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What a Woman Really Wants: Cool Gifts for New Moms by Jen Wittes

Whether you’re heading to her baby shower, the hospital waiting room, or to her home just days after little one’s arrival, why not think outside the itsy bitsy pink and blue gift bag?

Whoever “she” is, I’m assuming she’s someone special, but she won’t necessarily feel that way after birth.  While pregnant, she was a rock star and a goddess—a glowing, flowing, life-affirming beauty who stopped traffic and many grandmotherly belly-rubbers offering well meaning, though perhaps outdated, advice.  She was fawned over and fantastically optimistic; celebrated and adored.  Now, postpartum, the attention shifts to the little nugget who polished her luster for those nine months.  And she—your dear friend or lover or sister, as the case may be—is bleeding and sweating and saggy and tired, losing some hair and a lot of sleep.

Almost everyone bypasses her in favor of her tiny sidekick, which doesn’t bother her, because she is so proud and so suddenly selfless.

Still, as the mint green overalls with the whimsical floating elephant/floating peanut print are lovingly held to her chest, appreciated with a thank you note, and hung neatly in the closet, don’t you think it would be fun to get something special for her? 

Let’s face it.  Between her excited preparation (and Grandma’s), various gifts, and hand-me-downs, she has enough layette for baby to wear a new outfit every single day of this first year.  She has burp cloths and bath accessories, rattles and receiving blankets.  She has everything she thinks she will need, so why not think beyond the recommended baby registry?

10 ideas for AHHH-mazing New Mama gifts that you won’t find at Babies R Us:

  1. New mama pajamas.  Make it soft, cotton, comfortable, and cute.
  2. Sushi and champagne.  Or a cold-cuts sandwich and some beer.  Take her favorite meal that she abstained from during pregnancy and share it with her in celebration of the birth (don’t forget to do the dishes and throw in a load of laundry).
  3. An in-home pedicure.  Call around.  Most local shops will travel.
  4. Diaper service.  Is she cloth diaper curious?  Make sure before you get this luxury gift.  Maybe she just needs help figuring out the logistics.
  5. A homemade coupon for 8 FREE hours of babysitting service.  No expiration date.  Call her on it if a few months roll by and she’s been too shy to cash in.  On the rough days, this gift will give her something to look forward to.
  6. A month or two of Netflix.  She’ll be home.  She’ll be nursing late at night.  Dates with hubby will be “exhausted on the couch” for some time.  A good flick will make her feel connected and adult and alive.
  7. A wonderful healthy snacks basket.  She will forget to eat.  After you’ve presented this gift to her, distribute the snacks evenly to all of her typical nursing stations.  This will remind her to take care of herself, and will remind her that she is cared for.
  8. An at-home spa/relaxation basket.  Tea, candles, lotions, oils, bubbles.  Her shower or bath will most likely be her favorite time of the day, and her only self-permitted moment for personal space.  This gift will encourage her to linger just a moment longer and will make the bathroom oasis much more fun.  If she’s nursing, you might want to make sure creams and oils are mostly natural and not overwhelmingly fragranced.
  9. Gift cards for favorite take-out/delivery restaurants.  Are you getting the picture?  Food is important.  Both Mom and Pop will forget.  Feed them.  They don’t want to cook.
  10. A postpartum doula.  Duh.  Wink wink.  Nod nod.  Naturally.

What do you wish people would have given you following the birth of your baby(ies)?

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