One of the most common questions my non-mom friends ask me is, "What should I get so-and-so for a gift? Once she has her baby?" It's sometimes hard to know what exactly to give someone when they've just had a baby--and you don't really want to bug the new parents by asking what, exactly, they'd like. I thought I'd share a few ideas.
When in doubt, give food: gift cards for their closest pizza place, meals to shove in the freezer, groceries that make easy meals, or pre-made snacks. One thing that I ate pretty much non-stop when Forrest was a newborn was turkey sandwiches. So if you really don't know what to do, make some food, buy some groceries, or pick up a few gift cards so they can pick up take out.
2. Gift cards
Again, gift cards are one of the best gifts you can give, either for food or groceries, or, alternatively, places they would need to pick up something quick. I basically fell in love with everyone who sent me a Target or Wal-Mart gift card in the newborn days; my husband and I ended up going to Target at least once a day for the first two weeks to get things we just hadn't thought of (more diaper cream, Vaseline, diapers, a head support for the car seat). A few ideas include Target, Babies'r'Us, Wal-Mart, WalGreens, their local grocery store, or Amazon.
3. A clean house.
People really underestimate how nice it is to have a clean house. I remember feeling like I would never have order again when we brought Forrest home; I'd been in the hospital for over a week and a half, I hadn't seen my house in days, there was mail and stuff and boxes everywhere from people sending us things, bringing us things, and trying to organize without me being there. Plus, we had all this baby furniture moved around. So here's my piece of advice: hire a cleaning service for your new mom friend OR go and vacuum, pick up, and clean for her.
When Forrest was around 3 weeks old, my mom came over one afternoon so that I could take my first shower in like 8 or 9 days. It was the best 40 minutes of my life. If you have a new mom friend, sanitize your hands and body incredibly well, make sure you don't even have an inkling of a cough, and ask if she'd like you to hold the baby while she showers, or pays bills, or lies in bed. Holding a newborn is pretty great tbh.
5. A necklace.
All of these gifts are great. But some people really, really want to get moms something more... substantial than just useful. If you're this kind of person (which is awesome), I highly recommend something commemorative. It doesn't have to be super expensive. I have a bracelet with a little blue bead that my mother-in-law gave me after Forrest was born and I love it. A necklace or simple bracelet is a great idea. I like this simple stone necklace. This personalized Tree of Life necklace is gorgeous. This simple ring is perfect for a mom who doesn't wear a ton of jewelry. Confession, I'm actually thinking of ordering this super cool necklace for myself.
None of these gifts tickle your fancy? Most importantly, you know your friend better than anyone else. Give something from the heart, whether that means a gift card, a big hug, or a pizza. One note I'd like to include is please don't get new moms anything "feeding specific": if your friend is struggling with breastfeeding, it can feel like a lot of pressure to review a breastfeeding pillow, breast milk bags, or a breastfeeding shawl.