photo by Tara Whitney.
I am entering the season of life where all my girlfriends are starting to have babies. I was at Target this week picking up things to send to a new mama friend and as I was shopping I kept coming up with more items that I would have wanted or did receive in those first few months that made a real difference.
This list wrote itself. Save it for when you need a gift for a new mom. I promise, she already has enough newborn onesies.
a nice robe - don't worry if she already has one, this one will get worn when that one is in the wash.
a nightgown - something black that's loose and comfy but still provides a bit of hot-factor.
huge underwear - I was warned to buy bigger underwear for after the baby was born, but didn't realize that by big they meant at least 4 sizes larger than usual (especially if there is a c-section incision to account for).
a set of thank you notes - kind of an odd gift, but she'll need them.
a sheet of postage stamps - ditto.
facial wipes - ideal for some of those late, late bedtimes.
an iTunes giftcard - she will not use this for music, but it will come in handy for bonus tries in Candy Crush or when she's downloading the most expensive white noise app there is at 3:30 in the morning.
vitamin C tablets - great for the nursing mama.
pre-natal vitamins - ditto.
a box of pads - needed post birth for two to eight weeks. She will have bought some but underestimated the need.
the boring household essentials - dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, hand soap, etc. Bonus points if you buy her exact brands.
chapstick - and a backup chapstick for when she loses the first one.
a good smelling candle - she will not have time to light this right now, but someday she will.
nail file and cuticle cream - on a random Tuesday she's going to look at her hands and desperately want to fix them.
a donut if you're visiting in the morning.
a huge salad from her favorite restaurant if you're visiting in the afternoon.
dinner with plenty of leftovers for her and her partner if you're coming by in the evening.
chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of red wine if you're visiting at any time.
a sincere compliment - "you look fantastic." and/or "you're doing an amazing job." will both mean the world to her.
a Nordstrom giftcard - plus instructions to get a professional bra fitting as soon as she's up for leaving the house. Tell her you'll watch the baby or go with and hold the baby.
a pedicure - offer to watch her baby or go with and offer to hold the baby.
clean her house - wipe down counters, take out the trash, break down cardboard boxes, run the laundry, water the plants. Don't ask, just do it.
sign your emails with "no need to respond."
a pack of headbands, hair ties and bobby pins.
a baseball hat.
a dark colored maxi skirt.
a gift certificate to Pinhole Press - she'll think you're insane because she'll never have time upload photos again, much less make a photo book, but she will.
take photos - go to her house and take photos of her and the new baby. Don't pose her, just quietly snap away while they do normal things. She will cherish them.
popcicles or ice cream bars - I don't know why, but these are so good when you're exhausted and overwhelmed.
a judgement free zone - let her complain about her husband, her mom, her baby and her new body. Not only will you not judge, you also will forget whatever she told you in a few months when everything is back to it's new normal.
fresh fruit - bonus points if you wash the apples and cut up the watermelon for her.
bendy staws - so she can drink water without sitting up.
offer to design/order/address/mail her birth annoucements.
just listen - listen to her tell you what it's like to be a new mama. Don't talk abut your experience. Don't talk about your own baby. Don't give advice or suggestions. Just listen. This is the hardest thing on this list but will mean the most, for sure.
Other posts you might enjoy:
- how I am learning to "balance" work & mamahood.
- newborn essentials
- 9 books our toddler loves.
- our favorite toddler art supplies.
- gearing up for baby #2. literally.
- FAQs / baby edition.
- new mama care package