Inside: Someone in your life just had a baby, and you’re wondering what are the best gifts for new moms (after birth). Well here’s what she really needs – no fluff, just the sometimes forgotten practicals.
When I became a new mom I had NO CLUE what to expect. I didn’t know how wonderful it would, or how hard it would be.
I’m pretty sure no book or course or anything else can truly prepare a woman for the paradox that is motherhood. But there ARE things that can make the transition easier.
Being a mom is
one of the THE most challenging and rewarding job there is, and every new mom is treading water that first year. Trust me: she needs the gifts on the list I’m about to share more than she knows.
I’m not talking about Bath & Body Works lotions or foot spas.
You really don’t need pampering your first year of new mom life. Seriously – what you need is SANITY.
Some of these sanity-saving items are what held me together that first year nearly ten years ago now. Other things on this list I really WISH had been around back then.
These gifts for new moms after birth are going to help her survive that first year of motherhood. She’s lucky to have you in her life!
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16 Practical Gifts for New Moms After Birth
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This is everything you need as a new mom postpartum. The things that make life after birth – with a new baby who needs you all.the.time – just a little bit easier.
Related: The Best Self-Care Gifts for New Moms (Pampering + Practical)
1. Instant Pot
Ok, so back then it was my crockpot. But this all-in-one steamer/pressure cooker/slow cooker/rice cooker will make your life so much easier.
It’s a must-have for every new mom!
The instant pot is perfect for those times she didn’t plan ahead (i.e.: haven’t unthawed anything) but needs to make a quick meal. This cooking wonder will not only save countertop space, it will also save her money on take-out!
There are loads of easy recipes online, especially on Pinterest. My favorite source for recipes in general is Damn Delicious, and I’ve seen so many instant pot recipes over there lately.
Bonus: Tuck your favorite instant pot recipes in with the gift. It’s always nice to know those recipes you find online actually taste good!
2. Kit for Blowouts
You will be amazed at the amount of poop that comes out of one baby, and all the places it can end up. I don’t care what diaper you use (these Huggies are my preference), you WILL have blowouts.
Unfortunately, these poop explosions seem to happen most when you are out and about!
Making a blowout kit for her diaper bag is a game-changer!
The blowout kit should include:
- a disposable changing pad (optional, but baby poop STAINS, y’all)
- a change of clothing (a great excuse to give cute baby clothes)
- a gallon-size ziploc bag to keep the mess (and the smell) contained
(I skipped a regular diaper bag with my fifth baby and kept my blowout kit contained in one of these zippered pouches, tucked into my regular bag. But most new moms will have a diaper bag, so pretty it up any way you like.)
3. Manual Breast Pump
If you know mom is breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, she’ll be thankful for this manual breast pump. Especially if she doesn’t plan on pumping a ton, it’s perfect for random pumping sessions.
Even if she DOES pump a lot, sometimes you don’t want to go through the trouble of setting everything up with the electric breastpump (or cleaning it).
A manual one was SO much simpler to pull out than the electric breastpump. Plus, cleaning is a breeze!
Unfortunately, I got rid of my manual pump after my fourth baby. I sure wish I would have had it when I was starting develop mastitis last year. I could have pumped a little bit and saved myself a WHOLE lot of pain…and an ER visit. Yep, mastitis is no joke and is to be avoided at all costs!
This is the manual pump I used, and I MUCH preferred it to the electric ones I got for free through my insurance company.
But this gift should probably come from a relative or close friend… Just sayin’.
4. Dim Light or Night Light
When you’re up in the middle of the night for breastfeeding or worse, diaper-changing sessions, you need to be able to see without fully waking up the baby (or your spouse).
That rules out most of the nasty white light LED nightlights on the market.
We use and love these nightlights that emit warm yellow light. Perfect for keeping you and your baby from fully waking up, with enough light to see what you’re doing.
You could also include some warm light/dimmable light bulbs for regular table lamps. That way instead of scrolling her phone (which can make getting back to sleep difficult), she can read or do a crossword puzzle, instead.
And if she really wants to watch a show while nursing baby? Grab her a pair of blue light filtering glasses so she isn’t as affected by the light.
5. Light Fiction
Normally I’m a non-fiction, self-improvement reader. But in those first few months of new baby life? All I wanted was mind candy…but not magazines.
Gift her a stack of easy reads in her favorite genre.
Just make sure to not pick something too emotional. No need to trigger those postpartum hormones – they will be triggered enough with day-to-day life with baby.
(Give her an audible membership if physical books are too tough to read right now.)
6. Extra Bottles/Formula
If she plans to formula feed, she will be going through several bottles a day. Having plenty of extra bottles means she might not have time to wash them throughout the day.
And having an extra stash of formula on hand means she will rarely find herself having to run to the store with a hangry baby!
Try to find out what formula and bottles she is using before you buy.
7. Different Pacifiers to Try
After birth, you have no idea what kind of pacifier your baby is going to take a liking to. The ones they give in the hospital never worked long-term for us.
These pacifiers are what my oldest loved (and held on to FOREVER). We tried a few different kinds before finding the one that worked. They are especially nice because they don’t fall out as easily like so many other brands.
I sincerely wish my other babies would have taken pacifiers. It would have made my life SO much easier!
These glow in the dark ones are PRICELESS, by the way. Throw a few different ones in with another gift.
This gift is best given immediately after birth, as mom will still be trying to find a Paci that works.
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8. Bouncy Chair
Bouncy chairs are a great way for mom to keep baby close while you tackle your to-do list (or you know, take a shower). Lightweight and easily transportable from room to room, a bouncy chair is a must-have for those first few months.
I borrowed this bouncer from a friend when I had my third baby and I loved it! It kept him upright so he could truly see everything, as opposed to the lower ones that keep them angled closer to the floor.
