Newborn baby

We’ve tackled a bunch of reader questions, and today we have one for the group: “My friend just had a baby, and I’m going to visit her next week,” says Jamie. “Of course, I’m planning to bring food and hold the baby, but I’d love to bring something special just for her. Any suggestions?” Here are five ideas, and please weigh in, below…

1. A foot massage. If she’s sore from carrying around that wriggly baby, a reflexology appointment will feel SO GOOD. It magically relaxes your whole body. If you can’t spring for a pro, you could do it yourself. My friend Abbey came over when Anton was tiny and chatted with me while rubbing my feet on the sofa; I’ll never forget that kind gesture.

2. Stinky cheese. My friend Rachel just had a little boy, and she says the best gift she got was a $100 gift certificate to her local cheese shop. “After forty weeks of checking labels to see if things were pasteurized/safe for the baby, it felt like the ultimate me-time to go in and buy whatever decadent varieties I wanted! Also, charcuterie!” Or any other delicious treat — your legendary fried chicken, her favorite candy — you know she likes best.

3. Funny entertainment. Since new parents are pretty homebound (naps! feedings! more naps!), it feels good to enjoy a moment of grown-up culture during the day. You could write a list of show recommendations for her to watch while she feeds the baby. (Ours would include: Insecure, Catastrophe, and the movie Frances Ha.) Or a funny book that she can dip in and out of. (I loved this and this.) Or a smart magazine subscription that feels like a girly chat. (Elle has the best essays.)

5. Pick-me-up beauty products. Little luxuries go a long way, like a couple favorite beauty finds to help her feel like herself again. Caroline raves about this natural dry shampoo (such pretty packaging!), and I swear by this lip and cheek color, especially in the color Illusive.

6. A love letter. Most of all, you could write her a heartfelt list of the funny, real reasons that she’ll make a great mom, which she can read whenever she’s having a tough day or doubting herself. xoxo

Thoughts? What ideas would you add? If you’re a parent, what gifts/gestures did you appreciate most during those hazy early days? Congratulations to any new parents out there, and good luck and love to anyone who is trying.

P.S. Eight more gifts for new parents (including, doing the dishes!:), and five beautiful motherhood tips.

(Photo by Elle Wickens.)