Welcoming a baby into the world is an experience unlike any other. My postpartum days were truly the hardest season of my life to-date (thanks to postpartum anxiety) and I learned more deeply than ever two important lessons:
- You cannot care for anyone else if you’re not taken care of yourself.
- You NEED the support of others to help you do that.
I am profoundly grateful for the tangible and intangible support that I received as a new mom, and it has made me committed to supporting other new moms in those early emotional, hormonal, sleepless, learning-curve days of postpartum life.
Fortunately, it seems like you’re here for the same reason 🙂
The best gifts for a new mom support her taking care of herself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Whether it is food, services, entertainment, comfort items, or an encouraging note, I promise your care and concern will mean the world to her.
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The Best Gift Ideas for New Moms (that aren’t for the baby)
This guide is focused exclusively on gifts to help your new-mom-friend feel a little less stressed and a little more herself during the craziness that is postpartum and life with a newborn.
As you sort through these ideas, most of the products will seem SO small, and of course they won’t take away the difficulties of those early weeks- but I’m telling you, all these items made me feel more comfortable, a little extra special, and surrounded with tangible reminders of how many people were helping me through this time!
Help her meet her physical needs.
When you are focused entirely on meeting the needs of a dependent newborn, it is easy to meet your own needs of food and water. This only leaves moms feeling more exhausted and worn down. Help with gifts like these!
- Doctors and family members will be telling her to chug water all the time, so treat her to a new water bottle. (These bottles will forever & always be the main reason I drink enough water*)
- Bring a home-cooked meal by choosing one of these recipes! If you’re long-distance or can’t find time to cook, delivery is a wonderful option as well.
- Being up at all hours means moms are often STARVING with no time or mental energy to put together a good snack. Make it easy with pre-portioned, handy snacks for her to grab. (My go-to’s are here*, here*, and here*)
- Whether your friend needs a warm drink or a much-needed caffeine boost, pick up some coffee or tea – bonus points for a mug that keeps things warm and avoids the constant microwaving of unconsumed beverages!*
Create a comfortable environment.
I feel like I am always reaching for hair ties, headbands, lip balm, or hand sanitizer these days. Having plenty on hand, especially if they are nicer versions than I would normally buy myself*, is so helpful!
I also received a cozy blanket*, robe, and socks that made late-night feedings so much more comfortable! This is especially true for babies born in winter, and this blanket is still my absolute favorite.
While bath bombs are great if your friend enjoys baths, I found that relaxing body washes and lotions were more practical and made quick showers feel like “me-time”. These non-toxic options are great, as well as this classic lavender lotion.
I was also given these nighttime essential oils to diffuse. Not only are they relaxing, they also help moms make the most of those short sleep windows! well as these specific essential oils* to diffuse at night!
Specific gifts for breastfeeding moms
Breastfeeding moms have a few more physical/comfort items that can be helpful:
- BUTTON. UP. PAJAMAS – I had a friend buy me the exact pair that (unbeknownst to her) was in my Target cart because I realized I desperately needed nursing-friendly sleep clothes. Target has so many great, affordable pajama sets and night gowns!*
- Even if you’re doing it “right”, breastfeeding can be rough those first few weeks. These soothing pads*, hot/cold therapy packs*, and nipple cream* can make a world of difference.
- There are tons of specific products or recipes for lactation teas, snacks, cookies, etc. I was encouraged in my breastfeeding journey by a dear friend who gifted me some of these items!
Of course, all of these items can be given individually with an encouraging note or put together as a gift basket, “survival kit”, or care package.
Make household responsibilities easy & convenient.
- Amazon gift card or Prime subscription – 90% of my purchases come from Amazon so that I don’t have to leave the house with a small baby. The e-mail gift cards come with really cute animations*, and you can make it better with free 2-day shipping with a Prime subscription* That came in handy that first week when I realized all the things I hadn’t thought to buy!
- Grocery delivery – Have groceries delivered from Amazon, Walmart or other participating stores. Use this link to get $10 off a Walmart Grocery order ($50 minimum)*. This is such a great way to save moms the time, hassle, and mental energy of grocery shopping!
- Home cleaning service – I know many moms who have received a certificate for a deep-cleaning or several weekly cleans during the early months, and it was a huge relief!
Give her an outlet for entertainment & mental stimulation.
I watched an obnoxious amount of TV during those slow nursing sessions! Especially if your friend is a first-time mom and doesn’t have other kids running around, consider gifting her a Netflix or Hulu subscription.
I also listened to a lot of podcasts & audiobooks when I felt I had the mental capacity. Whether it’s comedy, parenting, or a personal interest, this can be an amazing way to get outside of the “baby brain” and find some balance. You can purchase an Audible subscription or let her know about the free 30-day trial here.
Provide a helping hand.
Combining some of the ideas above, and adding some other personal ways to lend a hand to new parents, I made these free printable coupons!
While most people won’t go out of their way to “redeem” them, these cards open the door for different ways you can make yourself available to them. They include:
- Bringing dinner
- Buying groceries or running errands
- Cleaning their house
- Taking a “night shift” so they can sleep
- Taking a “day shift” so they can shower, work out, nap, whatever!
- Entertaining sibling(s) for an afternoon
- Walking their dog(s)
- Being on call for general adult interaction & conversations
- Babysitting (down the road, of course!)
The sets are available in blue, grey, or pink.
FREE, No email required.
Important: You will need to unzip or extract the files before using the individual JPGs.
Provide encouragement and kind words.
In addition to gifts and acts of service, words of affirmation are HUGE. You can incorporate this into your gift in a variety of ways:
- I love the idea of including an encouraging framed print – something like “The best memories are made at home”* or one of my favorites, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”
- I have some simple, free motivational prints here!
- And of course, nothing beats a sincere note from the heart. Consider characteristics you know about your friend/family member that will make them a wonderful parent and be sure to let them know they are doing a good job!
Other Gift Guides & Resources:
- Your Guide to Meaningful Gifts Without The Stress (+ free planners)
- 10 Practical & Meaningful Gift Ideas for Grandparents
- Housewarming Gifts for Any Budget
- 8 Mix-&-Match Engagement Gift Ideas (that Aren’t Bridal Magazines!)
- Best Gifts on Amazon – recommendations according to interest & personality
- 6 Clutter-Free Gift Ideas to Give More With Less
- 8 Easy Handmade Gifts