It’s pricey, but such a life-saver. Any new mom would love it!
9. Car Diaper Kit
Nothing is worse than realizing at the most inopportune moment that there are no diapers (or wipes) left in the diaper bag. It happens to even the most seasoned mom!
Keeping a diaper kit in the car stocked with the following can seriously save her mom life:
- extra diapers,
- diaper cream,
- disposable diaper bags
- a couple extra changes of clothes
I guarantee it will come in handy!
Coffee will probably become your new best friend (if it isn’t already). Even if you are breastfeeding, one cup a day isn’t going to hurt your baby. If you’re worried, this article from Heathline on caffeine and breastfeeding will help calm your fears!
Brewing a full pot just wasn’t practical when I was a new mom. I barely can finish the first cup while it’s hot, much less the rest of a pot.
Plus, it’s much easier to stop at just one cup with a Keurig.
This insert for using your own ground coffee is pretty awesome. I’ve been using it for a year now and still love the coffee it makes compared to the k-cups.
Alternatively (or in addition to?), the Ember smart mug is amazing for keeping coffee hot. Mom doesn’t need a new ceramic mug with some heart-warming mom phrase on it – she needs this mug.
11. Stroller (or Accessory)
Getting outside with a new baby is SO good for you in those early months – essential for your mental health.
When your baby is screaming her little head off and NOTHING is working, a walk can do wonders for your sanity and possibly soothe baby as well.
Mom might have one stroller for her current stage, but not the next. If she already has a stroller that works for every stage, grab her an accessory like a cup holder or rain cover. Anything to make getting out easier.
(I adore this easy to transport and set up stroller designed for work with any infant car seat.)
12. Gym Membership
If mom’s town has a gym with childcare (YMCA or otherwise), it is absolutely worth a monthly membership. Most will provide free childcare for up to two hours per day with your monthly dues.
Mom can use that time to exercise, swim, or hide away in a corner with a good book. It’s also a great place to make new mom friends in a group fitness class, or spend some quiet time in the sauna unwinding.
You should have the membership start 2-3 months after birth, as the childcare in most gyms don’t accept babies until at that time.
13. Baby Carrier
For new moms, a baby carrier might be one of the most important pieces of “equipment” she has! Babies love snuggling up to a warm body, and baby carriers allow mamas to keep babies close while freeing up their hands.
Two popular carriers are the Ergobaby Carrier and the Moby Wrap. Moms can have both and love both at different ages/stages.
I switched from an older carrier to the Ergo a couple months after my son was born, and the difference was INSTANTANEOUS. Such a relief to be able to tote him around without feeling like my back was going to break!
The Ergo is a traditional baby carrier that has straps around your waist and back and can be used as a back carrier for bigger kiddos.
The Moby Wrap can be a little confusing at first, but some babies love it (Youtube videos can help mom learn how to use it!). It is cozy wrap that is super portable.
Find out which type mom already has and snag the opposite one.
14. Amazon Prime Membership
An Amazon Prime membership is worth every single penny. If you know mom doesn’t have one, she will absolutely need it!
From groceries, to diapers, to coffee… it can all be delivered straight to her doorstep, now in ONE DAY.
She can also save 20% on diapers, wipes, and even nursing pads when you join Amazon Family – only an option for Prime Members.
In those early months when her schedule is mostly dictated by baby’s schedule, she might find it nearly impossible to get out the door. And frankly, a long shopping trip with a crying, hungry infant in tow is no one’s idea of a good time.
But heck, if you have a membership, I probably don’t need to preach the benefits to you. If she doesn’t have one, get her one. ASAP.
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15. Decent-Sized Backpack Diaper Bag
Sure, a stylish diaper bag is cute and all, but a backpack diaper bag is where it’s at!
It is easier on your bod (having a heavy diaper bag strap digging in to your neck and shoulders is no fun!), and it won’t get in the way as you wrestle baby in and out of the car seat and stroller.
If she already has the stylish one, grab her the backpack style as a back-up. My money is on it quickly becoming her favorite.
This gray backpack one gets GREAT reviews on Amazon and is super affordable!
16. Shopping Cart Cover
Baby is probably coming along on many of mom’s shopping adventures, and let’s face it, shopping carts can be pretty nasty AND uncomfortable.
The LAST thing you need is a baby screaming unnecessarily while your sleep-deprived self desperately tries to remember everything on your grocery list.
There’s nothing like baby screams to completely wipe your brain clean of anything except, “MUST STOP THE CRYING!!!”
It’s also pretty challenging to go without one for a baby who doesn’t have good core strength. They just don’t have the ability to stay upright without your help.
You don’t want to be holding baby with one hand while trying to shop with the other – #beentheredonethat.
A shopping cart cover like this one will provide a layer of protection against germs. It also gives your kiddo a soft place to sit once he/she is no longer happy hanging out in the infant car seat.
It’s perfect for when baby is too heavy to lug in the car seat and can sort of sit upright.
The Gift New Moms Need Most After Birth
Quite honestly, what every new mom wants most is a shower, to for someone to hold her baby while she does one of three things:
All of those things are going to be super stressful to do during those first few months because she’s worried baby will wake up, start crying or be hungry (again) while she’s trying to do basic human functions.
So if you’re close enough, offer to come over and just hold the baby. That’s it.
Hold baby for an hour after they eat and give mom a break. It’s the best gift.
Related: What to Get Someone Who Just Had a Baby
June could talk to you all day about homeschooling, parenting, and minimalism. When she’s not homeschooling, decluttering, or blogging, she loves to enjoy perfect silence while sipping a hot cup of coffee and thinking uninterrupted thoughts—which, of course, with five kids, doesn’t happen very often.
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