What would be the BEST thing for a new Dad could do for his partner?

(29 Posts)
Tobe Mon 06-Jun-16 11:37:11

Hey,

So I'm about to become a Dad for the first time and going through the usual perparation - NCT, Birthing Centre workshop, reading-up, etc..

However, I want to do something nice for my wife as a surprise once the baby's born. Something a little out of the blue and a bit more focused on her, as opposed to her and the baby (if you know what I mean). I'm struggling to think of ideas. The only one I've come up with so-far is a food hamper of all the things she's been missing out on for the last 9-months (cured meats, soft cheeses, etc).

Has anyone got any better suggestions, or personal experiences (including bad ideas)? I'd love to hear them.

Thanks in advance,

Toby

p.s. first-time poster here.

Salene Mon 06-Jun-16 11:38:51

What about a post baby massage , get someone mobile to come to house and give her a facial and a massage

I had that after giving birth and it was bliss 😍

Salene Mon 06-Jun-16 11:39:31

You will find someone on Facebook or gumtree who is mobile and can come to your home

minipie Mon 06-Jun-16 11:45:52

Welcome.

Best thing my DH did for me was to cuddle our new baby for several hours after the birth when I was too exhausted and emotional (things had not gone smoothly) to do it myself and I just needed to sleep.

Second best thing was doing the 10pm feed (even when that morphed into a 12 pm and then a 1am feed) for several weeks/months so I could sleep the first part of the night uninterrupted.

Third best thing was cooking and washing up every night and doing all the laundry and cleaning, because I was so exhausted from looking after our demanding and non sleeping baby, and had no time in the day.

I know this isn't exactly what you had in mind grin but honestly this day to day stuff is SO SO much more important than a one off gift.

If you want a one off gift: a tablet, pre loaded with box sets, would be an amazing gift (as you spend a lot of time stuck on the sofa under a feeding/sleeping baby). Or maybe a haircut/massage/manicure for her for about 6 weeks after the birth - and obviously make sure you will be available to look after the baby, including bringing the baby to her for a feed half way through if necessary!

BananaL0af Mon 06-Jun-16 11:45:55

DH arranged for us to have a post-birth surprise sushi dinner whilst I was still recovering in hospital, it was lovely.

If you're thinking of longer term, then I would suggest you promise to get up every night for all the night feeds.... That was certainly the BEST thing my DH did (ok, he did most nights, not every night... He got to go out to work, I was home tending to the kids all day, so appreciated not having to see to them at night.)

Tobe Mon 06-Jun-16 11:46:18

That's a great idea smile

ISaySteadyOn Mon 06-Jun-16 11:46:31

Food hamper sounds like a lovely idea. But the absolutely most helpful thing my DH did when all our 3 were born was to do all the cooking, washing, nappy changing, etc when he was home. My job was to recover from the birth and establish bfing as I had decided that was how I wanted to feed. And it has made a huge difference to me. Our youngest is two now and he asks for mummy or daddy in equal measure.

You sound lovely and considerate so I think you will be fine.

BananaL0af Mon 06-Jun-16 11:46:50

ps Congratulations btw. Hope it all goes smoothly for you all.

ISaySteadyOn Mon 06-Jun-16 11:47:25

Oh yes, and boxsets if bfing are essential

ChoudeBruxelles Mon 06-Jun-16 11:48:07

Just let your wife rest. Do housework, hold the baby a lot, cook. If bottle feeding do some of the feeds. Tell her how brilliant she is and what a wonderful job she's doing

NapQueen Mon 06-Jun-16 11:51:24

When you get in from work every night, take the baby. I know you think that it might be a good time to get all the housework etc done but honestly she will want an hours break.

She can bathe or nap or cook or whatever she fancies.

Take the baby. Every night.

LurcioAgain Mon 06-Jun-16 11:51:48

I love your idea of all teh foods you know your partner loves but hasn't been able to eat - that's exactly the sort of thing that shows you've thought about her as a person, rather than gone for the token gesture.

I'd say both your lives are about to change in an unrecognisable (but good) way, and nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for that. For me it would be the ongoing things that really mattered - taking your baby out for a half hour walk in the sling to give your partner the chance for a leisurely hot bath or shower without having to worry about the baby crying, offering to make her a cup of tea while she's sat tethered to the sofa beast feeding, that sort of thing. The stuff that shows you're really pulling your weight, and making sure that she has little chunks of child-free time in which to get a bit of a rest (because rest/sleep will become the one luxury both of you crave above all other things).

For me (not all women feel like this) I was particularly grabbed by any gift that acknowledgesd the fact that I was still an adult (but that could be consumed in small chunks) - books of short stories, a favourite box set that can be watched in 15, 20 minute bits (a friend bought me audio books to listen to while I was breast feeding, which made a huge difference).

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 06-Jun-16 11:53:25

Best thing my DH did for me, the day we got home from the hospital, was make me a bed up on the sofa with a ton of pillows and quilts, made me endless cups of tea, snuggled up with me under the duvet and we slept when newborn DD slept, then he ordered a gigantic Chinese takeaway to be delivered that evening grin
Was very small things, but it made me so happy and relaxed smile we lived on our sofa with all those pillows and duvets for the first 4 or 5 days of DD's life!
Then my parents came over to meet DD, helped us make the house look normal again, mum helped sort the laundry and dad went to get me a Big Mac grin
(Junk food was delightful because I had been forcing myself to eat healthily while pregnant!!)

RiverTam Mon 06-Jun-16 11:56:38

The best thing my husband did was he did everything, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking. All I had to do was park on the sofa and attempt to feed our baby.

