One of my favorite gifts at my baby shower was a basket full of stuff just for postpartum me, and it made me think about how little care and appreciation moms receive after having a baby. Of course, it’s great when friends and family stop by with items for your newborn baby. I’ve always felt like gifts for my kids are also gifts for me. But so many times, new mothers have just about everything they truly need for a baby, and so little for themselves.
If you want to put a smile on the face of a new mom in your life, here are 20 thoughtful ideas.
1. A long phone charging cord
So many times, new mothers are strapped to their couches, beds, or loungers while feeding or holding their babies. And sometimes, we need a little distraction. The worst is when your phone dies and you’re left staring at the wall and listening to the whir of your breast pump. A long, quality charging cord is a god-send.
2. Heating pad for post-baby pains
Giving birth is painful — no matter if you’ve had a vaginal delivery or a c-section. Plus, breastfeeding induces contractions after you’ve had a baby, which is also painful. Your muscles are also tense and knotted up from all of that pushing and straining. Heating pads are thoughtful gifts that will never go out of style.
3. Nursing bras and tank tops
Sure, moms can get by without nursing bras and tanks, but it does make things more complicated than they need to be. A lot of new moms pick out outfits with breastfeeding in mind. If it seems too complex and will only make the crying baby cry longer, they might not wear it. Help make it a little easier on them. Even if you think they already have them, I’m sure a new mom would be grateful for more. You really can never have enough, especially when you factor in boob leakage and spit-up mishaps.
4. Nipple cream
Breastfeeding can be painful, especially in those early days when the mom and the baby are trying to figure it out. The hospital doesn’t discharge you with a copious amount of nipple cream, and some new moms don’t think to buy it for themselves unless they need it.
5. A comfy robe
I had a specific robe I wore practically 24/7 after I had my kids. It was such a staple piece for me during those days that my husband and I call it my “birthing robe.” Hate on it all you want, but I love that thing. It’s perfect for colder days, especially while breastfeeding when easy access to the breasts is crucial. It’s also an excellent way for mom to keep baby nice and cozy while doing skin-to-skin.
6. A fuzzy blanket
A lot of moms will take all the comfort items after having a baby. Not just for them, but for the baby too. There is nothing better than snuggling up with a newborn and a cozy blanket while watching your favorite show.
7. A good book (that’s not baby-related)
Sometimes new mothers need a getaway from the baby world. If you’re not sure what the mom you’re buying for might like, send her a gift card for Kindle. The app is free, and she can pick out something for herself.
8. Yoga pants
Nobody wants to put on jeans after they’ve given birth, and new yoga pants make you feel better about life. We all love yoga pants. Enough said.
9. Gift cards for places that deliver
If you want to give the new parents a meal but don’t want to (or can’t) cook it for them yourself, gift cards to local restaurants that deliver are always thoughtful and appreciated. They’re the gifts that keep giving.
10. New pajamas
The new baby likely has 10+ pairs of pajamas. So show a new mom you love her and buy her a pair too. And if you want to go big, keep breastfeeding in mind if that is how she has chosen to feed her baby.
11. Pick up laundry and return it clean.
My mom and mother-in-law used to take my laundry for me and return it clean the next day. I miss the days of having laundry fairies.
12. Paper plates, cups, silverware
You have to do more dishes after you have a baby because of bottles and pumping supplies, and they have a lot of tiny pieces that are time-consuming to clean. So having paper plates on hand for those days where you can’t take one more dish is always a good thing.
Showing a new mom you care doesn’t have to be some extravagant thing. Instead, the gesture could be something as simple as dropping off a cup of coffee.
14. Easy snacks
Breastfeeding takes a lot of calories from a person and can make a new mom feel ravenous. So having easy snacks on hand that you can eat while holding a baby is always a plus. You could even make a snack basket filled with thoughtful treats for the new mom.
Most moms don’t feel like cooking when they’ve had a new baby. Set up a meal train, or drop off a meal spur of the moment. If you want to go all out, buy a cute dish for them and cook the food in it. In this case, it’d be two presents in one.
Who doesn’t love candles? Whenever I light a candle, it shifts the kind of mood I’m in. New moms need mood shifts sometimes (having a newborn can be stressful).
17. Haakaa breast pump
As an overproducer, I loved my Haakaa breast pump. You can attach it to the breast you aren’t nursing on, and it will catch your let-down instead of letting it go to waste.
18. Headbands and hair ties
Let’s face it: Moms everywhere rock messy buns. Doing your hair when you’re staying home with your baby can feel like such a waste. It also tends to be in the way. Buy some headbands and hair ties, even if you already know she has some. They will never go to waste.
19. Storage baskets for baby supplies
You could place anything on this list in a storage basket. For example, I liked to keep baskets around the house filled with things like diapers, wipes, diaper cream, etc., for easy access, so I didn’t have to run downstairs to one place every time I needed a diaper.
20. A gift card for a massage
Giving birth takes a lot out of you. Massages are an excellent way for new moms to get some personal time while also helping to get their bodies back where they were.
In a time that focuses on the newborn, we must remember how much the new mother deserves gifts and care too.