7 Best Baby Shower Gifts for Exhausted New MomsPayton Foeller
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You’re invited to a baby shower. You want to be practical. You vow to get something incredibly useful and long-lasting right? Something that no one else will think of maybe. Or maybe you’ll get all that stuff that people are too embarrassed to buy for the new mama? (That’s usually my go-to move.) Well, think no more because we’ve compiled the ultimate list of what new mamas want! What they really really want; and it’s not that Prada ‘diaper bag’ you’ve been eyeing or that adorable newborn outfit.. sorry!
New moms are tired. New moms are drained emotionally, physically, mentally, and nearly ten other words that end in ‘ally.’ New moms need your time and your effort and your ear. They may register for those cute little chew toys, ahem… I mean teething toys. But that’s not what they’re really asking for from those closest to them. They’re too prideful and shy to ask for what they really need. Society declares that having a baby is no big deal, happens all the time right? New moms take that to heart and set out to need no one and ask for nothing. It’s time for you baby shower attendees, family, friends, and more to step up and give the gifts they really need.
Here they are:
1. A Break
“The best gift anyone gave me during the first few months as a mom was little breaks! It’s exhausting being a new mom, and I had a hard time sleeping in those early months. Having someone watch the baby for a few hours so I could do groceries solo or take a short nap was essential to recharge and stay sane.” –Birch Landing Home
I would leave this one to the close friends and family of the new mom. Give her space but keep an eye out. Watch for signs of distress and offer your help often.
When she denies, offer again in case she was just being polite.
Assure mom that you don’t mind, you really do want to help. It’s a tricky balance to be helpful but not pushy. Try to find it though because these moms need a break.
2. An Ear
“As a new mom, I suffered mild postpartum depression. It was the first time I was ever confined to the house and expected to spend hours alone without any adult interaction. I was overwhelmed and exhausted. Whenever someone took the time to ask how I was doing and actually sat down to chat, I was immediately relieved and reassured.” –Halfway to Whole
You know that thing when you’re out and about making polite conversation with people and they ask you how you are and you are always, ‘fine.’ First of all, stop doing that because it’s silly. And stop asking people how they are if you don’t want to know the real answer. Second of all, this is not the time for that. This is time for real answers and real conversation. This new mama needs you to ask how she’s doing. Then when she says fine like everyone expects her to you need to ask her again, ‘no really, how are you doing? I have time!’ If she’s reluctant to share, offer up something about your life, she might be willing to open up a bit if you’re both being vulnerable. Don’t overstay your welcome but do engage in real conversation with her, she desperately craves it.
3. A Bite to Eat“Meals! Having someone deliver a meal is the absolute best thing during the first month, and not just the first week, like 3 weeks later when no one is bringing meals, just drop one on the new mom’s doorstep and send a text it is there. She is having trouble nursing and the baby doesn’t want to sleep, so don’t try and visit, just leave the meal and text that it is on the porch. Also, put it in a disposable container so I don’t need to keep track of who has what dish to try and return it to you. I am sleep deprived and probably dropped it on the floor after I washed it because the baby started screaming!” – Townsend House
This one is pretty simple and common practice after surgery or new babies. But like she says, bring meals for a few weeks. You don’t suddenly become well rested and fully capable the second their one month birthday hits! I’d say 6 months is how long it took us to get in a really good place after having our first baby. Bring easy food. Bring it fully cooked or easy dishes to simply heat up in the oven. And yes! Disposable pans, please. And if you’re really feeling giving bring paper plates and silverware. People often won’t buy this for themselves but they’ll use it and love it if it’s already there.
4. A Clean House
“The best gift is housekeeping. I always tell moms to nap when the baby naps and let your body rest as often as possible, but with people in and out, sometimes keeping up with laundry, dishes and the like prevents that. Having someone come in and give the house the once over is my gift of choice for a new mom.” –Indy Parent Coach
This one could be tricky. A lot of people are picky about where their stuff goes or who sees their house. I’d recommend going professional on this one. Pay someone to sneak into their house and act like magical little cleaning fairies while they’re still in the hospital or birthing center. If they have a home-birth I’d suggest waiting till after the baby is born…
If you are close enough to the new mom and think it’s appropriate then go yourself and clean up. Fill their fridge full of basics; milk, bread, eggs, chocolate. Make little nursing baskets full of treats and water and lanolin and put them by her bed and comfy rocker! Think real life. What would make those everyday moments easier or a little sweeter? Then do those things.
5. A Makeover
“In a physical sense, the best gift would have been a new hairstyle…anything to make me feel like me again.” – Halfway to Whole
Okay, so maybe your new mama friend doesn’t want to leave the house yet. Take her some adorable and very forgiving new tops.Get her This Subscription to send her some new clothes right to her door! Buy her a new perfume. Get her a gift certificate for a haircut or a spa day and offer to take her when she’s ready. Or maybe this means just volunteering to rock a baby so she can shower and brush her hair for the first time in a few days. The struggle is real ladies.
6. A Nap
“The best gift that we could have received was… time alone! We loved sharing the new baby with our family and friends, but felt like we were constantly entertaining or traveling when all we really wanted to do was sleep!” – Momtriculated
Just let the woman sleep! Text her husband first in case she might be napping. Volunteer to babysit on her turf so she can rest but won’t have to leave her new baby. Get her a comfy new pillow or a sleep mask! How does that saying go? Let her sleep for when she wakes… she’ll still be tired. Sounds right. Lavender oil can be a helpful sleep aid. Maybe a new throw for naps in the living room. Really just offer, offer, and offer some more to help out.
7. A Baby Gift
“I would have to say the best gift I got when I became a mom was a bouncer chair! The bouncer was a life-saver with my second kid, it was the only place he would nap! I would sit him in his bouncer in the bathroom while he napped so I could shower, worked like a charm.” –Try All Mama
Last but not least… actual registry gifts. Save these gifts for distant friends and family or pick one from the registry AND a gift from this printable list or if you’re a new mom yourself and are pressed for time and sanity.
Some of our must have items were:
–These swaddle blankets (And several knock-offs).
-A neutral Rock’n’sleeper
–Bumbo (so many fun new words!)
*Yes some bumbos have been recalled – however, we loved it. Just don’t be an idiot and put it on a high surface and walk away. If you’re prone to making silly decisions just don’t get one!*
Some things we went out to buy because we didn’t think of them before and no one got them for us…
–These purple breast ice packs
–Disposable breast pads
-a variety of paci brands to try (These are the ones that worked best for her and we still use the same kind!)
–These gas drops, gas drops, gripe water, and gas drops
–Velcro swaddle blankets (aka baby straight jackets)
Don’t worry they love them.
-socks. Those newborn socks never really fit her!
Whatever you decide to get will be helpful I’m sure! Just please monitor the number of newborn onesies you buy… because everyone else already got them a million and they may literally never wear them!