It’s really hard to find a nice gift for a new mother sometimes. Do you get something practical? Sentimental? Is it someone you want to go all out for, or someone you just want to give a small gesture?
Well, here are a few ideas that go beyond the flowers and silver rattles for some gifts that a new mom will really enjoy.
I’m going to start with the gesture stuff and work my way up. All too often sites and magazines launch into gifts that Drake would give someone with a private island instead of something you’d like to give your next-door neighbor who you only chit chat with over the fence.
I don’t think you can ever go wrong with food – well, I guess you can if you’re a terrible cook but I’m going to leave that to your judgment. Give her something she can pop in the freezer if she’s already overloaded with goodies and give it to her in something she doesn’t have to give back like an oven ready baking dish. If you can, try to make things you can eat with one hand or with just a fork as an extra bonus for someone that’s holding a baby a lot.
If you’re feeling really cool, you can set up a Meal Train account so you can get everyone feeding these folks for a while.
What’s that you say? You really can’t cook or you live far away? Check out Proper Good – they make good-for-you meals with clean label ingredients. You can get 6 meals for under $40 and it sure beats a giant flower arrangement that does sweet bugger all, plus, they have meatball soup. Bring it to mah belly!
If you know they’re going the disposable route, a pack of the next size up diapers are often an overlooked yet welcomed gift for new parents because there are always those “oh no, we’re out of diapers” moments when your stash runs low. Size 1 or 2 is your best bet when you're buying for a baby who is currently wearing the newborn size (they are in that size for about 10 minutes.)
Babylist also has a great Diaper Box that includes a box of eco-friendly size 1 diapers and wipes that lets new parents try out different ones to see which works best for them.
Cloth diapers are a little trickier because you tend to go with a certain brand, but if you know what she using and want to buy some, by all means, go for it. I knew a couple of people that used cloth and used disposable as a backup but tread lightly here because some people may take exception to you offering up disposable when they’ve opted for cloth.
3. Goodie Bag
One of the best gifts I ever received was from a friend that is a veteran mom of three. She gave me a little bag filled with a reusable water bottle, trashy magazines, chocolate bars, small bags of almonds, chapstick and a gift certificate to a coffee place I could walk to. I used all of it. All of it.
One of the best things you can give a new mom is your time. If you’re a good friend of hers, then there’s nothing better than having someone take you out for a walk, or sit on the couch to chat or hold your baby while she has a shower.
Say something like “I could pop by for a visit next Tuesday or Thursday. If that would work for you let me know what time is convenient and I’ll bring lunch (breakfast / the car) so we can go out for a bite.”
Just make sure you aren’t adding to her workload. If she’s a really tidy person by nature she may not want you to see her dirty house and stay up all night cleaning it when she should be napping. If she’s not up to it, leave it alone and opt for something else – there are entire Reddit threads dedicated to asshats who demand to come over and hang out with new parents. Don’t be that asshat.
On a side note, if you are the new mom, here are a few tips for handling visitors.
5. Steaming Service
Netflix would have changed my life if I’d had it when my son was born. It wasn’t around at the time so I just watched the Food Network. A lot. It would have been awesome to have a streaming service for the round-the-clock schedule of a newborn. Here's a great post from Vulture about all the streaming services out there.
6. Day You Were Born Box
It’s a really cool keepsake to have a collection of what was going on the day your baby was born. New parents are often kinda busy on that day, so if you pick up newspaper clippings, photos, notes, etc., and leave some space where parents can pop all the odd keepsakes that come along, you’ll be saving them a ton of legwork.
If you want something that’s more sentimental than practical then you may want to go the keepsake route. I love these birth flower charms I found on Etsy. If you need to figure out what birthstone or birth flower belongs to the month the baby was born in, head to the birth month series.
8. Subscription Boxes
I think subscription boxes are an incredible idea. Gifts, like visitors, often come in a flurry in the beginning but peter out when you are really feeling the toll of parenthood, so these are such a beautiful idea to keep the good times rolling.
You can get everything from diapers to cookies, to clothes and you don’t have to be up on your baby stuff to send them – these guys do all the work for you. Boxes like Mother Snacker and Hopebox are nice picks.
If you’re giving a gift to a new mother who has an older child, consider getting a subscription for them instead. Not only will it occupy the kiddo while mom is getting the hang of the new baby, but it’s also a nice reminder to the older child that they still count.
Little Feminist Book Club is an incredible box that comes with socially conscious books and activities and is great for boys and girls alike in the 3-8 age range. I also really love these craft boxes from Green Craft Kids. They are appropriate for both boys and girls ages 3-8 and have all the goods in the box so you aren’t rummaging around for glue with a newborn trying to latch onto your boob.
9. Postpartum Doula
Pardon? These exist? Why didn’t I know about them when I had my babies?!
A Postpartum Doula is like that newborn pro that comes to the house. They can help you get over breastfeeding hurdles, keep an eye out for postpartum mood disorders, and generally provide hands-on education on mother and infant care.
They aren’t cheap (nor should they be), but if you have a large family or a company that is itching to buy something big, I can’t think of a better gift. Here’s a link to find one in your area, and here’s a link for tips on how to choose one.
10. Give a gift to someone else
If you’re buying for a mom that really has it all, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with helping other moms. For $12 you can buy a newborn checkup from Plan Canada. From Unicef you can buy a baby scale, HIV Test or even a whole Midwifery Kit to deliver 50 babies – 50 babies!!
It’s always nice to congratulate new moms (and dads) on the new addition to their family and help out a little even if the gesture is small. After all, it takes a village to raise a child – and, if you’re lucky – a postpartum doula.
What are your go-to gifts for a new mom?
Let me know in the comments below!