Sorry if you read the title and thought you were going to find ideas for actual physical gifts to give parents of a newborn, this post is about the practical and most useful gifts I think you can give them.
When I had my first two children years ago I had a lot of family living close by, I also had a few family members who helped that are no longer in my life, I felt well supported and for that I will always be grateful.
This time around I don’t have a lot of close family living close by, those that do are busy working or have busy lives themselves although I know if I needed their help they would and have happily obliged.
Life with a newborn and a toddler is tough, I take my hat off to those who have more than two children under five, how on earth are you coping ? I started thinking about what I would really like to do for my own children when they have children of their own or even for family or friends just to make the experience a little easier for them and this is what I came up with.
A Good Nights Sleep
I recently saw on a vlog I watch on YouTube that the ladies mother-in-law went to stay at their house every few weeks to take the baby for the night to let them both have a full nights sleep.
Sleep deprivation is awful even if it’s just for a few nights never mind weeks or months, it leaves you feeling less able to cope with the day ahead and everything can seem worse than it actually is, so the most important thing I would give is the gift of a good nights sleep.
A Few Good Meals
The last thing you want to do when you have been looking after a newborn, a toddler and the running of a house all day is to provide a decent meal, this means that (if you are like us) you end up getting a takeaway or having sandwiches instead.
I would cook a few meals that can be frozen and take them round, or even ask them over for a meal or offer to cook for them at their home, a good filling homemade meal can make a lot of things seem better.
Help With The Housework
This is a tough one as it would be easy to insult someone who’s sleep deprived by asking if they want you to clean their house ! but you could offer to do the ironing or any dishes you spot on the drainer while you are visiting.
A Chance To Get Out For A Few Hours
My lovely cousin (who is more like my sister) offered to watch both the kids so I could get out with my husband for an hour about a week after Jake was born, it felt like a luxury to pop to the shops as a couple without it taking an hour just to prepare leaving the house.
In the early days, looking at something other than four walls really helps lift your spirits, it’s a wonderful gift you can give to new parents who might find it hard to ask for help.
Having children is tough, I know as parents it’s our choice to have them but giving someone even just an hours respite without them feeling as if they are burdening you, might be worth more to that person than you will ever know.