New Baby? The Gift of Time, Knowledge and Support To New Parents

by Jenn

happy womanBaby shower are an opportunity to help new parents receive items they will need to welcome a little one into their lives as well as receive support from family and friends.  While it is difficult for most people to walk past the adorable little outfits, new parents quickly learn that there are other things they need more.   Many of these things are intangible gifts of time, advice, and help from experienced parents.  No one truly realizes how much work comes with a new baby.  New moms are generally still recovering while they are at home with their babies so they are usually very tired and feel like they can’t meet the needs of her family.  Friends and family can give new parents homemade gift certificates for help.  New parents will appreciate the time and help while the giver of the certificate will get some individual time with the new baby!  Some ideas for certificates can include the following to meet new parents’ intangible needs.

  • Free babysitting for an evening out – New parents often lose touch with each other as partners while they adjust to becoming parents.  A gift of babysitting to allow new parents to go out to dinner and a movie without worrying about the baby is greatly appreciated.  Not only will the certificate offer free babysitting, most new parents feel better about leaving a new baby with experienced sitters, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are experienced with babies.
  • Home-cooked meals – Between taking care of the baby, the house, and themselves, most new parents put a low priority on cooking.  However, for mom to recover properly and produce quality milk for the baby, she needs to eat well-balanced, healthy meals.  A gift of already prepared meals is a much appreciated and enjoyed gift for both new moms and new dads.  Meals don’t have to be elaborate – things that are easily reheated and potentially have left-overs are always big hits with new parents.
  • An afternoon out with older siblings – New babies can put the whole house into an uproar leaving older siblings feeling left out or ignored.  By taking the older kids out for an afternoon, they will feel important and relish the attention being given just to them.  It also gives them the opportunity to talk with an adult whose attention is focused solely on them.  For mom, not having to meet the needs of a new baby and older siblings at the same time, gives her the chance to spend one-on-one, quiet time with the baby without feeling she is neglecting her other children.
  • Cleaning and laundry – Babies make a lot of laundry.  Most new moms have so many other things vying for their attention that laundry and house-cleaning tend to fall to the bottom of the “to do” list.  Just having someone do laundry or run the vacuum will make most new parents feel like they are keeping up with all their responsibilities and not feel overwhelmed while they are still adjusting to their new schedules.
  • Parent naptime – New parents spend a great deal of the first few months with a new baby being sleep deprived.  While most doctors advise new moms to sleep with the baby sleeps, it’s difficult for new parents to fully relax and get a restful nap.  Most new parents will say that they can get a better nap if they know someone is there in case the baby wakes.  Even if the baby is napping while parent naptime is happening, it is still easier on the parent to know they can simply focus on sleeping instead of lightly resting in case they are needed.  While they don’t know it before the baby comes, the ability to take a nap without worrying is one of the greatest gifts for a new parent.
  • Help-line calls – New parents really wish that babies came with either an instruction manual or a tech services line they could call for help.  Giving new parents a resource for information and support makes them feel that someone is available to help with all those non-emergency emergencies such as quieting a fussy baby or how to bathe the baby.  These questions are not ones most new parents feel they can call their pediatrician about so having a “tech services advisor” just a phone call away makes them feel more in control of what can seem to be an out of control situation.  Experienced parent advisors can also guide new parents to when a call to the pediatrician is required and when things can be handled at home.

New parents receive a great number of gifts to welcome home a new baby.  However, the gifts they don’t know they will need are time, knowledge, and help.  While family and friends generally will help any way they can, many new parents feel it is admitting defeat if they ask for help.  But if they are “redeeming” the gift certificate, it feels like less of an imposition to ask for help.  With a little creativity and knowledge of those intangibles new parents need, family and friends can give the gifts of time and support — which always fit and never run out.

Samantha Edwards creates fantastic gift baskets in Perth at She has a passion for creating meaningful baskets used for gifts, such as mother’s day, Christmas, birthdays etc.