The single best thing he did was every morning before he left for work he would make me lunch and put it in the fridge, and make sure I had water and snacks within reaching distance. Oh, and the remote control. I spent a lot of time on that sofa. And even though I was breastfeeding he would try to stay awake with me for the night feeds to keep me company, which was beyond adorable (I found feeding in bed really difficult and in fact gave up and went to another room to sit on an actual sofa or chair).

He's fairly crap about things like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day but he is so brilliant the rest of the time I really couldn't care.

minipie Mon 06-Jun-16 11:59:57

Bad ideas for me would have been anything that involved looking halfway decent or staying up late in the first few months. I would not have wanted a surprise dinner out or anything like that as I wouldn't have had the energy and would just have worried about the baby.

Oh I have another idea - if your wife wants to breastfeed then I would suggest you book a really good private lactation consultant (ask on MN for recommendations in your area) to come and visit a couple of days post birth. Can make a HUGE difference to how well BF goes and how stressful the newborn weeks are.

Paulat2112 Mon 06-Jun-16 12:02:23

Cook! If you don't know how (my dh isn't great!) then pick a few simple recipes, for instance spag bol and chili are pretty similar and easy to make yourself. Even just a nice sandwich with some fruit and veg on the side can be a good meal, doesn't have to be hot.

I agree with salene a nice massage, facial, manicure, pedicure etc would all be lovely. You might find some therapists offer a package where you can get two of more treatments done. Have a look on the local buy n sell pages on facebook if you have it, post on there and you will get lots of recommendations smile

Leopard12 Mon 06-Jun-16 12:03:49

I would love the food hamper! I wouldn't be as keen on the facial as it would mean I wouldn't be in full control of newborn.
Just generally making sure you help out lots, offering to run her a bubble bath and keep the baby happy downstairs for a while so she can relax and making her a lovely meal.

WickedLazy Mon 06-Jun-16 12:06:55

Get her a book you think she'd like, a few magazines, or a dvd boxset, to go with the food hamper. Maybe nice bubble bath? Tidy the place a bit (lift and take out rubbish, wipe counters, do dishes) and take baby out for a few hours, do something fun together, walk round park or visit a relative, and let mum have some alone time. Dp still does this sometimes at the weekend, I'll wake up to him cleaning, with ds ready to go out an adventure with him. If she's generally looking a bit tired or run down, let her go back to bed for a bit. Which means looking after baby properly, changing nappies, dealing with sick etc. Sometimes it's bliss just to know someone else is in charge for a bit, and you can relax.

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 06-Jun-16 12:08:59

Doing the cooking and washing (and you'll have never washed as many clothes in your life!) and bringing your wife a drink when she's stuck on the sofa with the baby were the most important things to me. Gifts are nice but don't make your life easier the way the above did.

Maybe subscribe to something like Netflix if you don't already so she has something to watch if she's breastfeeding and tied to the sofa.

Tobe Mon 06-Jun-16 12:12:27

Wow... I'm totally blown away by all the responses. These are all great!

I'll definitely be trying to do as much as I can around the house. I love to cook anyway so she's used to that.

I'm still fond of the hamper of food idea, but will also think about loading up the iPad with a bunch of movies & boxsets or more books.

The massage (from a pro) idea is great too !

This has been really helpful smile

sockrage Mon 06-Jun-16 12:12:47

I love your hamper idea. Add to that boxset dvds, a book and taking the baby while she rests posts birth and I would have been very impressed.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 06-Jun-16 12:21:18

I think you've had enough ideas here but I'll tell you something dh did, once I'd established things like breast/maternity pads, nipple cream, nappies and wipes that were preferred, he took a picture of them on his phone so if I asked him to pick any up he knew exactly what to get.
Powdered milk if ff too.

passmyglass Thu 09-Jun-16 18:29:39

Firstly, you sound very lovely for posting this. Secondly, it is absolutely all about the little things, as others have said: doing the mundane stuff without being asked, repeatedly asking if she would like a cuppa (not because she's suddenly a tea-addict, but because it is an easy, practical way to demonstrate that you want to take care of her).
My dh was also keen to be helpful, but he wasnt great at understanding how i wanted help. He was determined to hold baby ALL the time, which was nice, but i should have been more vocal in asking him to push the hoover round instead and just let me hold her.
Thirdly sleep is about to become the most valuable comodity in your relationship. Always suggest that you can take care of everything if she would like a nap, and be willing to get up in the night. Trust me, when people ask her how youve been adjusting to fatherhood, she will love telling them that youve been doing all this. And while the foodbasket sounds nice and all, this is the stuff she'll remember always.
And big congrats.

passmyglass Thu 09-Jun-16 18:33:43

Oh, and (rather more materialistic, sorry) turn up at the hospital with flowers/chocolates/ make-up voucher/ something. It is worth preplanning this and not just getting something shit from the hospital gift shop. Imo.

PitilessYank Thu 09-Jun-16 18:50:56

While I was on maternity leave with each of our four children (which, sadly, was only about ten weeks each time), my husband took care of everything around the house, except feeding the babies, which I did, and rocking our babies to sleep, which he did as he had a special talent for it.

He went to work (a mix of day and night shifts), and when he was home he cooked, cleaned, did laundry, bought supplies, doted on me and the baby, and once I gave birth to our second child he took care of the older children while I was occupied by the baby.

It was wonderful, and once I returned to work we continued to share all of the household duties. I feel so lucky to have had him as a co-parent.

I don't recall him giving me gifts (maybe balloons, once?) after our children were born, but that was not important to me; his presence and his partnership was perfect.

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