I LOVE giving presents, especially when people don’t expect them. I’ve noticed that when babies arrive, new moms are so focused on learning how to care for the little one they don’t always know how to take care of themselves. But in those early days and months, when sleep is fleeting and hormones are raging, a small gift can mean the world of difference.
Before I had Anna I never knew what to bring someone who’d just had a baby. When my friend Bethie delivered I picked up pink cupcakes on my way to the hospital. I couldn’t stand to show up without something, but I didn’t know what she might possibly need or want after hours in labor. Now that I’ve had my own baby I know what gifts are really appreciated and useful. These gift ideas are perfect for when you don’t want to shop up to the hospital empty handed, or you’re just trying to show some love to your very best friend who just had a baby clear across the country.
:Homemade granola: I like to make a big bag of granola and either bring it to the hospital (sometimes the food is terrible!), mail it (easy to ship, light weight, and you don’t have to worry about spoiling), or tuck it into a grocery bag with a dinner meal. I alway, always woke up hungry during those first few months of breastfeeding so a filling breakfast is not only a treat but also much needed. Which brings me to my next point…
:Luna bars: My friend Anna brought me a big box of Luna bars when I got home from the hospital. She said, “This is my go-to new mom gift. You need something you can eat with one hand when you’re starving at 3:00am.” She was so right. I ate that entire box right up.
:Fruit basket: There is nothing more fun than getting an Edible Arrangement or a box of new baby Sherri’s Berries. Have I mentioned new moms are always hungry? This is a nice alternative to sending flowers which can sometimes be overdone.
:House cleaning gift certificate: If you haven’t had a baby I will spare you the details of how, um, difficult it can be to move around in the weeks following delivery. Let’s just say you’re not going to have the energy or ability to scrub bathroom floors. Living Social and Groupon always seem to offer discounted house cleaning offers. If you have the budget, or a group of friends who want to split the offer, consider getting three certificates so the new mom can have one deep clean visit for the first three months post baby.
:New mom necklace: My sister-in-law, Katie, got me a necklace for Christmas with Anna’s initial and a blank spot for our next baby. There are tons of cute options around Etsy. Mine is from Lisa Leonard Designs. This would be a very special gift to send to a first-time mom, especially one who doesn’t announce the baby’s name until birth.
:Bottle of bubbly or beer: I’m not a huge drinker but I admittedly miss wine during pregnancy. Jonathan was drinking a glass the other night and I kept trying to pry it from his hands. Consider showing up at the hospital with a bottle of champagne or wine and several glasses so that visitors can toast the new parents. (Need help choosing? The Best Sparkling Wines Under $20)
:Water bottle: Breastfeeding moms need to drink a lot of water in those early weeks. One great gift idea is a new waterbottle, especially one with a pop open straw to make drinking while nursing easier. I like this Camelbak Eddy bottle because it’s somewhat clear so you can see how much water is left. And it’s 100% BPA free.
:Reading light and/or a trashy magazine: I told you that my friend Anna dropped off Luna bars for me after I gave birth. When she had her son, I dropped by the hospital un-invited early the next morning with a balloon and tabloid magazine. I thought she might get bored sitting around all day. While I don’t think new moms are every bored I will say that it’s nice to have something to look at with how much feeding there is to be done.
:New robe, slippers or PJs: The very best things I brought to the hospital were my black Lulu yoga pants and a brand new $16 jersey robe. Neither were particularly gorgeous but they were functional and made me feel like myself. I also wore a pair of very ugly blue fuzzy socks. Next time I deliver I’m bringing cute slippers with me! When your next friend has a baby, consider stopping by the hospital with a special comfy outfit. Or, if you really have your act together, bring it by their house before they go into labor.
:Belly bandit: Two days after delivering Anna I took my first outing to a baby store so I could purchase a Belly Bandit. These contraptions are awesome because they help your tummy slim down after baby. Of course, not every woman wants to be gifted a belly bandit so make sure your friend or sister wants one of these before presuming, or implying, she needs one.
Bonus tip: I love making videos or photo montages. The one I made for Anna’s first birthday still makes me tear up every time I watch it. One great idea for a new mom is to make her a video of her pregnancy and birth photos. Or, if you’re not sure how to make one yourself, hire someone to do it for you. Check out Motley Mama’s baby video services.
What are your favorite gifts to bring or send a brand new mom?