6 Ways You Can Help New Parents Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Grandparents playing with a heart frame shape

Remember being a new parent? Having a child brought a lot of love into your life, but it also brought a lot of work. You probably remember times where it seemed you and your partner were more like co-workers, both trying your best to take care of your baby but loosing track of your love life.

Now that your children have a little one of their own, they’re going through the same strain. Luckily, you can help them find their romance – and maybe bond with your grandchildren at the same time! Here are six Valentine’s Day ideas to help new parents have a lovely evening:

1. Offer to babysit

It’s a time-honored tradition, and one parents will always appreciate. Offer to take the little one off their hands for a night, giving the new parents an evening for just the two of them. Start babysitting early – think 4 or 5 p.m. as opposed to 9 p.m. This way, the parents can have several hours to themselves to relax, have a nice dinner, catch a movie or do whatever it is they want.

2. Cook a favorite meal

Nothing hits the spot quite like comfort food, and luckily, you know exactly what meals your child likes. Whip up a quick dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, meat loaf, spaghetti, pancakes or whatever their favorite is. They’ll appreciate the love put into the cooking, and just the taste of their favorite flavors will help them relax.

A cook cutting chicken.Comfort food is appreciated by stressful parents.

3. Clean their home

Chances are the sleepless nights and constant diaper changes have prevented your new parents from keeping their home in order. Even if things are – miraculously – relatively neat, the bookshelves could probably use a good dusting, and the carpet a nice shampoo. Come over one Saturday morning and help the new family clean up. If you aren’t as able-bodied as you used to be, hire a cleaning service instead.

4. Surprise them with flowers and takeout

“Have dinner delivered from their favorite restaurant.”

Thanks to the concept of takeout, you don’t have to be at your child’s house to get them a great meal. Just call up their favorite restaurant and see if they deliver or have partnerships with a delivery service like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Door Dash or Amazon Restaurants. Don’t tell them about the surprise beforehand; just wait for the thank you call a day or two after. And if you want to go the extra mile, have another service deliver some fresh-cut flowers or beautiful chocolates, too!

5. Make a baby care kit

Parenthood is expensive. Many people underestimate the cost of diapers, bottles, burp cloths, pacifiers and other little essentials. Help alleviate some of this burden by putting together a personalized baby care kit. Throw in some essentials along with a few extras that are more fun than functional. A cute idea is to get a set of towels monogrammed with the family’s initials, which reminds the two new parents that they’re in this together.

6. Set up a wine tasting

This is a more traditionally romantic option, and it will remind new parents of what their love was like before the baby. Buy them two tickets to a local wine tasting, either at a vineyard or an upscale restaurant. Alternatively, for a more intimate evening, you can host a wine tasting at home. Grab a few interesting-looking bottles, arrange a nice cheese plate, hire a sitter for the night and head to the parents’ home.

A few quick tips for pulling off a great Valentine’s Day

As new parents, the recipients of your well-intentioned gifts may be too focused on their baby to really enjoy the romantic holiday. Here’s some advice for helping them relax for the evening:

  • Shut down any baby talk. This night is for them, not for their infant. Remind them that the baby is fine, and then redirect the conversation.
  • Prepare early. Give yourself time to get everything in order so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute. Restaurants and babysitters book pretty quickly for Valentine’s Day, so you’ll be left out of luck if you don’t get a head start.
  • Do what the parents want. If they say they aren’t into all the romantic stuff, listen to them!

Regardless of which one you choose, any of these six ideas will help you create an amazing Valentine’s Day for the new parents in your life.

Autumn Green is an artist-turned-writer who traded the sweet tea of the south for the deep dish pizza of Chicago. Her favorite subjects include art, culture, design, small business/entrepreneurship and healthful living.