Today, I want to share my thoughts with you on giving gifts to new moms. I am sure you've been to a baby shower once or twice in your life, and you were overwhelmed with the choices on the baby registry. I know that I always wonder who on earth needs a spatula to apply diaper cream or a wet wipe warmer (no offense if you do!). It is very likely that this baby will have everything he or she could ever need: plenty of clothes to poop into, endless amounts of toys for those few minutes a day the baby is awake, and most importantly, mom's love.
Mom on the other hand will probably find herself wondering why she was finding it so hard to make a choice between this A-rated car seat or that A-rated car seat, when she now can't find a clean top to wear. That is where this genius gift basket comes in. It has everything MOM could ever need, because let's face it, no one ever thinks of mom. Yes, when you give the basket you will deviate from the baby registry, and some moms may not be too happy about this at first. However, I have yet to meet a mom, who wasn't touched by this gift basket once the baby was here, and they were running around the house trying to find something edible. This basket is pure mom love, and really it should be something we just get sent home with from the hospital. It is not though, so it is up to you to make the mom in your circle feel loved and cared for.
You can make this basket small with just one or two of the following pieces or you can go all out and get everything on this list. Some things are easy to pick up in baby stores, some things you can make yourself, and some you have to go look for. I have put links to Amazon underneath for most of these, so just click and order away.
To make a gift basket, you have two choices: I like to get a white (goes with most nurseries) wicker basket that can be reused for baby stuff like diapers, toys, etc, so that nothing from this gift goes to waste. However, that is not a must, and any good old gift basket will be just fine. Then you have the option of letting your inner Martha Stewart come out to play. You can make little gift tags for each gift, draw on these or put little baby stickers on them. I like to add a little story to each gift of why each item was useful for me. You do not have to go all crazy though. As most gifts speak for themselves, you don't even need to put tags in case you are throwing this together last minute to run to the hospital and welcome the new baby.
In case you know that the new mom is choosing not to nurse, then of course exclude all the nursing gifts. There are plenty of others to choose from. In my experience though, most moms will try nursing for the first few days, so things like nipple cream and nursing pads could still be super useful. Things you can add to your basket, depending on when you give this (for a baby shower, during the hospital stay or when you go to visit the new mom at home while she's settling in with baby):
For the dehydrated mom, because nursing makes you thirsty 24/7:
a glass, stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottle big enough to hold a good 500ml/ 17oz or more, but easy enough to drink from with one hand while baby is asleep on the other one
a BRITA water filter to make water more nutritious
a Soda stream to make water more tasty in case your friend does not enjoy drinking plain water and would prefer a Diet Coke
For the hungry mom, because nursing makes you starving at the most inopportune times:
favorite chocolate, crackers, or bars ( I like Larabars without any nasty additives). These keep for a while in case you give this as a baby shower gift.
home baked cookies like these lemon cornmeal ones, which were my go to when I came home from the hospital
For mom's wellbeing:
a copy of "The First Forty Days" by Heng Ou - a fabulous read for any new mom and delicious recipes in case you want to make some more food for her
lavender essential oil to smell to relax or to apply to scars for healing
nipple balm for super sore moms in the first few days of nursing (my favorite brand is below, which you do not have to wipe off, because who has time for that when baby is crying for milk?!)
body lotion and shower gel for those few minutes a day mom gets to herself - it's like a quick trip to the spa
a lovely smelling candle to light in her bedroom, where she is likely to be holed up for the first few weeks
raspberry leaf tea to help internal healing of the uterus, and makes milk supply more nutrient rich
witch hazel with maxi pads (Instructions for new mom: soak maxi pads in witch hazel, place in zip lock bag, and put in freezer. Then line your underwear with these on the first days after vaginal birth to help soothe and calm the pain)
make my homemade belly balm to help the skin recover: mix virgin coconut oil with 10 drops essential lavender oil, and 1 Tbsp vitamin E oil. Fill in a beautiful jar, and voila!
Other lovely ideas:
your favorite nursing bra or top that you couldn't live without. I personally love all night nursing bras the most without any wires. Just pure comfort.
super soft swaddles like the ones from Aden and Anais, which are perfect nursing covers, they work as swaddles, and also function as a stylish scarf for mom
nursing pads (washable ones or stick on ones), because you can never have enough
recipe cards with nourishing recipes to make before she goes into labor and to stock up the freezer. I usually hand write a collection of my favorite recipes from the blog here, and things I loved eating after I came home from the hospital. This is a great idea, in case you don't live close by to actually make food for the new mom.
the Belly Bandit, which is a fabulous wrap to help stabilize the core after birth. I could have not lived without mine! This one is a little hard to choose, because of the size, so make sure you keep a receipt for mom.
These are just the beginning, be creative, and add whatever you found super useful during your first few weeks at home with a new baby.
Lots of love,