On your first foray into parenthood you usually get a lot of stuff. And while all of those bodysuits and carriers and diapers—and even those tiny newborn washcloths—are useful, sometimes what a new mama needs most can’t be gift-wrapped.
So, the next time you’re wondering what to bestow on your co-worker or gal pal who has recently birthed a babe, think outside the big box store, and consider one of these gracious gifts instead. (With any luck, she’ll return the favor when your babe arrives.)
1. A squeaky-clean home.
Call up a local maid service, and foot the bill for a one-time visit. Whether it’s a top-to-bottom scrub or a couple hours to wash the sink-full of dishes and knock out a few loads of laundry, mama will appreciate having less on her to-do list.
2. A day (or night) for herself.
It won’t cost you anything but time to offer to babysit her newbie while she relaxes with a pedicure, goes on a much-deserved date with her partner or simply clocks several uninterrupted hours of shuteye in the room down the hall.
3. A week’s worth of groceries.
Heading out the door with an infant is no easy task, so save her the trouble of getting dressed and wrangling baby into the car seat by making the trip for her. She can put together her list of must-have items, and you can schedule the drop-off.
4. A hot meal.
If you’re the next MasterChef, then whip up dinner for the newly minted parents. If you don’t know a microplane from a masher, then pick up their favorite takeout dishes. Throw in some paper plates and plastic cutlery, and they’ll be thrilled to skip out on dish duty for the night, too.