When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I basically threw the test in the trash and went straight to Target and register for ALL THE GEAR. Pretty soon after having my daughter, I realized that I didn’t need 90% of the things I had in my baby registry. I spent quite a bit of time in that first year after her birth at the Goodwill donating tons of things that never even had the tags removed.
The second time around, I was much older (over 40) and much more aware of what I needed to keep this new kid alive. Some may say I had my shit together. Maybe. That’s debatable. But I did realize with the second baby that there were things I wanted for myself. Sure I needed diapers and formula, a new monitor and definitely car seats, but outside of the basics, I had learned that a baby can get by on much less than what society will tell you they need. And they will outgrow everything so fast that dropping fat cash on most gear just isn’t worth it. I mean, who are you trying to impress, really?
If you have a new mom in your life who already has her shit together, or who at least pretends like she does, have a look at this list of gift ideas before you hit the aisles at Target. Get her some things to help keep some semblance of her sanity or at least make her life a little easier in those first few sleepless months.
Give the best gift ever – entertainment with 24-hour shopping and shipping included. New moms need something to do while they are feeding their precious newborns at 3:15 in the morning, and reading or watching movies on Prime is a great way to pass the time. Sure, new moms should be relishing every moment, soaking in that new baby smell, but she can do that while catching up on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” because it is definitely a must watch.
Grocery Delivery Service
After the baby comes, I can assure you that the desire to go to the store will be there, but the will to leave the house will not. Instacart is a fantastic way to fill a new mom’s fridge and pantry with everything she needs without her having to put on a bra, load up that new baby and venture out into daylight just to run into everyone on the planet who wants to touch her little bundle. Save the unnecessary drama and give the gift of Instacart.
When I had Ava, I bought a new DSLR camera and took upwards of 75 photos of her each day for three years. No lie. I had to buy an external drive just to house all of these photos. Of course, this was back in the early 2000’s when cloud storage wasn’t a thing. Now you don’t have to have a bulky drive taking up desk space. Cloud storage is such a great gift for the new mom over 40. We don’t have time to organize photos in folders on Windows or whatever magic Macs use. We want to share and order pics of our babies on a whim, from our phones, during a very important meeting at the office. Amazon photo storage is a one-stop shop for all your photo needs.
Milestone Photo Sessions
This was also not a thing when I had my first baby 12 years ago. Now you can find a photographer you love and pay them to take your family milestone photos for the first year (and sometimes beyond). For about the cost of a fancy new camera you may never learn to adequately use, you can have a very talented person take your maternity, birth, and one year milestone photos. If you are looking for an incredible gift that will last a lifetime, this is awesome for any mom at any age. There are talented photographers everywhere who do this, just ask around or hit up the Google.
Dr. Brown’s Bottles
These are the BEST BOTTLES EVER. As a new mom with my first baby at 30, I went through two types of bottles before I heard about these. They helped with Ava’s reflux and digestion so much! When Evan came along almost 10 years later, I didn’t even hesitate to get a new set. Sure, the air thingy in the middle is a little hard to clean if you let the bottle sit too long, but you can eliminate that issue with a quick rinse after feeding. I also popped these into the dishwasher. Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you need an expensive bottle sanitizer. That’s what your dishwasher is for. Unless you don’t have a dishwasher, then that’s a whole other issue.
Rock n Play
The first time around, we had a swing, a bassinet, a Moses basket, a crib, and who knows what else for Ava to sleep in. As an older “been there done that” mom the second time around, it was all I could do to keep from making him a cozy spot in our chest of drawers (I’m totally kidding) because too much gear stresses me out. But in all seriousness, I hardly ever used any of those things with her and I was kind of at a loss at what to do the second time around. That was until my neighbor turned me on to the Rock ‘N Play. This thing rules! It fits right up next to your bed, cradles your little baby all snugly and even ROCKS ITSELF. That last part right there is what sealed the deal for me. As a new mom over 40, I was 1,000% more exhausted with life in general after I had him. This thing was a life saver.
Gift Cards Instead of Clothes
I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like other people buying clothes for my kids. I mean, sometimes it works, but I’m super picky. Maybe it’s because I’m so much older now and set in my ways than I was with my first? Who knows, but for some reason, onesies are the number one item people tend to gift at baby showers. With the tween, I was all into the new mom thing and loved every little outfit she was given, but for the boy, I received no less than 50 novelty onesies over the first few weeks of his life. Some never even had the tags removed long after he outgrew them. I guess people like buying onesies for boys, which is totally cool, but when it comes to clothes, gift cards are the way to go. Target is always having great sales and Amazon is easy shopping online for baby clothes, too. While you are catching up on “Mrs. Maisel” and feeding your new bundle, of course.
I think this list of gifts for a new mom could apply at any age, but in my experience, what I needed at 30 was vastly different from what I needed at 40. You have a different perspective after you’ve lived a little and even if you are over 40 and this is your first baby, some of the more traditional gifts might not be on your radar. This is by no means an exhaustive list, either. I could add meal delivery services, cleaning services, wine delivery … just think of things that make a new mom’s life a little easier. Even the gift of your time is very much appreciated!