What does a new mom need? Short of a cook, a nanny, and a massage, she needs some time alone, up-to-date parenting information, and lots of support. For more tangible gift ideas, try these:
1. A comforting ride
Late-night feedings will be easier on Mom and more soothing for the baby if they can spend them in a rocking chair or glider. If the price tag is too steep, ask others to chip in and give it as a group gift.
2. A hip carryall
Just because she’s a new mom doesn’t mean she’s thrown her sense of style out the window. A chic diaper bag filled with diapers, wipes, lotions, and other baby supplies is a practical — and fashionable — gift.
When choosing a bag, stay away from pastel colors, cartoon characters, ducks, and ribbons. Think sleek and sophisticated — and you can’t go wrong with basic black.
3. Support for feeding time
Breastfeeding succeeds when a new mom gets the support she needs from those around her. It also helps if she’s comfortable.
A nursing pillow positions the baby properly and supports a mom’s back, arms, and elbows. Some models can also double as a back support for the baby as she learns to sit up.
4. A quick pick-me-up
Labor, delivery, and sleepless nights can take their toll on a new mom. She needs some pampering now, so give her a gift certificate for a manicure or massage.
To complete the package, offer to babysit so Mom can get some much-needed time alone. If you’re handy with a nail file, offer to do her nails yourself as a low-cost alternative.
5. The perfect stay-at-home date
When the beds are still unmade at five in the afternoon and the baby’s having a good end-of-the-day cry, the last thing a new mom (or dad) will want to do is make a meal. So give new parents what they really want — dinner on someone else.
Buy for a tasty meal to be home delivered, if affordable. A gift of latest movie releases to keep her entertained will be cool too as she won’t be thinking to going to the movies anytime soon.
6. A mother’s helper
While a new mom’s caring for the baby, who takes care of her? This is where a postpartum doula can work wonders.
They specialize in helping families after a baby’s birth, can take care of Mom by washing the dishes, making dinner, or doing the laundry.
Hire one for a few hours or an entire day and Mom will thank you forever.
7. Some tasty treats
For nine months, the dutiful mom-to-be gave up alcohol, cut down on caffeine and junk food.
Celebrate the lifting of the sanctions with a basket filled with wine, brie, chocolate, gourmet coffee, and any other foods that were off limits during pregnancy. Top it off with a note congratulating her on her willpower. She’ll appreciate the kudos.
(Note: If the new mom is breastfeeding, she may be avoiding chocolate and dairy and limiting alcohol and caffeine. Before putting your basket together, find out which foods are still verboten and adjust your shopping accordingly.)
8. Professional-quality photos to treasure
If you look at most pictures of a new baby, you’ll notice a glaring omission: Mom’s hardly ever there. That’s because she’s usually behind the camera taking the photo. The solution? Foot the bill for a mother-and-child portrait. She’ll appreciate the professional quality of the photographs and the time to play model-for-a-day with her little one. Or, if you have a good camera and a good eye, you can take shots yourself.
9. Useful information
Give a gift that keeps on giving. Parenting books and magazines will help the new mom out whenever she has a burning question about ear infections, colic, breastfeeding, behavior, and more.