Sometimes the littlest and most helpful things are not what we first think of when wanting to help a mom with a new baby. Sure, diapers, wipes, essentials for expecting moms are great but what a mom will appreciate even more is a cooked meal made by someone other than herself, some time to rest with new baby, and even just an ear to listen so she can vent about all the new stuff she’s going through.
Here are 7 things moms with new babies really want to give you ideas for how to support the new mom in your life!
Food, the necessary component to surviving (other than coffee). It’s also something that creates dishes and requires extra energy and thought processes that may not all be functioning correctly after a new baby. I absolutely think one of the most helpful things you can do for a mom with a new baby is to give her the gift of food.
The best part is there are so many options for this. You can set up a meal train for her, bring her already prepped homemade freezer meals, get her a gift card to her favorite health food store, or you can even order organic pre-made frozen meals to be delivered to her house. Or, you can help her prepare food before baby arrives so it’s all taken care of.
A great service for this is Pete’s Paleo. When a friend of mine gave birth to her baby, myself and a few friends got together and bought her a week’s worth of meals from Pete’s Paleo delivered straight to her. She was so thankful and ecstatic that she didn’t have to worry about one week of meals.
Bonus: All of the meals from Pete’s Paleo are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, and use pastured/grass-fed animals and organic produce. This makes it an absolute AMAZING option if you have a naturally-minded, food conscious mom.
2. House cleaning
No one likes to clean, ever. When you add in postpartum fatigue, a newborn baby, and adjusting to all those hormones, no right-minded mom wants to worry about having to clean the house or the dishes, the toilet, or anything for that matter.
You don’t necessarily have to clean her WHOLE house for her, but even helping with the pile of dishes in the sink or wiping the table off is helpful. If you’re not a hands on person, you can always gift her a cleaning maid for a week or two. She will never forget how generous you were!
Sleep. Oh precious, precious sleep. When you have your first baby, you’re able to rest when your baby takes a nap. Heck, you may even get a few snoozes in every day which are golden. Add in another child or three and mom can no longer just take a nap when baby naps. If you try and tell a mom of multiple kids that, don’t be hurt if she gives you the stink eye.
If you really want to help mom out, take her older kids out to the park for an hour, pick them up from school, or let them spend the day with you. This allows new mom to actually rest when baby takes a nap and then everyone is happy.
4. Laundry done
Who knew little babies could create such monster piles of dirty clothes? If you have other kids, add in their dirty laundry, your partner’s, and possibly yours (although it’s not uncommon for moms to stay in the same yoga pants for like… five days) and you’ve got mounds of clothes that stare at you and taunt you from all different corners of the house.
Be a pal to your new mom friend (even if “new” means their second, third, fourth baby) and head over to her house to help her out with a few loads of laundry. And when I mean help out, I mean actually put the clothes through each cycle, fold, and put away. I know it seems tedious, but you have no idea how much that mom friend will thank you. Even if all she can do is grunt at you from her mom-bie state.
She appreciates it, more than you could possibly ever know.
5. Gift card for movies
Most likely, there will be a lot of movie watching the first couple of weeks especially with other kids in the home. Although Netflix and Amazon Prime are great tools for watching free movies, sometimes you need a little variety — for the sake of your sanity — in the movie choices. Those tend to run anywhere from $3.99 to $5.99 for a one time rental. That being said, if you have kids it’s almost always necessary to just buy the actual movie because they will inevitably want to watch the movie over and over again.
Having a gift card allows mom to splurge a little for her sanity — whether it be kids movies or to rent a movie or two with dad.
6. An ear to listen
Have you ever just wanted to unload your feelings and frustrations to someone without getting any kind of solution in return? You know, just vent and let it all go?
Instead of offering your opinion on how to “fix” things, simply be there for your new mom friend and let her vent; about the poop, the siblings, the chickens, the cat, the fish, the husband, the poop, the piles of laundry (hey, that would be a great time to offer a helping hand with a load of two) and anything else that might be bugging her.
7. A foot massage… or massage in general
I don’t think I really need to further explain this. Give the mama in your life a personal foot massage (seriously, something so simple like this is amazing!) or treat her to a massage at a place that specializes in pre- and post-natal massages since a lot happens to a mom during the laboring and birth process.