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. I had a lot to learn about registering for gifts I would actually want.
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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.
Here are my top 5 gifts new moms might actually want:
Amazon Family Subscription
Give the best gift ever – entertainment with 20% discounts on diapers, 24-hour shopping and FREE two-day shipping on most items. 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 Amazon 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 watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” because it is definitely a must watch. Give the gift of Amazon Family and you will make her life so much easier.
Somewhere to Print All of those Thousands of Baby Photos
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. Not only was storage an issue, but I wanted physical prints and did not want to spend thousands of dollars. Enter Snapfish. Snapfish is an amazing photo printing site that offers regular prints, photo books, canvas prints, coffee mugs, calendars and more. And they have amazing deals and discounts all the time. They don’t offer gift cards, but I highly recommend sharing the site with any new mom in your life. She won’t be disappointed!
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
Dr. Brown’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 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.
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 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 bingeing “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!