Best Gifts for a New Mom

Know someone who just had a baby? A great list of some creative and useful gifts for the new mom or new dad.

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 kick ass stuff 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 Jay Z would give
someone with a private island, and not something you’d like to give your
next-door-neighbour that you only chit chat with over the fence.


Food:

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with food – well, I guess you can if you’re a shitty 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 Baby or 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? There’s a service called Meal Gifts that will deliver a delicious home-style meal right to her door. It ain’t cheap but it sure beats a giant flower arrangement that does sweet bugger all, plus, they have lasagna. Bring it to mah belly!


Diapers:

If you know they’re going the disposable route, a pack of the next
size up diapers are often an over looked yet welcomed gift for new parents
because there’s always those “shit we’re out of diapers” moments when your stash
runs low.

There’s also a wicked service called Diaper Dabbler that
will send a sampler pack of different diapers so she can get a feel for which
one work for her without buying a whole box.

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 there because some people may take exception to you offering up disposable when they’ve opted for cloth.


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.

 

Time:

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 seeing 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 Facebook threads dedicated to asshats that demand to come over and hang out with new parents. Don’t be that asshat.

I also love these beautiful cards that a company called IOU letterpress used to make for a tangible gift of errands, a load of laundry, etc. rather than just saying “call me if you need something”. They don’t seem to exist anymore but I’m sure you could create your own.

On a side note, if you are the new mom, here’s a few tips for handling visitors.

 

Netflix:

Netflix or Amazon Video would have changed my damn 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. Then I figured out that I could rent a movie and watch it during the night when I was feeding him. I slept on the couch and he slept beside me in a bassinet. When he’d wake up I would feed him and watch the movie. When he’d fall asleep I would put him back down and pause the DVD. It would have been awesome to have something like Netflix for the round-the-clock schedule of a newborn. You can get a one-month subscription for $8 so it’s not a bank breaker either.

 


Day You Were Born Box:

It’s a really neat 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 places where mom and dad can pop all the odd keepsakes that come along, you’ll be saving them a ton of leg work. The original was on spoonful.com but it looks like Disney bought the site and redesigned the page – thanks, Walt – but it looks fairly self explanatory. 

 


Keepsakes:

If you want something that’s more sentimental
than practical (I’m looking at you dads) then you may want to go the keepsake
route. I love this initial necklace from Soul Peaces but I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to incredible keepsakes that will remind her that she’s a kick ass mother if you’re looking for some more inspiration.

 

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.

This one is from Mommies
First
but you can check out my Subscriptions for New & Expectant Parents
board
too.

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 weeble, it’s a nice reminder to the older child that they still count. I really love these craft boxes from Green Craft Kids and Lego boxes from Pley. 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.

  


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. She can help you get over breastfeeding hurdles, keep an eye out for
post partum mood disorders, and generally provide a hands-on education on
mother and infant care.

They aren’t cheap (nor
should they be) and run around $20 – $35 from what I can tell, but if you have a
large family or a company that is itching to buy you something big, I can’t
think of a better gift. Here’s a link to find one in your area.

 

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 ever 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. 

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23 Comments

  • My sister wants to do a diaper cake for my shower and I asked her not to since we will be using cloth diapers. However, I wouldn’t be offended if someone bought some for me as a gift. I would keep some around for if we are traveling or will be out all day long. If all it takes to sabotage someone’s intentions is buying them a box of diapers, they weren’t all that serious about it anyway. If I get a few boxes, I will politely thank the giver, then exchange them for something else that I need. 🙂 I have to say I do like the idea of anyone willing to come over and do laundry for me!

  • Definitely agree with all of these! As a mum of 3 – food was the best gift I was given the last time round. Our local church rallied round and we were given a family meal and desert everyday for the first two weeks! My children have never eaten so well!! Ah well, it’s back to super noodles now 🙂
    I have to say, those that brought round gifts for my other two were well received too – crafty things to make and do with them together were good and helped with the whole ‘guilt’ feeling you get when you have more than one. This site has a great selection of unusual gifts – my kids loved the a-clay and still play with them now http://www.boughtwiththought.co.uk

  • The gift I’m most looking forward to is a few hours in a sauna with my ipod. My mom got me a giftcard to my favorite naked-lady spa awhile back specifically to use for post baby me time and I can not wait to use it on the day when I truly need it.

    Also, I’d say no to any keepsake thing. Keepsakes, frames, what have you are like art or clothes. Everyone has a personal style. I’ve already received so many baby things that just aren’t us and I have no qualms with donating it to someone else or just chucking it. I told these people to just get things off our registry, so when they don’t listen then they just waste money. Not my problem. If I got a keepsake item that I would never use, I’d feel just a little bad, since I didn’t register for anything like that so they didn’t know–but I wish it was known by the world that if you want to get something tangible, to ask first if you already have 5 other keepsakes (that you don’t need) or simply ask what I would like before the baby arrives. That, to me, is way more thoughtful then some etsy monogrammed thing that I’ll likely toss the second you leave the house.

    Also, I love this blog! I’d love to see a list of things to not say or do if a soon-to-be mom is late. Being 41 weeks today, I feel totally calm but it’s everyone else who are driving me bat shit. Like I almost want to have this baby just so everyone else shuts the eff up about it. You know you’ve reached your limit when your mom asks if you knew that sex induces labor and I should try that. Gee, Mom, thanks for the tip that I never knew about until you told me. You’re a genius! I’m gonna have sex right after I eat that pineapple with cayenne pepper on a bouncy ball while getting acupuncture as I walk 5 miles. Thanks for the tip that only you have told me about in the last 7 days! (hope you got the sarcasm)

  • Great gift ideas! We love creating gifts for new mums too, in the form of baby gift baskets! Our favourite is for Mummy, Daddy & Baby!

  • I HAVE that Soul Peaces necklace and I ADORE it. She is great about creating it for exactly what you need (in our case, just one leaf for our little one on the twig). It’s def. my current fave piece of jewelry!

  • I will most deffff being coming back to this blog when I finally get pregnant! I totally agree with these gifts, but the one I didn’t see was help lol! When my friends had children I offered to come over like once a week and do laundry, wash dishes, vacuum (if the baby wasn’t sleeping), make some freezable dinners, or bake cookies. Basically, I would just come to their house and say "Put me to work!" My friends told me later that it was a really great gift to offer them because silly things like house work, clean clothes, and that odd concept of eating had totally slipped their minds in their first few weeks. I also found this great blog post (http://www.become.com/hub/baby/baby-care/how-to-make-your-first-days-home-with-your-newborn-easy) that talked about how to make it easier on a new parents and how to be helpful.
    -Reese

  • Another other great subscription box for older siblings are KiwiCrate.com. Also for healthy snacks for mom Naturebox.com does an AMAZING monthly delivery box. I love it so much. Great post and great Pinterest board on subscriptions!

  • buying Disposable diapers for a Mother who is trying to get a Cloth Diapering Routine going is the same as buying a breastfeeding Mother a can of Formula! It is undermining and tantamount to sabotage. The best part about cloth is that you are NEVER out of cloth! a cleaning service or perhaps someone willing to come over and do a load of laundry is a much better idea for a new Cloth Diapering Mom!

    • Fair enough, although, all the cloth diaperers (is that a word) I knew always had a couple of disposables on hand as a back up. If you think they would be offended then by all means skip it. I’m not sure I would go so far as saying it’s undermining them like offering a breastfeeder formula but perhaps I haven’t been around anyone that’s been nasty to people that decided to go the cloth route. Good idea about the diaper service or laundry loads!

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