One of your best friends just had a baby. That’s great news, as you can play a role in helping her get used to being a mother for the first time. But what exactly can you do for the new family? This is the dilemma many friends have. How far can you get involved? What kind of gifts would be useful? Can you offer more than just a gift? Maybe you can give some advice that you have lived by since you also have children. Giving first-time mothers mental support is so important too. The good news is that there’s no shortage of gift ideas these days. The modern family needs a lot of things to give their baby the best shot at living a healthy life in his or her most vulnerable years. You can also give your friend helpful tips and tricks that only experienced parents will know. The timeframe you do this is narrow, as sooner or later the baby and the family will get settled into a routine. Changing the routine is risky so help the new mother as soon as you can.
Helping to understand the baby
The first thing first-time mothers will be conscious of is stopping the baby from crying. It’s very common for inexperienced mothers to think that a baby’s cries are urgent and distressing to the child. However, you have to remind your friend that babies cry. Even if nothing is really wrong, babies will cry. It’s just in their nature to want attention and looking after. It’s purely a defense mechanism sometimes. Other times, cries will be normal and it’s here that stands the challenge. How do you tell which cries for help and others that are for attention?
Hungry cries may begin when the baby seems more alert to his or her surroundings. The baby will sometimes stick his or her tongue out and maybe lick their lips. Lip-smacking or a sucking motion with the mouth is also an indicator that the child is distressed and hungry. For cries of tiredness, the baby might make scrunched up faces, grimacing and narrowing the eyebrows. Squinting and yawning are also signs the baby is tired. If the baby is crying while making nasal grumbling noises, this is because he or she wants to be put to bed. There are a lot of different cries that your friend will need to learn but the signs are very easy to pick up on and may only take a couple of weeks to get the hang of.
Bringing helpful gifts
The first year or so of raising the child is going to be tough on the parents in more ways than one. It’s not just physical and or mental, but it will be financially difficult too. That’s why you should bring your friend something that will be useful in raising the child and one less thing she has to buy. There is all manner of helpful baby shower gifts you can take to the welcoming of his newborn. An item like a rocking chair would be a great gift for the living room or garden. It’s a chair where the mother can rest and rock the baby to sleep if he or she is having trouble dozing off in the crib. Buying a stack of educational baby books is helpful reading for the mother and will teach her many things that she can learn in her own time.
If this friend means a lot to you, then you can go the extra mile and buy her a crib for the baby. This is a very thoughtful and expensive gift, so pick one that will be suitable for her tastes and that will be adaptable for the future such as adjustable height rail bars. A mattress for the crib is also a great buy, something soft and 100% washable. Buying a few month’s subscriptions of an easy meal or meal delivery service is perhaps the most helpful gift of all. The first-time mother is going to be tired and mentally drained for the first few weeks so, not having to worry about making dinner is going to take a lot of stress off her shoulders.
Taking over for a night
Just getting enough rest during the first few weeks is going to be difficult for both parents. One of them will be working full-time and the other will be staying at home looking after the baby at all times. It’s not just rest but having time alone together, the relationship can begin to feel the strain of having a child. So offering to babysit and taking some of the load off the parents is a great way to show your friend some appreciation. If you have children you’ll know how valuable having a night off can be. It refreshes the mother and father mentally and they can use the time to go on a date. While you’re babysitting you can bring some toys over to keep the child occupied. If you can babysit for more than a day then you may want to offer your extra time as well.
Relaxing the parents
Parents will be up at all times of the night when they have a child for the first time. The baby needs feeding, changing and burping at all hours of the day and night. This is to keep the baby healthy but what about the parents? Buy them a neck pillow to help relieve tension. It can be worn while upright so if the mother is sitting on the sofa with the baby in her arms, she can go to sleep comfortably wearing the neck pillow. These small things eventually add up and they make life so much easier.
Free spa day gift cards are almost like a dream come true. New mothers may be a little self-conscious of their appearance. They haven’t had time to themselves to lose the baby weight and take care of their skin like they normally would. But a day at the spa is going to change all of that. A massage, facial, sauna and shampoo treatment could help to bring her confidence back. It feels great and melts the stress away as well.
Baby on the move
Eventually, when the baby has grown for a few months, the parents will want to start taking him or her with them. So buying them a car seat is going to make their lives more tolerable regarding long car journeys. New parents are always saving, and they may not be able to afford a holiday. So new family road trips will become common as they can simply have a domestic vacation and save a lot of money by driving to their destinations. A car seat that doubles as a basket is the type that you should look for. There are some car seats that hold the baby upright. But they cannot be used to transport the child while walking. A car seat that uses anti-allergy synthetic materials is highly recommended. Since the baby is confined quarters where there may not be a lot of air circulation, ant–allergy materials will catch and trap pollen and other things like dust mites.
Give your friend a night off from looking after their newborn child. It will give the parents some time alone together and relieve a lot of first-time mother stress. Buy helpful gifts that the family can use to make life simpler and easier. Buy your friend a crib or perhaps a neck pillow, something that can be reused over and over.