Here are 15 fool-proof (and thoughtful!) ideas of what to bring when visiting a new mom so you don’t show up empty-handed. Remember, it’s essential to shower a new mom with love, too.
When a baby arrives, it can feel like the love and attention quickly shift from the new mother to the new life. So, if you’re reading this, thanks for caring about what to bring when visiting a new mom. Your thoughtfulness means a lot to her.
Keep reading to learn what to bring when visiting. We also cover what you should not do when visiting a new parent and some free ways to help mom feel supported during this time.
What should you not do when visiting a new parent?
Before we dive into our top 15 ideas of what to bring, let’s touch on what you shouldn’t do when visiting a new family.
Here’s a quick list of don’ts:
- Don’t ask to hold the baby — wait until the baby is offered to you
- Don’t show up empty-handed — bring something (anything!) to show you’re thinking of them
- Don’t comment on how tired mom looks — she is well aware of how tired she looks
- Don’t ask how the baby is sleeping — ask how mom is sleeping instead
- Don’t mention how messy the house is — pitch in and run the laundry or do the dishes
- Don’t overstay your welcome — keep your visit short and sweet
- Don’t visit if you feel sick — wait until you feel well and wash your hands before holding
- Don’t offer unsolicited advice — listen to see if mom asks your opinion before giving it
Remember, hold the mother until she asks you to hold the baby.
If all else fails, keep in mind that the most supportive way to approach visiting a new mother is to hold the mother until she asks you to hold the baby.
What do new moms need most from visitors?
While every postpartum is different, in general, mothers need to feel cared for, seen, and supported during this time. There are some straightforward ways to help her feel the love and attention during this early time, and our ideas below do just that.
Hint: she probably doesn’t want another bouquet.
Read next: 21 Postpartum Gifts for New Moms
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What to bring when visiting a new mom
1. Meals, meals, and more meals
Without a doubt, the best thing you can bring a new parent is a meal. Whether you opt for a home-cooked meal or a postpartum meal delivery service, the whole family will appreciate you helping take one less dinner off of their plate.
Make sure to gift the meals in a disposable container, so there’s no worry about washing another dish and returning it. Also, ask about any dietary restrictions within the family beforehand.
Hint: check out idea #11 for a bonus tip about this suggestion.
2. Her favorite drink
Offer to stop and pick up her favorite coffee, tea, or drink on your way over. It’s a simple gesture, but a hot – or iced – beverage prepared exactly how mom likes it will feel like she won the lottery. You can even pair it with a gift card to a local coffee shop.
3. A reusable water bottle filled with treats
Recovering from birth requires a lot of energy, and the new mom must stay hydrated throughout. Bring over a sizeable thermal rambler and fill it with hydrating electrolyte packets, gum or mints, individually wrapped candy, chocolates, or anything else she loves.
4. Diapers and wipes
Ask mom or her partner what diapers and wipes they prefer and pick some up before heading over. A newborn can never have enough diapers! Opt for a size one or two to be safe, as they will quickly grow out of newborn diapers.
Bonus points if you change a dirty diaper or two while you visit.
5. A bag full of groceries
Keeping dietary restrictions in mind, showing up with a bag of groceries will make you a hero in just about any household.
Here are some simple grocery items to bring:
- A carton of eggs
- A loaf of bread
- Sliced cheese
- Prepared oatmeal cups
- A carton of milk
- Butter or ghee
- Full-fat plain yogurt
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables
- A magazine or two
6. A cozy robe and slippers
Those early postpartum days require being extra cozy at all times. Any new mom will greatly appreciate a robe (especially a robe with pockets like this one) and a pair of cozy slippers to pad around in with her new baby.
7. Anything postpartum healing related
Healing from birth is no joke, and it requires a variety of items, some of which can quickly run out. Bring over any of these postpartum must-haves to help mom feel taken care of.
Pay close attention to the different delivery types – vaginal or cesarean – and which corresponding items to buy to help mom feel supported.
8. An Amazon gift card
The number of middle-of-the-night purchases that happen when a new baby arrives is too many to count. An Amazon gift card is the perfect gift to show up with when visiting a new mom – it helps her buy just about anything under the sun with the click of a button.
9. A self-care bundle for mom
Self-care can feel like a cruel joke in postpartum; that’s why a small self-care bundle is always a good idea.
We especially adore this all-natural, handmade self-care box for new moms and babies. It’s packed with nourishing, simple self-care items such as belly balm, herbal bath blend, a bosom butter, and some essentials for baby.
You can always make your own with a few sheet masks, a weighted eye pillow, a nice hand cream, and whatever else you think she’ll enjoy.
10. A carton of formula or milk storage bags
If the baby is breast or formula-fed, you can bring a box of baby formula or a carton of breast milk storage bags when you visit. Just text a family member beforehand to check on mom’s preference.
11. Paper plates and cups
A family with a new baby will eat many meals at home, and with that comes many dishes that require washing. If you’re bringing a meal (or not!), showing up with paper plates and disposable cups is always a great idea. We love this eco-friendly all-in-one plate and utensil set.
12. Homemade energy balls
Energy balls are packed with energy-promoting nutrients, but they’re also pretty delicious. Make a batch or two of these dark chocolate nut butter balls to bring when you visit. Everyone in the house is sure to love them, so make a few extra just for mom.
13. A book or two
…preferably not about birth, babies, or postpartum.
Pick up a book or two in mom’s preferred genre and drop them off when you visit. It’s nice to have something to do while tethered to a pump or finds herself with a spare few minutes. I know; we’re laughing in our heads, too.
You could also consider gifting her an Audible membership so she can remain hands-free and listen to anything of her choosing.
14. Dessert of any kind
You can’t go wrong with dessert if you’re still struggling with what to bring when visiting a new mom. Think cookies, donuts, cupcakes, or even a scoop from her favorite ice cream shop.
15. A helpful attitude and no expectations
Above all, it’s essential to remember that you are there to support the parents when visiting a new baby. Don’t hesitate to speak up, ask how you can help, and not overstay your welcome. Keep visits under an hour, ideally.
Free ways to support a new parent
If you’re looking to go above and beyond, below is a list of easy, free ideas that you can do in addition to whatever you bring over. These tasks may seem simple or too easy, but the reality is, they’re beyond helpful for new parents.
- Walk the dogs
- Take out the trash (and replace the trash bag)
- Wipe down the counters
- Empty and load the dishwasher
- Entertain the older kids
- Run a load of laundry
- Fold and put away laundry
Final thoughts on visiting a new mom
Remember, the new mother you’re visiting is going through a significant life transition and is grateful for any effort, especially if she’s at its heart. Keep the tips shared throughout this post in mind, and you can rest assured you helped make a new mom’s day that much easier. After all, it does take a village.