+ Flowers: Pluck them from your own garden, send them from afar via a florist, make it a posey or a spray for the mantle, don’t worry that it seems cliché. It will be lovely.
+ Homemade baby salve: Simple ingredients, simply mixed make for a soothing balm for brand-new baby bottoms, legs, hands, feet, anything at all.
+ A new book. Send an e-book, drop off an old favorite, stop by a local shop for a bestseller. Leave it on the stoop, snuggle the baby later.
+ Sitz-bath. For new a parent who had a vaginal delivery, a healing blend of herbs to help soothe any sore bits, can be a welcome bit of comfort. A combination of calendula, yarrow, and witch hazel might be nice to make yourself, or else rely on the herbal knowledge of someone else.
+ Homemade soup mix. Blend together a favorite mix of dried beans and deliver along with a sachet of fresh herbs, an onion, and a head of garlic for something new parents can make now or later.
+ Hot/cold pack. Fill a cotton pouch with flaxseed and lavender petals (or find someone to help you) to provide some calming relief to a surgical scar or shoulders stiff from round-the-clock feedings.
+ A low-key playlist. Make a list of calming tunes delivered via playlist or jump-drive, or anything else you might have; let it be the backdrop to quiet, tender, early days.
+ Dog-walking duty. Or older kid pickup. Or picking up the laundry. Make yourself available for any manner of utterly mundane responsibilities that might feel onerous in the midst of an exceptional week.
+ Cookie dough: Mix it, chill it, and deliver it ready for baking, for whenever a pang of hunger strikes (usually midnight).
+ Housekeep sweep. Fold a load of laundry, pass a wet mop, empty the garbage. Offer to stop by one afternoon for a general household sweep, while the new parents nap or nurse or do nothing of consequence at all.
+ A loaf of bread and fancy butter. Bake it yourself, or pick a fresh loaf from a nearby bakery. Choose a packet of fancy butter and a special jam. Wrap it up, drop it off. Toast with butter and jam never tasted so good.
+ Sugar scrub. Make an energizing scrub for parents who might need a little extra help to get the day started. (And if you don’t want to make it yourself, coffee and cardamom or citrus and vanilla sound perfect to me.)
If you’re looking for more gift ideas for new parents, here are a few more ideas. And if you have any more of your own, let us know!
Make/Do is a new series of guides on simple giving focused on things you can make and things you can do, to help someone else make do.