The Gift of Play | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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By Cheryl Bac

The Gift of Play

Uploaded: Oct 11, 2014

Towards the end of my pregnancy, our friends kindly asked what they could do to help us out after baby arrived. A common gift is a meal train to help with food during the first few weeks postpartum. Although this is a wonderful gift for new parents, food wasn't a top concern of ours.

We were more worried about how I would rest and recover with a toddler at home. Our son was used to spending a lot of time playing with me and running around with his friends. We didn't know what he would think about me spending a lot of time napping and tending to baby. And we knew that he probably wouldn't be able to see his friends quite as often.

My husband and I spent some time brainstorming ways to make the first few weeks postpartum as enjoyable as possible for all of us. While I rested and recovered, we wanted our son to have lots of opportunities to run, jump, and play while also getting lots of much needed attention.

I was thrilled when one of our friends came up with a solution and organized a babysitting gift for our family. Rather than drop off meals, our friends and their child(ren) each come over for a play date or two with our son while I take care of baby, nap, or just relax. We love these play dates! Our son gets to see his friends, use up his toddler energy, and also gets to play with a reenergized mommy after my break. I enjoy seeing our friends again and having a chance to chat with them after lots of time spent with little ones.

What gifts did you most appreciate as a new parent?