Becoming a new mom over 40 is different in so many ways from having a baby in your 20s or 30s. Probably the biggest difference is what type of gear you need, or want, really. When I was pregnant with Ava, I was 30 and the first of my friends to have a baby. I wanted EVERYTHING. I slung that bar code registry gun left and right tagging so much useless crap in the baby aisles of Target like Billy the Kid on crack. From an overpriced wipes warmer to a bulky baby backpack, my registry was full of things I ended up taking out of the box once and promptly donated to Goodwill.
The second time around was vastly different.
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Becoming a new mom over 40 is on the rise. Whether you built your life first, struggled to conceive, waited until you were ready or any host of reasons, you are not alone. According to a recent CBS news report, the number of babies born to women 45 and older, has more than tripled in the past two decades in the United States.
While the overall numbers are small, they are growing and it isn’t a trend that is slowing any time soon. In my experience, being a new mom over 40 is vastly different from being a new mom in your 30s. I can’t even personally address how different it is from your 20s because I didn’t have my first kid until I was 31.
Being a new mom over 40 means all kinds of things. Besides being medically labeled “elderly,” you just don’t give a shit about a whole lot of stuff. Well, at least I didn’t.
I wanted a happy, healthy baby who would sleep comfortably in a dresser drawer. Part of that wish came true. Aside from his kidney issue, the little dude was the happiest tiny baby who didn’t care if his crib sheets were made of 100% organic fibers woven from the hair of vestal virgins or not. He would happily sleep on whomever would hold him, or on a blanket on the floor, or on the couch surrounded by pillows (and watchful eyes).
Being a new mom over 40 also means you probably have your shit together in terms of what you like, what you want and how much crap you can tolerate on your living room floor. These things were very much at play when I registered for baby number two (yes, I registered for my second kid – they were 10 years apart and the opposite sex. Stop judging me …).
If you have a new mom in your life who already has her shit together, who may or may not be over 40, and you are about to go and buy her 30 onesies because you think they are cute, look at this list first. Please.
Give the best gift ever – entertainment with 24-hour shopping and shipping included with Amazon Prime. 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 a must watch.
Grocery Delivery Service
Being pregnant at any age can make grocery shopping a challenge, and the older I get, pregnant or not, I prefer to have someone else do it for me. 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 and it 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 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
Dr. Bown’s bottles 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 a costly bottle sanitizer. That’s what your dishwasher is for. Unless you don’t have a dishwasher, then that’s a whole other issue.
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 Ava, I was all into the new mom thing and loved every little outfit she was given, but for Evan, I received no less than 50 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” 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!