Open When letters are one of my favorite ways to show people I care about them. With a little planning and preparation, they’re the perfect way to keep in touch and give encouragement when it’s needed the most. Simply write a letter for each topic, and then enclose it in an envelope with the instructions to “Open When…” on the outside. Ta-da!
Over the past years, I’ve published 102+ Open When Letter Topics and 55 Open When Letter Topics and they’ve been wildly popular. I love those topics and their versatility, but the Open When letters I’m sharing with you in this post are a bit different: they’re focused on new moms. Whether you’re a civilian or part of the military community, you’re bound to know a new mom who needs a little support, encouragement, and love using these Open When letters.
At their core, Open When letters are all about personalization and showing the recipient that you care about them. When John was deployed, I used 30 of my Open When letter topics to write notes that he could tell were made by me, just for him. As you read the list below, be inspired by my topics and letter suggestions, but get creative, silly, and sincere to make the Open When letter fit the new mom who’s opening it.
Most of these topics will work perfectly with just a note, but on some, you’ll notice I’ve given you some suggestions for small gifts to include with a letter. (If you include them, you’ll need envelopes of all different sizes–how fun! What an intriguing baby shower gift that would make!)
…you’ve gotten home from the hospital. You know what to do here: share your deepest congrats and honest words of encouragement. Let New Momma know she’s loved.
…you can’t stop staring at your new baby! Include a decorated paper picture frame mat that New Momma can hold over Baby’s face “…because I’m picture perfect!”
…breastfeeding isn’t as easy as you hoped it would be. Share a note reminding New Momma that breastfeeding is hard and takes time when it works. She’s a champ for trying! Include a small sample of nipple cream, if you’d like.
…you feel badly about not breastfeeding. Write a note that breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone and it does not mean she’s a failure.
…you’re feeling sad. Include a note to remind New Momma that feelings of sadness are valid and normal. Write down your phone number (even if it’s programmed into her cell) to remind her that you’ve got a listening ear.
…you haven’t slept for 24 hours. Put a cute sleep mask in the envelope.
…you were peed on. Write a funny note and include a travel-size detergent pack.
…you were pooped on. How about another funny note and travel-size detergent pack?
…you were spit up on. And just for fun… another funny note and travel-size detergent pack!
…the bags under your eyes have bags. Write a note reminding her she’s beautiful and include a small sampler of an eye-soothing product.
…you had a crappy public breastfeeding experience. Write a short note to help New Momma move through the experience. Remind her that no matter what anyone else says or does, she’s caring for Baby and you’re so proud of her for it!
…your breast milk (or formula) went everywhere but baby’s mouth. If New Momma will find it funny, give her a note of encouragement and a travel poncho. Not her kind of humor? Stick to an encouraging note.
…you stepped on a toy and hurt your foot. Write a note card with a bunch of silly swears, like Butterscotch Biscuits! or Flatulent Farkle! or Oh, Mylanta! The sillier the better.
…you. are. ex.haus.ted. Write a simple note like, “Put Baby to bed and take a nap. You are a human. Humans need sleep.”
…there’s no way you’re going to keep your eyelids open much longer. Write a note and tell her to rest and rejuvenate! (If you’re feeling cutesie, include these lotions perfect for resting and rejuvenating.)
…you’re pretty sure you’re not cut out for this “mom” thing. Remind her how awesome she is and that she’s doing a great job.
…something goes perfectly right! Celebrate along in your note!
…you know you love your kid, but you’re not entirely sure if you like your kid today. Drop some words of encouragement. Let her know it’s okay to have ‘off’ days.
…you forgot to pick up diapers and need an emergency diaper STAT! Stick a diaper in the envelope.
…you used the other emergency diaper. (Seriously, you need to go get some more after this one. There are no more in here!) Stick another diaper in the envelope.
…you’re feeling alone. Write a note and include your phone number.
…you’re missing your partner. Include a note written by New Momma’s partner.
…you watched your baby hit a milestone without your partner there to witness it. Include a small note pad for New Momma to write down every detail.
…you missed a milestone.
…you just need a break. And you need it fast. Pop a Fast Break candy bar into the envelope.
…you feel like you’re stuck and drowning and don’t know what to do. Print out this blog post from a very down-to-earth mom.
…you don’t need any more stupid advice.
…you doubt yourself.
…you feel like a failure.
…you’re tempted to Google symptoms you think your kid might have…
…you’re second-guessing yourself.
…you feel like you’re not a perfect mom.
…you had a small mothering victory!
…you had a big mothering victory!
…you feel like you’re doing this all alone.
…Grandma got in your head.
…that perfect #&@*$ from down the street thinks she knows how to parent your kid.
…you hate your body.
…your boobs are killllllling you!
…you feel like you’re trapped in your house. Include some pictures of far away places and a good day of the week/time to FaceTime.
…you don’t have the energy to make dinner. Include a gift card to a local pizza place that delivers!
…your clothes don’t fit.
…you need a night out soon. Include a coupon for “one free night of babysitting” or, if you’re not local, do a little research and find a great service to refer.
…you need a moment to yourself. Slip in a bag of New Momma’s favorite tea.
…you know you haven’t taken good care of yourself lately. With a note of encouragement, include a facial mask or two for New Momma to pamper herself.
…you need a joke.
…you miss your parents. Include a note from parents who live far away.
…you miss your siblings. Include a note from brothers and sisters who live far away.
…you feel like this day is never going to end.
…you’re heading back to work.