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Wendy Price April 2, 2013 - 10:42 am
When I was a new mom I had plenty of help from my mom.
Charlene April 2, 2013 - 6:58 pm
I think this is a really good article. Giving your time to new parents is the best gift you can give them. Getting uninterrupted sleep is a new parents dream. The other thing is getting a break. Between no sleep and keeping up with older children it can get to you. So if someone asks what you need take some of the great advise written above.
Jane Ritz April 3, 2013 - 8:10 am
I have two neices that are expecting now.. It's so funny, they call me for advice-like cure for morning sickness and other things. They think I'm the expect because I have had 4 children. I do love it and enjoy making special crochet blankets for each of them.
lisa April 3, 2013 - 2:31 pm
Yes yes and yes. Those are all great gifts. Bringing home a new baby is always a bit frightening now matter how prepared you are.Take help from people and don't feel guilty.
md kennedy May 10, 2013 - 5:14 am
Great ideas! Problem is that my brother and SIL are on the other side of the country. With their baby due in October, I am going to have to try to get these things for them long-distance, so any ideas on services in San Diego would be appreciated!
Jenn May 10, 2013 - 11:48 pm
If I run into anything I will be sure to let you know... I know there is places, it can be done... best of luck and congrats on the baby in Oct.
md kennedy October 7, 2013 - 12:13 am
I found a place that lets you buy gift cards for various "mommy concierge" services in San Diego - finally a great gift for my SIL and brother!
Becky Schollian May 12, 2013 - 4:09 pm
I think this is a great idea. I always help my daughter with what it is she made need. She is hesitant at times thinking she is asking too much. I will definitely advantage of this certificate idea also for friends who I know that are expecting. Thanks Jenn!! I had posted yesterday, but don't see it.
Becky Schollian May 12, 2013 - 4:11 pm
This post is for follow up comments. I neglected to check the box, thanks.
marissa lee May 26, 2013 - 3:16 pm
i'm glad i have alot of help from my mother and sister...thank you for sharing.
lisa May 29, 2013 - 1:28 pm
That list is perfect. I can't believe that women are sent home the day after they give birth! Any help for the new parents is greatly appreciated. No matter how prepared they are!
polly June 2, 2013 - 3:14 am
I love your ideas...our daughter in law is due with #2 baby the end of June. We plan to help out by taking our 4 year old grandson a few times a week for a few hours so she has some time...we love spending time with him any day! we'll also have the baby so she spend time with our other grandson too which is so important!
lisa July 23, 2013 - 12:01 pm
Great gift idea. Becoming a parent is a bit overwhelming. Even if it isn't your first. Any and all help given is always appreciated. Just remember it usually isn't a good idea to rush over the first day home. That's what the hospital is for. To see the baby. Mom probably will be want to be bonding and healing.
md kennedy August 23, 2013 - 3:16 pm
Sometimes it is hard to give these in person, but I have found a new service: Mommy Concierges! I can order a bunch of services at once for my SIL who lives across the country and the concierge takes care of it, including spending time at her house watching the baby so my SIL can nap, shower, etc. Awesome!
M.Clark August 23, 2013 - 9:25 pm
I love this post!! Thank you for this, reading it has given me some great ideas!!
margaret peg m August 28, 2013 - 9:47 pm
when i had a new baby, the last thing i felt like doing was cooking. for me, the BEST gift was someone making or bringing over food/dinner. my daughter is due nov. 7th and we've already started to tell people how appreciative they would be if close friends & family wanted to do this. great ideas!
Rebecca Parsons September 6, 2013 - 12:34 am
I did this for my daughter in a card for her baby shower. I put a note saying she gets a week of dinners brought over after her baby is born, from me.
Marcia Lee September 13, 2013 - 9:56 pm
When I was a new mom, friends from church brought over dinner and left immediately. Yes, you want to show off your newborn, but 1st time mom's sometimes don't realize how tiring company can be. So if you pick a gift of meals, make sure you make a meal for yourself so you won't be tempted to hang around & talk.
ANN*H September 15, 2013 - 10:34 pm
Thanks for the great list of things that a new moms will appreciate more than a gift . All new mom would love any of these. I know I sure would have when I had a new baby to tend to.
Amy Baker September 20, 2013 - 8:02 am
What awesome ideas! My sister-in-law is expecting her first and I was looking for some creative gift ideas....a coupon book for cleaning and mommy nap-time and home-cooked dinner delivered will add a personal touch to my basket of baby goodies, thanks!
Marcia September 25, 2013 - 8:30 pm
Thank you for all of the good suggestions that we can use when friends or relatives have a baby. I think that coming over to give the new mom some much need sleep would be very helpful.
Marsha F. October 2, 2013 - 11:03 pm
I have a niece who just moved to a new army base and she's having a baby in a little over a month. I don't know what to do for her. I know her mom will be going out for about a week but I don't know if I should offer to go out and help too or let her ask. They asked us to visit for Thanksgiving but that seems more of an imposition than anything. I can't see her cooking dinner and entertaining us with a newborn. Any suggestions?
lisa October 3, 2013 - 12:37 pm
I don't envy anybody that has a new baby. It's not that I don't like kids. It's just so hard when everyone is trying to adjust.Any help you can give is appreciated.
Michelle S October 5, 2013 - 8:04 pm
Your post is so true! Gifts are nice but sometimes it's other things that can really help. I know when my Mom would tuck my kids into bed for me so I could go to bed early it was such a huge thing.
Sarah Negro October 10, 2013 - 4:55 pm
These are all awesome. Will be much helpful when my friend finally has her baby!
Kristy S October 16, 2013 - 9:09 pm
One of the most helpful things that anyone gave me when I had my second baby was spending time with my oldest just having fun.
Daisy October 17, 2013 - 1:29 pm
so TRUE. i'm having #2 in january, and all i want is for someone to come help me clean and cook for those first couple weeks!
neenz87 January 5, 2014 - 4:17 am
What a great list!. Very informative post :)
Miranda Wood January 19, 2014 - 7:30 pm
I've done most of these with each new grandbaby I get. Another thing I always make a point of doing is a gift that's just for mom. There is always attention and gifts for the baby but sometimes the mom can feel left out. Something just for her that has nothing to do with the baby is a release and a treat. Also big sister or big brother gifts, so they don't feel left out.
Linda Manns Linneman July 16, 2015 - 5:05 pm
You are so right when it comes to these things. These home made gift certificates are perfect. What a great shower gift idea. Thank you so much for sharing

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