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After mentioning this on Instagram, Totter + Tumblers loved this idea! A basket full of small, carefully thought through items mainly aimed at the parents and left on my doorstep, mindful not to intrude on our new, and overwhelming bubble, with our newborn.
A very close friend did this for me, herself just 10 weeks ahead of me on the motherhood journey, and it's the one 'gift' I really remember as it made the tough little moments of new parenthood better. So here are a collection of ideas from you and from us, if you would like to make a doorstep-basket for a new parent you love and want to help. If you did it all, it would be rather large so take away what you don't like and add to it what you do.
Ps my rule is not to go over for the first month - however much you want to!
I loved that I received my bundle of goodies in a basket that I could keep (it is currently the boot basket by our garden door). The absence of beautiful gift paper was actually a relief, and though can work really well in a gift bag or box, it also felt thought about too. Since I have found baskets in my local shops. Supermarkets often stock smaller baskets, Home Sense usually has a whole section of baskets, and there are a whole host of beautiful baskets from our instagram-brand community.
Water and Snacks. We have all had those moments where we have sat down to feed a baby and have instantly needed a drink or snack.
A reusable water bottle is really important, but don't forget the inbuilt straw for the one handed parent! There are so many available, but I particularly loved the stainless steel bottles to keep my water cool.
So many have also said a thermos cup. As a regular tea and coffee drinker I use these throughout my day, even now a few years on from the baby phase, to keep my drink hot and if I need to dash out it is ready to go. My personal favourite is the Liewood Kiki Thermo Cup as the lid has a cover that clicks closed and clicks back, and keeps your drinks warm for hours.
As much as we need a bottle of water in reach at all times, snacks are so important, emotionally and physically! For the broken sleep, the postpartum healing and especially for the breast-feeding mother, we found having a handful of yummy snacks nearby was vital.
Dried fruit and nuts are conveniently packaged in small grab-sized portions from most food stores, are great as your friend will get a lot of biscuits and cakes, but may get to the point where they need energy but want it from a healthier source or with less crumbs! A couple of easy breakfast options are great too - like the Moma instant porridge cups.
Okay, it is not all healthy. Little chocolate bars are great and made for one. If you want something more extravagant, the delights from Sarah's Creative Kitchen or Bad Brownies you have said are insanely good and will have you drooling in jealousy. We think they are perfect if your has a particular chocolate or sweet they love to add a personal touch.
And our biggest tip for leaving a meal is to make sure it can be frozen, and the portion size is big enough for two plus second helpings!
For the Post Partum New Parent
Now, we are betting that your friend has had a spreadsheet for her hospital bag and has supplies for the rest of the calendar year. Odds are she has tea tree oil and Epsom salts, though if you know your friend has had a tougher labour with tearing or an emergency c-section, these are great additions.
One of my favourite things about the basket is the passage of knowledge. My friend included little things, less known, that worked well for her, and in turn for me too. Now we know that some people say breast feeding should not hurt, but for us it did to begin with. Now everyone knows about the lansolin and nipple balm, but fewer people know of the soothing, healing powers of the MAM compresses. Slipped in between feeds, we felt that they helped the healing process and, like Lanolin, babies can be breastfed straight after use. I also loved discovering washable breast pads that never scrunched up, like these from My January Baby.
Aside from the medical and physical needs, lots of you have agreed that us parents are not very good at the luxuries that we may want, or appreciate. A lovely hand cream, face cream and candle may be received from others so here is our go-to gift: Space Masks. We cannot recommend the self heating masks enough, and those exhausted parents will love how they sooth tired eyes too. And you may want to get a box for yourself too!
For the Babe
Okay, I lie. These are still really for the new parents. You may have guessed by now, that the best baby products can also work for the parents too. Etta Loves muslins are a great example of this. First of all, no parent ever said they had too many muslins. Plus these look good. But here is the best bit - the specific scale of the patterns actually do mesmerise the babies, giving the parents a breather and the babies a wondrous experience.
So it is quite a traditional idea to give a newspaper from the day or week the baby is born. But with all the negative news stories being reported, why not a Happy Newspaper for the month of brith seeing as it is the birth is good news too?
I also love to put in a couple of hand me downs baby clothes. There are always certain ones with certain design features that were really handy for the time of year or just treasured belongings to pass on to dear friends.
And the letter - a keepsake for so many parents, full of friendly wisdom, support and kind words. And a list of the best TV and boxsets for the new parents to binge watch guilt free.
These were recommendations gathered from Totter + Tumblers across social media in February 2020:
Your Joke Recommendations with a twist of truth
'A Sleep Trainer'
Okay, not much more can dramatically increase a conversation tempo than two new parents discussing routines. But whilst a sleep trainer may blow the budget and be a bit eager in the timeline, being honest and open with your friends about realistic expectations can really help parents not feel they've failed at the first, and one of the most draining, hurdles.
' New Boobs'
We've got you covered with the Mam nipple compresses and the reusable nipple pads, but a heads up on the better nursing bras and tops with inbuilt support may help too.
Definitely don't add cleaning products to the basket! But insisting on hovering the house, washing up any dishes and tea cups, and also to remind your new-parent friends not to feel the need to clear up for your visit.
We hope our Door-Step Basket may have given you some ideas on treating a friend of yours, or perhaps yourself! The key is keeping it simple, keeping it thoughtful, and keeping it practical.