Recently I had some friends asking what to buy for a new mom. Yes, it is funny since I am in this category but I think it applies more to a first time mom that doesn’t know how to ask for help. I am not above tweeting at someone and they bringing me milkshakes or asking a friend to swing by Whole Foods for supplements on their way home. I know this would have bothered me the first go round. I didn’t want to bother anyone. Also? I didn’t have mommy friends. They didn’t know what to offer but blanketed “help”. Nothing against them, just the way it is. Now I am armed with amazing mommy friends and my fridge has nevered been so well stocked!
So while I was driving Ollie around during his car nap after our trip to Target, I started to come up with creative gifts for a new mom. Cheap to pricey but all helpful. You don’t realize the little things that can help someone who has precious minutes and new life is driving the airport terminals listening to a vacuum cleaner to keep a baby asleep.
The Thought the Counts ($-$$)
- Google map the mom’s address, get all restaurants in close range, and make a booklet of takeout menus – When you are sleep deprived, the last thing you want to do is be thinking of where to get takeout. I like visuals. While bringing home cooked food is always super awesome, this will help them in the weeks and months after the meals stop coming. Bonus points for a list of drive thrus!
- Gift cards for drive thrus – Once again, I spend a lot of time driving around trying to get a few more minutes of napping. Gift cards to things like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and even McDonalds make me feel less guilty about impulse drink purchases and donuts 🙂
- Gift Cards to Target/Baby stores/Walmart/malls – I get stir crazy and need somewhere to go walk around. If I can actually spend money, even better!
- Baby holding – This may seem kinda “duh” but I mean active extra hands. Like right now, I REALLY want a pedicure but I can’t guarantee Oliver will sleep the whole time. I could use a set of hands to come along and hold. Same applies for bringing dinner. Let them eat and hold screaming baby. Thanks to Uncle Jeff and Aunt Johanna for the other night!
- Nap nanny – come watch the baby so I can nap. This is really kinda baby holding too but specifically unsupervised baby care. Gotta be ready for poop blowouts and rescue missions from the evil swing naps.
- Smoothies – Sometimes meals get put off and you aren’t eating the healthiest stuff. I always feel like a hearty smoothie hits the spot between nutrition and treat. Note: you can get really good smoothies from McDonalds (DRIVE THRU!).
I’ll Just Buy Her Shit ($$$)
- Video monitor – If she doesn’t have one, for the love of pete buy her one. Some laugh at it. Yeah they aren’t cheap but holy shitballs are they worth their weight in gold. With Landon, I never knew when he was trying to put himself back to sleep. The grunts and cries were foreign to me. With Oliver, I can see he is trying to go back to sleep, just getting settled. He cries for 30 seconds and then crashes. With Landon, I would have ran in there and woke him up. Lesson learned. If you want my monitor recommendation, go here.
- Baby carrier – If she doesn’t already have a carrier of some kind, please buy her one. Like right now, Oliver wouldn’t sleep in his crib, seat, chest or swing. I strapped him on to my chest and BOOM…out like a light. I can eat with 2 hands and keep him happy. I can blog. I can walk the dog without a stroller. MAGICAL. There are plenty of kinds. I have an Ergo, Moby and Bjorn. Pick your poison.
- iPod dock – Luckily I did some freelance work a year or 2 ago and used the money to buy a nice dock. It had been kickin it in the kitchen when we would have dance parties. Now it resides in Ollie’s room. Most of the night and day it plays pink noise but it can play anything from my iPhone…or Kevin’s…or Landon’s…or the 3 other iPods we have. Yeah…we have a problem. I am hoping soon we can start streaming Rockabye Baby during naps so at least I can listen to Foo Fighters for 45 minute spurts.
So what are some of your new mom go-to gifts? Anything that would have been a help to you in those early days?