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It can be difficult to shop for anyone, but shopping for the new mom in your life is next level hard. Why? Because throughout her pregnancy and shortly after, all of the gifts bestowed upon her were likely for the baby.
Burp cloths. Diapers. Wipes. Bottles.
Sure, she may have received some nipple cream or pad-sicles in the bottom of a gift bag, but it’s a hard case to make that those are really “gifts.”
It can be easy with the holiday season approaching to scramble for ideas for the new mom and wind up buying things for her baby. But…that’s not really fair. I’m sure any new mom would appreciate gifts for her little one, and she may have even asked for gifts for her child instead of her. But she’s in a period of life where it’s easy to take care of others and neglect her own needs.
So as you think about the perfect gift for a new mom, I hope you’ll keep one thing in mind: Get her something she’ll find useful.
I’ve compiled a list of ideas that many new moms would benefit from, and if anything, I hope it serves as a springboard for you to generate more ideas to find that perfect gift.
Give the new mom a gift of time and acts of service
I’m sure the dishes are piled up. She may not have had a good home-cooked meal in a few weeks. She might just miss having a cup of coffee alone or sleeping in. Consider gifting mom time. And more so, time with a purpose.
When I was recovering at home and bonding with my newborn, my mom and sisters came over to visit, but I wasn’t sure what their visit was for. Was it to see my daughter and hold her? Or was it to talk to me? Was I supposed to sit there on the couch the whole visit, or should I get up and clean?
New moms are exhausted and just need you to tell them what your intentions are. When you give the gift of your time, spell it out for her (after, of course, asking if it’s okay that you come over).
I want to _______ when I come over next week. Is that okay?
Maybe you want to tidy up her house or give her a break and watch her baby so she can take a nap. Let her know what your intentions are, but understand she may not be open to it at the time.
Depending on her personality, experience, and life, she may not want to leave her baby at all. And that’s okay. Or maybe she doesn’t want someone to clean her bathroom because it’s embarrassing for her.
So first, be clear with your ideas, and second, be flexible if she doesn’t respond well. Ask her what would benefit her or give her other ideas. Don’t take it personally if she doesn’t want company or would rather you not clean her home.
Instead, cooking a casserole or dropping off groceries may be the very thing she needs.
Give the new mom the gift of calm.
After my daughter was born, I experienced emotions x1000. I would cry one second because my daughter was beautiful, and cry the next because I was worried I was going to die and she would grow up without me.
It was intense. And very, very hard.
I felt lonely, I was exhausted, and I was so, so angry.
I didn’t realize postpartum rage was a symptom of PPD until much later, but I felt like I was losing control over who I was.
Chances are, though, new moms won’t willingly offer this information to you.
Regardless of whether mama is dealing with many emotions or not, gifting a subscription to an app like Expectful is a great idea. Expectful is a pregnancy and motherhood app that offers guided meditations and other tools to help mom feel calm and in control.
You can pair this app with other relaxation gifts, like a massage gift card, lounge-wear (because come on, she likely doesn’t want to wear real pants), or a basket of goodies to help her relax.
Give the new mom the gift of clean laundry
With everything mama is experiencing at home, laundry is the least important. But it’s still necessary. And while it may not be too difficult to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, finding time to fold all of the clothes likely won’t happen.
And while nothing is wrong with living out of the laundry hampers for a season, having laundry that is clean and put away will make it easy to find new outfits for the baby and for mom.
Tell mama you want to do her laundry and ask her to bag it up for you. Then, if you have time, you can wash, dry, and fold her laundry for her.
If you don’t have time for this but love the idea, consider getting her a subscription to a laundry service like Hampr. Hampr is essentially Uber for your laundry — they will send you hampers, you fill them up, and then you schedule a pick up time. Someone will pick up your laundry from your front porch, wash, dry, and fold your laundry, and then drop it off the next day.
Prices vary slightly depending on where you are located, but generally, it costs $40 for a year’s subscription, and then $15ish for each load of laundry (1 hamper = 1 load).
You can save $10 off your membership for the first year with code: KATIGFB64
Give the new mom the gift of sleep
Of course this is my absolute favorite gift for any new mom: sleep. And it can take many forms.
First, you can offer to come over one morning and watch her baby while she sleeps. Don’t take it personally if she would rather not leave her baby — some moms truly want to bond with their child and find it hard to separate, even when they are utterly exhausted.
Other moms will jump at the opportunity and invite you over weekly.
Secondly, you can help her to establish longer lasting sleep habits for her child by gifting a gift card to a sleep course or consultant.
There are so many baby sleep books on the market, and truthfully, a new mom might not have time to read — she’d rather sleep herself. Having someone who can partner with her and provide tips and education about her child’s sleep can be life-changing.
I don’t have to tell you that sleep is critical to health and happiness, and during the first few months (and in some cases years), moms operate on very little sleep. Not only is this gift beneficial to her, but to everyone in the household.
Being a new mom is hard, and especially in today’s pandemic-world, lonely. Many moms don’t feel they have adequate support when it comes to their child’s upbringing, or they feel like they’re navigating new terrain. Show the new mom in your life love by giving her something she’ll actually use.
I hope this list will spark your imagination to think of creative gift ideas for mama.
- Time and acts of service. New moms are stretched thin and need support as they’re learning to navigate their new routine. Offer your time and be specific in what you want to do for her. Don’t just give the blanket statement of, “Let me know what you need,” because she won’t. She doesn’t want to burden you, nor does she really know what she needs. So tell her what you’re willing to do, and be open to other ideas if she doesn’t feel comfortable with one of your ideas.
- Calm and peace. While not a replacement for mental health services, gifting apps that focus on motherhood and meditation can help the new mom feel more calm and in control. You can pair this with essential oils, a massage gift card, a relaxation basket, etc.
- Clean landry. I think this gift idea is good for any mom, not just the new mom. If you don’t have time to wash, dry, and fold another family’s laundry, consider a laundry service like Hampr that will pick up her laundry from her front porch and deliver it the next day.
- Sleep. Need I say more? By either offering to let her nap or giving a gift card to a sleep course or sleep consultant can literally change her life. And I’m not just saying that because it’s what I do — I firmly believe it.
What ideas do you have for new mom gifts? Share below to give new ideas for others!