There may be nothing more exciting and sweet than seeing your loved ones bring a child into the world. While this is a time to cherish and celebrate, it's also a major, exhausting life change. So how can family members and close friends show their support?
There's no shortage of ideas to welcome a newborn baby home. But whatever you choose to do, try to be supportive, thoughtful, and most importantly, helpful.
If you need a little inspiration, you've come to the right place. Read on for an insightful list of welcome home ideas for parents, newborns and even older siblings, along with tips on how to decorate a home to welcome a baby.
Welcome Home Ideas for New Parents
For parents with a baby coming home, welcome them by helping them. Though this is undoubtedly a special time, it can also be chaotic. And for some, the identity shift of becoming a parent can feel alarming.
All that said, the best welcome home ideas for parents are in the spirit of celebrating the occasion while also being practical and useful. And if you're a guest in their home, try to make it so they don't have to host you. In other words, be not only helpful but also self-sufficient.
Ahead, tips for making new parents' lives easier and ideas to welcome a newborn baby home.
Cook a Healthy Meal
No matter how hectic things get or how tired new parents are, everyone needs to eat. While the parents feed their baby, you can lend a hand by cooking them a healthy meal — or not-so-healthy comfort food if that's what they prefer.
Don't just cook, though. Be sure to serve the food — whether it's eaten on the table, couch, or elsewhere — and clean up afterward.
Organize a Meal Train
On a similar note, you can set up a meal train so other friends and family can sign up to cover a meal. This could mean cooking a meal in the new parents' home, dropping off home-cooked food or takeout, or sending a virtual gift card for their favorite restaurant or meal-delivery service.
Some people may not want visitors the first few weeks, so be sure to ask the new parents what they prefer before sending out the invite.
Celebrate With a Birthday Cake
You might consider baking, buying or sending a birthday cake. Yes, it's the baby's birthday, and no, newborns don't eat cake. But this welcome-home idea for parents is undeniably sweet — candles optional.
Pick Up Household Basics
As a new parent, venturing out to the supermarket may seem like an insurmountable task. For one, free time is scarce. What's more, figuring out whether to go alone, schedule an outing around the baby's sleeping schedule and even coming up with a shopping list can feel overwhelming.
That's why one of the most thoughtful welcome home ideas for parents is to pick up household basics. You might want to check the inventory in their home first. However, if they have room to spare, it probably won't hurt to stock them up with everyday items, like toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, hand soap and hand sanitizer.
Checkout our Home Essentials Checklist for more inspiration.
Stock the Pantry
Speaking of stocking up, you might want to get some grocery items for the pantry and freezer. Look for dry goods, frozen items and other non-perishable foods they can enjoy now, as well as weeks or months down the road. If you know what they like, grab their favorites. If not, go with healthy-ish, tasty snacks and easy meal options.
Offer a Basket of Goodies
For a slightly scaled-down welcome-home idea for parents, combine the last two tips and present them with a basket of goodies. You can fill it with anything from gourmet chocolate and wine to diapers and wipes to gift cards and a baby blanket.
Help Around the House
Instead of (or in addition to) buying thoughtful things for the parents, one of the most valuable new baby welcome ideas is to help out around the house. Newborns may be small, and yet somehow, their presence often coincides with neglected laundry and messes throughout the home.
You can vacuum and mop the floors, dust and sanitize household surfaces, do the dishes or fold laundry. If you're not able to help out in person, you could also pay for a cleaning service.
The Gift of Thank You Cards
From baby showers to meal trains, new parents typically have many people to thank for their support. With that said, paper thank-you cards sent via snail mail are one thing that hasn't really modernized in the digital age. People certainly appreciate receiving them, but writing cards, addressing them and acquiring postage takes time and effort.
A very thoughtful welcome home idea for parents is to give them a simple stack of thank-you cards, plus stamps. To go above and beyond, you could address them or even write them while the parents dictate.
