8 Things I Wish Had Been in My New Parent Care Package

The best new parent care package is so much more than sweet. It's a lifesaver. Here are a few creative ideas for DIYing the perfect gift for a friend with a new baby.

Push Gift
Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Chocolates and flowers are great, but there are way more inventive — and useful — ideas for a new parent care package. Here's how to build the best gift ever for someone who has just given birth, starting with the items I wish had been waiting for me when I came home from the hospital.

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Amazon

A Fun Water Bottle

First things first — all new parents gotta hydrate. Breast milk is made up of about 90 percent water, so it's crucial to keep your fluid intake up to maintain your supply if you're breastfeeding, but drinking plenty of water is a must however baby is fed.

A cute water bottle in a new mom care package is a reminder to keep those H2o levels up. Mira (pictured above) and Hydro Flask both come in a wide range of colors and can be customized, too.

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Freshly

Easy, Healthy Meals

New parents also need to eat — but that's easier said than done when a little person is taking up every second of your time and every ounce of your energy. To take away the stress of preparing and cooking meals, gift a new parent a week's supply of nutritious frozen meals. They'll love you forever.

Alternatively, sign them up to a food delivery subscription like Freshly, which delivers fresh, all-natural, chef-made meals that are packed with protein and free from refined sugars. All they have to do is heat them up and enjoy them.

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Amazon

Luxe Beauty Products She'll Actually Use

Every new parent appreciates beauty products but it's important to choose wisely for their care package. A bottle of fancy bath oil is likely to gather dust on the edge of the tub — those newborn days are all about quick showers whenever they have a spare five minutes.

Instead, go for a luxe dry shampoo (some days showers are simply impossible) and a set of miniature hand creams that they can apply throughout the day and pop into the diaper bag for a little on-the-go self-care. (And if they're breastfeeding, do them a favor and add some lanolin-free nipple cream to her new parent care package. She can never get too much of this.)

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Amazon

A Good Audiobook (and Wireless Earbuds)

Even the simplest tasks can be near-impossible when you have a newborn to look after, like reading a book. Make it easy for a new parent to start — and hopefully finish — a great read by gifting membership to an audiobook service like Amazon Audible, which includes three titles (one audiobook and two Audible Originals) for each month of their membership, or a digital book by email, such as a Google Audiobook, which you can purchase via the Google Play Store app.

Throw in a set of wireless earbuds, just in case baby is a particularly light sleeper, or they want to listen during night-time feeds when the rest of the family is asleep.

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The White Company

A Feel-Good Scented Candle

One of the best gifts I got after my daughter was born was a scented candle. When we were at home through the winter in our breastfeeding bubble, I made a point of lighting it every day and it helped to inject a little tranquility into what was often an unpredictable, demanding routine. I also appreciated the fact that even if the house was in complete disarray, at least it smelled great.

The "Summer" version of my "Winter" candle is described as "a breath of fresh air," which is exactly what a postpartum mom needs.

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Little Mama Shirt Shop

A Big, Slouchy, Comfortable Sweater

Whatever type of birth a new mom has, her body needs time to recover and a slouchy, cozy, feel-good sweater helps to ramp up the comfort factor. Give this practical gift a little extra by choosing something that celebrates her mom status and acknowledges the fact that she's done something amazing.

Small independent stores like Idaho-based Little Mama Shirt Shop have cute, original designs and often cater to moms with twins, triplets and older kids, too. (And it's always great to support moms in business.)

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Amazon

Something That Will Help Her Sleep

Every new mom care package list should include something to aid the thing that eludes most new parents: sleep. Instead of asking a new mom if she's getting enough sleep (the answer is highly likely to be no and asking the question only serves as a reminder of that), gift her a top-of-the-range sleep mask.

The nodpod weighted sleep mask, which contours to the face, comes in a range of colors and is likely to be her best chance at a few minutes of precious shut-eye.

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Urban Sitter

Babysitting Services

New mom care package ideas don't get much better than a promise to babysit. It costs you nothing and it's priceless to new parents who're struggling to find an hour of me-time, a child-free meal or even a window to take a long bath. Pinterest has lots of cute babysitting coupon templates to help you create something Mom can keep (and remind you of).

Don't worry if you're not up for the task yourself — a great alternative is a prepaid gift card from Urban Sitter — it can be used to book a sitter or join the online community for access to recommended, trusted babysitters and nannies, every day of the year.

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