John and I were so thrilled to welcome not one but two beautiful new babies into our family earlier this year--our niece Sophie and nephew George. Many of our friends and family are starting their own families right now, and while we aren't quite there yet (someday!), we love learning and watching all of the amazing parents in our lives. I am a big gift-giver and I love the idea of spoiling moms-to-be, especially at points in their pregnancies when they may not be feeling their best or quite themselves, or after they have had the baby and are exhausted and in need of a little extra lovin. I enlisted the help of my lovely (and super savvy) sister-in-law, Sarah, to put together a list of presents for moms-to-be as well as new moms. I love the list she came up with, especially because many of these things I wouldn't know to think of myself! Hopefully this list is helpful for any of you who are in the same boat. Sarah and her husband Drake (John's brother) live in Manhattan with their two gorgeous boys, Draper and George.
Having been a first time mom and now a mom of two boys, I've seen the gamut of baby presents and, fortunately, have had some wonderful friends who know what they are doing when it comes to making a mom feel special. Here are some of my favorite "off the grid" gifts for pregnant friends and new moms. (This comes with the caveat: when in doubt, just get them something from their registry! Especially first time moms; sometimes the most boring basic gifts are the things they really need and will use all the time.)
For Pregnant Moms:
1. A Fun Day Out: This was one of my favorite days of my second pregnancy! Two of my best friends planned a day that started with brunch and ended with tea and pastries (with a mani/pedi/massage in between) in a fun neighborhood that I rarely visited since having Draper. They made sure Drake could do daddy day care with Draper and whisked me off for a few hours of girl time. It was refreshing and relaxing to have everything taken care of and to have the time to really catch up before life got crazy with a newborn.
2. Gift Certificates: Gift certificates for pedicures or a prenatal massage are wonderful. It gets hard to paint your toes towards the end!
3. Fun New Makeup: It's always fun to get a sparkly little something new for your makeup bag! I know it seems like a specific and personal gift but there are some great highlighters out there that work wonders for tired eyes at 39 weeks (and will work double duty in the months following!). My favorites are Sephora's Jumbo Liner in white and Benefit's High Beam. A dot of either smudged in the inner corner of your eye adds hours to your night's sleep.
For Moms Post-Baby:
4. A Nice Water Bottle or To-go Coffee Mug: Nursing moms are always thirsty and having a compact and functional water bottle to throw in your diaper bag makes a huge difference. Note: If you weren't a coffee drinker before having kids, chances are you'll become one after. Having a readily available to-go mug means you'll be out the door and somewhat-functioning faster. My favorites are this water bottle and this mug with the cafe cap.
5. Gift Cards for Services that Make Life Easier: Normal everyday things like cleaning, eating, and getting out of the house suddenly become mind-bogglingly overwhelming with a new baby. My favorite gift certificates: housecleaning (in NYC Wizards of Home is my favorite), Uber the car service app (if you use the code "family" in the promotion code area the car comes with a toddler carseat, brilliant!), www.diapers.com, and Nature Box.
6. Meal Delivery: Likewise, set up a meal delivery calendar for friends to bring meals. Not having to worry about making dinner AND getting to see friends without leaving the apartment was lifesaving after both boys. In fact, we really looked forward to it when I was pregnant with George! We use Meal Me In, but there are lots of options.
7. Milestone Cards: Especially for the second (or third or fourth!) time mom who might not be looking when her baby rolls over for the first time. These adorable cards make documenting fun and easy!
8. Babysitting: Offer to babysit and follow up by setting a date. Sometimes it takes a while to get up the courage to leave your baby with someone you don't know, so having a good friend babysit who you know well (and who won't judge you for your neurotic texts checking in every 15 minutes) can help ease you into leaving your child at home. Just make sure to follow up so she knows you mean it!
9. Stationery and a Pack of Stamps: New moms often have to write a lot of thank notes and having fun stationery (with mom's or baby's name or initials) makes it more exciting. Just make sure it comes with a note excusing them from writing YOU a thank you note!
(Bonus!) For a new baby:
1. Wubbanubs: These things are life savers! And so cute. Draper never took a pacifier but George does and these little guys make such a difference.
2. Nice But Not Too Nice Clothes: Some of my favorite gifts for the boys have been cute, cozy and well made rompers that are a little more expensive than I'd buy myself, but not so nice that they sit in a drawer unworn. KissyKissy and Petit Bateau are recent favorites. Also, anything monogrammed.
3. A Big Soft Blanket: My mom gave us a beautiful cotton quilted blanket when I was pregnant with Draper and it's the backdrop for almost all of our photos of him for the first few months. We've used it for all kind of things since. Kind of like this one from Serena and Lily. Similarly, a picnic blanket folds up easily and is waterproof on one side making picnics and outdoor tummy time a piece of cake!
4. Books: A great gift for apartment or small space dwellers. They don't take up space and you can never have enough bedtime story options. Especially fun are personal favorites from your childhood.
5. Monogrammed Tote bags: With zipper and long handles. A friend sent us one of these for Draper and I use it ALL the time! For overnight trips, as a diaper bag, for school. The long handles and zipper are key to making sure you can carry it comfortably on your shoulder or over a carrier, and to keep it from dumping out in the bottom of your stroller.
6. Gifts for Siblings: Preferably something that they can play with alone and doesn't make loud noises: puzzles, Brio train tracks, an tch-a-sketch, Tegu blocks, baby doll and stroller. And my FAVORITE Big Brother t-shirt.
Sarah thank you SO much for this helpful list! Any moms out there have any ideas to add? Please feel free to add them in the comments!
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