Having a new baby is a beautiful gift in and of itself. The sweet snuggles, planting kisses on tiny toes, soft baby cries. It is all so memorizing and precious. It is also unbelievably exhausting. New mothers are changing dirty diapers, feeding constantly, and sacrificing sleep to keep their babies and their husbands taken care of. Well meaning friends ask if there is anything mom needs, but in order to preserve some independence and not seem as desperate as she feels she will often respond with a strained, “No, I’m okay, but thank you.” New moms give a lot of themselves, without expecting much in return. But if you are looking to give the new mama in your life something special that she will actually use this holiday season, look no further! I have compiled a list of the five things I would suggest giving this Christmas.
In the first few weeks of my daughter’s life, my husband and I battled over how many lights could be left on in the house at nighttime. He needs complete darkness to sleep at night, whereas I can sleep through almost everything. So when midnight baby feedings entered the picture, either I was tripping over dirty laundry to find the bassinet in the dark, or my husband was losing sleep over brightly lit lamps. Eventually we reached a compromise that worked for us, but it was a challenging season at first. If you are looking for a meaningful and practical gift for the new mom in your life, a nightlight is seriously the way to go. You may be giving her the gift of convenience. Born Free makes an amazingly cool nightlight that clips onto the mother’s bra strap. With the push of a button it emits a light soft enough that it won’t keep the baby awake, but bright enough for the mother to see what she needs to in order to feed her baby. The best feature is an optional vibrating alarm that can be set to track feedings for mom if she falls asleep. I can not tell you how many times I woke up in a panic those first few weeks while nursing my baby in the middle of the night. If only I had known about this product sooner, I could have kept myself awake for longer feedings.
2. Baby Carrier
I am a big advocate for babywearing. Babywearing is very quickly becoming trendy, and for good reason! It is so natural for a baby to want to be snuggled up and close to her mother. After being cozy and cuddled up in the womb for nine months, it is a shock to enter into the cold and loud world. Babywearing has been proven to strengthen the bond between mother and child, comfort baby, and expose baby to language and communication skills much sooner. Not to mention that babies who are carried by their mothers cry less! There are many different kinds of baby carriers, from front-facing buckle carriers to wraps, slings to pouch carriers. I would suggest a wrap or a sling, as they have been shown to cuddle baby close and be better for baby’s posture. I personally love the Baby K’tan, the Boba Wrap, and Wild Bird’s slings! If you give the mom in your life a baby carrier this Christmas season, you are giving her the gift of two free hands and a happier baby.
3. Cute Coffee Mug
After having to cut back my coffee intake during pregnancy, I was so happy to begin drinking coffee again when my baby was born. New mamas sacrifice a lot of sleep to take care of the new little one in their life and to keep their households running smoothly. The coffee drinking moms out there are drinking as much coffee as they can to keep going! These adorable mugs from JuneArborDesigns showcase new motherhood in a precious way. Not to mention you can get Dad a mug to match!
4. Nursing Scarf/Cover
When a new mother is breastfeeding in public, she may choose to cover up. This can be a challenging skill to learn! The first few weeks are frustrating and there can be a lot of awkward fumbling and blushing as she tries to gracefully wrestle a wriggly baby. It really helps to have a pretty nursing cover that covers every side of mom and baby so that she doesn’t have to worry about accidentally flashing the world. Beautiful patterns make the whole ordeal feel more feminine and less like she’s hiding her baby underneath a drab poncho. Milk Snob makes beautiful nursing covers that any new mother would adore! From rustic plaid to soft floral, they have a variety of patterns bound to suit your new mama’s style.
5. Date Night
In the craziness of adjusting to life with a new baby, date nights often get sacrificed. This is a shame, because the bond between husband and wife is SO important. Babies need to see that Mom and Dad are happy with them and with each other. I would highly suggest offering the new mama in your life a date night if at all possible. Make up a fancy gift certificate for one free date night where you are willing to watch the baby while she and hubby go out for a few hours. You can even include a bottle of wine with one of these hysterical New Mom Wine Labels. Remember, mom may not be comfortable leaving her new baby yet, particularly if she is breastfeeding. That is perfectly okay. It is important that she does not feel pressured, but knows that the door is open when she is ready to go out on a date and leave baby with someone that she trusts. Note: We would only suggest giving this meaningful gift if you feel comfortable taking care of a baby and if you are close to the new mama.
6. Cozy Blanket
This time of year is quite cold in most places, and new mamas are frequently waking up to tiptoe to baby nurseries and feed their little ones in the middle of a chilly night. Giving the gift of a cozy blanket is a sweet gesture that any new mom would appreciate. There is nothing more sweet than cuddling with your newborn bundle under a big soft blanket. There are many different options out there, but I personally love the look and size of the blankets from Henry & Bros. These quality, beautifully-patterned blankets are perfect for a mom to wrap around her and her napping infant on a brisk winter night.
Whether you are looking for a baby shower gift or a present for the holidays, hopefully these ideas are helpful when you are looking to bless the new mama in your life. Merry Christmas and Happy Hunting!