Skip the Store: The Best New-Mom Gifts Don't Cost a Thing

If you're lucky, your entry to motherhood was met with a (warm and wonderful) barrage of beautiful gifts. Between the baby blankets, onesies, board books, and bath toys, there's a lot of gear that goes into welcoming an infant to the world, and new moms are appreciative of the help and generosity of friends and family. But sometimes the most thoughtful gifts aren't ones that are found in the store — they're the gifts of time, wisdom, support, and friendship. We're not just being sentimental here, we're being honest! Read on to see some of our favorite ways to make a new mom's day.

Affirmations, Not Advice
Thinkstock | Marc Debnam

Affirmations, Not Advice

Let her tell you how she's adjusting to motherhood, then offer her encouragement and the affirmation that she's doing an amazing job. Unless you have an especially poignant and foolproof tip or trick (or if she specifically asks for it), curb the "been there, done that" advice.

Your Old Baby Clothes
Thinkstock | Dana Alexandra Dabija

Your Old Baby Clothes

While she's probably already gotten a slew of gorgeous special occasion gifts for the new arrival, she may be short on the easy, everyday onesies and bodysuits. If you have gently used baby clothes left over from your own little ones, offer them up. Be sure to include the disclaimer that you don't expect them back, so if there's a surprise diaper explosion, that's A-OK.

Free Babysitting
Thinkstock | David De Lossy

Free Babysitting

New moms (especially those who are breastfeeding) often feel tethered to their babies. But most everyone can afford to escape for an hour or two. Offer to stay with her newborn while your friend runs a few quick errands, goes for a solo stroll, or gets her nails done. That alone time may mean more to her than you can imagine!

A Peek Into the Outside World
Thinkstock | monkeybusinessimages

A Peek Into the Outside World

As much as she can't wait to tell you about all of her new baby's adorable faces and coos, she's still craving a glimpse into what else is happening in the world beyond newborn central. If she has the time, give her the download on all of the gossip in your social circle and bring by a few of her favorite magazines to catch up on in her spare time (however limited it may be!).

Rally the Troops
Thinkstock | Jupiterimages

Rally the Troops

If you have a number of friends who've offered to help the new family out, one great way to maximize efforts is to take the lead on setting a schedule. Because lasagna's lovely, but no one needs it three times in one week.