Another simple yet thoughtful welcome home baby idea is to take pictures of the homecoming, as well as during the first few days or weeks. New parents quite literally have their hands full, and while they may appreciate having the mementos, taking photos might be a low priority.
Before snapping (or posting) any pics, be sure to ask if the parents mind. And in general, be considerate and mindful of privacy when documenting intimate, candid family moments.
Gift Baby Essentials
When it comes to ideas to welcome a newborn baby home, you can't go wrong when gifting baby essentials. The key word here, though, is essentials. Prioritize items you know they could use either immediately or in the near future, like the products listed below.
Diapers and Wipes
As a new parent, you can truly never have enough diapers and wipes. Having said that, it's possible to have too many of the wrong size diapers. Depending on their birth weight, many infants never wear the newborn size, and they often speed past size 1. Unless you know the baby's weight or the parent's current stock of diapers, you might want to go with size 2 to be safe.
If they have a brand preference, get that. If not, you could treat them with a slightly fancier kind. As for wipes, unscented is usually best unless the parents request otherwise.
While most diaper changes take place on the changing table, some happen on the go and others are performed on the floor or couch. That's why a portable changing pad is an excellent idea to welcome a newborn baby home. Look for a foldable, cushioned option that's either wipeable or machine washable.
Speaking of frequent changes, babies go through quite a few outfits — sometimes several in a single day. A simple yet immensely useful gift idea is a pack or two of plain onesies.
As with diapers, infants grow out of the newborn size remarkably quickly. It's OK to get a few newborn onesies — the tiny garments are irresistibly cute, without a doubt — though size 0–3 might be a safer bet.
If there's one thing new parents can agree on, it's that zip-up baby pajamas are substantially easier to get on than button-up styles. This may not seem significant, but in the middle of the night, even the cutest button-down jammies aren't so cute when you're struggling to get them fastened.
Breast (or Bottle) Feeding Care Package
You could also gift a breastfeeding (or bottle-feeding) care package. Fill a basket, crate, tote or box with essentials like shirt pads, a nursing top, lactation cookies, healing ointment, baby bottles, milk storage bags, a nursing cover, a reusable water bottle — staying hydrated is critical — and maybe a chocolate bar for good measure.
Once they graduate from the bassinet, the only bedding item infants need until at least their first birthday is a crib sheet. It's good to have two or potentially three on hand for last-minute, middle-of-the-night changes, so you might consider getting a couple.
See our blog, Tips for Gifting Linens on Special Occasions, for additional guidance.
Babies are generally not supposed to sleep with regular bed covers for the first 12 months to minimize the risk of suffocation.¹ So how do they stay warm and snuggly in the middle of a bare crib? Swaddle blankets.
Mimicking the coziness of the womb while inhibiting the startle reflex, swaddling is the name of the game for newborns.² Swaddle blankets can also double as nursing covers and lightweight blankets for stroller rides.
For more insight into sleeping safety for infants, see our blog, When Should Your Baby Make the Transition From Crib to Toddler Bed?
White Noise Machine
On a related note, white noise machines can mimic the sounds of the womb and encourage newborns to drift off to sleep.³ This is also one of the best welcome home ideas for parents, who can also use a little help catching Zs.
Get more sleepytime tips in our guide on Healthy Sleeping Habits for Babies.
Blackout or Light-Filtering Curtains
By blocking outdoor light, curtains are crucial for falling asleep and staying asleep. In the nursery, they help with naps and bedtime. Also, new parents tend to lack adequate shut-eye, and light-filtering curtains can help them doze off at odd times or when they know they'll need to be up within a couple of hours.
Baby blankets are great gift ideas to welcome a newborn baby home. You can't really have too many, plus they're perfect for enhancing nursery decor.
Bear in mind that babies aren't supposed to sleep with blankets for at least the first year.¹ Still, they come in handy for car rides, stroller walks, feeding and cuddling up on the couch.
