It started when my sister innocently sent a group text asking for ideas on what to gift a new mom -- like BRAND-NEW, still-in-the-hospital new.
I had some ideas.
She ended up taking my first idea -- a gift certificate for a restaurant where they'd all eaten together before. PERFECT.
It got me thinking, though, about what kinds of gifts I really would have appreciated as a brand-new mom. As in, appreciated more than the picture frames, flowers and baby clothes I actually did get.
A meal subscription service.
Companies like HelloFresh did NOT exist when I had my babies, or I would have been all over it. The idea of not having to drag a newborn out to the grocery store (who am I kidding, we had one vehicle and Darling Husband was always at work, so I didn't get to go anywhere).
Signing new parents up for a meal subscription service where the ingredients literally show up at their door -- along with detailed instructions -- would be such a nice gesture.
(I'd wait until the baby was at least six weeks old, though, because those early days are a blur of eating cereal or cheese and crackers for dinner most nights.)
Healthy grab-and-go snacks.
One of the nicest things Darling Husband did for me, after having our first baby, was leaving little baggies of cut-up pepperoni and cheese in the fridge -- and baggies of crackers and cereal on the counter -- before he'd leave for back-to-back shifts.
In those very early weeks when it seemed I could NEVER put the baby down and/or get off the couch from endless breastfeeding, those little snack baggies kept me alone.
You could make up some of these cute mason jars of raw veggies with dip, or buy a giant fruit tray and repackage it into smaller portions, and then the new mom can have a quick, healthy make-ya-poop snack to grab on her way back to the couch.
AND BRAN MUFFINS! For real! Bran muffins!
Restaurant gift certificates.
We were hella-poor when we had D -- and when we had C, actually -- so eating out was an awesome luxury we couldn't always afford. We LOVED getting restaurant gift cards, even to fast-food places. (Um, maybe ESPECIALLY to fast food places?)
Little presents (NOT for the baby).
This was another birthday gift for my Sissy, when she turned 25. It was a bunch of silly, small items like pairs of cozy fuzzy socks, cute underwear, books and treats.
New moms are ALL ABOUT THE BABY and SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. No one cares about them anymore (for real). I love the idea of giving a new mom little pick-me-up gifts she could open when she was having a down moment. Postpartum depression is REAL and so hard.
This one sounds random, I know, but it goes with the items above: something to make the new mama's days a little more pleasant.
I'm a HUGE fan of Vichy and have used their products for more than a decade, at least. A nice moisturizer would be an amazing gift for a new mom who's feeling gross and unshowered most of the time.
Nothing feels better after a sweaty #Zumba workout than a hot shower 🚿 Thanks to @vichycanada for the new skincare goodies! Feeling amazing after the Spa Shower Gel-Oil + Mineral Masque + Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm trio 💎 I've been swearing by Aqualia Thermal rich cream for years so it's fun to try the newest additions to the line. #VichyWorksForMe @vichycanada @bicom_rp
Pretty-smelling bath or shower goodies is another great idea. Those frantic showers when you keep yanking back the curtain to check on the baby? They're way better with some nice products.
The best mail? Sweet-smelling #bath + #body goodies from @pearlanddaisy's monthly subscription! The #Veranda #soap is my fave (lemon verbena and thyme, mmm) so I'm pumped it's included, but I've barely made a dent in my last bar despite using it during every shower. I love that these products really LAST unlike flimsy soaps that melt away quickly. #locallovetruro @downtowntruro 🌸🌻
A pretty water bottle (and these instructions).
They tell you to drink lots of water after having a baby so that first poop won't be quite as bad (*shudder*) and it's also really important if you're breastfeeding. Fluids out = fluids need to come in.
But what I only had ONE nurse tell me, interestingly enough, is that the best temperature for that water is "tepid." Like NO ice cubes and DON'T run the tap until it runs cold. Cold water can actually make it harder for your digestive system to do its thang, whereas tepid water is better for keeping things moving.
So slap a Post-It note on that pretty new water bottle and remind your new-mama friend to drink TEPID WATER. She'll thank you for it.
This pale pink Kate Spade New York water bottle is my favourite. I love it.
A date night.
It might be a while before the new parents feel up to leaving their baby behind -- or maybe it'll only be a few days, if their baby is particularly awful. (JK)
But a gift certificate for a date night is always appreciated. Sometimes knowing it's free is the kick in the pants you need to GET OUT and spend time together, away from the bambino.
Movie money, theatre gift certificates, hotel vouchers -- anything that doesn't commit them to a particular day, so they don't feel pressured to leave the baby on a night they're not ready.
After all, it's her new uniform.