New Mum gifts – what do they really need?

New Mum gifts can be tricky. Do you buy something for the baby (who probably already has three of everything even though they are only 5 seconds old)? Or do you buy something for Mum? And what do you get a new Mum that doesn’t feel cliche and will sit unused for the next 9 months while she devotes all her time to her baby?

I want to suggest some ideas for new Mum gifts, whether to give on its own or to include in a new Mum gift hamper.

The most important thing to remember though is – all Mums are different. Buy for the woman (that she still is) not just for the role of “Mum”.

New Mum gifts – things she actually wants (and needs!)

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Ready made meals

When you’re learning how to care for a brand new human the last thing you want to be doing is all the work that goes into making meals (planning, shopping, actually cooking said-meal). Yet, after birth our bodies are depleted and need actual nutrients to be replenished. (Trust me, I tried fueling myself postpartum with peanut butter on toast and it didn’t end well).

Ready-made-meals are the perfect gift for new Mums. Choose things that are easy to digest (because digestive systems tend to be a bit whack after birth) and make sure you think about what she likes /dislikes and any allergies she may have (ask her partner before you buy). Home-made meals are always most welcome, but if you don’t have the time or the skills, there are some really great companies doing fresh ready made meals at the moment. Eg. The Golden Month, The Nourishing Point, Shine Postnatal Services, etc.

A gift that celebrates the fact that they just gave birth

Often we give new Mum gifts that celebrate the arrival of the baby, instead of the fact that she has just gone through one of the most challenging experiences; giving birth. Although each of my births have been completely different, each have challenged me immensely and to make it to the other side; I’ve always felt like I wanted others to recognise that what I went through was significant.

Even if birth hasn’t gone exactly to plan (which they rarely do) I think it’s important to celebrate this HUGE life experience that she has just been through.

This is why I love new Mum gifts that acknowledge the MASSIVE transformation that is birth and says to her “high five – you’re awesome”. This type of gift will look different for every woman though. If she is that way inclined you could sneak in a bottle of bubbles and some glasses and toast to her awesomeness. Or perhaps she would celebrate with her favourite food or dessert instead. (Remember birth also makes you really fucking hungry). Other ways to celebrate her experience could be to buy her a journal and hold her baby for a bit so she can write down her experience. Or create a little ceremony with tea and oracle cards to celebrate the transition through birth, from maiden to mother.

Jewellery (or something equally small and sentimental)

This idea is mostly for the partners in the room (but could also work well if the new Mum is your best friend or daughter). Jewellery or something similar that says “you’re amazing and I appreciate everything that you’ve just been through.”

When you’ve just been through a massive experience like birth, your vagina (or belly) hurts, you’re trying to learn how to breastfeed, and you can’t remember the last time you slept – it can be nice to have something shiny to look at that reminds you that you’re appreciated for everything you’re doing.

Something for them as a woman, not a mother

We often forget when we’re buying a gift for a new Mum that she is still the woman she was yesterday. What did she like yesterday?

Does she like to read? Maybe you can buy her a great new novel she can read while breastfeeding (skip the baby instruction books please).

Is she a movie buff? Can you buy her a subscription to a streaming service (or a ticket to a babe-in-arms session).

Does she like gardening? Maybe you can get a little nest for baby to sleep in while she potters in the garden.

You get the idea. Choose something that she would have also enjoyed pre-baby. It’s often helpful to be reminded that as well as being a Mum, you’re still the woman you’ve always have been.

Practical gifts that you couldn’t live without.

If you personally have already had a baby, think back to those items you loved and would buy again in a heartbeat. Buy what you loved for the new Mum, especially those obscure items we don’t always think of when you’re a first time Mum and are buying all the cute baby stuff that you shortly realise is mostly super impractical (tell me I’m not the only one who ended up with a pile of stuff I never really even used – but it was cute!)

Time

Don’t underestimate the value of simply giving your time to a new Mum. Whether you use that time to hold her baby for her while she goes to have a much deserved shower. Or you throw a few loads of washing on for her. Or you give her time to debrief from birth. Sometimes your time is actually the best gift you can actually give.

What was your favourite gift to receive as a new Mum? What’s the worst new Mum gift you’ve been given?

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