For more guidance on this topic, see our Baby Pillow and Blanket Guide: When Can Newborns Sleep With a Pillow and Blanket?
When it comes to caring for a baby, there are nearly endless uses for washcloths. They're great for toweling off newborns after bathtime, wiping up drool and spit-up, drying a breast pump, you name it.
Hooded Baby Towel
Apart from being adorable, hooded baby towels help keep infants warm from head to toe during the transition from the bathtub to the changing table. Opt for a soft, snuggly, low-maintenance textile like premium long-staple Turkish cotton.
Learn more about this infant essential with our article, What Is a Baby Hooded Towel? Can Babies Use Regular Towels?
As with blankets and pillows, stuffed animals should be kept out of the crib for at least the first year, as they pose a suffocation risk.¹ Having said that, soft baby toys can still be a sweet way to welcome a newborn into the world. Those first few months, stuffies allow infants to practice their grip, make tummy time more interesting and help introduce the idea of animal recognition.
When in doubt, books are always a great gift. Even before they understand words, there are lots of benefits of reading to babies — bonding, establishing a routine, and learning colors, to name a few.⁴
Like diapers and wipes, you can never have too many burp cloths. In addition to creating a barrier between your clothes and the inevitable drool, milk and spit-up, they double as makeshift changing pads and washcloths in a pinch.
Bibs typically come into play at around six months when solid food is introduced. However, they can also be useful in the newborn stage, preventing a pileup of soiled onesies and giving tiny tots something to chew on while teething.
Non-Toxic Laundry Products
On the topic of soiled onesies, you could also gift new parents toxin-free natural laundry detergent. Natural formulas are best, as they're less likely to cause irritation on a newborn's sensitive skin. Also consider items like wool dryer balls that provide a healthier-alternative to things like toxic dryer-sheets.
To dive deeper into this topic, check out our wash and care laundry guides:
The Last Items From the Baby Registry
One of the best welcome home ideas for parents is to get the last few items from their baby registry. Whether it's a stroller accessory, diaper cream, extra bottle nipples or a binky clip, they'll appreciate you filling in the gaps.
That said, you might want to ask before ordering anything. Parents-to-be sometimes buy the remaining items themselves, which may or may not show as "purchased" on their registry.
For more recommendations from those who've lived through it, read our blog, Can't Live Without: Parachute Moms Share Their Must-Have Baby Items.
Consider the Older Sibling
When brainstorming ideas to welcome a newborn baby home, you should also consider the older sibling. It's a big adjustment, to say the least, and gifting them a toy or book can go a long way.
You could also offer to take the older sibling on an outing, like the zoo, park or ice cream shop. This will make them feel special while taking a load off the parents.
Simple Decorating Ideas to Welcome Newborn Baby Home
With a new baby in tow, celebration is in order. Looking for welcome home ideas for parents other than gifts and acts of service? A few newborn welcome home decorations can make the occasion all the more special. Here's what to keep in mind.
Keep It Simple
When considering how to welcome a newborn baby at home with decorations, it's best to avoid going over the top. Something as simple as balloons, a bouquet of flowers, a birthday cake or a hand-made sign are all excellent options.
Don't Leave a Mess
More to the point, don't leave a mess behind. If you do choose to embellish the home with decorations, make sure you clean everything up so the new parents don't have another job to do.
Where to Buy the Best Gift Ideas to Welcome Newborn Baby Home
These baby homecoming ideas should give you the inspiration you need to make the new parents and their bundle of joy feel loved. You’ll find plenty of baby basics and living essentials for new families at Parachute, including crib sheets, muslin swaddle blankets, woven baskets, natural laundry detergent, bibs, washcloths, burp cloths and hooded baby towels.
Whether you have a little one on the way, are shopping for parents-to-be or are in the market for ideas to welcome a newborn baby home, you'll find something here. Browse the collection today!