I was fortunate enough to have my first baby at the same time as some of my dear friends entered motherhood as well. Though traditionally newborn gifts have been reserved exclusively for the expected bundle, one of my favorite things to do was surprise the new mama with a little something special for herself rather than just a baby blanket or stuffed animal. Of course I think it’s important to respect the registry provided, but I also believe if you love someone and they have just brought a life into this world I say why not gift them with something that says “you’re amazing!”
It’s such a tender time for a woman-we’re sleep deprived, not really feeling ourselves, in full on sacrifice-and-serve mode and our normal routines are completely out the window. I’ve found a little elevated special something can really brighten our days in that newborn haze.
Bubble Bath: This is my favorite bubble bath. The glass container elevates the whole experience from a quick dip to a long recharge.
Undies: This may seem a little personal but I love to gift a new mom with a set of simple and pretty underthings. They may seem to be mocking in nature at first- what with the mesh underwear situation probably going on currently- but they serve as a beautiful reminder that this phase will soon be over. Pretty underthings shall return.
Chocolate: Does this need a description? I will say, receiving a luxury chocolate (from brands like Mast Brothers and Compartes) feels extra special. My own personal theory is that great packaging makes chocolate taste even better (:
Juice: One of the things that made me feel most myself after having a baby was taking care of me from the inside out since taking care of me from the outside in (a.k.a. normal hygiene) was not always a guarantee. Also, those first few days of breastfeeding leave a mama absolutely parched. Gifting a new mom with a fresh juice delivery ensures she’ll get a big dose of vitamins and nutrients to counter-balance the heaps of cookies and casseroles being delivered. Greens like broccoli can be tricky on newborns stomachs while nursing but I never had a problem with other power greens such as kale.
Disposable Mask Treatment: Who doesn’t love being pampered at the end of a long day? Okay, now, who doesn’t love being pampered at the end of a string of 12 long days with very little sleep and questionable hygiene routines? These eye pads are indulgent and a bit pricey but they will be such a treat when mama needs to magically look like she has actually gotten a full night’s sleep at some point in the last month.
Face Oil: My skin has never felt dryer than in the first few weeks home with a baby. Granted, I did give birth in the dead of January when air was dry and cold, but despite sleeping with a humidifier near our bed and trying to keep up with my skincare routine I couldn’t get the moisture I was looking for. Breastfeeding and drastic changes in hormones (plus too many nights of forgoing any kind of skincare whatsoever) did a number on my face. I found that a special oil made me look forward to my nightly routine and also came through on its promises. I recommend gifting Rodin oil. Her skin will be quenched, her bedtime routine will be elevated and her sink will never look better. (The oil linked is an absolute luxury but there are great face oils everywhere from Target to Sephora at a much lower price point.)
Tinted Lip Balm: After giving birth the first time around, I gave myself six weeks to schlump around the house in a newborn haze. Milk stained t-shirts , greasy hair, glasses and yoga pants were the standard. After that I decided in order to feel like myself again, I needed to actually put myself together every morning. I’m not talking Kardashian “together,” just normal human “together.” For me, this meant getting dressed in a dress, a nursing friendly top and jeans of some sort, or a full on athleisure look as long as it was an outfit, applying tinted moisturizer, blush and mascara, and if I was feeling extra special- something on my lips. I learned quickly, however, that newborns don’t mix well with lip gloss…or lipstick. Tinted lip balm became my best friend since it offers much needed hydration as well as a smidgen of color that seems to make my face seem finished.
A few items not listed that I also think serve as fabulous gift include a gift card for a manicure while offering to watch the baby during the appointment, a gift card to her local Dry Bar, an offer to come over and clean so she can snuggle her baby OR an offer to come over and snuggle her baby so she can rest, and last but not least…setting up a schedule between friends and family so that meals are provided for the next week or so after the baby arrives. Nothing meant more to me in that time than a friend dropping by a homemade meal or texting and asking what my husband and I wanted from certain restaurants. Long live sweet friends!