Onesies, diapers, strollers and crib sheets all make their way onto baby shower lists. This week we're looking beyond the most gifted items, and sharing some of our favorite gift ideas for expecting families.
1. Birth and Postpartum Doula Support
More families are being introduced to the benefits of hiring birth and postpartum doulas. Asking a family if they are accepting contributions for these services is a great way to show support.
2. House Cleaning Services
The laundry and dishes can easily pile up when a new baby arrives, as well as the dust, pet hair and debris. Whether you're offering your time to help with keeping the home tidy, or you're contributing toward a professional cleaning service, families will feel a sense of ease resting in a tidy home.
3. Parent and Caregiver Classes
From birth to postpartum, breastfeeding to infant care, virtual to in-person, there can be many parent and caregiver classes to choose from. The prices start to add up, and not all families have access to free or reduced options. Ask families if contributions toward parent and caregiver classes would be beneficial to them. Here are a few classes and courses in southwest Michigan:
4. Postpartum Care Kit
The baby tends to be in the spotlight after birth, and sending a postpartum care kit is a nurturing gesture for the birthing person. Whether you opt for teas, a bath soak, lip balm, or an eye mask, this gift will not go unnoticed. Check out The Shop for care kit ideas.
5. Pet Walking and Care
Our four legged friends can get lost in the mix when a new baby arrives. Volunteering to take a dog for a walk, or to the dog park, can help alleviate the family's to-do list for the day. If the family has other pets, you could offer to clean out litter boxes and cages, and offer fresh food and water for the pets.
6. Meal Deliveries
Nourishment is a key element in postpartum recovery. Helping to create a meal train for the family using a website, or group email, can ensure the family is well fed. If one is already established, be sure to sign up! If preparing a meal isn't ideal, sign up to have a meal delivered from a local restaurant.
7. Childcare Assistance
Older siblings will benefit from adventures, activities and play dates geared toward them and not the baby, regardless of how excited they are to have a younger sibling. Sleepovers with grandparents or cousins, playdates with classmates or neighbors, or solo time for ice cream or the local museum are sure to be a hit for older siblings. This will also create space for parents and caregivers to rest and focus their energy elsewhere for a bit. Ask the parents if you can schedule a day, or even one day per week for the first 4 weeks, to spend time with older siblings.
8. Massage and Bodywork Gift Certificates
Birthing a baby is an intense physical, emotional and mental experience. Investing in an in-home massage or postpartum care session for the birthing person (and maybe even the partner!), can be a lovely, restorative gift. Scheduling an in-home session eliminates travel time, and allows the birthing person and baby to remain in the comfort of their own home. Click below for in-home options in southwest Michigan.
Blog post published by Christine Anderson of Woven Postpartum.