suzanne Sutcliffe.
suzannephoto.com

Shah Hemal said...

Thanks for sharing....

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Julian Levi said...

Nice post... I like this and your blog too... thanks for shring
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Carry Me Away said...

Love the chocolate covered strawberries idea - I would have loved that!

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Tarun Acharya said...

Its really very nice post. Having someone who cares for us feels very grateful. Friends are really part and parcels of our life.

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Jhon carter said...

Well Kirsten you are so lucky that you have such a nice memories and ideas to make family bonding.
I probably wishing the same thing for myself and for my parents.
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Pratima Nighute said...

Good post. Lots of ideas too.

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This comment has been removed by the author.
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Avery Schlacter said...

Thanks for this blog I've been looking for gift ideas for any occasion and this really gave me some good ideas.

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Sylvia Magri said...

These are some great ideas. Perhaps getting meals delivered for new parents is another great idea. Otherwise unique baby gifts are a great option too. These include stylish baby clothes, rattles and accessories that mum doesn't already have. A great way is to present it in a baby hamper. I know of a beautiful exclusive organic baby hamper you can purchase online at www.angelicbabyboutique.com.au

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Great ideas! We offer some super cute baby birthstat onesies that are a huge hit with new moms & dads.. you can check them out here:

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Yan Kah Luke said...

So many great and useful baby gift ideas in this post thank you. That is great!

Susan Cheah said...

thank you for sharing your gift ideas for new parents! I just bought a Baby Support Pillow for them! and they quite happy when I present to them!

Jim Tracy said...

I would love to get my mom the robe. She loves things like that. It makes her fairly easy to shop for! http://www.tulipgiftsandmore.com

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