Welcoming a baby into the world is an experience unlike any other. Just recently, a friend of mine talked for several hours about all the things we wish we could have told ourselves and wish we could tell our friends before having a baby. But alas, it is something you must go through yourself to have a context for all the indescribable emotions and thoughts – not to mention, every experience is as unique as the mom experiencing it.
The Best Advice for New Moms
Personally, without getting into the whole story (maybe for another time!), I struggled with pretty significant postpartum anxiety after giving birth to my son. Its onset was fast & furious, but I was fortunate to have an incredible husband, amazing parents, family, friends and medical professionals who helped me address and navigate it as quickly as possible. I believe this saved me from months of agony, guilt, and missed experiences with my precious kiddo. (Seriously, if you know someone who might be experiencing this, look into it and do all you can to help!)
I’m now convinced the best pieces of advice for new moms after birth and in those early postpartum days are probably summed up this way:
“You are not alone.”
“Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay.”
“Here is a meal and/or a basket of your favorite things.”
I was humbled to be on the receiving end of ALL these and can honestly say they were life-savers. So while I don’t focus on “mom stuff” much on the blog, I wanted to share some of the perfect gifts and offers of help I received – and that you can use to love & serve the new moms in your life!
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The Best Gift Ideas for New Moms (that aren’t for the baby)
Of course, moms may need post-labor supplies (you can find ideas here – we just won’t get into that now!) but I’m talking about gifts that 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!
Special supplies & treats:
- 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*)
- 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!*
- 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!
- Relaxing lavender lotion* and body wash* was perfect, as well. I was given a set similar to this one* as well as these specific essential oils* to diffuse at night!
Gifts especially for breastfeeding moms:
- 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 cookies, snacks, teas, etc. I was encouraged in my breastfeeding journey by a dear friend who gifted me some of these items!
Digital or e-mailed gifts (great for long-distance friends!):
- Netflix or Hulu subscription – I watched an obnoxious amount of TV during those slow nursing sessions!
- 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!
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.
Encouragement & ALL the help:
In addition to gifts, words of affirmation and acts of service are HUGE. You can incorporate this into your gift in a variety of ways:
Encouraging or Motivational Prints
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.” There are some great prints on Etsy of these quotes – or you can snag some free motivational prints here!
Homecooked or Delivered Meal
One of the best things you can do is hit that new little family with a homecooked meal! You can find my 10 tried-and-true recipes here, with lots of dietary variations, or you can always do delivery or a gift card!
Help with Responsibilities
As a gesture and conversation starter around what your loved one(s) may need, I recently made these coupons for my new mom friends! 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 pink, blue, or grey for any occasion. You can give them once the baby is born, or ahead of time with a baby shower gift (regardless of if the parents know the gender). All you have to do is print on some cardstock* & cut*!
No email required. Important: You will need to unzip or extract the files before using the individual JPGs.
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