10 Best Gifts for New Moms
I’ve had a few kids. In fact, with baby boy #5 due in April, I guess you could say we’re still at it, which got me to thinking…
After the birth of each kid, I’ve had some amazing and supportive friends and family members in my life. They’ve gone out of their way to help me ease into new momdom. (Yes, even with the third or fourth, you go through a period of adjustment and semi-insanity.) However, not everyone naturally knows how to help a new mama. Others are just trying to find a fresh and creative way to show their support.
If you’re that person and are looking for ways to help a mama out, here are my top-ten tried-and-true, let’s-get-real gifts for the new mom.
1. Stock the pantry.
Many friends and family members bring meals, and that’s amazing. Do it. However, one of the best things a friend did for me was bring over some essentials for my pantry and freezer: microwave popcorn, granola bars, crackers, macaroni and cheese, and frozen chicken nuggets for the kiddos. These essentials were fantastic to keep stocked on snacks and items for school lunches without me having to run to the grocery store.
2. Schedule a spa visit.
Does your friend like a good massage? Send her to the spa and watch the kids! One of my greatest joys in life is being able to go get a massage once my baby belly is back to (relative) normal. When you’re pregnant, even a prenatal massage never lets you get 100% comfortable. That belly, man. So let your friend relax for an hour at the hands of a professional.
If you don’t have the budget for a spa gift certificate (or your friend isn’t a fan of massage), an at-home spa treatment that’s become part of my regular self-care regimen is Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Bundle (Lavender Vanilla). Seriously. I’ve been using this stuff for almost six years now and find it one of my top ways to relax after a long day of momming.
3. Hold da baby.
Even though many experts say “sleep when baby sleeps,” the reality is that most moms have a hard time doing this, so help them out. If the new mama agrees, ask if you can stop by to hold the baby (and maybe even watch the other kids) so your friend can sneak in a nap or a shower or maybe just a walk around the block.
photo credit: public domain via pixabay
4. Give a book for mom and babe.
Rarely does a new mom have time to read the likes of War and Peace. However, one of my hands-down FAVORITE gifts to give after baby is born is the children’s board book, I Love You Through And Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak.
Here’s why: When my oldest Cohen was an infant, he’d struggle with bedtime. I’d rock and rock and rock him for what seemed like hours. One day, I picked up this book and began to read it to him. Tears started streaming down my face as I read, “I love your happy side, your sad side . . . your silly side, your mad side.” The book became my mantra, a daily declaration that I would LOVE that kid no matter what. Even when he wouldn’t sleep.
5. Bring her beverages.
Sometimes a timely cup of coffee is just what a mama needs to make it through the day. If your friend has a favorite drink, just show up with it (or maybe with a quick “hey I’m bringing you coffee” text so she can have a few minutes to finish up breastfeeding).
6. Create a “feed-the-baby” survival kit.
When I have a newborn, I feel like I’m a walking bottle. Whether you choose to breast or bottle feed, much of your life is consumed by that feeding schedule. It can get overwhelming for a new mom. Therefore, load up a basket with a few goodies that will help her stay sane when she’s chair bound. I would recommend a new water bottle, nipple cream (I prefer Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve, 1.41 oz), healthy snacks, a stash of dark chocolate, and a few magazines.
7. Offer your special skills.
Are you a photographer? Maybe you’re an expert seamstress or chef? Whatever your special skill set might be, put it to good use for your friend. Offer to help her with a special project, create a meal plan, bake her favorite dessert, or make a custom gift to celebrate baby’s arrival.
8. Take her on a shopping spree.
That post-baby body can be brutal. Most of us expect it all to snap right back to normal, but instead we’re looking in the mirror wondering what in the world we’ll ever do with all that skin. Give that new mama a boost by offering to take her on a shopping spree (whether in-store or online) for a few new clothing essentials that will make her feel comfortable and put together right in the stage she’s in.
photo credit: public domain via pixabay
9. Pick up the broom.
If having a clean home is important to your friend, then offer to clean her house or do the laundry. Usually this offer works best after she’s already mentioned something about “the mess bothering her” instead of just offering cold turkey. You don’t want to come across like you think her house is a disaster. However, it’s a huge gift to a new mama to be able to focus on baby without the house going completely to shambles.
10. Send a gift card to a favorite restaurant.
You can only take so many chicken casseroles. While they’re all filled with love and good intentions, the traditional homemade meals can sometimes get old. Sometimes you just want take-out Thai. One of my favorite gifts to give and receive after baby is born is a gift card to a favorite restaurant. The new mom can use it at her discretion, perhaps when a meal doesn’t show up, a stay-in date night with her husband after kids are in bed, or if she just really wants some pizza. Just be sure to choose a restaurant that offers curbside service or delivery, so it’s not an added burden on the mama.
A few of our family’s favorites include Panera Bread, Cracker Barrel, Chuy’s, and Papa John’s Pizza. And, of course, Starbucks. Lots and lots of Starbucks. She’s going to need those sanity car rides to get baby asleep and get out of the house.
Just show up. Ask how you can help. Look for needs, and try to meet them. Your friendship and willingness to offer support will speak louder than any gift as that new mom transitions into her new normal.
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feature photo credit: public domain via pixabay