Post # 1
My friend just had her first baby a couple of days ago, and unfortunately he’s having to spend a bit of time in the NICU. She’s exhausted, scared, and feeling very low.
I want to put together a little care package for her and make some kind of meal for her and her husband, but I’ve never had a child yet so I’m not sure what sort of things new moms tend to need/want.
So if you just had a baby, or have had babies in the past, what kind of things would you have appreciated in a care package?
Also, any ideas for easy meals to bring the new parents?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
One of my friends received a package of smaller lasagnas (like 2-4 person sized instead of the giant sheet pans), and she loved it. Don’t take long to cook, don’t have to worry about leftovers. I thought it was a great idea!
Post # 3
That’s a great idea! 💕 Thank you!
Post # 4
The care package is tough, since I don’t know her. She may be a planner and have most of what she needs already. Instead of saying, “Let me know if you need anything”, I would ask specifically. “Can I get you groceries, coffee, or perhaps some baby supplies? How about some things to take care of you?” Sometimes people are afraid to ask, but will accept things if you specifically suggest them.
I make dinners for women in my volunteer group. Here are some I’ve done:
Lasagna, garlic bread, and a salad kit as an easy eat and heat/reheat/freeze item.
Sloppy joes, potato salad, and baked beans, with fresh buns from the store.
Broccoli and chicken casserole, easy to bake and reheat.
Sub sandwiches and chips to take the the hospital for lunch.
Post # 5
I really appreciated fresh fruits and veggies that I could snack on. SO many people brought me heavy pasta casseroles and I needed something fresher (I also had a summer baby so anything heavy while it’s hot just is meg). Honestly what I always do with my friends is say “hey I’m stopping at the store on my way over, what do you need?” If they say “nothing” I follow up with “really? Pads? Vitamins? Nipple cream? Toothpaste? Really hit me with anything” and that usually gets a response of “well actually I haven’t had time to get [key thing that may or may not be baby related]”.
The GREATEST gift you can give her is to be open minded and do whatever it is SHE says will be helpful. I’ve picked up all of the above mentioned items. I’ll go to their house and run a load of laundry before they get home. My girlfriend took my dog to get his nails trimmed while I was in the hospital. Just be there for her in any random weird way she needs.
Post # 6
I’m not a mom yet, but a few coworkers that have had babies said that people bringing food has been a huge help! You could make some healthy, freezable soup like chili, taco soup, lentil soup, black bean, beef vegetable, chicken corn, summer corn and zucchini chowder… Enchiladas also freeze and reheat well.
Post # 7
How did she have her baby? If vaginally then amazon has these cold packs you break apart and they get super cold that were amazing to hold on my stitches the first couple of bathroom trips. Not glamorous but she’ll thank you.
The first week or two of having my baby was insane with random amazon prime purchases of things I didn’t think to get or know existed until it was 2am and I was googling crazy shit like pooping after birth.
Post # 8
you are very kind. Make sure she still has room in the fridge/freezer before you send food over. Anything is good, and I’d prefer individually wrapped, so I can put it in the microwave quickly.
Maybe a cleaning lady in a few weeks.
Post # 9
I’d want any food I’d been missing during pregnancy: chocolate and peanut butter (heartburn), corned beef sandwiches in my case, sushi if that’s her thing. Is she staying at the hospital? I was there a week and it was sooo boring. Books, something decent to watch, visitors if she up for it. And personal care like my own shampoo and a decent blanket.
If she’s home, freezer meals are nice, if she hasn’t already made some. Lasagna rolls, bbq meat, dumplings, etc. Someone mowing the lawn or doing other little chores (is never expect that though).
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2019 - Canada
I’ve done this a few times and it’s always very well received. I’ve put together a couple crockpot dump recipes (Pinterest is great for these) in ziplocks with cooking instructions, muffins, lasagna, snack-able stuff like cut up veggies & fruit. Things that mom or dad can grab with one hand is usually the best idea. If I know they havent had a chance to get groceries, I offer to stop for them & ask for a list, then add a few things I would like to have on hand (that I know they like) like a rotisserie chicken, microwave baby potatoes & a bag salad.
Post # 11
If she’s at the hospital, bringing food to her there is great (and if it’s allowed/she’s comfortable, you could sit by baby while she eats/goes for a walk/has a shower). When my son was in the nicu it was great having people bring us food we couldn’t get there, but only family was allowed to visit him. Fully ready to eat stuff, so brought warm with cutlery etc
if she’s home the previous suggestions are also great.
Post # 12
If she’s at the hospital I’d do gift cards to restaurant/coffee shops that are nearby. Places she can easily grab to-go food at. Aside from that suggestions are going to vary so much depending on the kind of birth she had. Did she have a c-section? Vaginal? Is she nursing/pumping.
For that reason I’d just get her some gift cards, and maybe if you can pop by the hospital while she’s there like someone else mentioned a quick “Hey I’m dropping by to bring you a coffee, is there anything you need from home?”. When my best friend was in the hospital I was always making pit stops at Target to pick up random things for her because bless her husband’s heart he could never seem to find the right tank tops, or pads, etc.
As much as I appriciated the meal train my friends set up when I came home, it’s hard because you never know what the new mom is in the mood for or if she has any dietary restrictions. My favorite nights were when friends would call me up and say “hey, where would you like me to bring you dinner from tonight?”. One friend, bless her, brought me a huge pot of her chilli my first day home from a c-section. Her chilli is super delicious but I was not about to eat a spicy bean filled meal after getting sliced open. We ended up freezing a container of it to eat later and sent the rest of the pot to my parents house.
Post # 13
Thank you everyone for all the suggestions so far! You’ve been extremely helpful.
To answer a few questions:
She gave birth vaginally and now has 38 stitches.
She is currently pumping and plans to continue if all goes well.
She is not staying in the hospital with the baby, but does spend the majority of her time there. Her and her husband are basically only home to sleep, sometimes eat, and take care of their animals.
Post # 14
if she plans on being an exclusive pumper than breast milk freezer bags will be super useful! It’s not a cute gift but very practical and appreciated.
Post # 15
You are so sweet! My baby had health concerns right after birth and it was awful. The combo of that kind of fear, plus also the crazy hormones, just sucks. So it’s great to be so thoughtful towards her.
For food, anything that can be popped in the microwave quickly would be great. Fajitas, lasagna, curry, chili, etc. Or a gift card to a restaurant that you know she likes.
I’m pumping too (9 months in now!) and a good gift would be, like LilliV :
said, freezer bags. I like the Mommy’s Choice brand from amazon. Also some nipple cream or a little pot of coconut oil.
Otherwise, snacks, a few magazines, that kind of little thing.