Good morning! Hope you all had a great weekend… Ours was laid back. We continued to cross little things off our pre-baby to do list, spent some fun time with Sam, and even made a big Amazon order with a few “essentials” on Saturday morning. Stuff is getting real. 🙂
Speaking of Amazon orders, I’ve got a couple of friends who are also having babies in the next few weeks/months, so I stocked up on my go-to gift for new moms while we were at it and thought you might be interested to see what I take (and don’t take) when visiting a new momma for the first time… I’m certainly not an expert in this area, and I don’t have super strong opinions like some of the “viral” blog posts that have been going around lately; but, I do remember what was a blessing to me when Sam was first born and try to extend some of those same things to my friends etc. as they transition into motherhood during those earliest weeks…
What I Take:
– A small gift for the baby and the mama
I almost always gift new moms with a Wubbanub pacifier and the book Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. In the hardest weeks of Sam’s infancy and my transition into motherhood, I found both to be game changers. We use Sam’s Wubbanub for two solid years and, literally, would not have survived some experiences without it. Since I started this blog after he had already given it up, I really haven’t sung its praises like I should. We LOVED it. Likewise, Lamott’s book put into words what I didn’t understand I was feeling as a new mom. I laughed, I cried, I thanked God that someone understood me!! It’s really the only book I recommend for new moms. (I’ve actually written about it before here.)
– A treat for older siblings and/or pets
This can be very small, but a new book, game, or toy wrapped up for the “big brother” or “big sister” to open is a great way to remind them that they aren’t forgotten in all the excitement of the new baby. That concept is pretty self explanatory; but, I try to remember the pet too, especially if this is a first baby. I know it sounds silly – it does even to me as we prepare for baby #2 now – but, honestly, if the new parents are anything like Jeff and I were, that dog was the baby until the little bundle came home. I try to remember this and bring a dog treat, bone, or (non-squeaky) toy for the “big” fur sibling too when I can.
– A simple meal
One of the best meals we got when I was postpartum with Sam was a “make your own” salad bar… The friend brought little disposable containers filled with lettuce, veggies, cheese, nuts, homemade dressing, and delicious, marinated chicken. (She also threw in a big bowl of fresh fruit, which I could not get enough of.) Jeff and I ate off of that for days!! It was delicious and so refreshing after a bunch of heavy pastas and casseroles (not that those weren’t appreciated too). I also love the idea of taking chicken salad and croissants, a cold pasta salad, etc.
– Disposable plates, napkins, and silverware
Three words: no.dirty.dishes.
– A small breakfast item
I read this somewhere and thought it was a genius idea… When you stop at the store to pick up items for your dinner, also grab a thing of muffins or a coffee-cake for breakfast. People often bring food for dinners, but rarely think of breakfast too. This is such a small and easy thing, but something yummy waiting downstairs makes that 5AM wake-up call with a new baby just that much easier. 🙂
– A smile (and hug if they are the hugging type)
Corny, I know, but it’s necessary. When I show up* at someone’s house that has just had a baby, I want them to immediately know how happy I am for them and that I totally get how crazy and unfamiliar this time feels. I try to keep my visit no longer than ten or fifteen minutes, but I always make sure to say something like – “I remember how hard the first few weeks were with Sam. You are doing SUCH a good job and you are exactly the mom he/she needs. It might be the most natural thing ever for you; but, if it’s not, please call when you just need to talk – even if it’s the middle of the night,” and I mean it 100%.
What I Don’t Take:
– My son
Germs, hyper-activity, my attention… I don’t think this one needs much explaining.
– Dishes that need to be washed/returned
I made this mistake a lot before I was a mom… In fact, one of my friends had a casserole dish of mine for over a year. Haha! Now, I stock up on those disposable aluminum pans and always make meals in that for new moms.
– A lot of advice
Trust me, they will get plenty of that. Unless someone specifically asks me, I try not to offer any advice – just hugs and food. 😉
What do you do/take when you visit a new mom? As a new mom yourself, what was particularly helpful?
*By “show up” I mean I have already called ahead and pre-arranged a time to stop by for a quick visit. Rule #1: NEVER stop in on a new mom unannounced. 😉